Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting general

carbon or alu?

stuartpembertonstuartpemberton Posts: 2
edited March 2013 in Commuting general
hi
Im in the market for a 2k bike but i need it for commuting(55 miles a week) and want to be able to use it for sportives and training so its going to have a hard life! is carbon up to it or would i be better off with something a bit sturdier
thanks
stu

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Why assume carbon is not sturdy? It is, when done right (and most are nowadays), the strongest all round frame material we have.
  • inkzinkz Posts: 123
    You have to be careful if it rains, as it's a well known fact that carbon fibre melts in the rain.
  • 2k is a decent budget and you will be able to get something good in whatever material you choose. The important thing is how you get on with it, so before you part with that much cash have as many test rides as you can.

    Oh and carbon will not dissolve in the rain. Just don't leave it in the sun, or it might melt :wink:
    Ecrasez l’infame
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    I went for a carbon bike at the end of last year for the same purposes as yourself. It's not melted or exploded yet, and is truly excellent.
  • TITANIUM
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    some very good locks and insurance.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • clarkey catclarkey cat Posts: 3,641
    for £2k you'll get a really beautiful steel-framed bike with custom wheels.
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    The problem with carbon fibre is toughness, not strength. Carbon fibre composite is much easier to scratch, gouge and abrade: the kind of damage that can happen at communal lockups, rail travel, and the near certainty that sooner or later you will drop your bike against a wall or lamp-post. A single de-chaining incident can gouge out a carbon chainstay.
    If you are using the bike in "sport" mode, with safe, secure, well protected storage at each end then it will be fine. If you have to leave your bike at the mercy of others, then a tougher material is better.
  • For that money you are looking at a serious bike. My only concern would be where you are safely going to store it when you get to work?

    My old office had an indoor store that we could use for bikes which was great, but even then don't think I'd want Dorris with her sit up and beg bashing the F out of my pride and joy with her shopping basket.

    Thankfully I work from now so the commute is much better, though navigating the coffee machine can be a task
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    MichaelW wrote:
    The problem with carbon fibre is toughness, not strength. Carbon fibre composite is much easier to scratch, gouge and abrade: the kind of damage that can happen at communal lockups, rail travel, and the near certainty that sooner or later you will drop your bike against a wall or lamp-post. A single de-chaining incident can gouge out a carbon chainstay.
    If you are using the bike in "sport" mode, with safe, secure, well protected storage at each end then it will be fine. If you have to leave your bike at the mercy of others, then a tougher material is better.

    The same thing can complete destroy a thin steel or alu tube too.
  • Would say a good ali frame would be a better choice on that budget
    just make sure you go for a tourer so you can run mud gaurds....you'll regret it if you dont!
    for racing you can just remove them for a better look

    for just over 2k you could get Ti though
  • Why one bike? Regardless of material, do you really want to take a £2k bike to work where there may be a risk it could get damaged or stolen? Why have an expensive Jack-of-all-trades bike that my not fully satisfy rather than ones designed for their respective tasks?

    For £5-600 you could get a decent bike for commuting that that you'd be less worried about thrashing, getting damage or risk having stolen and with the rest a decent road/sportive bike that's designed for the task, plus you'll sated your thirst for your N+1 quota in one fell swoop.
  • MichaelW wrote:
    The problem with carbon fibre is toughness, not strength. .

    Pedant alert but toughness is resistance to cracking - I think you probably mean hardness

    Anyhow, I commute on carbon and have done for two years now typically doing over 100 miles in the weeks I ride. I also ride on some pretty rough Highland roads. Titanium is nice but expensive. Aluminium gives a hard ride and, for £2k, you can do much better.
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    if i was you, i'd get a decent carbon bike for £1,500 and then spend £500 for a bike just for commuting. you should be able to pick up a reasonable, giant/spec/trek etc (or maybe a triban 3 for £300) for that much for the commute, no point ruining your expensive groupset by the continuous cycling in the rain, grit, mud that a normal commute consists of these days!!
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • Hi,

    I'd agree with previous post & really split your money into a decent carbon frame for sportifs (if required) & a cheap commuter bike for the daily run to work.

    Wear and tear on the daily commute actually seems quite high to me & I have never really considered using my best bike (trek madone carbon frame purchased for £800 with minimum use from previous owner) for the daily commute - it's too good for the pot holes & gritty roads round here.

    For the mileage you mention for the weekly commute, you could get a second hand brompton for £500 & these not only hold value but give you good flexibility if occasionally you want to take the train or use the car. I do 40-50 miles most weeks on mine.

    All the Best

    Peter Clements
  • pkripperpkripper Posts: 652
    monkeydan wrote:
    TITANIUM


    Ding Ding Ding - Winner!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Titanium is a good choice if you want to spend twice as much on a heavier frame that is harder to repair ;-)
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,962
    2k for 55 miles a week? that's only 40% of the week for me and I was doing it on a 15 year old hybrid up until Nov last year. Do as other's have suggested, get a reasonable commuter for £500 and then splash the rest on a decent carbon frame, with nice wheels and a decent groupset.
Sign In or Register to comment.