Forum home Road cycling forum Road general

Carbon is better than Aluminium

WarlKickenWarlKicken Posts: 224
edited August 2013 in Road general
Wowza!

Last night I finished my 17.5km commute across London as quick as I could and jumped immediately on my 'weekend' bike to run it up to the LBS for a new bike tape rap.

Holy Smoke Balls!! What a difference!!! Since having both, I've not ever jumped straight off one on t'other and starting riding. The Carbon 'weekend' bike is utterly ridiculously light, racey and powerful?? The way in which the power get's delivered from my matchsticks through the frame and out the wheels is unbelievable compared to my ALU bike. I love both, but the Carbon bike is just completely different.

That is all.
«1

Posts

  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    The frame material has little to do with how fast it feels but the geometry, groupset, wheels etc.

    The feeling of power transfer on my fixed Alu bike is probably even better ;)
  • WarlKickenWarlKicken Posts: 224
    iPete wrote:
    The frame material has little to do with how fast it feels but the geometry, groupset, wheels etc.

    The feeling of power transfer on my fixed Alu bike is probably even better ;)

    I doubt it's better, because mine is much better than yours :P In all seriousness though, I've never experienced it and thought I share! Haha. Just attached some Campag Ultra Bullets to is, Ultegra Group and the ride geo is so different. I have it set up to be slightly more race feel than the ol ALU commuter gal..
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Seems to me that the carbon bike is better than the aluminium one, and carbon is better than aluminium.

    The error here is the op's post/thread is linking the two things and it should have been titled 'My Carbon bike is better than my Aluminium one......because it is completely different.......and cost more.......which is I guess why I have two bikes' :shock:

    People should just buy carbon because it is lighter and looks nicer, that way there will be no bitching about frame material :P
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    When will Aluminium be as unconsidered as steel is now?
    Will it take a new frame material or just happen anyway?
    If aluminium was taken out of the equation would people whinge about steel v carbon. or just accept it was better?
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Carbonator wrote:
    When will Aluminium be as unconsidered as steel is now?
    Will it take a new frame material or just happen anyway?
    If aluminium was taken out of the equation would people whinge about steel v carbon. or just accept it was better?

    I don't think Alu will become the new steel. Steel is steel and will remain so. Aluminium will just fade out to be the preserve of BSO's and kids bikes.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    Expensive bike is better than cheap bike?!?!?! such a shock :roll:
  • junglist_mattyjunglist_matty Posts: 1,719
    I don't think Alu will become the new steel. Steel is steel and will remain so. Aluminium will just fade out to be the preserve of BSO's and kids bikes.


    Alu is a great frame material and won't be faded out, there's too big a market share for commuting bikes around the £500-£1000 budget, and generally, the best bikes for this price point are built with alu frames.
  • WarlKickenWarlKicken Posts: 224
    Expensive bike is better than cheap bike?!?!?! such a shock :roll:

    Exactly. You pay more the bike will be 100 million, bazillion times better. That is exactly my point, exactly. One the nose. Top Corner.
  • Feel is different, speed is probably the same.
    P E R C E P T I O N
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    Is this debate still attracting keyboard time. Soon we will be discussing the use of feathers as a suitable frame material!!

    Perhaps that's not such a bad idea after all:

    Potential Alternative: Carbonized Chicken Feathers

    Carbonized chicken feathers (heated or "baked" in the absence of oxygen) appear to have some very interesting structural properties, similar to carbon nanotubes. However, carbon nanotubes are much more expensive and consume large amounts of energy during production (see above). This means that the market for them favors large-scale, capital-intensive modes of production. In contrast, chicken feathers are a byproduct of the poultry industry with disposal costs and currently little use. A publication in 2009 showed that carbonized chicken feathers can store large amounts of hydrogen and hence may be useful for hydrogen-powered vehicles (source). But the more interesting application may be the mechanical strength of these fibers. It may be possible to embed them in a thermoplastic resin and weave very thin strands of these composites into super-strong yet dirt-cheap fibers and fabrics. The abstract below has some details on the carbonization process.

