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Old 10-03-18, 06:01 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Surrey, UK
Posts: 379

Bikes: Planet X Carbon Pro Evo SRAM Force, custom built 653 and 531 bikes with frames by Barry Witcomb, Giant XTC 4 mountain bike and a Brompton folding bike.

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I've been riding for years on a 1993 steel frame. Having just bought a PlanetX Pro Carbon Evo bike it provides an interesting comparison. The carbon bike provides much more feedback through the steering, etc, and yet the ride isn't harsh. Perhaps not quite as compliant as the steel frame, it's hard to say. Unfortunately there turned out to be a manufacturing fault on the PlanetX frame and it has to go back so I'm back on my steel bike again. It certainly lacks the immediacy of the carbon bike. Most noticeable is that when accelerating away from lights it felt as if I had the handbrake on, so to speak. I was surprised it was so noticeable; I reckon the difference in weight is only around 2kg, which is very little when you factor in my 77kg so it must be down to the stiffness of the frame meaning that much more of your effort gets transmitted to the road.

I know there was a time when aluminium frames gave a very harsh ride but I doubt that's the case now. They've been around a long time and I imagine manufacturers have found ways to temper out the undesirable characteristics without losing their benefits. It was also true that the earliest ones were a bit 'noodly'. I rode one - made before frame builders had discovered oversize tubes - and synonyms like 'ripe banana' spring to mind. I think you need to try one or two and decide what you think.

Hope that helps.
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