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My Dream bike is...Aluminum?

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My Dream bike is...Aluminum?

Old 02-28-12, 09:18 PM
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7bmwm3gtr
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My Dream bike is...Aluminum?

Okay maybe not, but as of now my ideal bike is aluminum.

I've been in search of a more race-oriented bike for more than a year now, and I'm still looking. I've considered the Trek Madone 5 series and the Cervelo R3 as the best candidates for my next bike. I test rode both of them, and I think I might be immune to some of the marketing that bike companies utilize. Compared to a 2009 Trek 2.1, it's definitely lighter. Stiffer, vertically compliant, etc, etc,...I can't tell the difference. When I rode the carbon bikes it felt like I was just riding a lighter aluminum bike.

And just recently my friend told me he crashed and "totaled" his 2009 Trek Madone 6.5 frame. This was the first crash of the frame. His frame before that was a 2011 Trek 5.2 frame, which also got totaled on the first crash. The Specialized Junior Team in NorCal crashed 8 carbon Bikes last season according to a blog post. This season they switched to Specialized Allez frames.

With that in mind, I've limited my search for my race-oriented bike to an aluminum bike. However, there aren't that many that I know of other than the Allez and the CAAD10. It looks like I'll be stuck to these since the bike shop that sponsors my collegiate team carries both Specialized and Cannondale.

...Or I could just take my 2009 Trek 2.1 and upgrade the parts. I really love the color of my bike, and it's comfortable too. But it's marketed as a sports/entry level bike so I'm sort of manipulated by that. I'm in college so the budget is pretty important, but because I've limited myself to choosing an aluminum frame it seems that I don't have to worry much about pricey bikes anymore.

I'd like to hear some suggestions and opinions, which will help me a lot in deciding. Any other reputable aluminum frames out there? Please don't suggest titaniums!

-D
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Old 02-28-12, 09:20 PM
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yay frame material argument wear iz slim
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Old 02-28-12, 09:21 PM
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How long did you ride the carbon bikes for and over what types of road surfaces? On a smooth road you're unlikely to notice any differences in vertical compliance.
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Old 02-28-12, 09:32 PM
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You're in college. Just upgrade your trek. Don't worry about what other think about the machine. Impress them even more by spanking them on your "entry level" bike. My S1 is aluminum but was pretty pricey when I got done with it. Caad 10s can get very pricey too with the right parts and wheels.

I used to think like you that an aluminum frame would somehow withstand a crash better than carbon. I now think that a crash that would destroy a carbon frame would also destroy a frame of any material and vice versa. I've crashed carbon and aluminum and have had the fortune of not destroying either. The only advantage I now see with an aluminum frame is that if you DO crash it, it will likely be cheaper to replace.

If I were you, I'd race the pi$$ out of the trek, and if you crash it, great. Frame upgrade. You should see some of the crap people race. . .And some of the people riding that crap are pretty damn fast too!

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Old 02-28-12, 09:32 PM
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I tested both the madone and r3 for a week each, maybe 150 miles each. I did get the chance to ride through neglected roads with both. If I felt a difference I would've opted for a carbon bike.

My heart's set on aluminum until I get a high paying job that allows me to replace a carbon bike in the event it becomes useless due to damage.
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Old 02-28-12, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 7bmwm3gtr View Post
I tested both the madone and r3 for a week each, maybe 150 miles each. I did get the chance to ride through neglected roads with both. If I felt a difference I would've opted for a carbon bike.

My heart's set on aluminum until I get a high paying job that allows me to replace a carbon bike in the event it becomes useless due to damage.
Or you can get a Ti or Steel bike.

http://www.rodbikes.com/catalog/outlaw/outlaw-main.html
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Old 02-28-12, 09:48 PM
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FYI other good aluminum frames include Spooky, Salsa and Cyfac.
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Old 02-28-12, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 7bmwm3gtr View Post
Okay maybe not, but as of now my ideal bike is aluminum.

