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  1. #1
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    Carbon vs aluminum bike purchase help please

    Hello,

    I have been biking for 2 years and loving it. I sold my first bike as I didn't like it all that much the shifting was not working well even after taking it to multiple bike stores. My old bike was http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...nturasport.pdf

    I'm now looking at several different ideas to purchase a new bike. But before I go into that I am wondering if I should look at an entire carbon frame fork and seat post. I usually ride 5-6 days a week. 5 days is about 1 1/2 ride and the other 2 days can be upwards of 2 -3 hours. Average speed is about 18 mph.

    Things I want on the new purchase is at least shimano 105 group set but I'm stuck on carbon and the budget got tighter last weekend when the washer decided to spring a leak and needed to be replaced. I will never be a racer as I mainly ride to keep in shape for the Air Force.

    With my riding amounts would all carbon be worth the extra money? Should I look at just carbon fiber forks and seat post with an aluminum frame. I'm currently looking at this bike 2011 Orbea T105. I can get it for $1599 and believe it is a good price. Although would I be better off being less expensive and purchase a lower level of the orbea that is aluminum.

    My last bikes weight was around 25 lbs and this obera I'm looking at is around 19 lbs. will I see a real difference.

    Thanks for all your input and suggestions.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    You ride more than 99.9% of the population, and probably more than the large majority of posters on BF. You definitely ride more than me. So if you want a carbon, you deserve carbon. That said, there is nothing wrong with a nice aluminum frame, I ride one myself. Also, the reason your other bike sucked is because it was a Jamis. They are the worst. I just hope it wasn't chromoly.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    You ride more than 99.9% of the population, and probably more than the large majority of posters on BF. You definitely ride more than me. So if you want a carbon, you deserve carbon. That said, there is nothing wrong with a nice aluminum frame, I ride one myself. Also, the reason your other bike sucked is because it was a Jamis. They are the worst. I just hope it wasn't chromoly.
    Hi there BattleTroll!

    Hint!...Hint!

    I totally agree 10% with Rebel!

    You should invest in carbon, if that's where your heart lies! You can find some really great deals right here below on:

    www.bikesdirect.com

    Good Luck!

    Slim

    PS.

    Of course, Rebel is the only one I've ever heard that stated that Jamis sucked! Ordinarily, Jamis makes excellent chromoly steel bikes!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 02-03-12 at 08:38 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Rebel- so a shifting issue is the bike mfr's problem??? Nothing wrong with Jamis bikes- everything wrong with shops that have rookie wrenches that don't know how to fix things correctly.

    Battletroll- frame material is your choice. If you can eke out a carbon frame on your budget, then go for it. If you shop at a reputable LBS, you pretty much can't go wrong with any brand. Make sure it fits and that you love the way it rides. Don't worry about who's label is on the tubes. When I bought my R900, it wasn't on my original list. I rode it because I wanted a Campy equipped bike to replace my older Campy equipped bike, and it was one of the handful taht were available without going custom- which was beyond my budget. It was the bike that rode the best for my riding style, so it was the one I bought.

    Good luck!
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  5. #5
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    I love the ride and feel of my carbon bike but all materials are good if they are quality and fit you well. I have one of each (CF, steel, Ti and aluminum). I particularly like the Orbea you are looking at. It is an excellent bike and has a fine reputation. It's also something you don't see everyday and most people think of them as a high end bike. So I think you will be very proud owning and riding it.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battletroll View Post
    With my riding amounts would all carbon be worth the extra money? Should I look at just carbon fiber forks and seat post with an aluminum frame. I'm currently looking at this bike 2011 Orbea T105. I can get it for $1599 and believe it is a good price. Although would I be better off being less expensive and purchase a lower level of the orbea that is aluminum.
    The T105 is a carbon frame cyclocross bike. $1599 seems like it should be a great price (the list price appears to be $2799).

    An aluminum bike isn't really going to be much cheaper (except through BD).

    http://www.orbea.com/us-us/bicis/mod.../#presentacion

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    Quote Originally Posted by demoncyclist View Post
    Rebel- so a shifting issue is the bike mfr's problem??? Nothing wrong with Jamis bikes- everything wrong with shops that have rookie wrenches that don't know how to fix things correctly.
    I don't believe rebel1916 was being serious (his comment was slimrider bait).

  8. #8
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demoncyclist View Post
    Rebel- so a shifting issue is the bike mfr's problem??? Nothing wrong with Jamis bikes- everything wrong with shops that have rookie wrenches that don't know how to fix things correctly.

    Good luck!
    Like NJkayaker said, I was only joshing.
    Hey kayaker, do you paddle whitewater?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    Like NJkayaker said, I was only joshing.
    Hey kayaker, do you paddle whitewater?
    I did a little bit of WW (not very good at it). It's hard to find the time to get good at it. I do (did?) some sea kayaking.

    At this point, I should be "njbiker" (and not njkayaker or njskier)!

  10. #10
    DEK
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    When I got my new ride last April, I looked at fit, components, frame material and price, in that order. I ended up with a '11 Felt Z85 with 105 components, carbon fork & seatpost and it was $1,100 that fits me well. I'm very happy with it and have put just under 4,000 miles on it since I got it.

    Some sage advice I was given was to not get "carbon-itis" where you feel you need to have a full carbon frame and don't consider anything else. As I said, I'm very happy with my ride and I'm glad I didn't spend the extra money just to get a full carbon ride.

    One last thing to keep in mind - it's really all about the fit and how you feel on the bike; not just the materials.

