Carbon or Aluminium

Soni
Soni Posts: 1,217
edited March 2010 in Road buying advice
Hi guys, i presently have the 2009 Trek 1.5, but have experienced ongoing problems with the gears, upgraded the rear mech to 105 (from Tiagra) and also upgraded the front FSA Crank to Shimano Sora, and still having problems. I think its mainly due to it being a tripple....

The bike rides really nice though, very comfortable, its a 58cm i'm 5ft 10" but have a longer than average upper torso, this was discovered when i was measured for the bike....

Anyway, i'm thinking of getting the Canondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra Compact 2010 Road Bike in a few months time, it has Ultegra so i'm hoping the gears will be a lot better than the low specced Trek...

The thing that is worrying me is Carbon, do you guys reckon carbon is ok? On that type/value bike? Or would i be better off sticking with Aly?

I'm 17stone so the weight of the bike doesn't bother me.....

I just don't want to buy a cheap carbon if i would be better off getting a better Aly bike if you know what i mean....

Comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Nowt wrong with Carbon and that Cannondale will be fab.

    That said, it sounds like your gears aren't set up right, you should have no problems with shifting with Sora and certainly not Tiagra.
  • mike ives
    mike ives Posts: 319
    I agree; I think you may just not have the gears set-up right. I have an aly bike with Tiagra and a triple crankset and it works perfectly. In fact I think it is great value for money.

    However, I do also have a carbon frame bike and I really do like riding that one. I have heard only good comments about the Cannondale Carbon Synapse and I therefore suggest you will not be dissapointed.

    I am sure there will be lots of helpful comments coming soon.
  • relanium
    relanium Posts: 487
    Does Carbon deteriorate after a few years? Does it become weak or does it last a life time?
  • Soni
    Soni Posts: 1,217
    Hi Guys, as i said, i['ve had nothing but problems with it since i first purchased it.

    Spokes breaking, bottom bracket required replacing, head set required replacing, and all this within a couple of hundred miles.

    The place of purchase charged me for it all claiming its not covered by the manufacturers warranty as its wear and tear, so i had enough of it in the end and had an argument with the owner of the place of purchase (was a local bike shop) and i ended up writing a letter to Trek, in the meantime i started using another LBS that the club i joined used, and they were brilliant. They worked with Trek to sort out the problems, and credited me for all the components i had to pay for at the place of purchase.

    However, the chainline seemed to be out, so a longer bottom bracket was fitted, but then that prevented me from getting some of the gears, so another bottom bracket was fitted, and then the front crank was upgraded as mentioned, due to flexing which sorted that, but then the rear mech was playing up, so this was changed from Tiagra - 105, but this is still playing up, and when i change gears on the shifter its hit and miss whether it will go in or not, i personally think its the shifters that may be knackered....

    However, as mentioned, i'll be upgrading soon, and this time won't be getting a tripple, as i've heard they are prone to running problems.

    This isn't the only Trek 1.5 2009 i've heard of either with problems, i found another on another forum a few months ago which was also a tripple and the guy said his bike sounds like a concrete mixer when he's riding it!

    Out of interest - do you guys with Carbon frames have it insured against accidents on the road? As i understand if the frame gets damaged on a Carbon its a write-off?
  • STEFANOS4784
    STEFANOS4784 Posts: 4,109
    relanium wrote:
    Does Carbon deteriorate after a few years?



    Not if it's kept dry...
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    mike ives wrote:
    I have heard only good comments about the Cannondale Carbon Synapse and I therefore suggest you will not be dissapointed.
    .

    oi likes mine :wink:
    Image0012.jpg

    so good, I'm ebaying my other bike 'cos I will never ride it again!
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I have an alu framed triple and it's run sweetly since I bought it 18 months ago. Credit to Epic for building it and setting it up perfectly.

    All I have had to do is take up a bit of cable stretch using the barrel adjusters.

    If mine got trashed or stolen tomorrow I would replace it with a carbon framed bike without a second thought. Carbon's no more fragile than alu.

    Insured against theft on the household policy. If I ride it into a tree I'll be buying it's replacement.
  • huuregeil
    huuregeil Posts: 780
    If you're budget stretches to a Synapse, and your body is not averagely proportioned, and you're 17 stone, and you're concerned about durability/repairability, why not get a custom steel made for you? Your budget will probably even stretch to 953 tubing, which should last a lifetime. But even with other steel tubes, the bike will fit you perfectly, and it can be tuned for the kind of riding you do while ensuring adequate stiffness. Plenty of good builders around, e.g. Roberts in Croydon.
  • eh
    eh Posts: 4,854
    WTF? Sora, Tiagra, 105 all work fine, may not be the lightest but thats not the point. Just find a decent shop (or mate) and get them to set them up.


    Carbon fiber is fine, after all its now used in all modern planes and quite a few cars.
    Your budget will probably even stretch to 953 tubing, which should last a lifetime.

    EPIC FAIL. Either get 853 (or better still a tubeset from Columbus), or Ti.
  • brit66
    brit66 Posts: 350
    Well, as soon as my company’s CTW scheme starts I’ll be making the transition from carbon to alu.

    I’ve been considering a Cervelo S1 for a couple of years now and went into my LBS at the w'end and picked up the 2010 frame.

    Whow, what a lovely looking frame, well engineered and amazingly light too. Add to this its proven race heritage and for me, it’s a no brainer.

    Goodbye carbon, hello alu.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    And you'll be cycling to work on it??
  • huuregeil
    huuregeil Posts: 780
    eh wrote:
    EPIC FAIL. Either get 853 (or better still a tubeset from Columbus), or Ti.

