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Carbon Vs Aluminium the story so far

carbonfiendcarbonfiend Posts: 475
edited June 2009 in XC and Enduro
Here's the deal
Bike 1 2009 S Works HT full XTR gpset DT Swiss 240 hubs Stans Olympic Rims 2009 SID Team forks.
Bike 2 On One Scandal XT gpset hope hubs DT Swiss XR 4.1D rims 2006 SID team forks.

Took bike 2 out for first spin this weekend as built it up from other bits had left over from upgrades etc and bought the frame in March. Ridden bike one since built up last year (November) and raced it.

Frame stiffness; the front end of the S Works is noticably stiffer as it is tapered 1/5" headset and the forks are 32mm now as oppossed to 27mm on the old SIDs, saying this though bike 2 might not be as stiff but feels more nimble and quick to respond. Overall stiffness so far seems very similar can't say the Scandal is any 'softer' than the S works BUT there is no doubt the S Works is more forgiving, feel this after about 2 hours, the dampening effect of the carbon is definatley an advantage in terms of comfort but I would also say energy saved, my legs were feeling it on the Scandal.
Groupset - So far I noticed very little difference between XT and XTR maybe the XTR shifters (rapid fire) were a slightly more comfortable to feel and use but in terms of shifting and stiffness can't say I felt much - me thinks its more about weight here.
Wheels - now here is where we are talking, the 240's and Stans set up (tubeless) were so noticably quicker they accelerate quicker climb better, this is where almost straight away I could feel the difference from the minute I got on the bike.

The conclusion so far is for XC racing 2 hours or so no need for carbon frame anything above this and carbon a defo advantage, If you are gonna upgrade anything on your bike do the wheels first. Also riding carbon I am a lot more cautious in my approach for fear of crashing which I feel has actually made me a better ride-more focus and less reckless but now riding aluminium taking a few more risks and throwing bike around more so trying to combine both elements to improve riding.

Will post more as time passes.
'..all the bad cats in the bad hats..'
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