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  1. #1
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    Alum vs Composite,help me choose!

    I'm buying a new bike! Last time was in 1999, good old bike still functional but is a brick with a baby seat on it.

    After shopping 2-3 weeks, I finally decided I wanted a Escape model from Giant. It pretty much have everything I need/want without too much modification.

    However, I need your help in deciding which one to pick....

    The weight is noticeable but is not a big deal, is really a slight difference..... The feeling between riding a composite and aluminium bike is that the composite felt ''smoother''. I was wondering if the 430$ was worth to get the composite and a few upgraded parts. I really don't know much about the composite bike's.

    I will use this bike to get around town and go to work, so a regular use. 70% bike path 30% city road and side walk. I can also go on small gravel path but nothing considerable, notice that I live in Montreal and the roads are ****....

    Escape RX (2014) | Giant Bicycles | Canada

    Escape RX Composite (2014) | Giant Bicycles | Canada


    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Well let's be practical about it...

    You say, the bike will mostly traverse bike paths and paved city streets. That means that a hybrid for commuting is perfect, unless you're gonna be cycling for long distances. Most bike paths come in either one of two varieties. Either paved or unpaved, but flat nonetheless. So, the only other thing to consider would be the types of places you frequent. When you go to work, will you be taking your bike with you to your office? ...Is there a safe place to secure your bike while you're working?...If not, should you prefer a more expensive bike?....I know from experience that sometimes, I go to the downtown library. Will you ever go to the library, or some place else where you might have the opportunity to lock your bike between two other bikes, on a bike rack with very little space between bikes?...Sometimes, cyclists don't care about the next bike when attempting to unlock their own bike at a bike rack. Would it be preferable to have a more expensive bike in that case?...I dunno, this might not concern you. I know that sometimes, there's no bike rack available, and I am forced to search for a convenient place to lock my bike. I usually end up locking my bike next to some parking meter, or some type of gate, railing, or fence. Would you deem it wise to lock your composite bike up, next to a parking meter, or a fence?

    IMO, composites bikes are the most beautiful and enjoyable bikes to ride. However, they are also theft magnets and high maintenance, in terms of worry and concern.
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-25-14 at 11:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    If your debating, save some money and go with Aluminum. Tire pressure has more to do with ride comfort than frame material. The difference you may have felt was just tire pressure.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by clausen View Post
    If your debating, save some money and go with Aluminum. Tire pressure has more to do with ride comfort than frame material. The difference you may have felt was just tire pressure.
    What if he got composite and lowered psi with 25mm tires, hmmm?

  5. #5
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    your a man, figure it out.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    Well let's be practical about it...

    You say, the bike will mostly traverse bike paths and paved city streets. That means that a hybrid for commuting is perfect, unless you're gonna be cycling for long distances. Most bike paths come in either one of two varieties. So, the only other thing to consider would be the types of places you frequent. When you go to work, will you be taking your bike with you to your office? ...Is there a safe place to secure your bike while you're working?...If not, should you prefer a more expensive bike?....I know from experience that sometimes, I go to the downtown library. Will you ever go to the library, or some place else where you might have the opportunity to lock your bike between two other bikes, on a bike rack with very little space between bikes?...Sometimes, cyclists don't care about the next bike when attempting to unlock their own bike at a bike rack. Would it be preferable to have a more expensive bike in that case?...I dunno, this might not concern you. I know that sometimes, there's no bike rack available, and I am forced to search for a convenient place to lock my bike. I usually end up locking my bike next to some parking meter, or some type of gate, railing, or fence. Would you deem it wise to lock your composite bike up, next to a parking meter, or a fence?

    IMO, composites bikes are the most beautiful and enjoyable bikes to ride. However, they are also theft magnets and high maintenance, in terms of worry and concern.
    I have to ask. Have you ever ridden a steel framed bike? My Tommasini rides even better than does either of my S-Works

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by squatchy View Post
    I have to ask. Have you ever ridden a steel framed bike? My Tommasini rides even better than does either of my S-Works
    I own a 2011 Record Ace and two other vintage road bikes!

