To Carbon or not to Carbon?

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To Carbon or not to Carbon?
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Posted: Jun 18, 2019 at 7:07 Quote
Never having experience with carbon frames and recognizing the wide difference between them and their aluminum cousins I have to ask...Are they worth it?

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 at 7:51 Quote
Has been for me. more precise tracking and handling, and lighter.

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 at 9:42 Quote
The difference is less wide than a lot of people think but a carbon frame just feels a bit more... put together, when you ride them back to back with an alloy version. Less jiggle and noise, tracks just a bit more solidly, just nicer to be on.

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 at 10:45 Quote
I'm on my first carbon bike in a LONG time right now. It's stupidly easy to damage vs an aluminum frame. A rider who's not hucking jumps or big drops a lot can ride a good aluminum frame almost forever, but I just don't feel that way on carbon yet. Maybe the damage on mine is cosmetic...maybe it's not. It does seem that carbon riders are the types who get new bikes much more frequently, but that could be because they just like buying new bikes/frames.

I believe in metal. I still don't believe in carbon. Peace-of-mind is highly underrated. Maybe I'll trust carbon eventually, or maybe it will let me down. Time will tell.

Since most manufacturers don't generally make high-end bikes in aluminum anymore, most folks are comparing apples and oranges for aluminum vs carbon.

When aluminum frames were taking off many years ago, people complained that they rode too harsh and stiff because they were so rigid. People complained of the same thing on carbon(not at first, early carbon bikes were unnervingly flexy), but carbon is easier to tune to have the ride characteristics the manufacturer wants.

Posted: Jun 18, 2019 at 22:34 Quote
I just did a frame swap from a carbon Cannondale to an alloy Canfield. Everything is exactly the same except for the brakes and rear shock.

I can tell a tiny bit of difference, the alloy being a smidge harsher, but not even remotely worth losing sleep over. Tires, wheels and suspension will make a much bigger difference than frame material.

Carbon will handle constant pounding better, but is much more sensitive to getting dinged up. Tradeoffs.

Posted: Jun 19, 2019 at 12:35 Quote
Carbon.

Upgraded to a carbon pivot from an aluminum norco and loving it. Could be the 36rc2 that's making it better. All I know is I'm happy and never feel worried about the frame. It's been taking everything I can dish out.

Very un-scientific on my part lol

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 at 15:04 Quote
Aluminium: can crack, particularly near welds on rear triangles as there can be a lot of stress. It can be dented but the tendency is to just continue because it still appears okay. I have had a crack in the downtube/headtube on my commuter bike and chainstay crack on a cube stereo . Once it is broken it is pretty much a write off. Neither were repairable.

Carbon can also crack but I believe there is greater awareness because if is considered more fragile. Carbon can be repaired and it may be more successful than aluminium.

I have ridden both but cannot say if one material is better as the frames are different. I like the Mojo as it rides really welll and certainly handles better than the cracked Cube Stereo that donated the parts. Is it a fair comparison? Probably not!!

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 at 22:21 Quote
Carbon is all about money. If i could afford it i would have a carbon frame and carbon wheels. Better bike. But alloy frame and alloy wheels get the job done and leave thousands in the bank. If you are so hard on your bikes carbon cant hang with your radness, alloy gonna fail also. At that stage everything is a weak point that fails and you just replace whatever fails. Lighter bike is good. Crashing less is good. Crashes break all sorts of shit especially carbon and alloy parts. Hard to find high end alloy build anymore. Always a price point bike with nx or stx beater stuff.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 at 10:23 Quote
NSMB did a great article where 3 of their reviewers rode carbon and aluminum Knolly Wardens back to back... very interesting read...

https://nsmb.com/articles/duelling-knolly-wardens-final-verdicts/

And the lead up article to the test - https://nsmb.com/articles/knolly-warden-alloy-vs-carbon/

Posted: Jun 26, 2019 at 5:15 Quote
BnRanger wrote:
Never having experience with carbon frames and recognizing the wide difference between them and their aluminum cousins I have to ask...Are they worth it?
There are marginal differences for carbon (little lower weight, more stiffness in some areas) if this is worth extra money is up to you. I think its not, had carbon bikes, changed to alu and difference for me was so small its not worth mentioning . Not to mention joy of crashing with carbon frame on rocks sideways :-)

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