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Carbon vs Alluminium Road bike.

jonrwgjonrwg Posts: 39
edited March 2011 in Road beginners
I'm curious is full carbon road bike worth extra £300? And is Ribble Sportive Bianco or Sportive Racing better than GT GTR Series 3 2010?

Bought my GT GTR Series 3 2010 model last Wednesday for £599 at Evans. Currently on a hunt for pedals and road shoes then I came across Ribble website. I never noticed about their special edition bike section as I thought it would cost £1000 and above. So I take a look at it today and click on carbon road bike, look at the weight & price, I'm thinking in my mind to refund my GT bike for this carbon. I upgrade the seatpillar to CSN Carbon S.E and Vittoria Rubino 3 Rigid Tyre. Total cost £925.95.

Or the Ribble 7005 Ultralight Race. But this is alloy version. Upgraded:

ITM Aero 2.4 Wheels Pair
ITM Triango Carbon (31.8 ) Handlebars
ITM Alutech 7075 (31.8 ) Stem
ITM Triango Carbon Seatpillar
Vittoria Rubino 3 Rigid Tyre

Total cost = £775.95.

With both options above is it worth it for the extra cash?


  • alistairdalistaird Posts: 290
    Any chance you could take each for a test ride. In my very limited experience, the carbon frame will be more comfortable than the alu one, but your experience may be different and these bikes may feel different to how I describe them.

    Good luck...


    Best Weather Bike - Time ZXRS
    Summer Road Bike - Pinarello FPX Dogma
    Winter Road Bike- Colnago E1
    Being Dismantled - Sintesi Blade
    Mountain Bike - Sold them all....
  • jonrwgjonrwg Posts: 39
    I would love too have a test ride but I don't think Ribble provide test ride service at their store. Another reason I can't test ride is I'm way too far from Preston !! Got no transport and if I'm going there by train it will cost me £51 + 3 hour journey. :shock:

    Is all carbon frame has the same feel when riding it?
  • Berk BonebonceBerk Bonebonce Posts: 1,245
    Carbon and aluminium bike frames do the same thing. However, a carbon frame will be a little lighter, and the ride on a carbon frame might be a little more comfortable.
  • jonrwgjonrwg Posts: 39
    Thanks for your advice. Seen so many thread or review about carbon vs alu bike. Been reading the whole day and both are about the same. I'm so stuck now. Is my GT series 3 good enough for long term riding? Or should I use the bike build by ribble to build either 7005 Ultralite Racing, Gran Fondo or Sportive Bianco with the new 105 groupset. Never use Campag Centaur before and how is it compare to 105? For long term riding is this worth it ?
  • carl_pcarl_p Posts: 989
    Hmm, I suppose you realise by now that you should have done all this research before you actually bought the GT!

    Don't get hung up on the CF issue. Cheap CF can be no better than Alu. Just go ride and enjoy your bike.
    Specialized Venge S Works
    Cannondale Synapse
    Enigma Etape
    Genesis Flyer Single Speed

    Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last...
  • PhilbyPhilby Posts: 328
    Aluminium bikes are fine - some of the best frames are alu e.g. Cannondale CAAD9. Some carbon bikes are much stiffer than alu ones, so its not an exact science. The biggest difference is not the bike but the rider.

    Enjoy your GT and if you really enjoy road cycling you could buy a more expensive bike for summer and keep the GT for winter duties.
  • jonrwgjonrwg Posts: 39
    i didn't know that Ribble carbon bike is under £1k !! I always thought carbon bike will be expensive so I didn't look at them.

    I don't really enjoy riding on my GT. Feel a little stiff. Hmm.. I think I'll got for Gran Fondo, throw in some upgrades in bike build section.
  • JKHintonJKHinton Posts: 70
    I sold my full carbon framed bike recently as I prefer the ride of my alloy framed Boardman comp, I found the ride and handling of the full carbon framed bike to uncomfortable and stiff for me :roll:
  • jonrwgjonrwg Posts: 39
    Omg... I need a test ride !! Who in Birmingham owned a Ribble? I need to have a test ride. :(
  • sirdjangosirdjango Posts: 123
    as for me... it's up to the rider and the reson why... if more to competion than go for carbon... as i'm not a very strong rier... the most important for me is just to be able to finish the distance... ie in spotive rides or club rides... so alu is ok with me...
    ride like the wind... with the wind... to the wind...
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Aluminium has a harsher ride quality than carbon, but that doesn't mean Alu frames are automatically uncomfortable.
  • ALaPlageALaPlage Posts: 732
    Just my experience but the carbon frame offered me a smoother ride - less vibration coming through to the handlebars. Had a Boardman Comp and used to get tingling in my hands after about 50 miles. Since swapping to the Trek Madone I have never experienced this since and now regularly cover 100 miles + on the weekend ride.

    The Ribble carbon bikes have had really good press in the magazines recently.

    You can't beat a test ride though to understand what is right for you. Albeit the lure of Carbon at £1k is tempting you it might not be the right thing to do. I have friends who having tried steel, titanium, carbon and alloy and all have made choices on what they found to be their preference. Granted the balance swings to full carbon however its not an exclusive club and one of my riding buddies sold his 2010 full carbon Pinarello FP2 and went back to his 2008 FP2 which is part alloy and part carbon (forks and rear stays) because he preferred the ride feel of the older bike.

    Whatever you decide to do just get out and ride and enjoy.
    Trek Madone 5.9
    Kinesis Crosslight T4
  • danowat wrote:
    Aluminium has a harsher ride quality than carbon, but that doesn't mean Alu frames are automatically uncomfortable.

    Having tried several bikes in both alu & CF before buying, I plumped for the alu CAAD9 over an entry-level carbon. Even the Cannondale 6 felt a bit less comfortable than the alu frame, so I guess it really is down to personal preference to a degree.

    One thing I'd definitely advise you to do is spend as much time as possible finding the right saddle. You can have the bestest supplest frame which is ruined by a poor perch. I went through four before winding up with the Selle Italia SLR Gel Flow..... :D
    "Get a bicycle. You won't regret it if you live"
    Mark Twain
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