  8. #8
    Senior Member RoadTire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    your a man, figure it out.
    ummm...that's what bhrazz is here for, and trying to do. Since when is asking for advice and opinions on BF not encouraged? I'd say for a 1st post, he's articulated the question pretty good.
    FB4K - This December, 2014, 5288 kids received bikes for Christmas. For many, it was their first bike, ever. Every bike, new and used, was donated, built, cleaned and repaired. That amounts to well over 10,000 volunteer hours this fall, just in the Twin Cities. Check us out on FaceBook: FB4K.

  9. #9
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    hey! Thanks for the reply and help guys, really do appreciated.....
    @WestPablo : Yes, I really have this figured out, at work we have a private interior parking spot fenced up. I will never let this bike more than 5-10 minutes unattended in the city.


    My debate it really is that, i read on other site while looking up on google:

    The composite is a low composite quality
    and
    The aluminium a high-end quality for an aluminium......

    If that is true...I kind of want to know what you guys think about that....

  10. #10
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    save your money go composite... you live in montreal and bikes get stolen way to often there. hell if you are gonna park the bike outside while at work, it would even make sense to hide the giant logo haha...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhrazz View Post
    Yes, I really have this figured out, at work we have a private interior parking spot fenced up. I will never let this bike more than 5-10 minutes unattended in the city.
    Hey Bhrazz!

    NEVER!...And I mean NEVER..EVER!!!

    ....Leave your bike unattended for any length of time, whatsoever!

    My brother left his bike outside of Burger King's for less than ten minutes. When he returned, it was already gone! This was in a really nice middle class neighborhood too...

    My debate it really is that, i read on other site while looking up on google:
    The composite is a low composite quality and
    The aluminium a high-end quality for an aluminium......
    If that is true...I kind of want to know what you guys think about that....
    The aluminum frame will be less worries and it does have a carbon fiber fork, which should feel pretty good, anyways...
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-25-14 at 11:48 AM.

  12. #12
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    I find that carbon dampens vibrations better than any metal I have ridden- aluminum or Ti (Moots). I have ridden cheap chromoly bike but not 853, 953, etc. While I love steel (I like the look of Ti the most but feel steel dampens better) and would like to get a nice one someday, I'd get the carbon bike out of the two you mention.

  13. #13
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    There are a few of us on the board that have purchased the Escape RX Composite and posted on the hybrid forum. Where this thread really belongs if in fact you are ONLY looking at hybrids to begin with. I think you will find that those who have purchased the composite are in fact quite pleased with their purchase. I know I am with both mine and my wife's. Last year we purchased a couple of Escape RX 0's (top of the line models in Alum as carbon wasn't available). We enjoyed them so much that after 12 months and 8k miles we decided to sell them and UPGRADE to the composite model. If interested you might check out this thread Yet another new Giant Escape RX Composite owner(s)

    BTW: for those talking about low grade carbon vs Giant's high grade Alum don't forget we are not talking just some cheap Chinese knock off. Giant lays some very good quality stuff. Even their lower grade is better than the high grade of some makers and way ahead of the fiber of a few years ago.
    Last edited by DowneasTTer; 05-25-14 at 11:53 AM.

  14. #14
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    @WestPablo : I tend to be a little naive with this kind of stuff.... I'll remember!
    @DowneasTTer : Good find, thanks a lot, I'm reading it


    Apparently I forgot to mention that my weight is over 200 pounds, I'm actually 220-230.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhrazz View Post
    @WestPablo : I tend to be a little naive with this kind of stuff.... I'll remember!
    @DowneasTTer : Good find, thanks a lot, I'm reading it


    Apparently I forgot to mention that my weight is over 200 pounds, I'm actually 220-230.
    Not problem on either bike. I'm around the 200 mark most of the year myself.... my spouse.... well suffice it to say she's much, much less.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
    Not problem on either bike. I'm around the 200 mark most of the year myself.... my spouse.... well suffice it to say she's much, much less.
    uhhhh im getting really toward the composite now

  17. #17
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    Buy the better bike and enjoy it. Just my opinion anyway...
    Giant Propel Advanced SL 2
    Giant TCR Advanced SL 3

  18. #18
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
    ummm...that's what bhrazz is here for, and trying to do. Since when is asking for advice and opinions on BF not encouraged? I'd say for a 1st post, he's articulated the question pretty good.
    Please, I am in no way being serious. If you looked at the 41 page, every thread had me as the last poster. All surgeon stone. It was so unified and pretty for a brief moment. All posts of mine to achieve this noble goal must be considered as garbage and in no way of value. I do this sometimes towards the end of a month where my jerk titers become dangerously elevated.

