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Carbon and Aluminium bikes of the same weight. Any difference?

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Gbola, 27 Dec 2011.

  1. Gbola

    Gbola New Member

    I have found some bikes with aluminium frame and carbon bikes weighing around 8.5kg, the same weight with a lot of full carbon bikes. So will there be any general difference in speed, performance and handling, if they are really weighing the same?
  2. Hacienda71

    Hacienda71 Mancunian in self imposed exile in leafy Cheshire

    Wilmslow, Cheshire
    Carbon is supposed to absorb road vibration more than aluminium. I think one of the high end Cannondale caad models is aluminium and still used by some racers though so those in the know must rate it pretty highly. Weight is not the total issue for the pro riders as they are limited to a minimum weight of bike and bikes weighing less than this can be and are made, they are just in breach of the current rules. Stiffness of frame and handling are all equally important.
  3. zexel

    zexel Senior Member

    Please, nooooooooooo! Not another alu vs carbon thread.:stop::laugh:

    Edit (oops meant to put a facepalm gif, but this one serves the purpose of a thread distraction better :giggle: )
    2Loose, HLaB and gaz like this.
  4. Blue

    Blue Legendary Member

    The way a bike is made is what makes the biggest difference, not the material.
  5. SoloCyclist

    SoloCyclist Guest

    That is so funny. Not the vid. You posting it. I was trying to work out what the connection was.

    Back on topic. I'm new here and really quite enjoying reading lots of the threads. I'm interested to hear what people have to say on this subject and think it is a decent question. My old bike is a quaternary alloy aluminium and weighs 15.3lbs my new bike is carbon and weighs 15.4lbs. It's the same on all different types of forums, especially if they become popular. They are like a victim of their own success for the original members. Even at that if the thread develops someone may contribute something new of note.

    Cycling and hobbies and interests and what I spend my money on is of nobodies concern bar mine. I spend a shed load of money on things most folk don't see the value in but I do like things that look good are well made. I like the engineering that goes into them and I like good quality materials.

    Carbon is certainly the material of choice at the moment. That won't be by accident. People with far greater knowledge than myself didn't just choose it for no apparent reason. The thing will be that you will have to compare like for like. Carbon fibre is almost like a catch all phrase. There are good and poor varieties and a million inbetween. A lot of CF bikes are made from inferior CF just so they can advertise CF bike for under £1000. The same will apply to Aluminium.

    When a material enters the public domain does it not usually go, Nasa, Aerospace, F1, Cycling then everyone else?

    Following the above flow new materials are designed for specific attributes and when they apply to your sport and you want the best then these are the ones that will be developed further and honed till you have the best material for what you want it to do.

    So for a bike what you want is light, stiff, strong, comfortable and good looking. Carbon Fibre.
  6. scotty110788

    scotty110788 Active Member

    Tyne and Wear
    well put solo, was very interesting read ^_^
  7. zexel

    zexel Senior Member

    The trouble with this debate is that it is very subjective and inevitably ends in opinion bashing, which I suppose is what forum's are for ^_^

    I agree with the majority of your post SoloCylist but as for "...So for a bike what you want is light, stiff, strong, comfortable and good looking. Carbon Fibre.", could easily be applied to Aluminium.

    ...damn it, I've been sucked in again :laugh:
  8. Gbola

    Gbola New Member

    I do understand your rational but what are the tangible differences between your aluminium and carbon bikes especially speed-wise?
  9. SoloCyclist

    SoloCyclist Guest

    Ha Ha it's easy to get sucked in.

    It does apply to Aluminium, that's why they make bikes from it. But which does it better? Well, I'm afraid that is subjective. lol

    I will never opinion bash. I like to hear all sides then I can make an informed decision.

    Even if Carbon and top Aluminium come out very even there is no getting away from the visual appeal of carbon. Mine is natural with no paint.

    I do worry about breaking it though. I've got a bad track record.

    Sorry, Gbola. My carbon bike hasn't even been ridden yet. It's a gift for my 40th in 2wks and I'm not sure I'll even take it out in anger till I have it the way I want it.

    I will say though, that when I added a cinelli carbon seat post to my Alu frame it was more comfortable over the longer distances.
  10. Gbola

    Gbola New Member

    Many thanks. So comfort is an advantage of carbon over aluminium.
  11. lukesdad

    lukesdad Guest

    In a word, yes.
  12. Roadrunner78

    Roadrunner78 Senior Member

    Steel is real! I'll get my coat...
    Jimmy The Whiskers likes this.
  13. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    + 1 with steel is real , just picked up a 531 sl frame set that tips the scales at under 2kg incl forks and headset , that is lighter than a lot of alloy frames , cant decide what to do with it yet but in no rush .
    Jimmy The Whiskers likes this.
  14. Hacienda71

    Hacienda71 Mancunian in self imposed exile in leafy Cheshire

    Wilmslow, Cheshire
    And don't forget titanium :whistle:
  15. RecordAceFromNew

    RecordAceFromNew Swinging Member

    West London
    Did you find out whether it was the Cinelli label or the carbon visual appeal that made it more comfortable? :whistle:

    According to my estimation, people who can feel the difference between their carbon and alloy seatposts should invest in some expensive silk underpants, if they aren't wearing them already. :becool:
    smokeysmoo likes this.