Aluminium or Carbon ?

dastrass
dastrass Posts: 61
edited September 2012 in Road beginners
Hi all, Im looking for my first road bike and was after some advice on which way to go, a decent aluminium bike for about £1000 or an entry level carbon framed bike for £1300. Any advice welcome. Thanks

Comments

  • pnev
    pnev Posts: 236
    Cannondale caad10 at that price

    Top quality Alu>>>>>>>>>>cheap carbon
  • I would support the 'better kit aluminium frame' against the 'low cost carbon mediocre kit' generally and have more than 1 ally framed rides that serve well. Bumpy, but good.
    Raymondo

    "Let's just all be really careful out there folks!"
  • I'll second the Cannondale Caad 10 its generally regarded as being better than a lot of similarly priced carbon bikes. I've owned one since last December and I can't praise it enough. :D
    On One 456
    Cannondale CAAD 10
    Ribble 7005 Audax
  • unixnerd
    unixnerd Posts: 2,864
    CAAD10 with a 105 groupset.
    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!
  • Depends on what you want. You could get an alloy bike with a nice spec or a carbon fibre bike with a very basic one that's worth upgrading.

    I wouldn't spend that money on the bike. Once you pass about £700 you're well into diminishing returns; there isn't £200 of difference between a £700 Specialized and a £900 Specialized. You will also need a fair amount of other kit, too; make sure to allow funds for that!
  • 105 & aluminium at £1000 or so in my opinion - £1300 isn't quite enough for many 105 equipped carbon bikes but there are some.

    My bike (Boardman team) is aluminium and to be honest I don't find it too bumpy or uncomfortable - I've not had a carbon bike though so maybe I'm just not aware how nice they are, but I've never thought gah, I wish this was made of carbon fibre.
  • jay197
    jay197 Posts: 196
    One thing worth considering is, with a carbon frame you can get a "lifetime" guarantee/warantee on the frame from many companies, so the bike with quality frame, and cheaper basic gears and wheels is definitely a great starter option, as you have the all important "baseline" to build up and upgrade from as your performance and goals improve.

    For a nice budget bike the full pro team carbon bike form GT is only $2000 USD atm, (not sure what the vultures at VAT and Customs would charge as they seem to make up figures as they go along) and the spec is very tasty and packs a lot of bang for your buck :P

    Good luck,

    Jay.
  • I went for decent alloy rather than entry carbon. Got me one of these http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/k1847/a78688/r1.html under £900 full Ultegra set and now with Mavic Aksiums. I reckon you'll struggle to better that. Although I see they've now changed the spec to 105 and Tiagra.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    edited September 2012
    If you are after a modest priced carbon.... take a look at the Ribble and Planet X. These offer great value for money and you get to spec exactly what you want.

    Both offer 'Aluminium' as well as Carbon if that's your interest. My PX SL has served me very well the last 18 months... great VFM and mine still has a lot of life left in it (e.g. I haven't 'grown' out of the frame in terms of performance)

    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk
    http://planet-x-bikes.co.uk

    What bike depends on what type of road bike you are looking for. Are you look for long day comfort or something a little bit racier?

    This would be a great bike for £1k:
    http://planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/CBPXRT5 ... _road_bike

    Review @ http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... 7-12-45936
    Simon
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,421
    I'd agree with the CAAD 10 recommendations but disagree with the sweeping 'aluminium is better than carbon at that price point' arguments. The cost in carbon frame development is in the R&D side, most cheap frames are just taking advantage of someone elses R&D so you might get a frame based on last years moulds but this doesn't make it inferior. It is easy to mass produce from the moulds leading to prices coming down.
  • At that price range, have a look at a Focus Cayo
  • Wiggle have the Battaglin C12 with Campagnolo Veloce groupset for £1045, which in my opinion blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water. A great carbon frame with high spec groupset, these won't be around for long.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/battaglin-c12-plus-veloce-2012/

    I've got the C11 from last year, I have ridden mine hard for a year now and it is a joy to ride, the frame is robust and beautifully made, and the spec is excellent.
    Ridley Orion
  • Steel.

