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Are Carbon Road frames really worth the extra cost?

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Are Carbon Road frames really worth the extra cost?

Old 01-25-22, 10:17 AM
  #51  
gpburdell
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
You forgot plastic is fantastic!
also... candy is dandy but liquor is quicker...
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Old 01-25-22, 10:19 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What I find funny about these frame material arguments is people acting like there's only one possible correct answer to a clearly subjective question--which is really some version of "what best suits my tastes and preferences?"
There's also the part where there are more differences between the cited bicycle models than just the frame material.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:20 AM
  #53  
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Just like me and my fishing rods

Do I need high composite graphite and titanium silicone carbonate guides to catch a fish with the brain the size of a pea? No

Do I like them? Yes

To each their own

I want a light weight bike. Graphite matches that want. But I'm still cheap, err, frugal and am holding off buying anything until I find a deal. Or a sale. If it happens, I'll buy it. If it doesn't, I'll ride what I have.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:20 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Thatís not an assumption, it is law of nature. Like gravity.

Guess we can just throw out the adage about a fool and his money.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:22 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Yes, there are crappy engineers and crappy companies out there.

I did not read all of the posts in the thread but tire selection and pressure can make more of a difference than frame material. If money is a consideration, I would suggest OP get the aluminum but put supple, wider tires at lower pressure.
So you and a couple others suggested different tires as an offset for frame material.

I am curious why one wouldn't choose the most suitable tire for one's riding conditions with either frame material?
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Old 01-25-22, 10:23 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
There's also the part where there are more differences between the cited bicycle models than just the frame material.

Very clear that the OP wasn't asking about those differences.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:29 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
So you and a couple others suggested different tires as an offset for frame material.

I am curious why one wouldn't choose the most suitable tire for one's riding conditions with either frame material?
Why would you assume that was implied? They didn't say anything about offset. I took it they were saying that if you put good tires on either, there isn't much difference in the feel of the ride, and not assuming OP would put crappy tires on the more expensive frame.

The OP was specifically asking whether the difference in cost of the frame material was worth it.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:37 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
So you and a couple others suggested different tires as an offset for frame material.

I am curious why one wouldn't choose the most suitable tire for one's riding conditions with either frame material?

The point, as I understand it, is that in all the hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing about frame material, tires often get neglected as an important ride-quality factor. IME, lots of folks just stick with the tires that came on the bike, especially when buying new.

To me, it's similar to acoustic guitars; those forums are full of arguments about "tone woods," but string material is every bit as influential to the sound. You'd be surprised at how many people think you should always use Martin strings on a Martin guitar.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:52 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Guess we can just throw out the adage about a fool and his money.
Does not apply to bikes.
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Old 01-25-22, 10:57 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Does not apply to bikes.

May I interest you in this tricked-out Eurobike?
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Old 01-25-22, 11:00 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Very clear that the OP wasn't asking about those differences.
OP specifically asked: "I'm having a hard time trying to justify the extra cost of carbon over aluminum. For those that have a Trek with the ISO system does it really make a difference in aiding in a smoother ride?"

The aluminum Domane doesn't have rear isospeed, the carbon Domane does.

Therefor the OP was asking about those differences. There are also other differences between the aluminum & carbon models which factor into the price difference. We're on a discussion forum and whether or not you believe the OP was asking _only_ about carbon vs aluminum doesn't make the other differences between cited models irrelevant to the OP's decision process.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Why would you assume that was implied? They didn't say anything about offset. I took it they were saying that if you put good tires on either, there isn't much difference in the feel of the ride, and not assuming OP would put crappy tires on the more expensive frame.
Because that's what Ghostrider wrote:
tire selection and pressure can make more of a difference than frame material. If money is a consideration, I would suggest OP get the aluminum but put supple, wider tires at lower pressure.
He suggested putting supple, wider tires at lower pressure on an aluminum frame bike as a more economical option to the carbon frame model.

Thus my question why one wouldn't do the same on the carbon frame version as well?

Last edited by gpburdell; 01-25-22 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 01-25-22, 11:12 AM
  #62  
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Some folks need to lighten up.
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Old 01-25-22, 11:17 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
So you and a couple others suggested different tires as an offset for frame material.

I am curious why one wouldn't choose the most suitable tire for one's riding conditions with either frame material?
$1400 per OP

My custom Mg frame and fork were almost $5k and it is easy to spend that or more on a custom steel frame.

Welded aluminum frames are dirt cheap to make. I personally find them too harsh. Tire selection is not an independent choice in my mind. If you have a plush frame and fork, you can get away with different tires from a comfort point plus there are other things to do to make a ride more comfortable without a new frame.
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Old 01-25-22, 11:20 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
What I find funny about these frame material arguments is people acting like there's only one possible correct answer to a clearly subjective question--which is really some version of "what best suits my tastes and preferences?"
Exactly

I am fixing to go out on my fast carbon bike right now. Why? I feel like going fast today. I have been riding my comfortable big tired upright steel bike.

