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However, the aluminium bike does in fact date back over 120 years, with the first bike produced in the late 1800s – a far cry from the best aluminium bikes we have today.

Under the brand name ‘Lu-mi-num’ the frame was cast in a single piece in order to avoid having to use lugs to join the tubes together and to avoid welding, which wasn’t fully mastered for aluminium bicycle frames until the 1970s and didn’t become widespread until the 1980s (more on that here).

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However, consider that aluminium as a material far outweighs the sale of carbon and steel.Before I set off with why the best aluminium bikes should still hold a place in everyone’s heart, I agree it is hard to see past its ‘cheap and cheerful’ image.Steel seems to hold this nostalgic memory of great, long, comfortable rides and bikes built by skilled frame builders who put their hearts and souls into their work.Icons of Cycling: Sean Kelly’s cobble-busting Vitus 979 However, aluminium’s time as the top material for road bikes was short lived: the Tour de France was only won from 1994 to 1998 on aluminium bikes.Before then every winning bike was made from steel and since 1999 every Tour has been won on carbon.

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