  19. #19
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    ...screenshot or it didn't happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    Your friends on FB are very different than mine.

  20. #20
    Senior Member RoadTire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    Please, I am in no way being serious. If you looked at the 41 page, every thread had me as the last poster. All surgeon stone. It was so unified and pretty for a brief moment. All posts of mine to achieve this noble goal must be considered as garbage and in no way of value. I do this sometimes towards the end of a month where my jerk titers become dangerously elevated.
    Ok, we're off-topic, but this gives me a chuckle. I did a quick scan of your posts and it occurred to me you seem to be doing what I have wanted to do, knee-jerk, and humor included, responses to a lot of post titles. Actually I started thinking of how I could start a "surgeonstone knee-jerk response thread," down in Foo, without irritating you or anyone else.



    "Title: How do I lube a chain, Response: put oil on it." "Title: Does this make me look fat? Response: Huh... "

    However, I'm thinking the new members might be intimidated or a little put off if we don't treat them nice until they get used to the BF ride and HTFU just a little. Maybe a smilie after your posts?



    Addendum: my apologies for taking you too seriously.
    FB4K - This December, 2014, 5288 kids received bikes for Christmas. For many, it was their first bike, ever. Every bike, new and used, was donated, built, cleaned and repaired. That amounts to well over 10,000 volunteer hours this fall, just in the Twin Cities. Check us out on FaceBook: FB4K.

  21. #21
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    OP,
    I would buy the aluminum. You are getting the same shifters, crank set, and wheels on both, so the sole difference is the frame. Hybrid bikes are inherently pretty darn comfortable, with longer wheel base, and wider tires, so I think the carbon/aluminum difference gets to be minor. I have no experience with Giant, but had a Specialized Sirrus which was crazy comfy in Al. And $430 goes a long ways toward helmet, shorts, floor pump, and tubes.

  22. #22
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    You tested both bikes. Only you know if the composite bike is $430 worth of smoother riding on smooth bike paths.

  23. #23
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    Once you buy your Al framed Escape RX hybrid bike, make certain that you also buy a really good U-Lock. I would highly suggest a New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock

    * Don't ever ask anybody to watch your bike for you...Not even your sister!
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-25-14 at 01:51 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
    Ok, we're off-topic, but this gives me a chuckle. I did a quick scan of your posts and it occurred to me you seem to be doing what I have wanted to do, knee-jerk, and humor included, responses to a lot of post titles. Actually I started thinking of how I could start a "surgeonstone knee-jerk response thread," down in Foo, without irritating you or anyone else.



    "Title: How do I lube a chain, Response: put oil on it." "Title: Does this make me look fat? Response: Huh... "

    However, I'm thinking the new members might be intimidated or a little put off if we don't treat them nice until they get used to the BF ride and HTFU just a little. Maybe a smilie after your posts?



    Addendum: my apologies for taking you too seriously.
    There is simply no way a response here would irritate or intimidate me. I take everything here in good humor, even if it is not meant as such. I remember we are all here because we like bikes. That alone is enough to unite us and allow friendly interaction in any social event.
    M wife always warns me, don't kid with the patients and nurses- it's taken me 25 years to figure you out. I ignore here, at least on this suggestion.

  25. #25
    Senior Member 2702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    OP,
    I would buy the aluminum. You are getting the same shifters, crank set, and wheels on both, so the sole difference is the frame. Hybrid bikes are inherently pretty darn comfortable, with longer wheel base, and wider tires, so I think the carbon/aluminum difference gets to be minor. I have no experience with Giant, but had a Specialized Sirrus which was crazy comfy in Al. And $430 goes a long ways toward helmet, shorts, floor pump, and tubes.
    The extra length of the wheelbase makes a big difference, the FX 7.5 I have feels so smooth bike over bumps and crap roads compared to racy short wheelbased road bikes I have tried.
    Its anything but fast thou, as long as you don't expect a hybrid to be a speed demon you should be fine.

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