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Carbon Frame Or Aluminum Frame????

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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

Carbon Frame Or Aluminum Frame????

Old 10-08-05, 09:06 PM
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MiniLance
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Carbon Frame Or Aluminum Frame????

I have been looking at the Specialized Allez and the Trek 5000 or Madone 5.2
Please leave some feedback on personal riding experiences on those bikes
I am looking for a very fast, light bike for long rides
And does anyone know if the Carbon KeO Pedals are better than the Normal KeO pedals?
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Old 10-09-05, 07:39 AM
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Carbon is lighter but will put you back a lot but that is as much as i know
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Old 10-09-05, 08:47 AM
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No real complaints on my 5000, other then the wheels. It had that solid rigid feel, alot of people complain about the wood feeling from the frame, but then other people complain about "to much vibration" on other bikes, i myself liked the frame quite a bit. Either way, get this year's model if you decide on the 5000, cause next year the frame changes, it does go up to 10spd, but the components go down to "select" and 105, not horrible if the frame where the same, but overall unless you get it at a big discount from the msrp, just save your money and go with the madone 5.2, full ultegra 10spd, and better frame then TCT.
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Old 10-09-05, 08:58 AM
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My friend has an Allez but it isn't a carbon-spattered one. It's a nice bike but it sure isn't light compared to the Madones. It is quite an old one now so maybe they got a lot lighter. Rides really well though.

With regard to krazyderek's comment on the wheels, any Trek or Specialized comes with relatively crap wheels compared to the frame quality so don't let that influence your decision too much. His point about the discounted prices is spot on though. That's how I got my black Ksyriums
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Old 10-09-05, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MiniLance
I have been looking at the Specialized Allez and the Trek 5000 or Madone 5.2
Please leave some feedback on personal riding experiences on those bikes
I am looking for a very fast, light bike for long rides
And does anyone know if the Carbon KeO Pedals are better than the Normal KeO pedals?

Bike Your Heart Out!
I Believe I will be that best so I will become the best!
Stats:
Miles: 9,714 Mi.
Age: 15 Years Old
Can I offer a little bit of "old guy" type advise here?

Your passion for cycling is very admirable as well as your mileage for someone your age. If I had it all to do over again, I would use the money you are talking about for a Madone, and get in with a good or great coach before I spent that kind of coin on a bike. You have a lot of developing to do yet as a person and as a cyclist. Coaching will last you a lifetime, the bike not quite as long.
Once you hook up with a team, there will be opportunities to get the lightest, fastest newest bike out there. I may be wrong, but to me a good solid foundation and some time spent building your bikes engine will be better money spent at this stage.

YMMV
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Old 10-09-05, 10:41 PM
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Thank you for the comments!
I understand the point of a coach now
"Give a man a fish, you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime.”
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Old 10-09-05, 10:45 PM
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After owning an Allez Comp and a Madone SL 5.2, I could definitely go with carbon. Carbon does a great job of damping the vibrations of the road surface so you aren't beat up after a long ride. Just test ride an aluminum vs. a carbon bike on a 10 mile stretch of road, and you should be able to feel the difference.
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Old 10-09-05, 10:47 PM
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That's my avatar, mini-me.
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Old 10-09-05, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MiniLance
Thank you for the comments!
I understand the point of a coach now
"Give a man a fish, you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime.”
Or better, "Set a man a fire, and he will be warm for one night. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life..."

Anyway, I'm about your age (17) and my current ride is a Ti Habby (see sig) It's not the lightest, it's not the fastest, but it damn well better last a long time Plus, it taught me a lot about bike mechanics. Namely, that all it takes is a little bit of thinking. Bikes aren't that complicated

I would suggest spending more time training rather than worrying about what your ride. However, it is VERY important to be mechanically in-tune with your bike. Learn how to adjust and maintain everything, and the bike will go very far.
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Old 10-10-05, 07:57 AM
  #10  
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People do develope differently, getting setup with a proper trainning schedual and guidance from a good trusted coach in your area would defenitly be a good thing. Upgrading the bike is really personal, also depends on what you're ridding now. If you're ridding some 24lb monster then going to a ~18lb bike could provide a great pshycological boost. Some people claim it's better to train on a heavier bike, but there's a law of deminishing returns, if you're ridding something TOO heavy, then you'll wipe yourself out trying to keep up with the group on the first or second hill. I mean there's always a 15lb bike later down the road if you go pro, so technically you are trainning on a "heavier" bike

I also forgot, it looks like they're actually bringing back the 5200 in us/can for the 2006 lineup. It keeps the oclv 120 frame, and offers 10spd full ultegra, only week point is those bontrager race wheels, i've had the rear fail on me, so has another member, however you're probably 20lbs lighter then both of us. If it's not to much more then this year's 5000, i would consider it.
https://www2.trekbikes.com/Bikes/2006/road/B1462000.html

