Old 06-07-19, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by arod View Post
I'm currently looking for a new XC mountain bike (around the entry 'race' level range) and trying to decide whether I want to go carbon or aluminium.

I know there are many factors to consider, but all things being equal, is a carbon frame always going to be superior (particularly stiffer) to an aluminium frame? In what circumstances (if any) is an aluminium frame better than a carbon frame?

Appreciate hearing people's thoughts and experiences.
I used to be sponsored and a product tester for a carbon fiber company that made frames and components for several companies such as Scott and FSA. Carbon fiber is NOT uniform and as such there is quite a LOT of variance in how it can perform depending on mold and how the carbon is layered. RIDE the bikes you're looking at in as close to race conditions and terrain as you can before you buy. This is the ONLY way. I've owned high quality steel, Al, Ti, Mg, and carbon and they honestly all have their benefits. Carbon isn't necessarily some sort of wonder-product that is always better and you may find all else being equal, you don't prefer it.
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