Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Alum v. Carbon - Even if Price Were no Issue

Notices
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

Alum v. Carbon - Even if Price Were no Issue

Old 06-08-11, 06:12 AM
  #1  
Notto
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 8

Bikes: Orbea Aqua T23 - 2011

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Alum v. Carbon - Even if Price Were no Issue

Do any of you prefer Aluminum over carbon... even if price were not an issue?

I am sure this question has come up 1000 times on this board already, but I could not find it by digging around... apologies for asking many of you to repeat yourselves...

Thanks for being a part of this great community...

~Notto
Notto is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 06:37 AM
  #2  
2ndGen
CAADdict
 
2ndGen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BF Heaven
Posts: 6,756

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD9-?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If money were no issue, for me, carbon.
I love aluminum for what it is...a workhorse.
I'll always keep an aluminum road bike.
But I need a carbon bike bad.
And I've earned one.
And I deserve one.

Not that money is an issue anymore since a high end aluminum frame will cost more than a low end carbon frame.
It's when apples are compared to apples performance-wise that the price of carbon shoots up way past aluminum.

If money were no issue, right now, it'd be either a custom built Parlee or Calfee, or a Cannondale SuperSix EVO Ultimate.
2ndGen is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 06:39 AM
  #3  
jamesdak 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,153

Bikes: G.L. Maillot Juane & Ventoux,Schwinn Circuit, PDG Paramount, Jake The Snake,LeMond Zurich, Giordana XL Super (2), Antares,Polaris, Scorpius, Fuji Opus III, Orbea Cabestany, Basso Gap, Y-Foil (2)

Mentioned: 103 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1460 Post(s)
Liked 566 Times in 327 Posts
Originally Posted by Notto View Post
Do any of you prefer Aluminum over carbon... even if price were not an issue?

I am sure this question has come up 1000 times on this board already, but I could not find it by digging around... apologies for asking many of you to repeat yourselves...

Thanks for being a part of this great community...

~Notto
Are you talking frames or wheels or both?
__________________
Steel is real...and comfy.
jamesdak is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 06:57 AM
  #4  
Notto
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 8

Bikes: Orbea Aqua T23 - 2011

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Primarily frames I guess... but input on alum v. carbon wheels is interesting as well..
Notto is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:02 AM
  #5  
BTSyndrome
Member
 
BTSyndrome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 31

Bikes: Cervelo S1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have just two years of riding in.
First bike -custom Steel.
Sec. bike -Cervelo S1

I have never sat on or rode a carbon bike, and don't ever plan too.
I figure if I don't know what I'might be missing, I'm not really missing anything.
I Love the ride of my metal bikes.
BTSyndrome is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:11 AM
  #6  
RT
The Weird Beard
 
RT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: COS
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 2ndGen View Post
But I need a carbon bike bad.
And I've earned one.
And I deserve one.


I've always wondered how carbon feels when compared to Alu, but as you said, the workhorse quality of Alu is what keeps me on a metal bike. And I don't own a torque wrench.
RT is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:26 AM
  #7  
jrobe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
I ride on some older country roads that can get pretty rough in places. I have an aluminum Cervelo and a carbon Cervelo. Anyone could ride these 2 frames for 30 seconds on some of these roads and immediately tell the difference. The aluminum frame is literally a rattletrap compared to the smooth ride of the carbon frame. The difference in comfort is amazing especially on a 3-6 hour ride. The amazing thing is that the carbon frame is also stiffer and more responsive. I can't see any downside to the smoothness of the carbon ride. My old aluminum CAAD9 was exactly the same as the aluminum Cervelo.

I also have a steel Bianchi frame and this frame is much closer to the carbon frame than the aluminum.