    Disappointed that I had to be the first to say it. But as people have said, depends what you want it for.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,421
    Wiggle have the Battaglin C12 with Campagnolo Veloce groupset for £1045, which in my opinion blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water. A great carbon frame with high spec groupset, these won't be around for long.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/battaglin-c12-plus-veloce-2012/

    I've got the C11 from last year, I have ridden mine hard for a year now and it is a joy to ride, the frame is robust and beautifully made, and the spec is excellent.

    How is Veloce a high spec groupset? It is the bottom of Campag's range. Not wishing to start a Campag v Shimano debate as I use / have used both and Veloce is decent stuff but calling it high spec is going a bit too far. Still not bad at that price point but I wouldn't say it blows a CAAD10 105 out of the water.
  • At that price range you will get a great British built Carbon bike. See the reviews on Ribble they are all great, both trade and users, if you go on their website you can build a good level of kit and not get beyond the £1,300 bike. The same with Planet X and Mekk.

    But the dwindling sale stock offers some amazing bargains if you look around at different brands. Manyof the Italian brands are now seriously dropping their price to compete in this country.
  • Pross wrote:
    How is Veloce a high spec groupset? It is the bottom of Campag's range.
    It's the bottom of Campags range, but it's better than Tiagra, Sora, 2300, etc.

    On the subject of affordable carbon, are the Dolan ones any good?
  • Pross wrote:
    Wiggle have the Battaglin C12 with Campagnolo Veloce groupset for £1045, which in my opinion blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water. A great carbon frame with high spec groupset, these won't be around for long.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/battaglin-c12-plus-veloce-2012/

    I've got the C11 from last year, I have ridden mine hard for a year now and it is a joy to ride, the frame is robust and beautifully made, and the spec is excellent.

    How is Veloce a high spec groupset? It is the bottom of Campag's range. Not wishing to start a Campag v Shimano debate as I use / have used both and Veloce is decent stuff but calling it high spec is going a bit too far. Still not bad at that price point but I wouldn't say it blows a CAAD10 105 out of the water.

    Veloce competes with Shimano 105, they dropped their bottom end ranges.
    Ridley Orion
  • Pross wrote:
    Wiggle have the Battaglin C12 with Campagnolo Veloce groupset for £1045, which in my opinion blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water. A great carbon frame with high spec groupset, these won't be around for long.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/battaglin-c12-plus-veloce-2012/

    I've got the C11 from last year, I have ridden mine hard for a year now and it is a joy to ride, the frame is robust and beautifully made, and the spec is excellent.

    How is Veloce a high spec groupset? It is the bottom of Campag's range. Not wishing to start a Campag v Shimano debate as I use / have used both and Veloce is decent stuff but calling it high spec is going a bit too far. Still not bad at that price point but I wouldn't say it blows a CAAD10 105 out of the water.

    I said "in my opinion it blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water", I never mentioned the CAAD, it helps if you quote me correctly. Veloce on a decent carbon frame stacks up very nicely against 105 on an alu. That was my point. Some people get picky far too quickly, without actually absorbing what was actually written.
    Ridley Orion
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,421
    Pross wrote:
    Wiggle have the Battaglin C12 with Campagnolo Veloce groupset for £1045, which in my opinion blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water. A great carbon frame with high spec groupset, these won't be around for long.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/battaglin-c12-plus-veloce-2012/

    I've got the C11 from last year, I have ridden mine hard for a year now and it is a joy to ride, the frame is robust and beautifully made, and the spec is excellent.

    How is Veloce a high spec groupset? It is the bottom of Campag's range. Not wishing to start a Campag v Shimano debate as I use / have used both and Veloce is decent stuff but calling it high spec is going a bit too far. Still not bad at that price point but I wouldn't say it blows a CAAD10 105 out of the water.

    I said "in my opinion it blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water", I never mentioned the CAAD, it helps if you quote me correctly. Veloce on a decent carbon frame stacks up very nicely against 105 on an alu. That was my point. Some people get picky far too quickly, without actually absorbing what was actually written.

