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Aluminum vs. Carbon frame road bikes?


Elvin
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My step dad and myself want to develop my road cycling potential. I want to get focused on training and improve my performance and fitness.

 

This is what we want to do, I have a Trek aluminum road bike that I'll train on, and then we want to buy a bike in the price range of 15k - 20k to race on (although we saw a very sexy Cube @30k the other day that might have us spending a bit to much....)

Is it a correct assumption that one will get "more bike" at 20k when buying an aluminum bike compared to a carbon bike at 20k?

What are the pros and cons to weigh to each other? Carbon does seem to be the future though... Is there still a place for Aluminum?

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Go Carbon. Much lighter. For 25-27k you can get a  quality Giant Carbon bike. If you shop on the Hub you will get even better deals on used bikes. Enjoy shopping, the best perk of being a cyclist

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It all depends on price. You can get alu frames that are lighter then carbon frames. You can get alu frame that about 100-200gr heavier then carbon but 50% of the price. You do not need the best of the best as this is only a training bike. With the groupset L'll go as high as Ultegra/Force/Centaur and frame for about 5-7k. Look at Planet-X for great specials.

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I've ridden Full Carbon, Half Carbon / Alu (System Six), and Full Alu. And every combination inbetween, Carbon Stays (Chain and Seat). I can honestly say that a cheap Carbon Frame is worse than a good Alu Frame. In my opinion ride what you are comfortable on. Angles and 'Feel' of the bike make a huge difference. Weight is a money based equation More Rands = Less weight!

 

 

 

I ride an Alu CAAD 9 and it weighs around 6.8kg's No Carbon Wheels!

 

 

 

Di Luca had Bianchi build him a Deda 970g Alu frame and would not ride anything else, except EPO apparently!

 

 

 

IMO

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I ride both a full carbon and a alu/carbon mix.  Both are mid level bikes and although the alu/carbon is slightly heavier I would choose it over the carbon if I could only have one of them.

 

I would suggest the following:

 

If you haven't already, have a bike setup done on your Trek to make sure you know exactly what geometry you need and then look for a second hand  carbon bike to suite. 

 

If you are unhappy, after a while, you can sell it without the loss of trying to resell a "new" bike.

 

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And there are great used bikes on this site as well as www.bikebay.co.za. I'd personally go for a good used carbon frame (inspected carefully, of course) and put the rest of my budget into good spec components.

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With you there on aluminium, you can get A LOT more bike for the money.

 

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This is 2010. You have to have carbon. It is the in thing. Do you really want to line up on an aluminium bike at the start of a race when everybody else is riding carbon sculptures.

 

The first rule of cycling is to get with the in crowd. Cycling is a fashion statement (I sound like Styleman now). You have to ride and wear what is in fashion. Develope your potential now and you could be the next Mario Cipolini.
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does Carbon frames break/crack easily ?

 

Or would it withstand an impact the same as an alu frame?

And when it does crack or brake can it be repaired.

Thinking about going carbon because of this beauty...?

http://www.cube-bike.co.za/images/stories/AgreeAGC/agree-gtc-pro.jpg

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does Carbon frames break/crack easily ?

 

Or would it withstand an impact the same as an alu frame?

And when it does crack or brake can it be repaired.

 

Not really - else they wouldn't use it on the Airbus A380 and Boeing's Dreamliner (which is why, incidentally, CF is so expensive these days - they've got quite a demand for the stuff!).

 

Carbon withstanding impact - depends. It is designed to take stress in a particular direction, and bike frames are designed with that in mind. Truth be told they can take a licking and still be good. On the other hand I've had aluminium fail without warning and dump me on the road. Not funny!

 

I think certain types of crack can be fixed by an expert, but only if it is limited to the gel coat. On the whole I would say CF is as durable as aluminium. I had a Trek aluminium frame replaced under warranty years ago when the bottle cage mounting lugs tore out leaving hairline cracks which couldn't be fixed.

 

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If you don't have the legs you can ride a R100k Pinarello Dogma60.1 and look like a complete palooka when you get dropped on the first hint of a climb.

 

Ride what your pocket can afford, enjoy it... get strong and kick butt on a bike you know didn't break the bank.

 

Some famous guy (I think he won a few small races) said "it's not about the bike LOL
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i'd go ali.. and rather spend money on getting good light wheels.. 200g difference on wheels will make a bigger diffrence than 200g on a frame.. dont underestimate the force of enertia.

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