Carbon Frame with Tiagra or Alloy with 105

SeeFarrSeeFarr Posts: 14
edited January 2013 in Road buying advice
Unfortunately money restrictions are making me choose between them. What would you recommend?
Its not going to be used for racing but it will be used for some good long rides out and used daily for commuting.

Posts

  • You will not find any difference between Tiagra and 105 apart from the front cables being under the bar tape on 105. Performance wise they are exactly the same.

    You can get comfortable Alloy bikes and the same for carbon so no easy answer there either. Why not choose the bike that feels more comfortable to ride? If they feel the same the choose the nicest looking one, if they look the same then choose the cheapest one.

    That is all that really matters!
  • lc1981lc1981 Posts: 820
    The usual advice people give is to go for the better frame, because components will wear out over time and need to be replaced - at which point you can upgrade them. That might suggest that you go for the carbon option, but if your budget is limited, then perhaps it's better to get a decent aluminium frame (a CAAD, say) rather than a budget carbon offering.
  • Not that I'm any kind of expert but when I was test riding an Aluminium Giant Defy 1 with 105, and a Carbon Giant Defy 3 Composite with Tiagra, a) I couldn't tell any difference in the shifting, but b) I definitely preferred the ride with the carbon frame - and I got the Defy 3.

    However, some carbon frames don't have attachments at the ends of the forks and stays for mudguards and panniers and things, so that affects your options in terms of attachments. If you're going to be commuting and need to carry stuff, you might want to look into that.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • nolightnolight Posts: 261
    Work harder. Then carbon frame with 105.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    I think 105 is great, so that.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • You can always upgrade cheap components quickly and relatively cheaply compared to upgrading a whole frame.

    So carbon with Tiagra would be the way to go. Besides, Tiagra is a pretty good, soild groupset, underrated in my opinion.
  • jordan_217jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    THERE IS a difference between 105 and Tiagra. I will say the difference between Tiagra and 105 is the only quantifiable one when comparing the Shimano range. Shifting is much slicker and positive. Breaking is also much better. However, the difference between 105 <> Ultegra and Ultegra <>DA, from a shifting perspective, is nigh on unquantifiable. The brakes are the only noticeable improvement IME. I also prefer the aesthetics and ergonomics of Ultegra and DA but that's a personal thing. Tiagra though, is still a damn nice and perfectly useable groupset.

    I regret spec'ing my new bike with Ultegra, I wish I stuck to 105 and spent the money elsewhere, wheels possibly.

    I would go with the best frame, that's the thing you will notice for the whole period of your ride, you only spend a few seconds changing the gears. I don't mean best frame as in 'the carbon one' either. Test ride both bikes and get the one that feels the nicest to ride and fits you. You can also 'upgrade' your groupset at a later stage, when parts wear. Doing this will be cheaper than buying a new frame, or even a new bike.

    It's an expensive mistake to make. Start with a test ride and take it from there is the bottom line.

    Oh, and I had a test ride of a DA equipped 2012 CAAD10 when I was looking last year. It was fooking awful compared to my 5 year old Scott CR1, equipped with 105 and significantly heavier Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels. So, it's not always as clear cut as looking at the spec on paper.
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    Depends on the frames, usual advice would be get the best frame you can as it's easier to upgrade the bits gradually as they wear out (or you get spare cash). But a good aluminium frame is better than a poor carbon one hence why you need to post the makes up.
  • GabboGabbo Posts: 864
    Definitely opt for the carbon frame. I think the difference between Tiagra and 105 is negligible (IMO). If you walk into Evans or Cycle Surgery they may say otherwise, but I've used Tiagra and it is very similar.

    As people have already stated, components tend to wear out and by that point you may be after higher spec components. Don't sacrifice components for frame. Always go for best frame possible!
  • thegibdogthegibdog Posts: 2,106
    10 speed Tiagra is basically the old 105 (5600 series) re-modelled.
  • SeeFarrSeeFarr Posts: 14
    It was the Ribble Gran Fondo frame I was considering against either Ribbles 7046 Sportive or the Defy 1. I've even been considering the Cube Peloton Race recently too.
  • lc1981lc1981 Posts: 820
    Gabbo wrote:
    Definitely opt for the carbon frame.

    Even if it's a rubbish carbon frame versus a decent aluminium one? This is poor advice if you ask me (I'm not saying anything about the Ribble, just that as general advice, saying that carbon is always better than aluminium is misguided).
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    lc1981 wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Definitely opt for the carbon frame.

    Even if it's a rubbish carbon frame versus a decent aluminium one? This is poor advice if you ask me (I'm not saying anything about the Ribble, just that as general advice, saying that carbon is always better than aluminium is misguided).

    +1.

    CAAD 10 frame is well known to out perform many carbon frames of a similar budget.

    But to the OP the GF frame is fine and IMO better than the 7046. I would personally also have the GF over the Defy.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • jordan_217 wrote:
    THERE IS a difference between 105 and Tiagra. I will say the difference between Tiagra and 105 is the only quantifiable one when comparing the Shimano range. Shifting is much slicker and positive. Breaking is also much better. However, the difference between 105 <> Ultegra and Ultegra <>DA, from a shifting perspective, is nigh on unquantifiable. The brakes are the only noticeable improvement IME. I also prefer the aesthetics and ergonomics of Ultegra and DA but that's a personal thing. Tiagra though, is still a damn nice and perfectly useable groupset.

