Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Carbon vs. Aluminum for 'cross racing.

Old 07-20-10, 06:49 PM
  #1  
mzeffex 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mzeffex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 9,456

Bikes: Something Canadian, something Italian, something American, and something German

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 7 Posts
Carbon vs. Aluminum for 'cross racing.

Any opinions on if it makes such a difference for cross racing? For road, there's road buzz, so it makes a difference there. When it comes to being off road, I can't see how carbon would feel any softer than aluminum.

Here's my dilemma:

Working in a bike shop, I will be able to pro deal a Specialized Crux as soon as I have the money (late August for alum, later for carbon).

The aluminum one would cost about $500 less than carbon. Both are speced with SRAM Apex, not sure about the wheels or tires but I think they are the same or very similar.

Carbon bike is a little less than a pound lighter than the aluminum version.

$500 to save a pound + road vibration damping? You tell me which I should go for.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
mzeffex is offline  
Old 07-20-10, 06:53 PM
  #2  
mzeffex 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mzeffex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 9,456

Bikes: Something Canadian, something Italian, something American, and something German

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 7 Posts
Crap. I thought I was in cyclocross. Mod move please?
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
mzeffex is offline  
Old 07-20-10, 10:06 PM
  #3  
Dannihilator
Still kicking.
 
Dannihilator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Annandale, New Jersey
Posts: 19,614

Bikes: 2008 Trek Portland, 1989 Nishiki Altron

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Done.
__________________
Appreciate the old bikes more than the new.
Dannihilator is offline  
Old 07-20-10, 10:12 PM
  #4  
Unagidon
Senior Member
 
Unagidon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lawrence, KS
Posts: 1,331

Bikes: 15 Niner Jet9 RDO, 08 Cervelo RS, 08 Surly Crosscheck, Mid-90's Python Mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Carbon. Purely for vanity.
Unagidon is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 06:44 AM
  #5  
mzeffex 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mzeffex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 9,456

Bikes: Something Canadian, something Italian, something American, and something German

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 7 Posts
Thanks Dan.

I'd be kind of worried about carbon in a way. What if I slip on ice and slam it into the ground? Or worse on a barrier?

I'm not worried about that on my carbon road bike since I'm.. on road.. but in cross it seems more likely to break. I still think I'll go for it.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
mzeffex is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 07:08 AM
  #6  
dahut
Ridin' South Cackalacky
 
dahut's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You're still carrying the beast up the hills at some point, either way. A pound difference? I cant see it would matter much.
Besides, you're gonna look and feel stupid when you eat it, no matter what you're on.

Now, CF may sell for more later on, if you get rid of it. But if its beat to hell and back, that might not be a huge difference. CX is hard on bikes.

In the end, money can't be relied upon for a win. Only Determination, tons of Training, Skill and a dose of Luck get you that.

Spend the lesser amount.
dahut is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 09:14 AM
  #7  
meanwhile
Senior Member
 
meanwhile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,033
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As a jealous non-racing observer (my doctor, girlfriend and specialist footware supplier have all forbidden me from attempting to run up hills with a bike on my back) an alu bike with an larger quiver of tyres will usually outperform the same investment in a lighter carbon frame. Ideally tubulars if you have the budget, although that means having several sets of wheels if you are to match tyres to conditions. I suppose a racer could have one set of tubular wheels set up for the most likely racing conditions and a set of easily changed clincher wheels for the others. Getting the most traction and lowest rolling resistance out of a narrow tyre are more important than saving a pound or two of weight.
meanwhile is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 09:55 AM
  #8  
flargle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Only a few years ago, a carbon road frame seemed awfully esoteric and mabye a bit risky. Nowadays you'd probably wonder why you wouldn't want a carbon frame and fork for a moderately priced road bike.

Well, cross bikes are going the same way. A year or two down the road, you might be wondering why you got the alloy frame (if you're that kind of person).

So if I were you, I'd mentally project myself a couple years in the future, and make my decision from that perspective.
flargle is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 10:15 AM
  #9  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,632

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6838 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 215 Times in 179 Posts
Consider what you can get Two of,
when bike adds pounds of mud , or something stops klicking
then a helper mechanic can swap it for a clean, functioning one, on the fly ,
it's a normal part of racing Cross, and allowed.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-21-10 at 10:21 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 04:50 PM
  #10  
dahut
Ridin' South Cackalacky
 
dahut's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Consider what you can get Two of,
when bike adds pounds of mud , or something stops klicking
then a helper mechanic can swap it for a clean, functioning one, on the fly ,
it's a normal part of racing Cross, and allowed.
Great point
dahut is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 05:39 PM
  #11  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 19,083
Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7991 Post(s)
Liked 194 Times in 127 Posts
Originally Posted by mzeffex View Post
$500 to save a pound + road vibration damping? You tell me which I should go for.
Supposedly, carbon fiber is great for dampening high-frequency vibrations, but not low-frequency ones, which you're a lot more likely to encounter off road.

