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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-11-14, 06:33 PM   #1
Dheorl
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Aluminium done well?

I was wondering what everyones opinions of high end aluminium frames were. I have to admit although I'd be very happy with riding a carbon bike I do have a bit of a soft spot for metal bikes still. I just connect better with the type of engineering that's done in a workshop rather than a lab (metaphorically speaking).

Specifically I'm looking at the BMC Granfondo with a RED groupset. Now list price of this bike is £3600, and I know RED is expensive but seemingly it can be had for about a grand and although the wheels and finishing kit are alright they're nothing to shout about. To me this seems to be one very, very expensive aluminium frame. A local shop has it for £2500 so a bit more reasonable and it is only 6.9kg. Would you say it's worth it or for that money would a carbon bike with an average groupset be better?

Tbh I'm planning on going out and riding it either way, and do like the fact that it can fit 28mm tyres because I'd use it for commuting and the city streets around here are beyond appalling.

Just wondering on what peoples thoughts on the matter are, and as to whether aluminium, when done really well, can still match up with mid range carbon bikes.
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Old 03-11-14, 06:40 PM   #2
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Check out the new Specialized Allez E5 and the Cannondale CAAD10
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Old 03-11-14, 06:51 PM   #3
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Check out the new Specialized Allez E5 and the Cannondale CAAD10
Not a fan of either of the brands tbh, or do you just mean for a price comparison point of view? Any idea what the weight on them is like?
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Old 03-11-14, 07:12 PM   #4
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Not a fan of either of the brands tbh, or do you just mean for a price comparison point of view? Any idea what the weight on them is like?
You asked about high end aluminum, and Cannondale and Specialized are 2 companies still pushing it as a quality alternative to carbon equipped with high end groups.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:16 PM   #5
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You asked about high end aluminum, and Cannondale and Specialized are 2 companies still pushing it as a quality alternative to carbon equipped with high end groups.
Well I realise companies still make them. I mentioned one I was interested in. I was more looking for opinions as to whether they were worth the money or not compared to all the carbon offerings out there. Although I appreciate the point of comparison he provided I wasn't sure if he was saying I should consider them over the BMC or not.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:19 PM   #6
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Not a fan of either of the brands tbh, or do you just mean for a price comparison point of view? Any idea what the weight on them is like?
The new high end allez is supposed to be 1050 grams while the CAAD10 is 1100-1200 grams IIRC
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Old 03-11-14, 07:24 PM   #7
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In general it is accepted that there are very fine Al frames. But it is also widely accepted that Al cannot provide the same desired balance of stiffness and comfort that can be achieved with CF composite. If you are more pleased by the idea of riding a metal frame than the notion of having the current ultimate in stiffness-comfort balance, then likely Al is for you.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:26 PM   #8
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The new high end allez is supposed to be 1050 grams while the CAAD10 is 1100-1200 grams IIRC
the bike costs 7000 the frameset is 2000. at 2000 for an alimunim frame

At that price point, personally, I would rather get a caad10 w/wheels and still be below, and probably lighter than, the allez sworks.

being nitpicky about frame weight only pays off if your going for a true weight weenie bike. otherwise the extra cost of the allez, compared to the caad10 goes right out the window.


As far as the BMC, I have a caad10 and always wanted a BMC. If you like it and can afford it, why not? High end aluminum is awesome. No regrets from my caad
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Old 03-11-14, 07:27 PM   #9
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:drivel:
Seems a bit harsh. If you consider spending £2500 on a bike "being cheap" I'd love to have your salary. Good to know that BMC know what they're doing when it comes to aluminium though.

Last edited by BillyD; 03-12-14 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:27 PM   #10
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If you really want a metal bike, why not go Ti? Better damping qualities than Al, better stiffness than steel (depending on the frame, obviously).

Cheers
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Old 03-11-14, 07:29 PM   #11
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In general it is accepted that there are very fine Al frames. But it is also widely accepted that Al cannot provide the same desired balance of stiffness and comfort that can be achieved with CF composite. If you are more pleased by the idea of riding a metal frame than the notion of having the current ultimate in stiffness-comfort balance, then likely Al is for you.
When you say stiffness-comfort balance, do you mean it's easier to tune which you have or you can have more of both?

I wouldn't choose a metal frame just because it's metal, I just don't have the "fast bikes must be carbon" mentality that a lot of people seem to have (funnily enough often the people trying to sell me the bikes )
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Old 03-11-14, 07:31 PM   #12
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If you really want a metal bike, why not go Ti? Better damping qualities than Al, better stiffness than steel (depending on the frame, obviously).

