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One Bike Fits All - CF or Aluminum?

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One Bike Fits All - CF or Aluminum?

Old 06-18-14, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
If you had say my uptown in carbon & alu, then you could compare apples to apples. Till then, I think most carbon frames you'll find are not commute minded, rather race/fitness minded.
Believe it or not I commute on two carbon fiber bikes that have rack and fender mounts. An orbea carpe diem (precursor to the orbea diem) and a 7.9 FX (free crash frame). Nevertheless, I've never used nor wanted to use a rack on my commutes.

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Old 06-18-14, 03:49 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Believe it or not I commute on two carbon fiber bikes that have rack and fender mounts. An orbea carpe diem (precursor to the orbea diem) and a 7.9 FX (free crash frame). Nevertheless, I've never used nor wanted to use a rack on my commutes.

Nice!

Perhaps one day when I can afford it I'll get a carbon bike and ride all over the continent. Till then I'm content with my relatively portly & pokey uptown!!!

Im definitely gonna ask questions & keep on top of developments till then.

- Andy
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Old 06-18-14, 04:45 PM
  #28  
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Honestly,I wouldn't want to own one do-everything bike,because there would have to be compromises. schiiism,if I were you,I'd get the Orbea since you seem to like it so much,and sell the Fuji since it doesn't fit you right. Then I'd consider selling the tourer(since you said it also doesn't fit you) and replacing it with something that you could lock up,ride in bad weather,and carry loads.
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Old 06-18-14, 05:03 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Honestly,I wouldn't want to own one do-everything bike,because there would have to be compromises. schiiism,if I were you,I'd get the Orbea since you seem to like it so much,and sell the Fuji since it doesn't fit you right. Then I'd consider selling the tourer(since you said it also doesn't fit you) and replacing it with something that you could lock up,ride in bad weather,and carry loads.
What he said. Make the Orbea your go fast (and maybe even go to) bike. Get another bike that fits to use as your beater/rain bike/bar bike or whatever else. I have lots of bikes and trying to find a bike that does it all just makes my collection grow because nothing does everything well. The Orbea sounds like it would be well suited to your commuting needs and work on group rides too. If that's all you do then maybe it will be the only one you need.

But then you'll get the itch...
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Old 06-18-14, 05:19 PM
  #30  
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I am too rough with my bikes and I don't trust carbon fibre...Steel is my No.1 choice, my second choice would be aluminium...Carbon fibre bikes are like babies, you need to be very gentle with them.
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Old 06-18-14, 05:23 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Carbon fibre bikes are like babies, you need to be very gentle with them.


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Old 06-18-14, 05:46 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Stunts on youtube don't mean jack...I am sure that after all those stunts are done, the frame is going into a trash bin.
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Old 06-18-14, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Stunts on youtube don't mean jack...I am sure that after all those stunts are done, the frame is going into a trash bin.
The fragility of carbon is greatly exaggerated. I've crashed carbon fiber bikes multiple times without incident. And when they do crack or brake they are very easy to repair:

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Old 06-18-14, 06:55 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
What he said. Make the Orbea your go fast (and maybe even go to) bike. Get another bike that fits to use as your beater/rain bike/bar bike or whatever else. I have lots of bikes and trying to find a bike that does it all just makes my collection grow because nothing does everything well. The Orbea sounds like it would be well suited to your commuting needs and work on group rides too. If that's all you do then maybe it will be the only one you need.

But then you'll get the itch...
Rain and weather is not an issue where OP lives. We're also making assumptions about lock ups and how much they need to carry. Personally I park my bike in my cubicle in a secured building on a secured lot with security guards, cameras and card reader access everywhere so I would commute on a $10k if I could afford a bike like that. I generally don't need to carry much if anything with me to work.
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Old 06-18-14, 08:42 PM
  #35  
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There are many unintentionally hilarious statements on this thread.
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Old 06-18-14, 09:23 PM
  #36  
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/thread

Now excuse me while I ride around and try not to crash from how giddy I am about my shiny new bike
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Old 06-18-14, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
There are many unintentionally hilarious statements on this thread.
Mhm.

"Internet"

- Andy
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Old 06-18-14, 11:10 PM
  #38  
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Have fun!
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Old 06-18-14, 11:52 PM
  #39  
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aluminum is a better bet unless you are a racer getting a huge discount or free bikes. i work on bikes for a living and i cant even count how many warranty issues i have seen with broken dropouts on carbon frames.

masi seems to be the worst, saw 3 with broken dropouts last week, the dropout broke before the hanger.

you dont need carbon for anything on a bike, sorry but you arent a good enough rider to get every ounce of performance out of a bike so much that ounces and shock absorption vs stiffness or strength or whatever is going to make any difference at all to anything other than your wallet.
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Old 06-19-14, 01:22 AM
  #40  
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Very nice! Enjoy it.
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Old 06-19-14, 06:33 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by schiiism View Post


/thread

Now excuse me while I ride around and try not to crash from how giddy I am about my shiny new bike
1 week later: Hey everyone, remember that thread bout carbon or alu.... Yeaaaaahhhh....



Enjoy!!!!

