Carbon Cranks vs Aluminium Cranks

orangepip
orangepip Posts: 219
edited January 2010 in Road buying advice
Ok all,

Advice please what are the benefits of the above choices? Why pay more for carbon vs alu?

I'm thinking mainly of the campag groupsets so anyone who has experience of either any advice would be great!

Phil

Comments

  • soveda
    soveda Posts: 306
    Bling?
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    I really can't think of any benefits of carbon over aluminum. Maybe a very, very slight weight thing. Maybe a bit prettier in some cases.
    FWIW I think aluminum may be a bit more durable than carbon. It's a solid piece of metal
    as opposed to bonded carbon, but I haven't heard of too many carbon cranks falling apart, so it may be a moot point.
    Which one do you like the most is how I do it. Also money comes into play.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I'm sure somebody will claim they are stiffer and lighter, but I don't think my alloy ones are particularly bendy or heavy.

    They do have a certain blinginess about them though.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    The best two cranks made (7900 and SiSL) are both made of Aluminium alloy. Make of that what you will.
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  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    The best two cranks made (7900 and SiSL) are both made of Aluminium alloy. Make of that what you will.

    Best in what respect? Heaviest?

    I think those companies producing the high end niche stuff like the claviculas and power arms, it's about weight savings whilst maintaining performance. At 'normal' price points, I doubt it makes much difference. Can't say I've noticed a huge difference between my record square taper cranks and the carbon UT version (Other than the bearings never seize on the square taper, but that's a different story)
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    APIII wrote:
    The best two cranks made (7900 and SiSL) are both made of Aluminium alloy. Make of that what you will.

    Best in what respect? Heaviest?

    SiSLs are some of the stiffest and lightest cranks.
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  • EKIMIKE
    EKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    If you're looking at Campag then you're going to get a lighter crankset if you go with Carbon. The stiffness differences won't be noticeable even if any exist.

    SiSL's are pretty hard to get hold of and Shimano with Campag is just a silly suggestion. So don't listen to the useless crap from a certain poster above. Cue 'don't get Centaur carbon ones becuase they're dodgy'.

    I'd personally go for carbon with Campag because they match well with the levers. Unless you're lucky enough to have the silver levers, then go Alu and make everyone jealous. Obviously appearances and weight aren't the be all and end all. If it's money, then get alu and put the saving towards wheels or something else.
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    EKIMIKE wrote:
    SiSL's are pretty hard to get hold of and Shimano with Campag is just a silly suggestion. So don't listen to the useless crap from a certain poster above. Cue 'don't get Centaur carbon ones becuase they're dodgy'.

    Do you come on here just to reply to what I wrote? I wasn't suggesting that he buys the cranksets I said, I was just saying the best cranksets are still made out of alloy.

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  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    EKIMIKE wrote:
    Cue 'don't get Centaur carbon ones becuase they're dodgy'.

    Have you actually used one?
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  • EKIMIKE
    EKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    If the OP has the choice of Carbon or Alu Campag Chainsets then he's looking at Centaur or Athena. Mid Range Groupsets. Why suggest or even use the comparison of DA 7900 and SiSL's?

    I guess it sounds a bit aggressive what I said up there but if you've got a bad experience of Campag Carbon chainsets then why not tell the OP, I for one would like to know what the issue is with them, in your experience. You've clearly got some sort of knowledge/experience so why not share it rather than making here nor there statements.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I think that it's difficult to pass comment unless you have tried and tested them all. Unless you just rely on opinions of others from various fora.

    I find my Sram Red cranks excellent.

    I find my Ultegra cranks excellent.

    I find my FSA gossamer cranks a little flexy.

    I find my Race Face Atlas (aluminium) cranks excellent

    I find my 1987 Shimano Biopace Cranks excellent

    That doesn't help a lot but my experience of higher level aluminium and carbon is that they are, erm, excellent.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I think that it's difficult to pass comment unless you have tried and tested them all. Unless you just rely on opinions of others from various fora.

    I find my Sram Red cranks excellent.

    I find my Ultegra cranks excellent.

    I find my FSA gossamer cranks a little flexy.

    I find my Race Face Atlas (aluminium) cranks excellent

    I find my 1987 Shimano Biopace Cranks excellent

    That doesn't help a lot but my experience of higher level aluminium and carbon is that they are, erm, excellent.

    D*mn you and all your bikes. :wink::wink:
  • orangepip
    orangepip Posts: 219
    Ok thanks for the advice guys I guess what I'm trying to find out if there are any significant advantages to a decision that might cost me £100.

    Not sure that there are and I have to say the campag alu cranks are very good looking.
  • EKIMIKE
    EKIMIKE Posts: 2,232
    +1 on the Campag Alu looking good. Go for it man.
  • Chrissz
    Chrissz Posts: 727
    I'd say that there are no significant advantages to carbon over ally other than the bling factor (for me that was more than enough reason :))
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd say its just bling. I know I tend to ding my cranks on the end - god knows how - pavements I guess when I pull over for pop stops or something ? A dinged crank isnt a problem if its alloy, but carbon ???