Cheers
Thanks for the suggestion. I've pondered about Ti bikes once or twice, the problem for me is finding anywhere that I can actually have a test ride.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:31 PM   #13
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With the advances in tubing shapes and the alloys being perfected the aluminum frames are very competitive for many of us. CF can be so fine tuned with the layering, different fabrics and the binding matrix that you can pretty much fine tune things to each specific usage. I love my CAAD 10, the hydroforming to achieve the interior tune profiles has given the aluminum frames a shot at being much less rigid and stiff or buzzy. The 10 4 has made me a very happy rider and I would jump at the chance to have one of the Allez top end models or the others available now from other mfgrs. I don't see it dying off at all. Steel is here to stay, the newer alloys are super and the weight can be trimmed with them. Titanium is in a class by itself, to me, that would be so neat in a custom made frame.

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Old 03-11-14, 07:37 PM   #14
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When you say stiffness-comfort balance, do you mean it's easier to tune which you have or you can have more of both?

I wouldn't choose a metal frame just because it's metal, I just don't have the "fast bikes must be carbon" mentality that a lot of people seem to have (funnily enough often the people trying to sell me the bikes )
I mean both of those alternatives.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:39 PM   #15
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I mean both of those alternatives.
Would you reckon I'm likely to get a stiffer and more comfortable bike at that sort of price point if I went carbon?
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Old 03-11-14, 07:48 PM   #16
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Dont rule out Jamis either. I rode a caad10 5 (and a felt f75), but when I tried the jamis, it was it for me. The icon elite (ultegra) or icon pro (105).
I was set on the caad 10, ended up with the Jamis, ymmv.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:49 PM   #17
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I don't think you'll find the answer you're looking for on an internet forum.
You won't know until you ride different bikes.
I ride an alu Synapse and really like it.
I found the Roubaix stiff and harsh.
I rode a carbon Felt on brick cobbles and it was like a cloud. Can't remember the model.
I recommend that you ride whatever you're interested in and compare it with others.
On paper, you can fall in love with something, but maybe the geo isn't comfortable
for you.
Research and other people's opinions will only get you so far.

S
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Old 03-11-14, 07:53 PM   #18
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Dont rule out Jamis either. I rode a caad10 5 (and a felt f75), but when I tried the jamis, it was it for me. The icon elite (ultegra) or icon pro (105).
I was set on the caad 10, ended up with the Jamis, ymmv.
Thanks for the suggestion. I don't want shimano though which limits the brands somewhat unless I get a frame and build it up.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:54 PM   #19
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I too find Roubaix stiff and harsh, My Sirrus LTD is a Roubaix frame.
Don't have enough exp with other brands really.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:57 PM   #20
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I don't think you'll find the answer you're looking for on an internet forum.
You won't know until you ride different bikes.
I ride an alu Synapse and really like it.
I found the Roubaix stiff and harsh.
I rode a carbon Felt on brick cobbles and it was like a cloud. Can't remember the model.
I recommend that you ride whatever you're interested in and compare it with others.
On paper, you can fall in love with something, but maybe the geo isn't comfortable
for you.
Research and other people's opinions will only get you so far.

S
Yea, I'm definitely trying out a lot of bikes before I dump that sort of money on one. Have ridden a few so far, but tbh was just wondering if aluminium had improved along with carbon really and which was likely to be better value. I have to admit I do like the thought of a bike with RED that only just comes in over the UCI weight limit but as you day, I need to be careful to not fall in love with it just based on paper.
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Old 03-11-14, 07:59 PM   #21
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It's an aluminum bike, dude. All that matters is if you like the paint job. Oh, and how cheap it is.
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Old 03-11-14, 08:00 PM   #22
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Would you reckon I'm likely to get a stiffer and more comfortable bike at that sort of price point if I went carbon?
Perhaps not. By spending more you can get a stiffer, lighter, carbon frame without sacrificing comfort. No matter how much you spend on Al, you can't get much better than a what you are looking at.
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Old 03-11-14, 08:00 PM   #23
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i've got a carbon frame and recently purchased an aluminum frame too. there's no doubt in my mind that the aluminum one will outlast the carbon one, but then again, we live finite lives and our active cyling lives are shorter, so how long, realistically, does a frame have to last anyway?

i can find little difference between my $300 no-name Chinese carbon frame/fork that has worked out fine and my recently purchased Performance Bike Ascent $69 dollar aluminum frame, which no doubt will outlast it and suffer the indignity of becoming a resident of the nearest landfill upon my demise...

as the OP says, ride both, make a choice.
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Old 03-11-14, 08:11 PM   #24
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You made a thread on aluminum frames but aren't interested in the two best, mass produced aluminum frames? Why even make this thread?
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Old 03-11-14, 08:35 PM   #25
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You made a thread on aluminum frames but aren't interested in the two best, mass produced aluminum frames? Why even make this thread?
Because he wants to justify buying the BMC.
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