Honestly, which is better Carbon frame or aluminum for a road bike????

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by MEAUX, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. MEAUX

    MEAUX New Member

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    I'm going to be buying a road bike for the first time, I am a avid mountain biker for about 5years now. However, I'm not sure what to go with a aluminum bike such as the trek 2300 or a carbon such as the trek 5200? Help me make the decision.
     
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  2. Chesapeake Boy

    Chesapeake Boy New Member

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    I would go with the 5200. I like the weight savings, and the feel of the carbon....
     
  3. zakeen

    zakeen New Member

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    Depends on what you are buying! but the 5200 is the best out of those two!

    remember with carbon if it cracks and you have crashed the frame there is no warrnty!

    I would rather an aluminum bike! Im not a huge Trek fan thou!!

    if you want a real carbon get a C40! I heard that the trek carbon frames are made by Merida!! you proberly did not want to here that thou!
     
  4. revolution

    revolution New Member

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    Carbon is the way to go and if you crash aluminum and it cracks there is no warranty either. I would check out the Giant TCR carbon bikes, I like them more than Trek and C40's are really expensive. The feel of carbon is much more comfortable.
     
  5. JimBallard

    JimBallard New Member

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    Hi All-

    In re: warranties, if you crash, I gotta say that Specialized (other bike makers presumably) has replaced my cracked frames twice, no questions asked.

    Both times I told the folks at the bike shop that I crashed it multiple times, and with my last frame, I was hit by a car hard enough to potatochip both wheels and send me and the bike flying. The folks at the bike shop insisted that I accept the warranty replacement.

    I think the lawyers insert the small print disclaimers. But the companies are unwaivering in their customer service.

    My $.02,

    Jim
     
  6. BugMan

    BugMan New Member

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    How will you be riding the bike? If you plan to do long distance riding or road racing, go with carbon - its vibration damping qualities will make it more comfortable over the long haul. On the other hand, if you plan to do a lot of crit racing then go with aluminum because you WILL - at some point - crash, and aluminum will stand less chance of cracking.
     
  7. Ralph Ray

    Ralph Ray New Member

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    I have a carbon Time Helix Equipe HM. I love the feel of the bike. I can only give you my .02 cents on carbon since I don't own a aluminum bike. The Trek OCLV looks like a nice ride. Let us know which one you get.
     
  8. ajo

    ajo New Member

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    I just changed from alu to carbon frame - what a marvelous improvement. My carbon frame is stiffer & more comfortable - dampens vibrations.
    It is of course not only a question of material, the construction also matters - but carbone IS different. I'll not go back to alu.
     
  9. flea77

    flea77 New Member

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    I had an alu Trek and went to a carbon Trek (5200) and the difference is astounding. It appears faster on hills, sprints better and is much more comfy. Not to mention it is virtually silent while running (no creaks like the alu). If you have the bucks, get the 5200, you will not regret it.

    Allan
     
  10. patch70

    patch70 New Member

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    I have recently changed to carbon and am very happy that I did. I tried the Trek 5200/5500 and ended up going for the Bianchi XL Carbon which for me felt & fit better.
    Remember that frame design is far more important than frame material.
     
  11. Artman

    Artman New Member

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    TREK OCLV frames are manufactured in Wisconsin by Trek.
    They have a special facility for the production of OCLV and the security there is very tight.
    Trek's carbon technolgy is so advanced that they were approached by a U.S.military contractor to fabricate a carbon fiber wing section for an experimental fighter plane.
    Trek did not solicit the contract. The military came to Trek.
    Pretty zoot! :cool:
    Trek OCLV frames are manufactured by Trek , not by Merida.
     
  12. STEVEWSW

    STEVEWSW New Member

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    Morning,

    Just bought a 5500 after breaking a LOOK 381i in 7 rides(200miles) and it is not only surviving but is outstanding - it looks good in red!
    Who's merida?

    Steve WSW
     
  13. fabs

    fabs New Member

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    hi,
    what king of weight are you talking about ? i have no idea how heavy carbon bikes are.
    what's the diference with aluminum frames - weight and cost?
    fabs.
     
  14. gator92

    gator92 New Member

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    Have you tried Ti? I lovethe feel of my Litespeed. I almost bought a Cdale 4000si, but it transmitted every bump, right to my back...
     
  15. flea77

    flea77 New Member

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    Ti is an excellent material, definately worth looking into. It is also beautiful material. I tried two Lightspeeds and just didnt like them, didnt feel right. But that is VERY subjective. Alot has more to do with the overall fit and form rather than frame material.

    I know, they need to make every bike in the world exactly the same in all the different materials! :)

    Allan
     
  16. zippy

    zippy New Member

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    I have ridden different model Cannondales for the past 7 years
    CAAD3-7. Just bought a Giant TCR carbon WOW light as if not lighter than the CAAD7 dosent flex and has a sweet ride. Price wise its a good choice I purchased the frameset with fork for 1200.00........................GO CARBON !!!
     
  17. Triplecentury

    Triplecentury New Member

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    I presently own a steel frame ( Renolds 531), but I could definitely tell the difference when riding a Trek 5200. I rode a Litespeed Arenedale and found it to be very flexible in the bottom bracket. It was not nearly as comfortable or as stiff as the Trek.
     
  18. MEAUX

    MEAUX New Member

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    Hey everyone I got the Trek 5200 it is sweet. Thanks to all!!:D
     
  19. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    The new Trek 2300 has a lighter-weight AL frame (Zr 9000) with carbon rear seat stay. After one set of test rides and the 5200, I couldn't tell which bike I preferred. The 2300 felt a little more natural to me, but I'm used to a steel frame. Either one provides a plush, well-damped ride, IMO. If I had decided to buy a Trek, would certainly go back for another set of test rides.

    The LBS didn't have a scale, but the salesman thought both bikes weighed almost the same. I couldn't really judge which bike was lighter by picking them up. The saleman agreed he couldn't tell which bike he preferred.

    I did also ride the 1000 as a reference point. No surprise, it felt very heavy and harsh-riding by comparison.

    I think it comes down to what you're looking for in a bike: cost, ride, stiffness, durability, and selection/availability are all factors to look at. I'm going with the AL/carbon combo on my new bike.

    Dan
     
  20. Madone

    Madone New Member

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    "its not better, its different"

    Its a difficult choice, I have had a Trek 5500 for 3 yrs and a Kenesis Alu winter/training bike, I have a Kona Hei Hei mtb to and like Ti for an off road bike, I have toured, raced and TT on the Trek it has never let me down, and been very comfy during hours in the saddle, the Kenesis how ever is a much harsher ride but works well for me as a training bike, when i get on the Trek after riding this I feel like I gained twice the fitness since my last ride.
    But its all very subjective and relative to bike manufactures method of build a Trek Alu will feel diffrent to a Specialized, and like wise with the carbon bikes.
    Try and get as many test rides as you can, and ask as many peoples opinons as you can (but remember thats all they are is opinions),. Then go buy a bike, then listen to everyone tell you why you should have got something else.
    Hope you enjoy what ever you get.
    For me at least for the as long as i can ride a bike it will be carbon.
     
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