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What is 'alu carbon'?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Bigtallfatbloke, 12 Jun 2008.

  1. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    I understand steel, I understand Aluminium, I even understand Carbon frames...but what it an Alu carbon frame? Is this a mixture of the two, or does it refer to a bike with an Aluminium frame with carbon forks? Also is 'hydro carbon' the same as 'alu carbon'?...also just how strong are these materials...I mean will they safely carry a 'portly' bloke of 17 stones?
     
  2. They make it up as they go along, much of it is marketing gibberish. Hydro Carbon is just a rather poor play on words. Alu-carbon is likely to be an Al main triangle with carbon seat stays.

    If a manufacturer is worried about how fat you are it'll post a max recommended weight. Bikes are built for humans and you qualify.
     
  3. kyuss

    kyuss Über Member

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Alu-carbon is generally, as Mickles says, an aluminium frame with carbon seat and/or chain stays. Hydro-carbon is exactly the same thing but the Hydro part most likely refers to the fact the aluminium tubes are hydro-formed like some Bianchi and Kinesis frames. Wikipedia has a description of what Hydroforming is.

    To put your mind at rest in relation to your weight, I'm a bit over 17 stones and used to have a full carbon frame and currently an aluminium one with a carbon rear end. I've not broken one yet.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    Cheerz...I think I will end up with an aluminium frame with carbon bits rather than a full Carbon frame....on the basis of cost mostly and , yes, because I still worry the carbon might collapse under me:rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  5. Sorry BTFB, but to be honest, I think that you've
    a) got an over-pessimistic view of the strength of carbon, and
    :angry: get an over-optimistic view of the strength of aluminium

    Consider that the tube-wall thickness of some alu frametubes is measured in fractions of a millimetre...

    Basically you want a strong frame, whatever it's made from.
    In a simple world, that might mean a heavier frame rather than a light one...
    except that whilst it might be true that a super, super, super-lightweight race frame is less 'strong' because it's designed for a limited amount of use (throw away and replace next year), by skilled riders (who rider 'smoother' than Joe Public), on good roads (races on smooth tarmac, not commutes through potholes) and by skinny little race-whippets,
    but the converse may not be true - a heavy frame may just be made out of low-metallurgy gaspipe and be weak as noodles...