I've been in search of a more race-oriented bike for more than a year now, and I'm still looking. I've considered the Trek Madone 5 series and the Cervelo R3 as the best candidates for my next bike. I test rode both of them, and I think I might be immune to some of the marketing that bike companies utilize. Compared to a 2009 Trek 2.1, it's definitely lighter. Stiffer, vertically compliant, etc, etc,...I can't tell the difference. When I rode the carbon bikes it felt like I was just riding a lighter aluminum bike.

And just recently my friend told me he crashed and "totaled" his 2009 Trek Madone 6.5 frame. This was the first crash of the frame. His frame before that was a 2011 Trek 5.2 frame, which also got totaled on the first crash. The Specialized Junior Team in NorCal crashed 8 carbon Bikes last season according to a blog post. This season they switched to Specialized Allez frames.

With that in mind, I've limited my search for my race-oriented bike to an aluminum bike. However, there aren't that many that I know of other than the Allez and the CAAD10. It looks like I'll be stuck to these since the bike shop that sponsors my collegiate team carries both Specialized and Cannondale.

...Or I could just take my 2009 Trek 2.1 and upgrade the parts. I really love the color of my bike, and it's comfortable too. But it's marketed as a sports/entry level bike so I'm sort of manipulated by that. I'm in college so the budget is pretty important, but because I've limited myself to choosing an aluminum frame it seems that I don't have to worry much about pricey bikes anymore.

I'd like to hear some suggestions and opinions, which will help me a lot in deciding. Any other reputable aluminum frames out there? Please don't suggest titaniums!

-D
I had your Trek 2.3 (when it started out life as a 1.5). It's a nice smooth riding frame, but I strongly suggest you ride a CAAD10 if you haven't already. I'm not a racer, but there is a considerable leap from a 1.X/2.X Trek to a CAAD (I ride a CAAD9 and for racing, a CAAD10 is considered to be a better frame than even my 9). Plus, the CAAD10 will be much lighter. I'd say that the Allez would be a runner up to the CAAD10. You want anything better, you're going to have to spend Carbon-Money and get something custom to do better than a C-10.

Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
FYI other good aluminum frames include Spooky, Salsa and Cyfac.
That too. ^^^
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Old 02-28-12, 10:03 PM
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Well, there is a 100+ page thread about CAAD bikes. Just sayin....
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Old 02-28-12, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Silvercivic27 View Post
You're in college. Just upgrade your trek. Don't worry about what other think about the machine. Impress them even more by spanking them on your "entry level" bike. My S1 is aluminum but was pretty pricey when I got done with it. Caad 10s can get very pricey too with the right parts and wheels.

I used to think like you that an aluminum frame would somehow withstand a crash better than carbon. I now think that a crash that would destroy a carbon frame would also destroy a frame of any material and vice versa. I've crashed carbon and aluminum and have had the fortune of not destroying either. The only advantage I now see with an aluminum frame is that if you DO crash it, it will likely be cheaper to replace.

If I were you, I'd race the pi$$ out of the trek, and if you crash it, great. Frame upgrade. You should see some of the crap people race. . .And some of the people riding that crap are pretty damn fast too!
+1 ^ This 100%
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Old 02-28-12, 11:37 PM
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Resist the marketing! Just keep riding your bike to the fullest, maybe upgrade a few parts here and there or maybe even get a fit to get more comfortable to ride longer and stronger. You're only in college so just hold out till you enter the working world unless you have different plans.
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Old 02-29-12, 12:15 AM
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I like my Cervelo Soloist.
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Old 02-29-12, 12:33 AM
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Another Soloist fan here. It's a shame they stopped making them. If you're patient, you may be able to find a gently used Soloist/S1 frameset on eBay. I'd also look for a gently used CAAD8 or 9.