I wouldn't buy another aluminum frame unless I was really trying to save money or if I was racing the bike and couldn't afford to replace the carbon frame if I destroyed it in a crash. On the other hand, I have seen plenty of bent aluminum frames that were beyond repair also.
jrobe is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:34 AM
  #8  
FasterNearGirls
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Is a Neuvation FC100 carbon frame with alloy BB, Head Tube and Seat Clusters, considered low-performing? It's certainly affordable. I love it but don't have much to compare it to.
FasterNearGirls is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:35 AM
  #9  
DC_United_Fan
Senior Member
 
DC_United_Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Yorktown, VA
Posts: 444

Bikes: IRO SS / Trek 2.1 / Trek 5.1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I commute on Steel, train on Aluminum and race on Carbon. They all have their purposes in life. I will say the carbon soaks up small amounts of disharmony that would rattle the aluminum and the fillings in my teeth. Given the going in proposition that money should be no object, I would choose carbon all day long and twice on Sunday. But since money is an object, I don't see me forking out that kind of cash for a carbon training rig any time soon.
DC_United_Fan is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:35 AM
  #10  
patentcad
Peloton Shelter Dog
 
patentcad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester, NY
Posts: 90,508

Bikes: 2017 Scott Foil, 2016 Scott Addict SL, 2018 Santa Cruz Blur CC MTB

Mentioned: 74 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1136 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
I have an aluminum Cervelo and a carbon Cervelo.
I have two Cervelos myself you know.
__________________
https://www.cotsiscad.com
patentcad is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:41 AM
  #11  
RT
The Weird Beard
 
RT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: COS
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
I have two Cervelos myself you know.
And a wicked handsome bench.
RT is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:42 AM
  #12  
tagaproject6
Senior Member
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8,549

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Record);Cinelli Xperience (Force);Specialized Allez (Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Centaur); Colnago AC-R Disc;Colnago V1r Limited Edition;De Rosa King 3 Limited(Force 22);DeRosa Merak(Red):Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Hydro(Di2)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 548 Post(s)
Liked 259 Times in 138 Posts
Originally Posted by FasterNearGirls View Post
Is a Neuvation FC100 carbon frame with alloy BB, Head Tube and Seat Clusters, considered low-performing? It's certainly affordable. I love it but don't have much to compare it to.
Why would anyone consider it "low-performing"? I don't think so. It may not be high-end compared to the more exotic brand name carbon bikes, but I don't think it is in the low end of the spectrum.
tagaproject6 is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:50 AM
  #13  
FasterNearGirls
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Why would anyone consider it "low-performing"? I don't think so. It may not be high-end compared to the more exotic brand name carbon bikes, but I don't think it is in the low end of the spectrum.
Thank you for your comforting words, taga!
FasterNearGirls is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:51 AM
  #14  
sijray21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: MABRA cat3
Posts: 369
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First primary bike is a tarmac (low-end entry carbon). I then built a BB30 cannondale CAAD9 frame for races last winter. I LOVE the aluminum. The tarmac is heavier. While the tarmac is stiff, the CAAD9 feels stiffer and more responsive. The geometry is almost identical, so the only differences are the bottom bracket and the frame material.

The carbon bike is now used for longer rides, commuting, training, and low-effort recreational rides. The aluminum bike is for races, fast rides, and training. I primarily use the aluminum bike and have even given thought to selling the carbon. If I were to go carbon again I would get a higher-end model. I've liked the test rides on higher-end carbon bikes. So... to answer the original question I would definitely get a higher end carbon if money were of no concern... who wouldn't?
sijray21 is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:55 AM
  #15  
deacon mark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,671

Bikes: Habanero Titanium Team Nuevo

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 276 Post(s)
Liked 65 Times in 45 Posts
I ride on country roads in Illinois no question that carbon soaks the rattles much better. I had an Alu bike with carbon fork then went to a full carbon Motobecane IM Spirit and a Bottecchia, they both ride like a dream and soak up the rattles. Never an Alu bike would I ride hopefully the carbon will not just blow up.
deacon mark is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:57 AM
  #16  
bostongarden
meow
 
bostongarden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hint: check out my BF name
Posts: 5,829

Bikes: 2016 Parlee Altum, 2013 Cannondale Super Six Evo Hi Mod Di2 only, 2011 Cannondale Super Six, Dura Ace 7800, 2007 Cannondale System Six Dura Ace 7800, 1992 Bridgestone RB-1, MB-2, MB-3, MB-5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by BTSyndrome View Post
I have just two years of riding in.
First bike -custom Steel.
Sec. bike -Cervelo S1