    Why's that exactly? (As the happy owner of a Columbus tubed frame, I don't disagree with that aspect of your comment, but I hadn't hear bad things about 953. Indeed it came highly recommended to me by one frame builder when I made enquiries last year!)
  • brit66
    brit66 Posts: 350
    And you'll be cycling to work on it??
    Most definitely.
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Good for you. Bet you get there a bloody sight faster than I do in the car.

    I only ask because I get the impression that the vast majority of C2W purchases are used for nothing of the sort, and the government's money isn't actually reducing the number of car journeys very much.

    And I'm jealous cos my company spouts all kinds of environmental tosh but consistently refuses to run a C2W scheme.
  • brit66
    brit66 Posts: 350
    I only ask because I get the impression that the vast majority of C2W purchases are used for nothing of the sort, and the government's money isn't actually reducing the number of car journeys very much.

    I agree completely. Someone at my company bought a bike and to my knowledge has only used it once. I'm afraid this will be replicated up and down the country and means more of our hard earned taxes wasted.

    Being a long standing and very keen cyclist (27 mile round trip commute) I can assure you the CTW scheme won't be wasted money on me.
  • Soni
    Soni Posts: 1,217
    eh wrote:
    WTF? Sora, Tiagra, 105 all work fine, may not be the lightest but thats not the point. Just find a decent shop (or mate) and get them to set them up.


    Carbon fiber is fine, after all its now used in all modern planes and quite a few cars.
    Your budget will probably even stretch to 953 tubing, which should last a lifetime.

    EPIC FAIL. Either get 853 (or better still a tubeset from Columbus), or Ti.

    This bike shop has spent so so much time on it, i have also given it a go, i also have a GT Aggressor XCR with Deore XT Groupset, i knackered the rear derailier and hanger a little while ago, it was bent so badly, i replaced the hanger, but repaired the derailier by dismantling the caging and jockey wheels and laying each section of the caging on a house brick and banging it flat with a hammer! And still managed to get it set up so it works perfectly and a lot lot better than my road bike has ever been!

    The bike shop have even replaced the iinner and outer cables, they've done so much.

    It will either change up fine but not down or vice versa but not both...i still reckon its the shifter as this is the only part of the gearing that hasn't been replaced!

    Here are the photos of the derailier i knackered/repaired:-

    BEFORE
    IMG_2953.jpg

    AFTER
    IMG_2959-1.jpg
  • Soni
    Soni Posts: 1,217
    eh wrote:
    Carbon fiber is fine, after all its now used in all modern planes and quite a few cars.
    Your budget will probably even stretch to 953 tubing, which should last a lifetime.

    EPIC FAIL. Either get 853 (or better still a tubeset from Columbus), or Ti.

    I thought there were different qualities of carbon? Good and Bad, cheap/expensive.....
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    My company is toying with the R2W scheme - is it Ok if I buy a bike through it and continue walking to work ? Its hardly worth the time getting the bike out for a trip as short as mine. :D
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Soni wrote:
    eh wrote:
    WTF? Sora, Tiagra, 105 all work fine, may not be the lightest but thats not the point. Just find a decent shop (or mate) and get them to set them up.


    Carbon fiber is fine, after all its now used in all modern planes and quite a few cars.
    Your budget will probably even stretch to 953 tubing, which should last a lifetime.

    EPIC FAIL. Either get 853 (or better still a tubeset from Columbus), or Ti.

    This bike shop has spent so so much time on it, i have also given it a go, i also have a GT Aggressor XCR with Deore XT Groupset, i knackered the rear derailier and hanger a little while ago, it was bent so badly, i replaced the hanger, but repaired the derailier by dismantling the caging and jockey wheels and laying each section of the caging on a house brick and banging it flat with a hammer! And still managed to get it set up so it works perfectly and a lot lot better than my road bike has ever been!

    The bike shop have even replaced the iinner and outer cables, they've done so much.

    It will either change up fine but not down or vice versa but not both...i still reckon its the shifter as this is the only part of the gearing that hasn't been replaced!

    Here are the photos of the derailier i knackered/repaired:-

    BEFORE
    IMG_2953.jpg

    AFTER
    IMG_2959-1.jpg

    Oooh, oooh! I have the same Girl Talk folder. The cover shot of High School Musical is Fab!
  • Soni
    Soni Posts: 1,217
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Soni wrote:
    eh wrote:
    WTF? Sora, Tiagra, 105 all work fine, may not be the lightest but thats not the point. Just find a decent shop (or mate) and get them to set them up.


    Carbon fiber is fine, after all its now used in all modern planes and quite a few cars.
    Your budget will probably even stretch to 953 tubing, which should last a lifetime.

    EPIC FAIL. Either get 853 (or better still a tubeset from Columbus), or Ti.

    This bike shop has spent so so much time on it, i have also given it a go, i also have a GT Aggressor XCR with Deore XT Groupset, i knackered the rear derailier and hanger a little while ago, it was bent so badly, i replaced the hanger, but repaired the derailier by dismantling the caging and jockey wheels and laying each section of the caging on a house brick and banging it flat with a hammer! And still managed to get it set up so it works perfectly and a lot lot better than my road bike has ever been!

    The bike shop have even replaced the iinner and outer cables, they've done so much.

    It will either change up fine but not down or vice versa but not both...i still reckon its the shifter as this is the only part of the gearing that hasn't been replaced!

    Here are the photos of the derailier i knackered/repaired:-

    BEFORE
    IMG_2953.jpg

    AFTER
    IMG_2959-1.jpg

    Oooh, oooh! I have the same Girl Talk folder. The cover shot of High School Musical is Fab!

    Our Secrets are safe with each other :wink: