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Aluminum bike for racing?

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Aluminum bike for racing?

Old 04-15-12, 09:46 AM
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MSMechanic
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Aluminum bike for racing?

Hello everyone, this is my first post, but I have been riding for a couple years on a old steel bike. I enjoy the sport quite a bit, thinking about getting more serious about the sport, and perhaps even starts a few some local races after some proper training.

I can get a decent deal on the Trek 2.5 H2, an aluminum frame with mostly Shimano Ultegra components. I test ride it and I like it a lot compare to my old steel bike. But I read here a lot that people mostly use carbon fiber for racing, so I am worry that if this bike is not good enough. But is it really?
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Old 04-15-12, 09:51 AM
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Sure it is.
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Old 04-15-12, 09:53 AM
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I ride old Specialized Allez (1999) I still can drop cyclists on fancy carbon fiber bikes on club rides....
the engine (you) matters the most
oh, and WELCOME!
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Old 04-15-12, 09:56 AM
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It is but if its not a Cannondale CAAD series I would go with carbon fiber for its stiffness, forgiveness (compliance) and quickness.
In addition almost everyone next to you in a race or crit will have CF.
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Old 04-15-12, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ThinLine View Post
...
In addition almost everyone next to you in a race or crit will have CF.
Which doesn't matter one bit. Plenty of people race on all sorts of aluminium frames, and do very nicely thank you. The Trek will be fine.
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Old 04-15-12, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ThinLine View Post
It is but if its not a Cannondale CAAD series I would go with carbon fiber for its stiffness, forgiveness (compliance) and quickness.
In addition almost everyone next to you in a race or crit will have CF.
Pffff!

We talking about a 2012 Trek 2.5 H2 fit, right?



Here's a link to specs.
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Old 04-15-12, 10:10 AM
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Go for the trek! Aluminum is great for racing. There's aluminum, steel, Ti and carbon at most races. Once you participate in a few you will be amazed at some of the crappy bikes people race and actually can do quite well with!

That bike above looks great!
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Old 04-15-12, 10:13 AM
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I understand the importance of the engine, that is the reason why I plan to do a lot of training this summer. Certainly I will see if I can find a CAAD to try, but I am very close to pulling the trigger on the Trek 2.5. Sorry, I should be more specific, 2011 Trek 2.5, but it seems that the specs are very similar.

Last edited by MSMechanic; 04-15-12 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 04-15-12, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MSMechanic View Post
Hello everyone, this is my first post, but I have been riding for a couple years on a old steel bike. I enjoy the sport quite a bit, thinking about getting more serious about the sport, and perhaps even starts a few some local races after some proper training.

I can get a decent deal on the Trek 2.5 H2, an aluminum frame with mostly Shimano Ultegra components. I test ride it and I like it a lot compare to my old steel bike. But I read here a lot that people mostly use carbon fiber for racing, so I am worry that if this bike is not good enough. But is it really?
Be careful about how seriously you take what people say here in BF. Lots of people talk out of their... er, other holes... You will hear a lot of "CF is for racing yada yada." True for pros who have sponsor supplied frames, but for most racing amateurs this is utter nonsense especially for crits. Aluminum is plenty good/"fast" enough and tons of amateurs use them. Frankly, it is probably a better choice for new racers (unless money is no object) as one will likely crash at some point if they push it (and even if not). I'd much rather cut my teeth in racing with an aluminum bike since the frame replacement cost is higher with carbon. To each their own but don't listen to much of the black/white "x material is for ...... " blather. Amateur racing where YOU pay for your own equipment is as varied as the budgets and desires of the riders who choose to compete. Any material is OK and plenty fast as long as the rider is well trained.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-15-12, 10:48 AM
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I have cheaper aluminum bike specifically so I don't have race my nice bikes. If you are thinking of doing crits they are usually short so any fatigue factor is a non-issue, and when you crash it won't break your heart or your wallet.
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Old 04-15-12, 11:59 AM
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Thank you, that does sounds like the Trek 2.5 would work for me.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:07 PM
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I just posted this 10 minutes ago in another thread. Whatever you do, just be honest to yourself.
BTW, I'm no expert either way.
...............................

