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Carbon v Aluminum Debate- Any Different in 2020?

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Carbon v Aluminum Debate- Any Different in 2020?

Old 05-26-20, 06:10 PM
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hoovbikes
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Carbon v Aluminum Debate- Any Different in 2020?

As much as I'd like to go in on a sweet carbon bike, this article seems annoyingly biased to me:


​​​​​​https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/exper...s-the-showdown


Despite all the benefits illuminated here, this article still fails to acknowledge the fact that as carbon fatigues over time, it is fairly difficult to tell how much fatigue a frame has amassed without special expensive equipment. Therefore the risk remains quite high for sudden catastrophic failure, as opposed to other materials where frame damage can be more easily identified, providing you with a layer of security in knowing that you should tread lightly if riding a compromised frame, if you're even going to ride it at all.


Also, in the 3rd to last paragraph entitled "Lifespan" it states that a carbon frame will be in as good condition in 20 years as it was the day you bought it. There is no way that is true!! Right?! I feel like this article should be titled "Why You Should Buy Carbon", not "The Showdown", which it clearly is not.


Call me paranoid but until there is readily available technology that can tell you just how worn or strong any given carbon frame is, I'm prob still gonna be riding the aluminum train.
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Old 05-26-20, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
As much as I'd like to go in on a sweet carbon bike, this article seems annoyingly biased to me:


​​​​​​https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/exper...s-the-showdown

Despite all the benefits illuminated here, this article still fails to acknowledge the fact that as carbon fatigues over time, it is fairly difficult to tell how much fatigue a frame has amassed without special expensive equipment. Therefore the risk remains quite high for sudden catastrophic failure,

.
There are likely a few hundred thousand carbon frames (A million ?) still in use, they’ve been manufactured for 25 years. They are not failing in any meaningful numbers that would indicate hidden fatigue issues. Then the risk is not high or even marginal.
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Old 05-26-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
There are likely a few hundred thousand carbon frames (A million ?) still in use, they’ve been manufactured for 25 years. They are not failing in any meaningful numbers that would indicate hidden fatigue issues. Then the risk is not high or even marginal.
I read the article in my original post after I read this article:

​​​​​​https://www.outsideonline.com/231181...dents-lawsuits
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Old 05-26-20, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
There are likely a few hundred thousand carbon frames (A million ?) still in use, they’ve been manufactured for 25 years. They are not failing in any meaningful numbers that would indicate hidden fatigue issues. Then the risk is not high or even marginal.
And besides, it's not that I'm necessarily arguing about the number of failures that occur anyhow, I'm trying to point out that in the debate of carbon vs aluminum frames, a major pro of aluminum is that when it fatigues, you know it, and can therefore act accordingly in response, as opposed to carbon where you'll be none the wiser and will inevitably end up riding a compromised frame without any idea of the risk you're taking until suddenly one day CRACK! your face is completely burried into a rock garden without a second's notice..
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Old 05-26-20, 07:48 PM
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There’s a beating the dead horse graphic around here someplace.....
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Old 05-27-20, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
I read the article in my original post after I read this article:

​​​​​​https://www.outsideonline.com/231181...dents-lawsuits
Well if ambulance chasers say so then it must be true.
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Old 05-27-20, 06:51 AM
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look back in articles from the 80s, the same was said about aluminum frames vs steel.
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Old 05-27-20, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Well if ambulance chasers say so then it must be true.
Oh yea the woman who fractured her spine and clavicle, tore ligaments and had a concussion is obviously a total hypochondriac loon. Good point.
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Old 05-27-20, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
Oh yea the woman who fractured her spine and clavicle, tore ligaments and had a concussion is obviously a total hypochondriac loon. Good point.
Just because an injury is real does not mean that whatever hair-brain scheme you come up with to explain it is legit.
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Old 05-28-20, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Just because an injury is real does not mean that whatever hair-brain scheme you come up with to explain it is legit.
Yup definitely me who came up with all of it. Researched and wrote the article for Outside mag, spoke with all the lawyers at all the firms specializing in carbon frame failure, interviewed all the folks who'd suffered injuries from said failures, then cited my own work in a random post on bikeforums just to see if I could get a rise out of you all! Me and my loony hair brain head! Must have too much hair in my brain or something! LOL!!
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Old 05-28-20, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
look back in articles from the 80s, the same was said about aluminum frames vs steel.
Oh yea? Wouldn't mind perusing some of these articles if you've got any to reference
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Old 05-28-20, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
Yup definitely me who came up with all of it. Researched and wrote the article for Outside mag, spoke with all the lawyers at all the firms specializing in carbon frame failure, interviewed all the folks who'd suffered injuries from said failures, then cited my own work in a random post on bikeforums just to see if I could get a rise out of you all! Me and my loony hair brain head! Must have too much hair in my brain or something! LOL!!
Is there a point, here?

Does not matter who wrote the article. All is says is that some lawyers are suing over CF. There is no research presented in that article.

I am curious why you posted thaf link. Exactly what point of yours do you think that article is backing up?