I have never sat on or rode a carbon bike, and don't ever plan too.
I figure if I don't know what I'might be missing, I'm not really missing anything.
I Love the ride of my metal bikes.
You eventually will know what you are missing, and, then, will want carbon.
bostongarden is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 08:00 AM
  #17  
X-LinkedRider
Flying Under the Radar
 
X-LinkedRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 4,116

Bikes: 10' SuperiorLite SL Club | 06' Giant FCR3 | 2010 GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have only used my Aluminum Allez about 4 times since getting my Carbon SuperiorLite. Nothing against the Allez, the difference is rides is just so much that it makes it very difficult to even want to ride the Alumn when I know how nice the carbon rides.
X-LinkedRider is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 08:30 AM
  #18  
danvuquoc
Senior Member
 
danvuquoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Mountain View, California
Posts: 574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BTSyndrome View Post
I have just two years of riding in.
First bike -custom Steel.
Sec. bike -Cervelo S1

I have never sat on or rode a carbon bike, and don't ever plan too.
I figure if I don't know what I'might be missing, I'm not really missing anything.
I Love the ride of my metal bikes.
Whatever keeps you happy man...
danvuquoc is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 09:22 AM
  #19  
Adrianinkc
Senior Member
 
Adrianinkc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,551
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
I have only used my Aluminum Allez about 4 times since getting my Carbon SuperiorLite. Nothing against the Allez, the difference is rides is just so much that it makes it very difficult to even want to ride the Alumn when I know how nice the carbon rides.
+1 got the same problem.
Adrianinkc is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 09:43 AM
  #20  
hhnngg1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Carbon, no question if cost not an issue. Framebuilders today make some great frames with great looks with carbon.

But if cost is an issue, absolutely aluminum. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever.
hhnngg1 is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 09:51 AM
  #21  
FasterNearGirls
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 632
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nano-tubes. Oh wait. We're not there yet.
FasterNearGirls is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 09:53 AM
  #22  
bonz50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Antioch, IL
Posts: 2,330

Bikes: 2013 Synapse 4

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
cost no object, carbon here as well... but cost is an object in reality for most people... so it really becomes more of a question of higher end AL or lower end carbon... only a few co's make AL bikes with DA or Red from the factory, most (not all) stop at 105ish level components... would I rather spend ~$3k on a CAAD10 1 or would I rather have a SuperSix 3 for the same cash?? I'll take the SS 4 and upgrade the crank to force and shifters to Red then call it a day, thank you very much... as light as the DA caad? maybe, maybe not, but the ride quality would be worth it to me if I could afford a $3k bike...
bonz50 is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 09:58 AM
  #23  
rmr1923
Senior Member
 
rmr1923's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 621
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
so what's the durability of carbon frames compared to aluminum?
rmr1923 is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 10:00 AM
  #24  
2ndGen
CAADdict
 
2ndGen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BF Heaven
Posts: 6,756

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD9-?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RTDub View Post


I've always wondered how carbon feels when compared to Alu, but as you said, the workhorse quality of Alu is what keeps me on a metal bike. And I don't own a torque wrench.
Awesome!

I'll get a carbon bike when (if?) I outgrow my aluminum bike.
I really really wished they would design a great aluminum bike that could take on carbon head-to-head in performance.
I like the ideal of metal for a bike more because of it's increased chances of surviving a crash more.

Although, the Cannondale SuperSix EVO is said to be stronger than a CAAD9. So, what to do, what to do...
2ndGen is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 10:04 AM
  #25  
2ndGen
CAADdict
 
2ndGen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: BF Heaven
Posts: 6,756

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD9-?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
But if cost is an issue, absolutely aluminum. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever.
Absolutely.

"If" I had a set amount to spend on a bike and that put me in the lower carbon/higher aluminum range, aluminum hands down.
If my CAAD9 was the only bike I could have forever, I wouldn't pine so much for anything else. It does everything well enough for me.
2ndGen is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.