    I regret spec'ing my new bike with Ultegra, I wish I stuck to 105 and spent the money elsewhere, wheels possibly.

    I would go with the best frame, that's the thing you will notice for the whole period of your ride, you only spend a few seconds changing the gears. I don't mean best frame as in 'the carbon one' either. Test ride both bikes and get the one that feels the nicest to ride and fits you. You can also 'upgrade' your groupset at a later stage, when parts wear. Doing this will be cheaper than buying a new frame, or even a new bike.

    It's an expensive mistake to make. Start with a test ride and take it from there is the bottom line.

    Oh, and I had a test ride of a DA equipped 2012 CAAD10 when I was looking last year. It was fooking awful compared to my 5 year old Scott CR1, equipped with 105 and significantly heavier Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels. So, it's not always as clear cut as looking at the spec on paper.

    There is a difference between 105 and Ultegra, without a doubt. Ive had and used both and theres no denying 105 is good but Ultegra isnt used on the semi-pro circuit for nothing, shifting is a lot smoother/quicker than 105.
  • lc1981 wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Definitely opt for the carbon frame.

    Even if it's a rubbish carbon frame versus a decent aluminium one? This is poor advice if you ask me (I'm not saying anything about the Ribble, just that as general advice, saying that carbon is always better than aluminium is misguided).

    Thats true, but what makes a cheap alu frame better than a cheap carbon one? Just because alu has been around longer it doesnt mean a basic alu is better than a cheap carbon.
  • smidsy wrote:
    lc1981 wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Definitely opt for the carbon frame.

    Even if it's a rubbish carbon frame versus a decent aluminium one? This is poor advice if you ask me (I'm not saying anything about the Ribble, just that as general advice, saying that carbon is always better than aluminium is misguided).

    +1.

    CAAD 10 frame is well known to out perform many carbon frames of a similar budget.

    But to the OP the GF frame is fine and IMO better than the 7046. I would personally also have the GF over the Defy.


    Outperform in what way? :?:
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    As an example see here

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... 5-12-45526

    The review headline alone says it all. "Fast, fun, and beats most carbon bikes at this price for performance"
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • smidsy wrote:
    As an example see here

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... 5-12-45526

    The review headline alone says it all. "Fast, fun, and beats most carbon bikes at this price for performance"


    Im just ribbing you Smids, i know you like your Cannondales :D

    Anyway, isnt the Cannondale Supersix like £1200 at the mo in some places? Shame the op cant stretch the budget a few hundred quid.
  • lc1981lc1981 Posts: 820
    lc1981 wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Definitely opt for the carbon frame.

    Even if it's a rubbish carbon frame versus a decent aluminium one? This is poor advice if you ask me (I'm not saying anything about the Ribble, just that as general advice, saying that carbon is always better than aluminium is misguided).

    Thats true, but what makes a cheap alu frame better than a cheap carbon one? Just because alu has been around longer it doesnt mean a basic alu is better than a cheap carbon.

    It all depends on the particular frame, obviously, and that goes for both aluminium and carbon. But given that aluminium tends to be a cheaper choice than carbon, you might expect better value for money out of aluminium. The price of the CAAD frames is close to that of bottom-of-the-range carbon options.
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    OP - test ride bikes, frame and groupset preferences are very much personal preference. I do not have time to express my opinions on what advice you have been proffered but I would suggest you take much of what comes across the internet with a pinch of salt ( includes my post).
    Bike radar reviews are notorious for inconsistency.
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    smidsy wrote:
    As an example see here

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... 5-12-45526

    The review headline alone says it all. "Fast, fun, and beats most carbon bikes at this price for performance"

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... 1-12-45849
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    I don't see your point :P

    Anyway I'm right and you're wrong :lol:
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    lc1981 wrote:
    lc1981 wrote:
    Gabbo wrote:
    Definitely opt for the carbon frame.

    Even if it's a rubbish carbon frame versus a decent aluminium one? This is poor advice if you ask me (I'm not saying anything about the Ribble, just that as general advice, saying that carbon is always better than aluminium is misguided).

    Thats true, but what makes a cheap alu frame better than a cheap carbon one? Just because alu has been around longer it doesnt mean a basic alu is better than a cheap carbon.

    It all depends on the particular frame, obviously, and that goes for both aluminium and carbon. But given that aluminium tends to be a cheaper choice than carbon, you might expect better value for money out of aluminium. The price of the CAAD frames is close to that of bottom-of-the-range carbon options.

    Carbon frames have been available for awhile and have got cheaper and are better value for money then they were. Plenty of people are very happy with their Planet X, Ribble and Chinese frames
  • lc1981lc1981 Posts: 820
    letap73 wrote:
    Carbon frames have been available for awhile and have got cheaper and are better value for money then they were. Plenty of people are very happy with their Planet X, Ribble and Chinese frames

    I'm sure they have, but have those frames won a Grand Tour? :P
  • SeeFarrSeeFarr Posts: 14
    From my understanding I don't think it's possible to test ride any of the Ribbles. So if I opt for one of those and it's not for me then I'm stuck with it. Unless of course I'm wrong and you can test ride them.
Sign In or Register to comment.