The articles presents no evidence or research that older frames are failing due to fatigue. It presents no evidence or research regarding how common this is. It presents no evidence or research that CF is on the whole more of less dangerous than Al or Steel.

All it presents is a story about lawyers with a business model of blaming others for their clients misfortunes in order to receive monetary compensation. And the arguments they are using are no more flushed out or backed up than any of the typical navel-gazing and armchair engineering that one can find in a BF thread.

Last edited by Kapusta; 05-28-20 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 05-29-20, 12:56 PM
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So in conclusion, no, the argument has not changed.

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 05-29-20 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 05-29-20, 01:44 PM
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Here it is:

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Old 06-02-20, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
So in conclusion, no, the argument has not changed.
Haha glad we could clarify that for you!
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Old 06-03-20, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
Seeing that picture of a busty Loretta Lynn sitting on a rock in a river, like some Siren, made me think lusting thoughts. But then I remembered that she had, like, 25 children by the time she was, like, 14, and my lust suddenly evaporated.....

According to a quick Wikepedia search, she had her first child at 16, then 17, then 20 and 22, then waited 10 years to have last batch and was a grandmother at age 34.

None of these would be issues that would be prohibitive to me under the right (or wrong) circumstances were I of age
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Old 06-14-20, 09:54 AM
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This question is probably because I'm new but why would it be more difficult to tell wear on a carbon frame than aluminum?
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Old 06-14-20, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cityfeet View Post
This question is probably because I'm new but why would it be more difficult to tell wear on a carbon frame than aluminum?
You can’t really, in either. An aluminum might start to show a crack but usual failure mode for both is something separates.
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Old 06-25-20, 02:08 PM
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hoovbikes, it looks like you're pretending to ask a question, but have already made up your mind. So what are you posting here you for? Confirmation that carbon is a deadly material?

I've owned a ton of carbon bikes, including an Orbea road bike where the chain got dropped behind the small chainring, and it gashed the chainstay pretty bad. Everyone said don't ride it, but I went on to ride it 15,000 more miles, and never had any issues.

I just experienced my first cracked carbon frame, it's on my mountain bike, and It's along the top of the bottom bracket shell, and I'm waiting on the warranty frame to ship. Here's a picture: https://i.imgur.com/t5SgVi1.png

I've actually ridden the bike a half dozen times since finding the crack (while I wait for the warranty process), the crack is not getting bigger, and if it does fail, I don't expect it to be 'catastropic' like you describe.

The only catastrophic bike failure I've ever witnessed in 30 years of riding was a buddy who's head tube snapped clean off his frame in the Ouchuita Challenge Race in 2009.. and it was an aluminum frame. Luckily he wasn't hurt, I still have a pic of him arms out, holding half of his bike in one hand, and the rest of the bike in the other.

Finally... I put a Cannondale Si fork in a vice (came off a crashed CAAD), donned my safety glasses and gloves, and set out to do some heinous damage. That fork was tough as hell. Hearty swing with a sledge did absolutely nothing. It's not like carbon is some super delicate material that needs to be treated like your granny's china.

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Old 06-26-20, 11:50 AM
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I think both materials are perfectly safe. With carbon however it's difficult to detect damage that could lead to a failure. This doesn't mean that aluminium can't fail, but usually, it's visually obvious that something is wrong before catastrophic failure.

Ride quality difference is a myth IMHO. Tires, wheels, seatposts, handlebars and saddles flex way more than any decent frame. Carbon frames are usually lighter though.

I personally prefer aluminium frames as I tend to keep bikes for a long time and I consider it a more durable material. I wouldn't mind riding a carbon frame, but I prefer aluminium, especially on mountain bikes.

If I found a mountain bike I liked a lot and it was carbon I'd probably buy it though. In any case, I would prefer to spend my money on a better equipped aluminium bike than on a carbon bike with worse components.
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Old 06-27-20, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
This doesn't mean that aluminium can't fail, but usually, it's visually obvious that something is wrong before catastrophic failure.
this isn't always true. there are instances where fatigue or bad welds can fail without much warning.
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Old 06-27-20, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by carlosponti View Post
this isn't always true. there are instances where fatigue or bad welds can fail without much warning.
I said USUALLY.
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Old 06-30-20, 07:48 PM
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Its been an interesting read to find this thread tonight as I've been looking into carbon vs aluminum for a new bike.. I'm looking at the Giant Trance 3 vs Trance Advanced 2 - Components are fairly identical, the difference in cost is primarily the frame and wheelset.

I've only ridden aluminum before, so I don't know the benefits of carbon (or I should say, have never benefitted from carbon), even on my road bikes.. I found an Advanced 2 in stock (somewhat) locally, but it'll be weeks or more for a Trance 3 to show up. While the money always matters, I don't necessarily want the decision to be about cost as both are within my budget. Its roughly a $1000 difference, Its just so hard to justify it for something I've never used before. In some ways I feel like I'd be paying the extra to not have to wait for the Trance 3 to become available.
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Old 07-08-20, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
There’s a beating the dead horse graphic around here someplace.....


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