  • sbbefcsbbefc Posts: 188
    Just out of interest how much would I have to spend for a decent carbon bike? Currently I have a steel framed bike, and for me its not really a problem as I only compete with myself but having ridden a carbon bike in the Alps it does make a nice change.
  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    sbbefc wrote:
    Just out of interest how much would I have to spend for a decent carbon bike? Currently I have a steel framed bike, and for me its not really a problem as I only compete with myself but having ridden a carbon bike in the Alps it does make a nice change.

    £1500 is where I'd stop looking at ALU and start looking at carbon
  • Nick CodNick Cod Posts: 321
    I kind of know what you're getting at but should it really be that much of a shock they feel different? From the sounds of it you've got two very different bikes one carbon one alu so it would stand to reason they're going to be different as they aren't like for like.

    I have got two carbon Focus Cayos, one I've had for almost four years and the other I got earlier in this year. Now while the newer model was a bit more money and I expected there to be a difference I was pleasantly surprised at how much

    So while I get what you're saying I don't think you've made an entirely fair comparison
    2016 Cube Agree C:62 SLT DISC
    2013 Cayo Evo 3
    2013 Zesty 414
    2002 Avalanche 0.0
    2018 Vitus Substance v2 105 Gravel
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Carbonator wrote:
    When will Aluminium be as unconsidered as steel is now?
    Will it take a new frame material or just happen anyway?
    If aluminium was taken out of the equation would people whinge about steel v carbon. or just accept it was better?

    Eh? I don't understand? I just bought a new steel bike and it's the best one I've ever had.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Alu is a great frame material and won't be faded out, there's too big a market share for commuting bikes around the £500-£1000 budget, and generally, the best bikes for this price point are built with alu frames.

    Yes at the moment at that price point Alu is best. But who's to say that in 10 years time carbon manufacture won't be so cheap that you can make a carbon frame for less than an aluminium one. Then aluminium becomes pointless as it's more expensive.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    You can get used boardmans for 600 up in Carbon and new bikes in last years model for about 1100. I think 3k is the sweat spot for road bikes and 3.5k for mtbs
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    WarlKicken wrote:
    Expensive bike is better than cheap bike?!?!?! such a shock :roll:

    Exactly. You pay more the bike will be 100 million, bazillion times better. That is exactly my point, exactly. One the nose. Top Corner.

    Utter Utter Bollox

    There are many excellent aluminium bike frames that out perform average carbon frames. There are many different grades of carbon. The top end frames like a S-Works Venge or a Pinarello Dogma are nothing like a cheap identikit carbon available for around 1500ish pounds. The carbon layer up, type of fibers used, ratio of carbon to resin and many other connotations make them as different as a cheap alu frame that can weigh in at around 2kg to some super light alu produced by Cannondale for example. If the bike manufacturers threw enough money at designing a top quality aluminium frame they probably could make a frame as light and stiff as some of the best out there. It all comes down to whats cheaper and more cost effective. Carbon is, at the top end, a hell of a lot cheaper to make. But that does not mean aluminium could not be made as good. It would just be ludicrously expensive to do so.
  • WarlKickenWarlKicken Posts: 224
    WarlKicken wrote:
    Expensive bike is better than cheap bike?!?!?! such a shock :roll:

    Exactly. You pay more the bike will be 100 million, bazillion times better. That is exactly my point, exactly. One the nose. Top Corner.