- Andy
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Old 06-19-14, 07:52 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
So what you're essentially saying is that, if I plan to do most of my riding unencumbered, CF would be the better option to get the most for my money? I do still have my steel tourer for carrying loads and bad weather, so weight and ride quality are my top two priorities for my new bike.
Better is a matter of opinion, but it will absolutely be lighter, and a CF road bike should ride better than most steel touring bikes. That's difficult to compare though, since a touring bike has wider tires.
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Old 06-19-14, 08:22 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
aluminum is a better bet unless you are a racer getting a huge discount or free bikes. i work on bikes for a living and i cant even count how many warranty issues i have seen with broken dropouts on carbon frames.

masi seems to be the worst, saw 3 with broken dropouts last week, the dropout broke before the hanger.

you dont need carbon for anything on a bike, sorry but you arent a good enough rider to get every ounce of performance out of a bike so much that ounces and shock absorption vs stiffness or strength or whatever is going to make any difference at all to anything other than your wallet.
Lots of aluminum dropouts crack as well, - whether on CF frames or other bikes. And Trek had problems with many of their Lemond Titanium frames developing cracks around the water bottle eyelets, DT cable stops and other places. That's right. Titanium. A friend of mine had one replaced on warranty for that reason.

Since you work in a bike shop, you see broken bikes. You don't see the ones that are ridden for thousands and thousands of miles without problems.

Why does she or anyone else need to get every ounce of performance out of a bike to enjoy it? She likes the ride quality. She likes how light it is. If you don't you are free to choose a different bike. That's the beauty of having so many options.

I can't remember who it was, but it might have even been Orbea. They published some stats showing that slower competitive riders actually benefit more from a better bike than faster ones. This was particular to triathlons but I am sure it applies to any kind of long and intense ride. The concept was simple enough. The minute to minute benefits are small, but over the course of an hour or two, they add up. An elite rider is done so quickly that the relative difference isn't all that great (but might be the difference between winning and losing). A slower amateur will actually see a bigger time improvement.

And of course I have no idea how fast the OP is but she does ride some serious miles and does seem to enjoy riding a performance bike. That's all that matters.

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Old 06-19-14, 08:45 AM
  #44  
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if i could only have one "do everything reasonably well" bike, it'd be a titanium CX bike with disc brakes.

in fact, that's my next dream bike purchase.

aluminum and CF are both solid choices for frames as well, but i'm just a titanium fetishist.

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Old 06-19-14, 09:46 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Lots of aluminum dropouts crack as well, - whether on CF frames or other bikes. And Trek had problems with many of their Lemond Titanium frames developing cracks around the water bottle eyelets, DT cable stops and other places. That's right. Titanium. A friend of mine had one replaced on warranty for that reason.

Since you work in a bike shop, you see broken bikes. You don't see the ones that are ridden for thousands and thousands of miles without problems.

Why does she or anyone else need to get every ounce of performance out of a bike to enjoy it? She likes the ride quality. She likes how light it is. If you don't you are free to choose a different bike. That's the beauty of having so many options.

I can't remember who it was, but it might have even been Orbea. They published some stats showing that slower competitive riders actually benefit more from a better bike than faster ones. This was particular to triathlons but I am sure it applies to any kind of long and intense ride. The concept was simple enough. The minute to minute benefits are small, but over the course of an hour or two, they add up. An elite rider is done so quickly that the relative difference isn't all that great (but might be the difference between winning and losing). A slower amateur will actually see a bigger time improvement.

And of course I have no idea how fast the OP is but she does ride some serious miles and does seem to enjoy riding a performance bike. That's all that matters.
I see MUCH less with aluminum and even less than that with steel than carbon.

There is nothing wrong with carbon fiber, but the manufacturing process is more prone to mistakes that affect a frames life and durability, thats true with any manufacturer under any name and any price.

slower amatures dont see bigger improvements, thats the myth that the sales reps use to sell it, and the industry uses to justify the insane cost of carbon fiber and to tout how great it is.

funny as i was reading this article, the other mechanic who bought a felt virtue carbon frame cracked it on his first ride at the north shore in vancouver, there are 3 masi road bikes in right now all carbon for frame issues, one is a 5800 dollar bike. there are ZERO aluminum bikes in for frame issues.

given the fact that there are FAR more aluminum frames than carbon and there are FAR more carbon frames with issues your statement that we dont hear about the ones that are good sounds like something a used car salesmen would say.

Fact is, carbon has more issues, costs a lot more, and doesnt add appreciable benefit to anyone but pro riders no matter how much roadies want to bang on about weight while sitting at starbucks in their power ranger outfits.

If the OP likes a more supple ride, then he/she should get a steel frame, time tested and proven, nicest ride, highest durability, lowest cost, just weighs a little bit more, which wont be noticed during a ride anyways no matter how much the roadies will protest.

If I were going to build my perfect hardtail 29er for example, and had an UNLIMITED budget, I would start with a good chromoly frame.
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Old 06-19-14, 10:03 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
if i could only have one "do everything reasonably well" bike, it'd be a titanium CX bike with disc brakes.

in fact, that's my next dream bike purchase.

aluminum and CF are both solid choices for frames as well, but i'm just a titanium fetishist.
Agreed!