  11. #11
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    People really like the CAAD frames. CAAD10 5. Felt F75 looks to be comparable. So does the Trek 2.1. And Specialized Allez Elite. All around $1500 which will get you a very nice 105 bike. Pick your price point and then look to see what bikes offer 105 component set. Ride and decide. If you read around the Road forum, you can find good bikes at decent price that are not from the mega manufacturers.

    Your finances sounds tight. The most responsible action would be to get a $1500 Aluminum/105 bike (2011 models are on sale if you can find one you like in your size) and put the other $1k you would spend on carbon frame in the bank for a rainy day. I see too many Craigslist people desperately trying to sell expensive bikes for food.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  12. #12
    Senior Member rebel1916's Avatar
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    except that he has a line on a $1500 carbon/105 bike...

  13. #13
    Bike rider alexaschwanden's Avatar
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    Caad10 bikes are great.
    2013 Felt 960 29er MTB. 1,357.4 miles
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  14. #14
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
    except that he has a line on a $1500 carbon/105 bike...
    Oops. I missed that.

    I assume it's the Onix T105 shown atBikepedia. Orbea doesn't seem to be as popular as other brands. You should ask specifically about this bike in the Road Forum. Provide a link to the bike. Ask what other bikes in your price range might be going choices.

    Did you search the forums? I came acrossthis article that might have come helpful info.

    That Orbea looks like a nice bike.... if it comes with the lifetime warranty.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  15. #15
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    I don't think there will be many complaints about a 105 equipped Obea. Either Aluminum of CF can be made into a good road machine but I find CF a bit more forgiving on less than perfect roads. I prefer bikes that are a bit different from the crowd and Obea would be on my short list.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  16. #16
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    Everyone thank you for your input. I have been extreamly busy lately but will post updates tonight and links to the bikes I am looking at based on all your feedback.

  17. #17
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    These sold in a walk in and ride home, bike shops, near you?
    it helps noobs that are not mechanically savvy, to have a retail shop's help.

    the fancy klick shifting 20 speeds are rather fussy.

  18. #18
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    Ok I narrowed my bike down but understand my budget took a big hit so I am going aluminum with carbon forks and seat post. Going to go with the Orbea Aqua it has 105 components. Problem is the local bike shop has a 51cm and 48cm and they are saying that I fit into the 48cm because how short my legs are. My inseam if 29 inches and fitting me into the 48cm they are adding a stem of 110 to the forks to add for the extra distance. Does this seam correct?

    I'll feel like a girl on the 48cm or am I being too critical? The price for either out the door is $1129.93.

  19. #19
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    If you can stand over the larger bike, and it's comfortable, get it. A comfortable bike fit is about your upper body position. So long as ya can pedal and not get racked when ya get off the saddle the seat tube size means little.
    You've got a bike, so you gotta move.

  20. #20
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    You'll feel like a girl? That's pretty insulting.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battletroll View Post
    Ok I narrowed my bike down but understand my budget took a big hit so I am going aluminum with carbon forks and seat post. Going to go with the Orbea Aqua it has 105 components. Problem is the local bike shop has a 51cm and 48cm and they are saying that I fit into the 48cm because how short my legs are. My inseam if 29 inches and fitting me into the 48cm they are adding a stem of 110 to the forks to add for the extra distance. Does this seam correct?

    I'll feel like a girl on the 48cm or am I being too critical? The price for either out the door is $1129.93.
    I am 5'6" with a 29" inseam. I ride a 51 with a 535mm top tube length. Standover height means nothing but getting the frame to fit your Torso does. My first bike was a 49 and it proved to be too short on TT and was never really comfortable. May be that the 48 is the right frame for you but with a 110 stem- I doubt it. And just in case you are worried about touching the ground with the saddle at the right height- Don't be. With the saddle at the right height for me to ride- My legs are 2" too short. That is something you will get used to but make certain you are happy with the frame size before buying.

    And girls have longer legs than us blokes for their height. That is why they get put on bikes that are too small so that the Top tube fits their torso.

    Bought a new bike this week . Already have quality bikes in a Giant TCR-C and a Boreas Ignis Aluminium. I CHOSE to go top quality aluminium again. I prefer the ride quality.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
    You'll feel like a girl? That's pretty insulting.
    If I offended you with that I did not mean too.

    As far as the bike goes I did pick up the Obrea Aqua with carbon forks and carbon wrapped seat post. Groupo is shimano 105's and I was out the door at $1232. Before I purchased I stopped at another shop (Think this was my tenth bike shop over the last few days) and tried I believe it was a KHS 750 flight and it wasn't bad but they wanted $1400 for last years model. So to the Obrea shop I went and they let me ride the 51cm after sizing me to it then sized me to the 48cm to ride that. Since I have only been riding again for two years they explained that when standing and peddling you should be above but not necessarily past your handlebars with your shoulders. I was effectively able to do this with the 48cm and not the 51cm. The 48cm appeared to ride smoother and was more responsive to my moves.

    The shop expressed that they wanted me happy for return service so they then fitted me to a 54cm bike and let me ride that. It helped me understand what they were expressing about the size. The bike was sloppy and loose although it was the same brand and model. All in all I spent a good 4 hours in the shop with them working with me and riding different bikes.

    From my best friend that was with me stated that going from a 54cm to 48cm is only A difference of 2.3 inches. Now my handlebars aren't turned up at a funny angle to reach and I can actually use the bottom part of the bars and still reach the shifters to use. My best friend at 6'2" expressed that after I purchased we had a difference in bike size of only 10cm. His 58cm to my 48cm.

    I'm very happy with my decision I just need the weather to warm up. It's collecting dust on my garage wall now. Thanks for all your help suggestions and comments.

    Thanks,
    Battletroll

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