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Carbon vs Alu


Garfield2010
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We have a R20.000 budget for the bike (alread have shoes helmets etc). The guys is an absolute beginner. Goal is road cycling.

 

Questions:

 

1. Rather Carbon with crappy component or Aluminium with better wheels etc?

2. Which is strongest as we expect a few crashes naturally

3. New vs second hand??? Which will be better value for money?

 

Any suggestions of exsiting deals at bike shops in Johannesburg?

 

Thx.

Edited by Garfield2010
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Alu! Cannondale CAAD10 with Sram Force or Ultegra (perhaps ultegra electric?) will be a killer bike.

 

The frame is lighter than a Pinarello Dogma 2, plus have a lifetime warranty. Upgrade path would be deep section wheels, that would make it a perfect race bike.

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We have a R20.000 budget for the bike (alread have shoes helmets etc). The guys is an absolute beginner. Goal is road cycling.

 

Questions:

 

1. Rather Carbon with crappy component or Aluminium with better wheels etc?

2. Which is strongest as we expect a few crashes naturally

3. New vs second hand??? Which will be better value for money?

 

Any suggestions of exsiting deals at bike shops in Johannesburg?

 

Thx.

1.) How each frame feels depends way more on the tyres and frame geometry than the actual frame material. I think the choice comes down to how likely it is that he'll want to upgrade over time. It's easier to upgrade components in a piecemeal fashion over time as good deals crop up and cash becomes available. A frame is an all-or-nothing upgrade. If he's going to upgrade over time, carbon with cheaper components may be better. Otherwise, alu with good components would be better.

 

2.) A crash that will destroy a carbon frame will, in all likelihood also destroy an alu frame. Carbon might snap, while alu might buckle, but in both cases the frame is toast. For lighter dings etc., both should be pretty durable (unless you're going for super lightweight stuff).

 

3.) Second hand is way better value for money. The rough rule-of-thumb is that a good condition 2nd hand bike will go for about 50-60% of the price of an equivalent new bike. New has the advantage that you can get the size you want and the components you want right now, rather than waiting for them to come onto the market.

Edited by Edman
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Look at the new 2012 Merida evo 904 scultura. Will go on sale for R15000. Full carbon, full 105 and fulcrum wheels. Looks beautifully.

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Guest agteros

Read the latest Ride magazine. some points from that:

 

 

Carbon fibre is not as durable as an aluminium frame, which is not as durable as a steel frame...

Carbon fibre has a larger carbon footprint than aluminium , which has a larger carbon footprint than steel...

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Carbon fibre is not as durable as an aluminium frame, which is not as durable as a steel frame...

Carbon fibre has a larger carbon footprint than aluminium , which has a larger carbon footprint than steel...

What is their source for the durability info? How is it measured? I'm a bit sceptical whether the durability would become a problem over the typical life of a frame.

 

I was reading a journal paper on the carbon footprint of CF parts (vs. natural fibre composites). I'll see if I can dig it up.

Edit: I misremembered: they were comparing E-glass fibres to natural fibres.

Edited by Edman
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Alu! Cannondale CAAD10 with Sram Force or Ultegra (perhaps ultegra electric?) will be a killer bike.

 

The frame is lighter than a Pinarello Dogma 2, plus have a lifetime warranty. Upgrade path would be deep section wheels, that would make it a perfect race bike.

For that budget, I think like Christie.

 

Value for moola! Big time!

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Alu! Cannondale CAAD10 with Sram Force or Ultegra (perhaps ultegra electric?) will be a killer bike.

 

The frame is lighter than a Pinarello Dogma 2, plus have a lifetime warranty. Upgrade path would be deep section wheels, that would make it a perfect race bike.

 

Really? How many kg would that be then?

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if the guy's an absolute beginner, get an el cheapo second hand alu bike off the hub for a few grand to see if cycling's even his bag. stands to lose much more if he goes all out and spends R20k only to find out he prefers bowling.

 

friend of mine (mtb'er) got a decent silverback road bike with tiagra from a lbs - turned out he wasn't much into road and sold it a couple months later for not too much less.

 

fwiw, R20000 should get you quite a bike right now - saw a cannondale supersix with 105 (?!) on for R17500 at olympic cycles a couple weeks back.

 

my 2c, anyway.

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CAAD10 frame + fittings, 54cm - 1248g

CAAD10 fork - 406g

CAAD10 headset - 138g

Total - 1792g

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=80660

 

Dogma frame + fittings + fork + headset, 46cm - 1720g

http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=630663#p630663

The 54cm Dogma is reported to weigh over 1800g.

 

Thanks! I had no idea an alu frame could come in so light... Any compromises? (strength / durability / other)?

 

Its an interesting question for me as I am in a constant debate with myself about upgrading components on current bike / upgrading with a new road bike / waiting another yr or 2 and instead get a decent mountain bike so long etc... For option 2 I was thinking next step up had to be carbon... - but apparently not so...

 

Argh more choices than R's!

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if the guy's an absolute beginner, get an el cheapo second hand alu bike off the hub for a few grand to see if cycling's even his bag. stands to lose much more if he goes all out and spends R20k only to find out he prefers bowling.

This is a big benefit of 2nd hand. If you can find a good deal (even on a R20k bike), there's a good chance you'll be able to resell it and recover most (if not all) of your costs if the bug doesn't bite or if you want to upgrade soon.

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Thanks! I had no idea an alu frame could come in so light... Any compromises? (strength / durability / other)?

I've only heard good things about the Cannondale Alu frames. Not sure how much they cost, though.

 

The Dogma is also seriously chunky for a such a pricey frame.

 

My old 57cm Bianchi 928 T-Cube carbon frame etc. weighed in at 1659g for about R17k.

 

A Scott CR1 costs a bit less than that and also weighs about 50g less IIRC.

Edited by Edman
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