Not a fetishist, but it seems that Ti has the corrosion resistance and weight of aluminum, and the ride and durability of steel. Downside is that they're expensive, so I wouldn't want to lock it up outside. Ever. I'd get an old steel '90's MTB for the commute if locking it up outside, at which point you could get a more suitable Ti bike for the club rides and centuries.

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Old 06-19-14, 10:16 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by cycle_maven View Post
Downside is that they're expensive, so I wouldn't want to lock it up outside. Ever.
yeah, losing a spendy Ti bike to the thieves would be heartbreaking. i'm fortunate in that i have secured indoor bike parking at my place of employment.

however, titanium is a decent material to go stealth with. all decals/stickers can be easily removed from Ti. and if you don't brush or polish it up, the material does develop a rather dull patina over time. then you add some rust-colored paint here and there and it might just be enough to have it fly under the radar.

of course the other problem is that with an expensive Ti frame, you're probably gonna want to have nice expensive components to compliment it, and that stuff is much harder to "hide" from the thieves.
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Old 06-19-14, 10:21 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
aluminum is a better bet unless you are a racer getting a huge discount or free bikes. i work on bikes for a living and i cant even count how many warranty issues i have seen with broken dropouts on carbon frames.

masi seems to be the worst, saw 3 with broken dropouts last week, the dropout broke before the hanger.

you dont need carbon for anything on a bike, sorry but you arent a good enough rider to get every ounce of performance out of a bike so much that ounces and shock absorption vs stiffness or strength or whatever is going to make any difference at all to anything other than your wallet.
While I respect your expertise as a professional mechanic, there is no need to be nasty. Having a different style of riding does not make it less legitimate, and frankly you don’t know how often or how fast I ride. My whole motivation in looking for a CF bike came from how I could instantly feel the superior ride quality the first time I hopped on one. When I started shopping, I refused to even test one because (like you) I believed they were an unnecessary expensive luxury. I’m not impulsive with my money and I rode my undersized tourer for three years because I didn’t have the means to upgrade. Regardless I’m glad I gave CF a try--I ride long and far enough to feel just as connected to my bike as any racer would, just in a different way. I’m pretty sure that eight hours on the saddle (like I will be doing on Saturday, and do regularly) is one of the best ways to understand a bike’s stiffness and absorbtion.

I am not a “slow amateur”, and as a mechanic you should be the last person to make those kind of judgments when you haven’t seen the wear I’ve put on my bikes. I agree that people who are just getting into cycling shouldn’t go CF until they grow into it, but I have ridden my steel enough thousands of miles to know that I don’t want another steel bike.

Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Why does she or anyone else need to get every ounce of performance out of a bike to enjoy it? She likes the ride quality. She likes how light it is. If you don't you are free to choose a different bike. That's the beauty of having so many options.

I can't remember who it was, but it might have even been Orbea. They published some stats showing that slower competitive riders actually benefit more from a better bike than faster ones. This was particular to triathlons but I am sure it applies to any kind of long and intense ride. The concept was simple enough. The minute to minute benefits are small, but over the course of an hour or two, they add up. An elite rider is done so quickly that the relative difference isn't all that great (but might be the difference between winning and losing). A slower amateur will actually see a bigger time improvement.

And of course I have no idea how fast the OP is but she does ride some serious miles and does seem to enjoy riding a performance bike. That's all that matters.
I think the ride quality and weight of a bike are just as valuable as its ability to perform in a racing situation. I don’t race, but I transport and lift my bike frequently, and I enjoy climbing, so in these regards a CF bike has an appreciable advantage over steel or alum.


Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
if i could only have one "do everything reasonably well" bike, it'd be a titanium CX bike with disc brakes.

in fact, that's my next dream bike purchase.

aluminum and CF are both solid choices for frames as well, but i'm just a titanium fetishist.
I think that’s part of what makes riding fun, there are so many choices that a bike is a reflection on your personality and tastes

Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
given the fact that there are FAR more aluminum frames than carbon and there are FAR more carbon frames with issues your statement that we dont hear about the ones that are good sounds like something a used car salesmen would say.
You also live in an area that has bad weather and is not really suitable for CF outside of racing. CF bikes are the norm where I live, and I see a healthy mix of materials being serviced when I visit LBS’s in the area. Your experience doesn’t speak for everyone and everywhere. Once again, no need to be nasty and offensive just because you disagree.
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Old 06-19-14, 10:28 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by schiiism View Post
I think that’s part of what makes riding fun, there are so many choices that a bike is a reflection on your personality and tastes
absolutely!

as i often say, ride however and whatever puts a smile on your face.
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Old 06-19-14, 10:41 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by beerbaron2002 View Post
I see MUCH less with aluminum and even less than that with steel than carbon.
I think you're missing the point that you don't see the tens of thousands of bikes on the road with no problems. I find it hard to believe there is a high rate of spontaneous failure in CF frames. I believe most failure is a result of some crash or impact even if it was a minor one that makes the material weak. Same thing happens with alum.
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