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Aluminium + Ultegra or Carbon + 105?

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Aluminium + Ultegra or Carbon + 105?

Old 08-24-14, 02:16 AM
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Qioxz
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Aluminium + Ultegra or Carbon + 105?

Because I'm new to this forum I had no idea where to ask my question...

I'm also new to cycling and I'm about to buy a racebike.
But because I don't have such a high budget I'm wondering what's the best option for me.
An Aluminium with full shimano Ultegra, or a Carbon with full 105?

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Old 08-24-14, 05:52 AM
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C. Al with 105.
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Old 08-24-14, 06:13 AM
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It's not easy to give you a definitive answer. Personally, I don't think the difference in price between 105 and Ultegra is worth paying. 105 works extremely well and the weight difference is minor.

I'd therefore be inclined to spend my money on the more expensive frame, with 105 on it. That probably means carbon. However, aluminium frames with carbon forks can provide a very nice ride. You should test ride the bikes you have in mind and pick the one you feel best on.
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Old 08-24-14, 07:47 AM
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Thanks for answering.
I'm about to buy a second hand racebike, so I'm still looking.
It seemed that the alu with ultegra and the carbon with 105 are about the same prize...
But my uncle told me that 105 and ultegra do differ a lot? Is that correct?
And is there a lot of difference between an alu frame and a carbon frame?
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Old 08-24-14, 08:02 AM
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Everything in a group can be changed as desired, but the frame is what it is indefinitely. If it were me? I would go for the frame and not worry too much about components. 105 works well, not just well enough either. It is solid. The difference between frame materials is noticeable to me, but not enough to justify the cost difference. Carbon can give a smoother ride on rough surfaces. With proper tires, it can almost smooth out gravel roads. Weight? There is a difference, but whether that translates into anything tangible is up to your abilities and how you want to ride.
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Old 08-24-14, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by klmmicro View Post
Everything in a group can be changed as desired, but the frame is what it is indefinitely. If it were me? I would go for the frame and not worry too much about components. 105 works well, not just well enough either. It is solid. The difference between frame materials is noticeable to me, but not enough to justify the cost difference. Carbon can give a smoother ride on rough surfaces. With proper tires, it can almost smooth out gravel roads. Weight? There is a difference, but whether that translates into anything tangible is up to your abilities and how you want to ride.
I heard that Carbon is stiffer than aluminium? So my thoughts were that Carbon rides less smooth on a rough surface..
Well beside that, you think The difference between aluminium and carbon is worth the prize more than the difference between 105 and ultegra?
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Old 08-24-14, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Qioxz View Post
I heard that Carbon is stiffer than aluminium? So my thoughts were that Carbon rides less smooth on a rough surface..
Well beside that, you think The difference between aluminium and carbon is worth the prize more than the difference between 105 and ultegra?
Because aluminium has no fatigue limit, aluminium tubing for bicycle frames has to be very stiff. Carbon (or steel, or titanium) frames can be made as stiff as those from aluminium, but as a general rule they will be a little springier and an aluminium frame will be the stiffest.

That doesn't necessarily mean an aluminium frame will be the less comfortable ride, though. There are a lot of other factors besides frame material that contribute to comfort. And as mentioned above, many aluminium frames will be matched with carbon forks to take some of the road "buzz" out of the equation.

As far as ultegra vs 105 is concerned, how many ways do you want the question answered? In my view, Ultergra isn't sufficiently superior to be worth the extra. But others will have a different view. I'd settle on the frame you like best, and go from there.
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Old 08-24-14, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
Because aluminium has no fatigue limit, aluminium tubing for bicycle frames has to be very stiff. Carbon (or steel, or titanium) frames can be made as stiff as those from aluminium, but as a general rule they will be a little springier and an aluminium frame will be the stiffest.

That doesn't necessarily mean an aluminium frame will be the less comfortable ride, though. There are a lot of other factors besides frame material that contribute to comfort. And as mentioned above, many aluminium frames will be matched with carbon forks to take some of the road "buzz" out of the equation.

As far as ultegra vs 105 is concerned, how many ways do you want the question answered? In my view, Ultergra isn't sufficiently superior to be worth the extra. But others will have a different view. I'd settle on the frame you like best, and go from there.
Oké, thanks! And yes, the aluminium frames from the bikes I'd like are with a carbon fork.
And some told me that Ultegra's quality is better than 105's so it'll last longer? But if you all say the difference isn't that big. I'll keep looking for a carbon with 105.
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Old 08-24-14, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Qioxz View Post
Oké, thanks! And yes, the aluminium frames from the bikes I'd like are with a carbon fork.
And some told me that Ultegra's quality is better than 105's so it'll last longer? But if you all say the difference isn't that big. I'll keep looking for a carbon with 105.
My Z85 is an aluminum frame with carbon fork. It rides very nicely on the road, even with a rough surface. I have ridden Carbon frames as well and actually do feel a difference. Potholes are still potholes, but chasm is correct...there is none of the hand numbing "buzz".

105 will generally last longer than Ultegra, but not because of a quality difference. 105 is a group designed for longevity and often the components carry a weight penalty for it. Things are "thicker" and made with heavier materials with the 105 group. It depends on how much and what type of riding you will be doing whether one will last longer, but really the only difference is a few pounds maybe. Function and form will be almost identical.

I have scored Ultegra components over the years and have brake calipers, cassette and a front derailleur that cost the same as 105 components. In this case, it made sense to go with the Ultegra. If I were paying shelf prices though, aside from curb appeal, there simply is not enough difference to justify the 30%+ price.
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Old 08-24-14, 03:26 PM
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Oké, I feel like you guys know a lot of this so I'll follow your advice.
I'll go for the carbon with 105!
Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-24-14, 04:46 PM
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It is a pleasure for all of us, I am sure. Lots of experience to be shared here by many going through similar decisions. Good to be able to share and help!
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Old 08-24-14, 06:51 PM
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tiagra with upgraded wheels
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Old 08-24-14, 07:39 PM
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Get which ever bike you are the most comfortable on. The difference in materials and equipment is negligible and it is WAY more important to have the bike that fits you and you enjoy riding. Second to comfort is which bike you like the aesthetics the most. If it isn't pretty you won't ever really love it.
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Old 08-25-14, 03:55 PM
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Carbon and aluminum are not generic materials. There are differences in design and construction that can make either material perform better or worse. There are carbon frames that are brutally stiff and uncomfortable and there are aluminum frames that deliver a comfortable ride. I would rather have a bike with a well designed and well built aluminum frame than a cheap carbon frame. So you have to look at the ride characteristics of whatever you decide to look at, it isn't going to get you anything to buy better components on a low end frame. As well, wheel and tire choice can make a bigger difference to ride quality than frame material. A good frame, with a really good set of wheels can make lower end components look really good
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Old 08-25-14, 03:58 PM
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Serious answer: whichever bike fits you better.
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Old 08-25-14, 06:34 PM
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IMHO - Al, C, Fe, etc - for most of us isn't so much the issue as is good fit - get what fits and feels better.
then upgrade the wheels.
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Old 08-25-14, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Qioxz View Post
Thanks for answering.
I'm about to buy a second hand racebike, so I'm still looking.
It seemed that the alu with ultegra and the carbon with 105 are about the same prize...
But my uncle told me that 105 and ultegra do differ a lot? Is that correct?
And is there a lot of difference between an alu frame and a carbon frame?
No.

With the caveat - which version. 6800 Ultegra is probably a lot better than 5500 105. But there is no difference IMO between 6700 Ultegra and 5700 105.
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