So, I say you get the carbon bike; I'll trade you my alu one for it.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 07:57 PM
  #12  
mzeffex 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mzeffex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 9,456

Bikes: Something Canadian, something Italian, something American, and something German

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 7 Posts
Mixed answers, therefore still not sure. Carbon one looks nicer.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
mzeffex is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 08:13 PM
  #13  
sabazel
Senior Member
 
sabazel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
haha, I"m in the exact same boat as you, work in a bike shop, trying to decide which Crux to EP. Though I'm also thinking of getting the Stinky Pink frameset and building a completely pink CX bike. I'll keep reading this thread for opinions.
sabazel is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 08:19 PM
  #14  
jayvo86
Senior Member
 
jayvo86's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Bellevue, NE
Posts: 245

Bikes: '06 Trek 1000, '09 Gary Fisher Supercaliber, '10 Trek XO2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a Trek XO2. Aluminium frame and carbon fork. Works great and didn't cost an arm and a leg. Hard choice.
jayvo86 is offline  
Old 07-21-10, 10:37 PM
  #15  
avalnch33
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i have the new crux alum with my build on it. super light(17lbs for a 54) and stiff. for 2011 i would get the aluminum one since the 2011 crux carbon frames are a tricross with a new name. there is nothing different other than removing the rack and fender mounts. wait until the 2012 carbon one comes out, it will be awesome. my crux has a 1.5 tapered headtube/fork. internal routing. the crux carbon has external routing and the 1 1/4 taper.
avalnch33 is offline  
Old 07-22-10, 05:31 PM
  #16  
mzeffex 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mzeffex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 9,456

Bikes: Something Canadian, something Italian, something American, and something German

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 7 Posts
I think I'll go for the carbon. I rode it today and it's great. The only thing is the new re-designed Phenom saddle creaks like crazy, not just the one bike but all. They did something wrong.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
mzeffex is offline  
Old 07-23-10, 09:18 AM
  #17  
pretzelface
Cat 4 roadkill
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd go for the aluminum. Spend the money you save on entry fees. Any difference in ride quality between the two materials will be negated by the 32 mm knobbies, and you're unlikely to be doing long rides on it if you already have a road bike.
pretzelface is offline  
Old 07-23-10, 06:44 PM
  #18  
mzeffex 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mzeffex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 9,456

Bikes: Something Canadian, something Italian, something American, and something German

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 7 Posts
Yep. The other point I was given, is what if I trip over a barricade racing and the bike gets slammed into the second one? It happens. Carbon won't fare as well as aluminum.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
mzeffex is offline  
Old 07-27-10, 11:54 PM
  #19  
scary_perry
Fatso
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 40

Bikes: 2010 GIANT TCX 1, 2010 Tomac Cortez

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I set myself a certain weight goal and if I can hit it I will buy a carbon bike - probably the GIANT TCX Advanced SL that they just announced with some carbon tubulars and SRAM Red.

It would be cool to have a CX bike under the UCI road bike weight limit. But only if I shed a ton of fat first.
scary_perry is offline  
Old 07-28-10, 08:00 AM
  #20  
flargle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mzeffex View Post
Yep. The other point I was given, is what if I trip over a barricade racing and the bike gets slammed into the second one? It happens. Carbon won't fare as well as aluminum.
How do you know?
flargle is offline  
Old 07-28-10, 09:31 AM
  #21  
CrimsonKarter21
Mitcholo
 
CrimsonKarter21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Oost Vlaanderen in mind, Cleveland in body
Posts: 8,850

Bikes: 2010 Mitcholo w/ Sram Force/Red

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by mzeffex View Post
Yep. The other point I was given, is what if I trip over a barricade racing and the bike gets slammed into the second one? It happens. Carbon won't fare as well as aluminum.
Sounds familiar
CrimsonKarter21 is offline  
Old 07-28-10, 11:36 AM
  #22  
jr59
Senior Member
 
jr59's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: the 904, Jax fl
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I vote for the pink one!
jr59 is offline  
Old 07-28-10, 07:52 PM
  #23  
mzeffex 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mzeffex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 9,456

Bikes: Something Canadian, something Italian, something American, and something German

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by CrimsonKarter21 View Post
Sounds familiar
Really? Some jerk told me that.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
mzeffex is offline  
Old 07-28-10, 08:12 PM
  #24  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,632

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6838 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 215 Times in 179 Posts
it's resolved Get Two,1 of each.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-28-10 at 08:16 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 07-28-10, 10:22 PM
  #25  
4SEVEN3
Senior Member
 
4SEVEN3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Greensboro NC
Posts: 551

Bikes: Trek 4300 converted into SS, Mongoose Cannan Elite, GT Pro Carbon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
How do you know?
Carbon cracks.....aluminum bends. Once you have a crack in a carbon frame your looking at a possible catastrophic failure while the aluminum could be ridden if its only dented.

Plus...what kind of question is that?
4SEVEN3 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.