    I read exactly what you wrote. The term 'it blows the carbon / alu argument out of the water' suggested to me that you thought the carbon bike with Veloce is enough to stop there being a debate over whether to go for aluminium or carbon. My response was intended to suggest that the aluminium option of the CAAD10 105 is just as good and therefore the argument has not been blown out of the water.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,421
    At that price range you will get a great British built Carbon bike. See the reviews on Ribble they are all great, both trade and users, if you go on their website you can build a good level of kit and not get beyond the £1,300 bike. The same with Planet X and Mekk.

    But the dwindling sale stock offers some amazing bargains if you look around at different brands. Manyof the Italian brands are now seriously dropping their price to compete in this country.

    All good options, there is a Mekk with full Ultegra in my LBS for just over £1300 which if I had the money for a new bike would be getting some serious consideration.

    However, it's stretching a point to call them British built - British assembled is more accurate.

    OP basically at this price bracket there are some decent bikes these days and most have been mentioned, make a choice on trying a few and finding out what feels best rather than on what material the frame is made out of. You shouldn't get a bad frame, carbon or aluminium, at £1k plus. Also, as suggested a few posts up don't automatically rule out steel - it may be 'old fashioned' but can be one of the best all round materials especially if you can find a frame builder to build one specifically for you (probably pushing it within the budget unless you get lucky on the rest of the build).
  • Pross wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    Wiggle have the Battaglin C12 with Campagnolo Veloce groupset for £1045, which in my opinion blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water. A great carbon frame with high spec groupset, these won't be around for long.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/battaglin-c12-plus-veloce-2012/

    I've got the C11 from last year, I have ridden mine hard for a year now and it is a joy to ride, the frame is robust and beautifully made, and the spec is excellent.

    How is Veloce a high spec groupset? It is the bottom of Campag's range. Not wishing to start a Campag v Shimano debate as I use / have used both and Veloce is decent stuff but calling it high spec is going a bit too far. Still not bad at that price point but I wouldn't say it blows a CAAD10 105 out of the water.

    I said "in my opinion it blows the carbon/alu argument out of the water", I never mentioned the CAAD, it helps if you quote me correctly. Veloce on a decent carbon frame stacks up very nicely against 105 on an alu. That was my point. Some people get picky far too quickly, without actually absorbing what was actually written.

    I read exactly what you wrote. The term 'it blows the carbon / alu argument out of the water' suggested to me that you thought the carbon bike with Veloce is enough to stop there being a debate over whether to go for aluminium or carbon. My response was intended to suggest that the aluminium option of the CAAD10 105 is just as good and therefore the argument has not been blown out of the water.

    "suggested to you", perhaps that's where you went wrong! The debate was cheap carbon frame & lower spec versus alu frame and better spec. That was the topic, that was what I was referring to. It was pretty bloody clear. I mentioned a bike that has a very good proven carbon frame with the equivalent spec of 105. Simples.
    Ridley Orion
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,421
    "suggested to you", perhaps that's where you went wrong! The debate was cheap carbon frame & lower spec versus alu frame and better spec. That was the topic, that was what I was referring to. It was pretty bloody clear. I mentioned a bike that has a very good proven carbon frame with the equivalent spec of 105. Simples.

    Fair enough. I'd lost track of the initial alu with better spec bit and thought it was good alu frame v cheap (lower quality) carbon. The specs at this price range aren't generally that different between carbon and alu anymore anyway.
  • Pross wrote:
    "suggested to you", perhaps that's where you went wrong! The debate was cheap carbon frame & lower spec versus alu frame and better spec. That was the topic, that was what I was referring to. It was pretty bloody clear. I mentioned a bike that has a very good proven carbon frame with the equivalent spec of 105. Simples.

    Fair enough. I'd lost track of the initial alu with better spec bit and thought it was good alu frame v cheap (lower quality) carbon. The specs at this price range aren't generally that different between carbon and alu anymore anyway.

    That I absolutely agree with, 105 and Veloce are on a par (some will argue preference), and the frames are on a par. It is a myth that a reasonably priced carbon frame can't be as good as an alu.
    Ridley Orion