    Utter Utter Bollox

    There are many excellent aluminium bike frames that out perform average carbon frames. There are many different grades of carbon. The top end frames like a S-Works Venge or a Pinarello Dogma are nothing like a cheap identikit carbon available for around 1500ish pounds. The carbon layer up, type of fibers used, ratio of carbon to resin and many other connotations make them as different as a cheap alu frame that can weigh in at around 2kg to some super light alu produced by Cannondale for example. If the bike manufacturers threw enough money at designing a top quality aluminium frame they probably could make a frame as light and stiff as some of the best out there. It all comes down to whats cheaper and more cost effective. Carbon is, at the top end, a hell of a lot cheaper to make. But that does not mean aluminium could not be made as good. It would just be ludicrously expensive to do so.

    Aluminium is old Grandad, get offa my new thread if you can't ride the carbon, coz the times they are a'changin'

    Just kidding man, I was being utterly tongue in cheek with my reply regarding the more you spend the better the carbon
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Thats ok. But I don't think you will see many kids out and about on a £5000 carbon bike compared to one of us oldies who have the cash to burn unless you have a rich sugar-daddy. ;-)
  • edninoednino Posts: 684
    WarlKicken wrote:
    The Carbon 'weekend' bike is utterly ridiculously light,

    My CAAD 9 is lighter than most off the shelf carbon bikes :roll:
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    ednino wrote:
    WarlKicken wrote:
    The Carbon 'weekend' bike is utterly ridiculously light,

    My CAAD 9 is lighter than most off the shelf carbon bikes :roll:

    Whats your point ednino?

    Would Cannondales current carbon equivalent frame/fork not be lighter than your CAAD 9?

    If you want light surely carbon is the way to go.

    Theres a lot of talk about good ali frames and censored carbon ones, but what advantage does ali have other than cost?

    It's no good bringing money into a debate about which is the better frame material when the difference in cost is as near as it is. i.e. good ali v good carbon.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Carbonator wrote:
    ednino wrote:
    WarlKicken wrote:
    The Carbon 'weekend' bike is utterly ridiculously light,

    My CAAD 9 is lighter than most off the shelf carbon bikes :roll:

    Whats your point ednino?

    Would Cannondales current carbon equivalent frame/fork not be lighter than your CAAD 9?

    If you want light surely carbon is the way to go.

    Theres a lot of talk about good ali frames and censored carbon ones, but what advantage does ali have other than cost?

    It's no good bringing money into a debate about which is the better frame material when the difference in cost is as near as it is. i.e. good ali v good carbon.


    Well, Which is the better bike of these two then? both about the same price

    http://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3078#tab-reiter2

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/tarmac-sport-2013-road-bike-ec040972#features

    If you want to bring price into it, the carbon frame is probably cheaper to mass produce in a cast than a hand welded alu frame.
  • 47p247p2 Posts: 329
    I have an old Carbolite steel frame roadbike and even that gives a better ride than my modern carbon bike.
  • Cheshire CatCheshire Cat Posts: 309
    I don't think Alu will become the new steel. Steel is steel and will remain so. Aluminium will just fade out to be the preserve of BSO's and kids bikes.

    Really, guess the guys at Specialized have got it completely wrong, not like they know what they are talking about...unlike the experts that comment on message forums.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uod5bSgH1Vg
    “Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Hunter S Thompson
  • junglist_mattyjunglist_matty Posts: 1,719

    Well, Which is the better bike of these two then? both about the same price


    Which is better?

    Green or Blue?


    1 vs the other, such a stupid question, what deems "better" when referring to a bike? It's faster? it's comfortable? It's light? it's good round corners?
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909

    Well, Which is the better bike of these two then? both about the same price


    Which is better?

    Green or Blue?


    1 vs the other, such a stupid question, what deems "better" when referring to a bike? It's faster? it's comfortable? It's light? it's good round corners?

    Talking of stupid, you obviously missed the point I was making. I will leave you a minute or two to figure it out for yourself so you can read my previous comments
  • simon_mastersonsimon_masterson Posts: 2,740
    It's all just the same keeping up with the Jones's. Nice things cost more. Meanwhile the gullible punters will carry on ensuring that the manufacturers can put 'carbon' in the product somewhere and charge more, but before long the carbon fibre in use today will probably become the second-rate alternative. There's always something 'better', and generally it's what the companies want you to buy. Disregarding my love of steel, I'd sooner have a fully bespoke aluminium frame than an off-the-peg carbon one.