Other race worthy Al frames: Salsa Podio, Cinelli Xperience, Ridley Icarus?
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Old 02-29-12, 01:30 AM
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vitus 979
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Old 02-29-12, 02:00 AM
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after nearly 40 yrs of riding, lotsa racing and shop exp I'm a Big Time Titanium convert
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Old 02-29-12, 02:45 AM
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I met a college kid on a group ride once, and he was racing the crap out of his Trek 1.2 (or was it 1.5?)! I vote for spending more time training with your teammates and solo, and then spending less time reading silly forums like this one. When something on your bike breaks, wait until then to replace/upgrade it. This way you'll spend less money if your budget is tight. Ride on and keep the rubber side down!
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Old 02-29-12, 03:08 AM
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Funny, I was just thinking of what I would get if I started racing. I like the idea of "race what you can replace", so I went straight to Nashbar and saw two aluminum road bike frames for less than $100 each. I'll be darned if I could find carbon frames that cheap -- and that's the only real "frame material argument" that I'd pay attention to.
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Old 02-29-12, 04:14 AM
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I make aluminum frames. They are certainly gaining popularity again recently. Most of my orders are from people who are big or strong. There is some really exciting things going on with high quality aluminum tubing in the near future. My riding buddy uses a Trek 1000 or something and it's a nice frame that was very inexpensive.

I like welding aluminum though. I welded my first aluminum frame in about 1989 or so. This was more recent. I think this one is now painted and can be seen on FB "spooky bikes". I am not Spooky, just the welder.


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Old 02-29-12, 04:47 AM
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Unless you have a trust fund and/or money to burn, I agree with riding what you have. It's not holding you back.

If you have a few extra hundred bucks buy a nice set of racing wheels, if you have not done so already.
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Old 02-29-12, 05:11 AM
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Why go aluminum when you can go steel or titanium?
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Old 02-29-12, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
I make aluminum frames. They are certainly gaining popularity again recently. Most of my orders are from people who are big or strong. There is some really exciting things going on with high quality aluminum tubing in the near future. My riding buddy uses a Trek 1000 or something and it's a nice frame that was very inexpensive.

I like welding aluminum though. I welded my first aluminum frame in about 1989 or so. This was more recent. I think this one is now painted and can be seen on FB "spooky bikes". I am not Spooky, just the welder.
that thing is beautiful! If you crash this aluminum frame, are you going to feel better or worse than crashing a run-of-the-mill Chinese/Taiwanese carbon frame? Same with my S1. If I destroy it, where am I going to get another one?

Ride up grades, don't upgrade.
Buy less, ride more.
If you have a few hundred extra bucks, buy your teammates a beer when you win races.
You'll prob destroy your wheels before your frame anyway.
If you have tons of extra money, pay cash for college and pick up your diploma with no debt.
Having a bike you're not afraid to crash will greatly increase your confidence, allow you to make some big moves and win those races, and I think the Trek fits the bill.

Last edited by Silvercivic27; 02-29-12 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 02-29-12, 08:19 AM
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Your bike is fine for racing. The geometry is not substantially different than any of the "race" bikes you are mentioning. Anyone who is telling you otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about.

Your bike is only marketed as "sport/entry level" bike because of the MSRP and components. It has nothing to do with whether the bicycle can be raced.

And you don't need to upgrade your bike to race. There is a reason why they say to race what you can afford to replace. I've broken two frames during race crashes - one aluminum, one carbon.

If you want to upgrade anything, adjust your fit to be more aggressive, assuming you are flexible enough to ride comfortably like that.
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Old 02-29-12, 09:24 AM
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I'm in a similar situation. I bought a Trek 2.1 with 105 two years ago when I started riding. I didn't know if I was going to like it so I didn't want to spend too much. Last year I decided I liked riding so I upgraded to a carbon bike, BMC Roadracer with Ultegra. This year I'd like to try some racing but I'm almost sure I won't race on the BMC. I'm sure it won't make that much of a difference at least in my case. I might upgrade the wheels on the 2.1 though just for placebo effect.
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Old 02-29-12, 09:48 AM
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This alum bike is actually named "Dream"


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Old 02-29-12, 10:03 AM
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Dream big, kid.
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