Frankly, so far, I prefer the snappiness and road feedback of an aluminum frame over the slightly mushier feel of a carbon frame. I don't feel like carbon frames are really telling me what the road is doing under me. I just think aluminum bikes are basically more responsive. But that's just me. That being said, the number one criteria seems to me to be to find whatever frame best serves as an extension of ones self mechanically, regardless of the materials it is made out of. It seems to me that frame choice doesn't have to be very expensive necessarily. But I do think components have to have equal consideration, and to buy the most expensive components out there is a waste of money. What components do a precise job and are reliable?
Most people in THIS thread are being practical and honest. It is obvious elsewhere in these pages that the differences between NEED and WANT can be miles apart. It is true in most specialized sports that ego often plays a roll in equipment purchase decisions but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the bicycle world. 2 years from now when your bike is no longer the talk of the club and it's just you and the ride, what is going to do it for you? What do you need?

..........................
Now, at the end of the day, the Trek 2 series is not a sprinter. It is quick and fast but it has a slightly relaxed geometry that is better suited for endurance than balls on racing.

Last edited by Igo; 04-15-12 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:14 PM
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The CAAD 10 rides much better than most carbon frames within $500-1000 retail over the CAAD. It handles extremely well for crit racing too. If you want something a little more comfort oriented then you can look into a roubaix or synapse style carbon bike.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MSMechanic View Post
Thank you, that does sounds like the Trek 2.5 would work for me.
I have the Trek 2.1. I don't know how fast it is compared to other people's bikes but it is much faster than my Giant Defy 2.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:28 PM
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It's all about the engine, whether you raced on this Trek or a $10,000 Pinarello you'll probably place the same. Go for the Trek.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:44 PM
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Aluminum is just fine; cf is slightly more comfortable on long rides, but the worry over damaging carbon is just not worth it to me. I would rather just ride a metal bike, if it scratches or chips, so be it.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:50 PM
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For racing, ride what you can afford to replace. For most people, this usually means aluminum.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Igo View Post
I have the Trek 2.1. I don't know how fast it is compared to other people's bikes but it is much faster than my Giant Defy 2.
Bikes aren't fast or slow... it's the person that makes it go.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ThinLine View Post
It is but if its not a Cannondale CAAD series I would go with carbon fiber for its stiffness, forgiveness (compliance) and quickness.
In addition almost everyone next to you in a race or crit will have CF.
This is one of those posts so stunning in its stupidity that it must be a joke ....
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Old 04-15-12, 01:45 PM
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Doh!!!!

Originally Posted by MegaTom View Post
Bikes aren't fast or slow... it's the person that makes it go.
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Old 04-15-12, 01:47 PM
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It's a super bike. Have fun with it.
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Old 04-15-12, 05:25 PM
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I got a 2.1 as well, and although I haven't participate any race yet, I feel very comfortable doing hill repeats training with it. I believe the frame is exactly the same with your 2.5. Interestingly though, I found that the 2.5 is not available in US... I wonder why.
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Old 04-15-12, 06:00 PM
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Will being crit racing this June and will ride the steel Gunnar Roadie. The CF bike will stay home.
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Old 04-15-12, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MegaTom View Post
Bikes aren't fast or slow... it's the person that makes it go.
You know Tom, we see these comments a lot and they are somewhat less than accurate. Not to diminish the literal "truth" of such statements it is frankly false in context. Sure it is the person/engine. However, place the same person on two different bikes in a measurable environment and one bike certainly can be "fast(er)" compared to another. It is all about transfer of power and some bikes are more efficient and "faster" than others regardless of what "engine" is perched on top.

That said, it isn't horrible advice for a rank noob navigating the vast road bike choices for the first time.

Last edited by HokuLoa; 04-15-12 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 04-15-12, 06:18 PM
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Law of physics, efficiency and common sense. Poorly written maybe, but I don't really think anybody got the wrong meaning out of it..

Originally Posted by HokuLoa View Post
You know Tom, we see these comments a lot and they are somewhat less than accurate. Not to diminish the literal "truth" of such statements it is frankly false in context. Sure it is the person/engine. However, place the same person on two different bikes in a measurable environment and one bike certainly can be "fast(er)" compared to another. It is all about transfer of power and some bikes are more efficient and "faster" than others regardless of what "engine" is perched on top.

That said, it isn't horrible advice for a rank noob navigating the vast road bike choices for the first time.
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