And i know this one wasn't on your list, but last night i was just trolling the internet when i found myself droolling over the specs of a giant TCR comp 1, solid wheels good mix of components, but i have no idea what price it goes for, the local shop that sells Giant is 40 mins away.
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/cn/030...sp?model=10172

All this being said, next jan/feb may be a better time price wise to buy, granted there are closeout sales now, but they'll have clearance sales next year to make room for the 2006 line.
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Old 10-10-05, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MiniLance
"Give a man a fish, you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime.”
Or how about:
"Give a man a fish, you fed him for today. Give a man a cow and you've fed him for at least a couple months"
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Old 10-10-05, 09:42 AM
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I ride a Allez Pro w/full DA, Kysrium SL & Selle SLR Gel FLo. It wieghs just under 17lbs and I use it on long ridess and am very comfortable.

I've ridden a Madone 5.2 on a extended test ride this summer. It was a really nice comfortable OLCV ride and pretty light, not stupid light but light. I found that the geometry (maybe it was the fork rake) made it a bit twitchey in the handling department. Something that I could get use to over time though....

As for your question, fast, light & comfortable; any of the bikes you listed will be fast depending on the engine. They are all reasonably light. I think it all comes down to fit & cost.

T.J.

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Old 10-10-05, 10:32 AM
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I test road the Allez, 5000, Madone 5.2, Trek 2100, and Felt S55. The Allez, 2100, and S55 are all carbon frames with carbon seat stays. While they felt fast on my 5 mile test rides, I could feel every little bump in the road. The Madone 5.2 and 5000 were no comparison in ride quality! I ended up buying the 5000 because of the lower price and I like the black/blue/silver colors better than the 5.2's red/white/blue team color option.

My advise:
Get the carbon frame, spend a little extra on the frame because you can always upgrade the components later (and you will). You're young and full of energy so a coach and a team will do wonders for you and your new bike. Best of luck, and let us know what bike you decide on.
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Old 10-12-05, 07:14 PM
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All carbon is going to offer you is a smoother ride. Really,,,,,how much lighter is carbon vs aluminum? You can fatten up a bike quick with your wheelset and componants. Decide what your riding style is and pick a bike that will give you the best bang for your buck.
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Old 10-12-05, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by STEPPINTHEFUNK
Or how about:
"Give a man a fish, you fed him for today. Give a man a cow and you've fed him for at least a couple months"
SELL a man a fish, and teach him that nothing in life is free!
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Old 10-12-05, 07:34 PM
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Corvette [1 horsepower] VS Ferrari 360 Modena [1.00001 Horsepower] VS Corolla [120 horsepower]

If you want to be Lance - make your engine your finest tool.
Go and use your money to buy books/training tools/gym memberships/coaches...
If you want to be one the strongest human engines - get the engine.
If you want a carbon bike - get a carbon bike.

If you can afford both. Get them.

Good Luck!
-Peter
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Old 10-13-05, 06:48 AM
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My advice as one who has ridden a carbon fiber bike and an aluminum bike (own Ti, Alu, and steel now): do NOT pay carbon fiber price for an aluminum bike.

Yes, aluminum has its place and can be applied to make a nice bike. But it ain't carbon fiber. Point is, you can get a nice carbon fiber bike these days at a good price as more manufacturers make use of the material. I just see WAY too many full aluminum or aluminum/carbon stays frames going for ~$1500.

For example, this bike isn't worth $6300 whether Danilo Di Luca rides it, or it adds 2" to your anatomy. That's one extreme example, but I watched a 2004 Bianchi EV3 Alu/Carbon (stays are CF) go for $1200 yesterday. That's insane. For $1200, you could snag a full carbon Giant TCR, Specialized Roubaix, or possibly a new old stock high modulus CF Look for that. Many options at that price. Or a Ti bike on closeout (or maybe even new).

This is not to trash full aluminum or aluminum w/ carbon stays bikes. I scored a CAAD7 for $370 a couple months ago, and it'll see plenty of action on rainy days, on the trainer over the winter, and in crits during next year's race season. But I'll be on the Ti bike the rest of the time.

Aluminum is fine. Just don't pay out the wahzoo for it, because carbon fiber will almost always give you a smoother ride at or below the same weight. If you're going to put your miles in, I feel this is important. You'll be less beat up after a ride. That was a big plus for me last year going into this year. I don't think I could do that on an all aluminum bike.

