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Are Carbon Road frames really worth the extra cost?

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Are Carbon Road frames really worth the extra cost?

Old 01-24-22, 02:37 PM
  #26  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
Sometimes a more useful question is "what else are you saving it for?" If there's something specific and important, well, there's your priority. If not, well... What I think everyone needs to find is a bike you really like, one you want to get on all the time, one that will last you through all the evolution your riding future might hold. If the enthusiasm is tempered, don't spend much. If the enthusiasm is ingrained and growing, look up the line. If you know you will be doing this for hours and hours every week for as far as you can see, then go big or go home.
That really isn't OP's question. OP is asking whether the frame material will make any actual difference in the qualities of the bike that could affect his enthusiasm. You've just begged that question by assuming that spending more money results in a "better" bike.
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Old 01-24-22, 02:57 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
You've just begged that question by assuming that spending more money results in a "better" bike.
Thatís not an assumption, it is law of nature. Like gravity.
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Old 01-24-22, 02:58 PM
  #28  
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Actually, I'm not suggesting anything of the sort.
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Old 01-24-22, 03:00 PM
  #29  
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What I'm saying is that it's ok to invest in what you FEEL is great, because everyone will have a different opinion.
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Old 01-24-22, 04:53 PM
  #30  
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An Al frame** with higher-end, supple tires will ride as well or better than any CF with gatorskins (no slight to gatorskins, they have a place too), or any stiffer tire.

edit: ** AL frame - meaning an Al road frame from the manufacturers mentioned in post #1.

Last edited by Wildwood; 01-24-22 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 01-24-22, 05:42 PM
  #31  
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Carbon frames have absolutely zero advantages over steel or aluminum frames...Even if carbon bikes became dirt cheap I still wouldn't purchase one.
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Old 01-24-22, 06:08 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Carbon frames have absolutely zero advantages over steel or aluminum frames...Even if carbon bikes became dirt cheap I still wouldn't purchase one.
snore
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Old 01-24-22, 07:41 PM
  #33  
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Carbon frames tend to be lighter but stiffness will depend on models, new carbon bikes these days also prioritize comfort. Either way bike manufacturers make a huge margin between price of manufacturing and selling price and they can get away with it. In my opinion, the workmanship of the carbon frames in bicycles are not held to the same standards as in other industries and should be better especially for the price we pay for. For the most part it's fine, but sometimes the poor tolerances can cause issues. I personally have a carbon bike and i love it, but I also did my research before purchasing, because not all carbon frames are the same.

Last edited by HumbleBiker; 01-24-22 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 01-24-22, 07:49 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan
snore
Check the bikes he rides... that's instructive.
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Old 01-24-22, 09:16 PM
  #35  
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I have multiple good road bikes in each of steel, alu, titanium and carbon. I cannot tell the difference between them; the arm waving that folks do regarding 'ride quality' is solely due to tires, tire inflation pressure and the saddle. But the bikes definitely sound different.

Exception to my above assessment - carbon bikes are lighter. You can build a strong, stiff, and well-tuned road frame for the following weights:
  • Steel: 1,500-1,700g
  • Alu: 1,300g
  • Titanium: ditto
  • Carbon: <1,000g.
These weights are for roughly equivalent durability, strength and stiffness. These are not stupid light weights, but for bikes that can be ridden hard for years. Subtract 100-200 grams and you are close to the limit of the materials, for a somewhat more disposable bike.

All things being equal, carbon for the win.

Last edited by Dave Mayer; 01-24-22 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 01-24-22, 09:16 PM
  #36  
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Steel is real, Ti is fly, Wood is good, Bamboo is for you but aluminum and carbon don't rhyme and there for are insufficient for a frame material.
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Old 01-25-22, 12:26 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Carbon frames have absolutely zero advantages over steel or aluminum frames...Even if carbon bikes became dirt cheap I still wouldn't purchase one.
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Old 01-25-22, 04:14 AM
  #38  
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I don't see a reason to go carbon, unless you're racing.
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Old 01-25-22, 05:31 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
What I'm saying is that it's ok to invest in what you FEEL is great, because everyone will have a different opinion.

OP's question was whether carbon really feels better than aluminum, not whether he should spend money to get carbon if he had a strong feeling about it.
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Old 01-25-22, 05:38 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Carbon frames have absolutely zero advantages over steel or aluminum frames...Even if carbon bikes became dirt cheap I still wouldn't purchase one.
Carbon frames are lighter, more aerodynamic, and vibration damping than steel, aluminum, titanium, or magnesium.

In short, you are wrong.

I own or have owned frames in all of the above material but experience isn't needed, this is basic material science.
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Old 01-25-22, 06:58 AM
  #41  
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I'd rather buy CF from a "2nd tier" manufacturer than aluminium from Trek or Specialized and the price would be almost similar.

Lighter, comfortable, longer lasting than alloy... I'd get it. CF bike with CF handlebars and seatpost is more comfortable than steel plus alloy components in my experience.

Last edited by Branko D; 01-25-22 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 01-25-22, 08:31 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Jax Rhapsody
I don't see a reason to go carbon, unless you're racing.
I don't see a reason not to go carbon unless you can't afford it or simply prefer a *insert frame material of choice here* frame for whatever reason.
Carbon just happens to be a great material for making light/stiff/comfortable bike frames. Only real downside is relatively high cost.
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Old 01-25-22, 08:59 AM
  #43  
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Chum and they will come.


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Old 01-25-22, 09:23 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
Steel is real, Ti is fly, Wood is good, Bamboo is for you but aluminum and carbon don't rhyme and there for are insufficient for a frame material.
You forgot plastic is fantastic!
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Old 01-25-22, 09:25 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Carbon frames are lighter, more aerodynamic, and vibration damping than steel, aluminum, titanium, or magnesium.

In short, you are wrong.

I own or have owned frames in all of the above material but experience isn't needed, this is basic material science.

Agreed, the real question is whether those advantages are going to make a noticeable difference to the OP. That's the subjective question we really can't answer, but may or may not be able to make some pretty good educated guesses.

BTW, nothing in what you say excludes the possibility that a well-made and designed non-carbon frame would not possibly have huge advantages over a crappy quality carbon frame.
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Old 01-25-22, 09:27 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Chum and they will come.



Great, now we can argue about the best material for chum.
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Old 01-25-22, 09:28 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by seypat
You forgot plastic is fantastic!
Aluminum is boomin.', man.

Carbon gives me a.....
Never mind.
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Old 01-25-22, 09:53 AM
  #48  
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To the OP: if I was on the market for a new road bike, I would look at the quality of the builds, specs and if the bottom bracket is threaded or press fit.
Frame material would be just one of multiple factors to consider besides price.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:07 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Agreed, the real question is whether those advantages are going to make a noticeable difference to the OP. That's the subjective question we really can't answer, but may or may not be able to make some pretty good educated guesses.

BTW, nothing in what you say excludes the possibility that a well-made and designed non-carbon frame would not possibly have huge advantages over a crappy quality carbon frame.
Yes, there are crappy engineers and crappy companies out there.

I did not read all of the posts in the thread but tire selection and pressure can make more of a difference than frame material. If money is a consideration, I would suggest OP get the aluminum but put supple, wider tires at lower pressure.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:16 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Yes, there are crappy engineers and crappy companies out there.

I did not read all of the posts in the thread but tire selection and pressure can make more of a difference than frame material. If money is a consideration, I would suggest OP get the aluminum but put supple, wider tires at lower pressure.

What I find funny about these frame material arguments is people acting like there's only one possible correct answer to a clearly subjective question--which is really some version of "what best suits my tastes and preferences?"
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