Good choice for a non-carbon road bike?

I'm looking at getting a sub-£1000 non-carbon (including the forks) road bike. I'm not a fan of carbon, having read around the subject a little and been put off by the need to be more careful with storing and moving the bike than I know I would be. Also, I don't need the weight benefits etc as I'd be using the bike for leisure / group rides rather than anything competitive.

Anyone have suggestions for bikes that might fit the profile?
 

fossala

Veteran
Location
Cornwall
 

Sittingduck

Legendary Member
Location
Somewhere flat
It might be tricky to find an alu bike in that price range that doesn't come with a carbon fork. Looks like steel might be the way for you to go, if you don't want a carbon fork.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Was going to mention Kinesis frames.

PS don't worry about carbon - been riding an alloy framed but carbon fork/seatpost equipped bike during commuting for over 3 years. The only thing I've bent/broken is the alloy handlebars in a crash.
 

lulubel

Über Member
Location
Malaga, Spain
Not sure on complete bikes, but based on experience of alu with carbon forks, and now all steel, I'd definitely recommend steel. My current bike, which I built around a Surly Cross Check steel frame and forks, is a much nicer ride than my old alu Trek with carbon forks.
 
Great advice guys - thanks for all this. I'm content to wait for the right bike coming along. Having great fun going and looking at bikes to educate myself as to what's out there. Was at JE James in Chesterfield yesterday drooling over Bianchis and Speches. :becool:
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
From about £600+ any aluminium road bike is almost guaranteed to have carbon forks. I wouldn't worry about it as they arent fragile and they need no extra care than a non-carbon fork (well maybe a bit more care with not over tightening when installing the brake, but even then, many have an aluminium crown so no different to alu forks).

But if you tend to worry then very little in terms of rational argument will help you (I'm exactly the same with regards to other things) and a good steel frame may be better for you, that way your enjoyment wont be tainted by constant worry.

If though, you do find yourself open to carbon forks, there are looks of good bikes out there within your budget, I would recommend looking at the Cannondale CAAD8.
 

P.H

Über Member
There's nothing to stop you changing the carbon forks on any steel or aluminium frame for steel. Matching the geometry shouldn't be too hard, you'll probably find off the peg options for around £90, or you could go custom for about £150. The weight penalty isn't anything to worry about compared to cheap carbon forks expect an extra 300g.
 
You certainly don't need carbon, but as others have said it's not something to worry about either.

As for a comfier ride - that's personal opinion. A correctly set up alu bike should be just as comfy, and IME mine is.

The video in this LINK will allay any carbon worries you've got.

PS: I used to be totally anti carbon, now I can take it or leave it. I chose to leave it by having alu framed bikes, but both also have cf forks and one also has a cf steerer, c'est la vie :thumbsup:
 

lulubel

Über Member
Location
Malaga, Spain
As for a comfier ride - that's personal opinion. A correctly set up alu bike should be just as comfy, and IME mine is.
Comfort is definitely very subjective, I think, and the only way you'll know what you find comfortable is to try as many different bikes as possible. Carbon, alu, steel, and even suspension forks, depending on how they're set up, can achieve the same amount of "damping" (not sure if that's exactly the right word) of bumps, but the feel of how they do it is very different. Personally, I find the way my steel frame and forks flex and soften bumps makes my bike the most comfortable I've ever ridden. It even beats the hard tail MTB on bumpy roads.
 
Comfort is definitely very subjective, I think, and the only way you'll know what you find comfortable is to try as many different bikes as possible. Carbon, alu, steel, and even suspension forks, depending on how they're set up, can achieve the same amount of "damping" (not sure if that's exactly the right word) of bumps, but the feel of how they do it is very different. Personally, I find the way my steel frame and forks flex and soften bumps makes my bike the most comfortable I've ever ridden. It even beats the hard tail MTB on bumpy roads.
I do like steel - have owned a couple of Galaxies in the past and they were very comfortable rides.

The nice thing is having time to try different bikes, as you say. It's a shame more places don't have bikes you can try out. Sitting astride a bike isn't riding it, and when you're thinking of spending up to a grand it makes sense to know what the bike rides like.
 

doog

....
Take a look at Cannondale CAAD8 or CAAD10 if you dont want a carbon frame however they do come with carbon forks. They make the lightest and most respected aluminium frames around on road bikes. As for carbon forks, I have toured for years on Carbon forks and they are still going strong.
 
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