    P.S. Please tell me you mean that you went to buy tape and aren't paying a shop to wrap your bars... ;)
  • It's all just the same keeping up with the Jones's. Nice things cost more. Meanwhile the gullible punters will carry on ensuring that the manufacturers can put 'carbon' in the product somewhere and charge more, but before long the carbon fibre in use today will probably become the second-rate alternative. There's always something 'better', and generally it's what the companies want you to buy. Disregarding my love of steel, I'd sooner have a fully bespoke aluminium frame than an off-the-peg carbon one.

    P.S. Please tell me you mean that you went to buy tape and aren't paying a shop to wrap your bars... ;)

    Having a higher disposable income doesn't make you gullible. Someone on a 6 figure salary will find it much easier to spend 5 or 6k on a bike than someone on minimum wage. Often the fact that someone commands a high salary can mean they are also intelligent enough to make an informed choice. It's nice to earn good money and it's nice to spend it on nice things like expensive bikes, however marginal the gains may be.

    If the OP wants to spend some of his hard earned cash getting his LBS to fit his bar tape then good luck to him. I thought you would have applauded his support of local business but apparently not? :wink:

    Nothing wrong with earning minimum wage of course. It can be equally, if not more, rewarding to save hard for an entry level bike.
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • AlitogataAlitogata Posts: 148
    Alu is a great frame material and won't be faded out, there's too big a market share for commuting bikes around the £500-£1000 budget, and generally, the best bikes for this price point are built with alu frames.

    Yes at the moment at that price point Alu is best. But who's to say that in 10 years time carbon manufacture won't be so cheap that you can make a carbon frame for less than an aluminium one. Then aluminium becomes pointless as it's more expensive.

    Aluminum ( and any metal ) constructions demand technically skilled workers,which ask for bigger salaries. Carbon frames on the other hand, are made from carbon fabric and resins, so even the most unskilled worker can apply the carbon fabric the right way ( they have markings on them) and the resins in the casts in order to make a carbon frame. Carbon is a more versatile material and it is easy to be formed in any shape something that is more difficult to be done with any metal. It is possible but has higher working cost.

    So it is by far cheaper for the manufactures to massive produce carbon frames, though the carbon material itself is not so cheap. But the low workers' cost leave to the companies huge profits. And this is the reason why manufactures and bike companies hype carbon on the market, especially in the high end bikes. It is possible for them to sell something of high quality with the lowest cost, consumable, in any shape ( geometry etc) by demand, and not that long life expectancy ( which means that someone will have to replace it in a short period of time).
    Good metal ( any kind of metal ) frames on the other hand, don't have same characteristics. It is more difficult and harder to be constructed, last longer, have higher resale value and it is not easy to be made in any shape or style, or a new shape or style each year..

    And before you tell that carbon has a very good resale value I will ask you: would you buy a ten years old carbon frame? How long was the longer time that you kept a carbon frame?

    I think that alu and generally metal bike frames will faded out in the long run, but this will happen if it the cost of carbon material get lower. For the moment this is not a very probable possibility because China who has the biggest inventories of raw material for the construction of carbon fabric, is controling the supplies. But if it ever stops that, then most of frames will be made from carbon. ( unless they'll find another material with better properties that will leave them bigger profits).

    Anyway.. carbon is not better than Aluminum. It is just another kind of material with other characteristics. A high end Aluminum frame can be even better than carbon. But who is going to make it and what will be the final cost..(rhetoric :?: )
  • gangxugangxu Posts: 25
    Hasn't BMW just made a car which has mainly a carbon fibre/plastic body?? If car manufactures have enough faith in carbon to be strong and durable its good enough for my pedal bike :D
Sign In or Register to comment.