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Aluminum vs Carbon? (I know, right?!!)

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Aluminum vs Carbon? (I know, right?!!)

Old 11-24-15, 08:25 AM
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12strings
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Aluminum vs Carbon? (I know, right?!!)

This is basically for those of you who have money...

I was checking out the a few websites, and noticed this bike: Caad 12 Black Inc - $5,800

I'm just curious that if you had 5-6k to spend on a bike, what would motivate you to get the Aluminum, rather than just a 5-6k carbon bike? For comparison, Even the brand new Aluminum Specialized Allez top level is only $2,600. What would make someone buy a $5800 aluminum bike? Would it just be the durability for repeated racing and likely crashing? The intangible of saying "I have the best specs of any Alluminum bike (I'm assuming it has better wheels)?

Thanks for indulging my curiosity...This thread has absolutely zero bearing on what I will buy...I'll be lucky if I can one day upgrade from Sora to 105.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:41 AM
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indyfabz
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****
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Old 11-24-15, 08:46 AM
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CF is over-rated.
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Old 11-24-15, 08:55 AM
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I like the new Allez Sprint. Does anyone know if you can install a compact on it or is it 1x11 only?
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Old 11-24-15, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
This is basically for those of you who have money...

I'm just curious that if you had 5-6k to spend on a bike, what would motivate you to get the Aluminum, rather than just a 5-6k carbon bike?
Some people are on strong drugs.
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Old 11-24-15, 10:37 AM
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They could be allergic to carbon like I am
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Old 11-24-15, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
......I was checking out the a few websites, and noticed this bike: Caad 12 Black Inc - $5,800.....
...I'll be lucky if I can one day upgrade from Sora to 105..
1. It may be hard to actually appreciate the CAAD 12 via a picture. I love what the Interweb brings to us... but to understand the value of a great bicycle it may be necessary to stop in a LBS and actually see one in real life (that's what I did). Also... there is nothing inferior about aluminum alloys.

2. Don't de-value your own worth. Decide how you desire to live and then plan your actions backwards to where your at now.
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Old 11-24-15, 10:48 AM
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I wouldn't spend $5800 for any bike except a custom steel or ti bike. And it better have Record components at the price. AND it wouldn't be a horrendously ugly flat black frame. I prefer the ride characteristics and durability (yes) of aluminum over carbon.
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Old 11-24-15, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Also... there is nothing inferior about aluminum alloys.
Road cyclists almost universally disagree. That's why we have a question like this.
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Old 11-24-15, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
Some people are on strong drugs.
Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
They could be allergic to carbon like I am
See?
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Old 11-24-15, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Road cyclists almost universally disagree. That's why we have a question like this.
Great citation.
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Old 11-24-15, 11:15 AM
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It's a Cannondale thing. Still looking for an 86 or 87 Black Lightning. It was my ultimate dream bike back in the day.
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Old 11-24-15, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Road cyclists almost universally disagree.
Wrong, they universally agree to disagree. And so it begins.........
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Old 11-24-15, 11:24 AM
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I dont know about a $5,800 CAAD bike, but there is value in the new CAAD/Emonda/Allez Alloy bikes compared to low end CF frames
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Old 11-24-15, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I wouldn't spend $5800 for any bike except a custom steel or ti bike. And it better have Record components at the price. AND it wouldn't be a horrendously ugly flat black frame. I prefer the ride characteristics and durability (yes) of aluminum over carbon.
This^. At over $5K, I'd be looking at custom Titanium. But, to be honest, I can't see any reason to spend anything close to that money on a bike.
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Old 11-24-15, 03:23 PM
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The aluminum frame is likely to last longer not because aluminum is more durable in terms of simple aging (it might be) but because a wreck which would scratch an aluminum frame might crack a carbon frame.

On the other hand, carbon fiber frames can be repaired at home. Aluminum frames take serious professional rebuilding if they break.

As for ride quality, that is definitely so subjective as to not be worth discussing.

Paint color, likewise, and whether one prefers SRAM, Campy or Shimano ...

I think the real question would be, why not go custom, but one answer might be that some folks really do prefer aluminum over CF, Ti, or steel (even the poster who suggested going custom said that.)

Also, buy the Cannondale, ride it home, unlike waiting endlessly for some custom builder to tell you the six-month wait is now eight months. Also, if you buy the custom frame and don't like it (maybe guessed wrong on the geometry, or what felt good in steel on a bike you won doesn't work in Ti or whatever) you are now stuck with or forced to try to sell a bike which is very specific.

I see a CAAD 12 on sale I figure the buyer didn't like it (or his wife found out how much it cost.) it's a known quantity.

I see a "Custom Ti frame, sub 100 miles" ad, I have to wonder.
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Old 11-24-15, 04:34 PM
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neither fibers of carbon, or tubes of aluminum alloy is exotic, prestigious, novel, or otherwise special

get over it
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Old 11-24-15, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
neither fibers of carbon, or tubes of aluminum alloy is exotic, prestigious, novel, or otherwise special

get over it
Who are you talking to?
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Old 11-24-15, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
Who are you talking to?
Clearly to those that are not yet over it.
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Old 11-24-15, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
This is basically for those of you who have money...
I pay for all my cycling equipment with lupens, so I guess that excludes me.

Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
I'm just curious that if you had 5-6k to spend on a bike, what would motivate you to get the Aluminum, rather than just a 5-6k carbon bike?
The answer is so obvious and I can believe this answer wasn't given yet. You guys are really slipping.
ALUMINUM WON'T ASSPLODE!!!
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Old 11-24-15, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Road cyclists almost universally disagree. That's why we have a question like this.
I've read a lot of posts about the superiority.... of this or that... as compared to this or that. But I can't recall anyone ever offering a logical explanation of any of the common bicycle building materials as being "inferior".

It may be fair to point out that $5800.... isn't the typical or average price on the CAAD 12. They are equipped with a wide variety of components and are priced accordingly. I am NOT a $5000 bicycle type of guy myself. But I do really like the new 12's.

Last edited by Dave Cutter; 11-24-15 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 11-24-15, 07:09 PM
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Dunno if the caad 12 is any more durable. These modern alloy bikes are extremely thin walled, the top tube of the caad 12 I saw deflected between my thumb and forefinger just as much as super light carbon does. I know that's a low stress point but that's kind of unnerving to me, and I wouldn't expect superior durability out of it.
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Old 11-24-15, 07:17 PM
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Neither I like the best ride, durability and feel so steel get my money. My ebike is alloy, no choice there.
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Old 11-24-15, 07:20 PM
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I wouldn't personally buy a $6K Aluminium or Carbon bike. I think you can buy a nearly as good, probably indifferentiable by anyone reading this forum, for under $4K. that would be a very high end bike already.
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Old 11-24-15, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by series1811 View Post
It's a Cannondale thing. Still looking for an 86 or 87 Black Lightning. It was my ultimate dream bike back in the day.
You have good taste. I have that frame on my '88 custom build. Fine bike and crazy quick.
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