Carbon frames: are they all that?

golfergmc
golfergmc Posts: 426
edited January 2011 in Road buying advice
I have a cube streamer and its a aluminum frame but I was considering a change to a carbon frame, are carbon frames so much better or would I be better with a really good aluminum frame say a cannondale. My cube has a ultegra groupset but for the money I can afford the best groupset I could get would be 105, or would I really notice the difference over my streamer.
Cervelo S5 Team 2012
Scott Addict R2 2010
Specialized Rockhopper Comp SL 2010
Kona Tanuki Supreme

Comments

  • golfergmc wrote:
    I have a cube streamer and its a aluminum frame but I was considering a change to a carbon frame, are carbon frames so much better or would I be better with a really good aluminum frame say a cannondale. My cube has a ultegra groupset but for the money I can afford the best groupset I could get would be 105, or would I really notice the difference over my streamer.

    Depends what your budget is. You could save money and get a better frame by cannibalising the best bits off the Cube.

    Would you notice a difference with a good carbon frame yes. Have a look at Dolan frames amongst others.
    Summer - Dolan Tuono with Sram Force and Dura-Ace 7850 CL Carbon wheels
    Winter - old faithful Ribble winter bike
    SugarSync cloud storage referral link (better than DropBox atm imho) https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=mzo2tcrhm5gn
  • They look nice if that helps.

    To be honest, I still love riding my 2009 Trek 1.5 (Alu) as much as my Carbon (Boardman, soon to be PX Nano light) Best thing to do is to try one out. I dont think, unless your spending a few K on a frame, there is a world of difference. Like a few people will say, a CAAD10 is better than alot of carbon frames (not just the cheap ones either)
  • JesseD
    JesseD Posts: 1,961
    A good alu frame will be better than a cheap carbon frame.

    I personally would go for something like a CAAD10 or CAAD9 (if you can find one) over a cheap carbon frame. it will be stiffer, more responsive and a better ride than a cheap noodle of a carbon frame.

    However, the PX nanolight seems like a good deal at the moment at £500 as long as the geometry fits you (I personally would still go for a CAAD10).
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • golfergmc
    golfergmc Posts: 426
    The CAAD10 is what I was thinking off but have been looking at the Ribble Special Editions, are the Ribble as good a frame as the big names.
    Cervelo S5 Team 2012
    Scott Addict R2 2010
    Specialized Rockhopper Comp SL 2010
    Kona Tanuki Supreme
  • joeyhalloran
    joeyhalloran Posts: 1,073
    I would say its more how you make it rather than what material you make it with, the Cervelo s1 has one more pro tour races than many carbon bikes when CSC used it (I believe).
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Planet X Nanolight High Mod frame/fork is only £499 at the moment in the P-X sale. An absolute bargain at that price IMO.
    More problems but still living....
  • northpole
    northpole Posts: 1,499
    Is frame carbon frame better than aluminium? What criteria are you basing your assessment on? When my back went pop on me my priority was comfort - riding position and reduced impact. I changed from a then basic Condor aluminium bike to a Spesh Roubaix Pro. There was a world of difference - major improvements on the two targets I was trying to achieve.

    Conversely, the Condor was an awful lot more fun to ride - so much more alive. Trouble being, my back couldn't take it at the time.

    You just need to be careful and make sure you know what you are trying to improve. Sorry if this comes across the wrong way as you have probably given this alot of thought.

    Peter
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    First and foremost fit makes the highest difference between frames. I'd take a perfectly fitting half decent frame over a compromised high end one any day. And spend the extra money on pornography and the ivory trade.
  • MrChuck
    MrChuck Posts: 1,663
    Yep!

    Or, no- depending on many other things than just carbon vs. aluminum. Or at least you might not notice a real improvement- you'd probably be able to tell that you were on a different frame, but carbon doesn't automagically make for a better bike than aluminium.

    And I say that as the proud owner of a carbon bike :wink:

    Edit: that was my 1111 post, should've done something more with that!
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I have a Cannondale CAAD5 and love it, attention to details and workmanship is superb. I think wheels are more important than the frame. I recently went from 2kg wheels to 1500g (for under 200 quid) and I think that made a far bigger difference than any frame ever could.

    Folk get all excited about carbon bikes and don't bother to look at the rest of the components.

    That said, if anyone wants to donate a Cannondale carbon frame.......
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • unixnerd wrote:
    I have a Cannondale CAAD5 and love it, attention to details and workmanship is superb. I think wheels are more important than the frame. I recently went from 2kg wheels to 1500g (for under 200 quid) and I think that made a far bigger difference than any frame ever could.

    Folk get all excited about carbon bikes and don't bother to look at the rest of the components.

    That said, if anyone wants to donate a Cannondale carbon frame.......

    You can have mine if you like?
    Summer - Dolan Tuono with Sram Force and Dura-Ace 7850 CL Carbon wheels
    Winter - old faithful Ribble winter bike
    SugarSync cloud storage referral link (better than DropBox atm imho) https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=mzo2tcrhm5gn
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    You can have mine if you like?

    I wish! Sadly the "goodies" budget has just been spent on new cross country skis.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • gavintc
    gavintc Posts: 3,009
    NapoleonD wrote:
    And spend the extra money on pornography

    Thankfully, the internet supplies most of this for free. So, you can justify your carbon frame.
  • JesseD "I personally would go for something like a CAAD10 or CAAD9 (if you can find one) over a cheap carbon frame. it will be stiffer, more responsive and a better ride than a cheap noodle of a carbon frame."

    +1 or even an average carbon frame!

    Bought an Cannondale R800 (CAAD 8) back in 2004, and then a Synapse in 2008 (both 105 spec)

    Yes the Synapse is more comfortable over rough road, but it makes little difference over a 100k ride!

    More importantly I prefer riding the CAAD 8, in preference to its "successor"!!

    So def +1 for a CAAD 9 / CAAD 10 frame.