Watch eBay for no less than a month every single day, and you'll get a good idea what bikes you are interested in go for. Go to an LBS and ride an aluminum bike and a CF bike to get a feel for the difference. Ask yourself how much more the CF is worth.
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Old 10-13-05, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gcasillo
I scored a CAAD7 for $370 a couple months ago...
Was that new or used and at an LBS or eBay? Most R700s in my area are still going for around $1k and I thought I did pretty well picking up a new one for $875...
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Old 10-13-05, 07:09 AM
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gcasillo - seeing as the Liquigas pros can choose any Bianchi to ride (Maggie rides Ti, for instance) - why do you think DiLuca picked the Alu bike?
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Old 10-13-05, 07:44 AM
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If you read several other threads on the subject of frame materials, you'll see a consensus among some very knowledgable people that frame material has very little to do with ride characteristics. Rather the big differences among bikes are geometry, wheels, and tires. Al can be made very stiff or very comfortable as can CF or any other material. The key thing you want to do is keep an open mind and test ride various bikes. Pick the one you feel best on. Or even the color combination but don't get lead on by such as such material makes you feel every bump in the road. That's just not true.
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Old 10-13-05, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 14max
Was that new or used and at an LBS or eBay? Most R700s in my area are still going for around $1k and I thought I did pretty well picking up a new one for $875...
eBay. It has a 2mm long scratch on the downtube and a small little paint chip near the seatpost collar. Purely cosmetic. No dings at all. Came with full carbon Slice fork and Cinelli Eubios bars. Was a race frame for one of Bethel Cycles (PA?) riders, so it has been raced, and it has the Bethel Cycle paint scheme on it. I could strip and repaint it, but I don't think it's worth the time or effort. Perfect frame for what I needed.


Originally Posted by EURO
gcasillo - seeing as the Liquigas pros can choose any Bianchi to ride (Maggie rides Ti, for instance) - why do you think DiLuca picked the Alu bike?
Sure, and some sprinters choose alloy cranks over CF ones (Cipo, Boonen, Petacchi). But you would agree that aluminum is diminishing from the pro peloton, no? On the whole, aluminum can give you everything carbon fiber can except CF's exceptional vibration dampening. That's why most bikes including Di Luca's $6300 Freccia Celeste HC/Record--which he doesn't have to pay for, BTW--have carbon fiber forks and stays. The next logical step is to make the entire bike CF. However, Bianchi's carbon fiber lineup hasn't been tabbed by their pros. I don't know why. Ullrich rode an all aluminum EV3 in 2003 I believe.

However, most teams are gravitating toward CF, and why not? Same or lighter weight and better stiffness with the added benefit of exceptional vibration dampening. And when you're putting in the mileage those pros are putting in, I have to think they appreciate not feeling beat up after six hours in the saddle every day. Example: CSC and the new Cervelo Soloist Carbon.

I'm as big a Bianchi fanboy as there is (why I watched that '04 EV3 go for $1200). I even like that kooky, abstract Liquigas paint scheme. I have Record on one bike, with Centaur or Veloce soon to adore that CAAD7. But I'd be hard pressed to shell out $6300 for Di Luca's very own bike, let alone the same model from the Reparto Corse factory.

To stay on topic and help the OP, I'll reiterate that I'm not trashing aluminum as a choice for his bike. I would just be wary of high-end aluminum bikes and the price they go for (if he's even looking in that price range). If he's considering shelling out for an aluminum bike, he may want to look for bikes in that price range that are carbon fiber as they (typically) give the added benefit of better vibration dampening. Get a feel for how much bikes of interest go by lurking on eBay. And most important of all, get thee to a LBS to take said bikes on a test ride and get a feel for what's going to work.
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Old 10-13-05, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by gcasillo
eBay. It has a 2mm long scratch on the downtube and a small little paint chip near the seatpost collar. Purely cosmetic. No dings at all. Came with full carbon Slice fork and Cinelli Eubios bars. Was a race frame for one of Bethel Cycles (PA?) riders, so it has been raced, and it has the Bethel Cycle paint scheme on it. I could strip and repaint it, but I don't think it's worth the time or effort. Perfect frame for what I needed.
Still that was a nice snag on the frameset. What size is it? There's never much to see for Cannondale in the 60cm range on eBay.

To me, the CAAD7 is a nicer frame than the CAAD8 or Synapse Alloy since there isn't as much tubing manipulation going on at the seat and chain stays. That flexibility may be nice for some but at 190 pounds I'm much less concerned with it.
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Old 10-13-05, 08:17 AM
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However, most teams are gravitating toward CF, and why not? Same or lighter weight and better stiffness with the added benefit of exceptional vibration dampening.
I have to say that in my extensive research in frames over the last 6 months or so it became obvious that at the lower-end of CF frame prices (800 - 1000 Euros) the alloy frames in that range are always lighter.
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Old 10-13-05, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 14max
Still that was a nice snag on the frameset. What size is it? There's never much to see for Cannondale in the 60cm range on eBay.

To me, the CAAD7 is a nicer frame than the CAAD8 or Synapse Alloy since there isn't as much tubing manipulation going on at the seat and chain stays. That flexibility may be nice for some but at 190 pounds I'm much less concerned with it.
It was a great snag. 57cm which you can only get if you go with the frameset (complete bikes are only 56 or 58 cm). Considering the CAAD8 is just 30g lighter, I'm very happy.
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Old 10-13-05, 08:25 AM
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A consideration I think you might find noteworthy is that a carbon fiber bike or frame will probably have much better resale value than aluminum.
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