It's all a compromise. Me? Just never been fond of aluminum, it is either too flexible or bone jarring stiff from my experience.
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Old 01-25-22, 11:29 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
You suggested putting supple, wider tires at lower pressure on an aluminum frame bike as a more economical option to the carbon frame model.

Thus my question why one wouldn't do the same on the carbon frame version as well?
I think the conventional thinking is that one doesn't need as much tire suppleness on a carbon bike, so perhaps other factors (like weight, tread, and longevity) could supersede comfort as the primary consideration.
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Old 01-25-22, 12:06 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
OP specifically asked: "I'm having a hard time trying to justify the extra cost of carbon over aluminum. For those that have a Trek with the ISO system does it really make a difference in aiding in a smoother ride?"

The aluminum Domane doesn't have isospeed, the carbon Domane does.

Therefor the OP was asking about those differences. There are also other differences between the aluminum & carbon models which factor into the price difference. We're on a discussion forum and whether or not you believe the OP was asking _only_ about carbon vs aluminum doesn't make the other differences between cited models irrelevant to the OP's decision process.



Because that's what you wrote:


You suggested putting supple, wider tires at lower pressure on an aluminum frame bike as a more economical option to the carbon frame model.

Thus my question why one wouldn't do the same on the carbon frame version as well?
You're wrong--the aluminum Domane AL5 has ISO: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-disc/p/33086/

He's asking for an apples to apples comparison.

I didn't suggest the tire thing, you're quoting GhostRider62 responding to my post. And yes, I understand he was suggesting that the OP would get more "bang for the buck" by upgrading the tires on the aluminum bike rather than paying more for the carbon frame. It's a complete mystery to me why you think that implies that he's assuming that the hypothetical carbon bike wouldn't have comparable tires.

Last edited by livedarklions; 01-25-22 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 01-25-22, 12:12 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I didn't suggest the tire thing, you're quoting GhostRider62 responding to my post.
Sorry for the misquote.

He's saying he can't tell the difference between the aluminum bike and the carbon bike with ISO, so you're faulting him for deducing from that that the carbon isn't making a noticeable difference? Are you suggesting that he's implying that the ISO is making the carbon worse?
I've not faulted the OP in any way, and am in no way suggesting what you seem to think.

have you considered the possibility he was asking for people who road an aluminum frame with ISO if they noticed a difference when they tried the carbon with ISO?
You've apparently missed my initial reply to the OP. Maybe go back and read that before you go off on someone trying to help.
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Old 01-25-22, 12:23 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
May I interest you in this tricked-out Eurobike?
I actually saw one while walking home near the end December.


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Old 01-25-22, 12:24 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
Sorry for the misquote.


I've not faulted the OP in any way, and am in no way suggesting what you seem to think.



You've apparently missed my initial reply to the OP. Maybe go back and read that before you go off on someone trying to help.
Alas, you're responding to the post before I had a chance to go and check on the AL 5. I edited it apparently simultaneously with your response to indicate you're wrong and the AL 5 has Isospeed.

Maybe actually check about the Isospeed on the aluminum bike before you chime in on the other differences besides material. I'll remind you that you quoted me originally (post 56) to make some point about the OP including other differences. I didn't "go off" on you until you decided to "correct me" incorrectly about what the OP said and to misquote me.

Last edited by livedarklions; 01-25-22 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 01-25-22, 12:27 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Maybe actually check about the Isospeed on the aluminum bike before you chime in on the other differences besides material.
Carbon Domane has front & rear isospeed. Aluminum has front only.

Do be sure of your facts before you chide others.
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Old 01-25-22, 12:36 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
Carbon Domane has front & rear isospeed. Aluminum has front only.

Do be sure of your facts before you chide others.

Who friggin cares, it's a silly point anyway. He didn't make the "front only, rear and front" distinction, you did. What's the damn relevance to his basic question about the value of carbon?
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Old 01-25-22, 01:46 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Who friggin cares, it's a silly point anyway. He didn't make the "front only, rear and front" distinction, you did. What's the damn relevance to his basic question about the value of carbon?
OP concluded his post with "I appreciate any comments and recommends that you may have for me as I try to decide what to purchase."

That's makes very clear his question is broader than just the title.

Though if that is all you wish to focus on, that's fine. Though any meaningful discussion of the value of carbon frame being worth its cost, you must first identify what portion of the price differential that is specific to the frame material.

With the AL5 & SL5 Domane, just to keep it simple, the $1200 difference not only covers the carbon vs aluminum frame but also includes different wheels, tires, seatposts, handlebars, front isospeed decoupler vs front isospeed fork, isospeed rear decoupler, and I believe the 2022 SL5 comes already tubeless.

How much of the $1200 is all those vs the cost of the carbon? Need that before we can really discuss its value.

I'll let you go figure out the cost differentials of those items and what you arrive at as the remainder which we can then attribute to the cost of the carbon vs the aluminum. (I believe bottom brackets are also different, but not sure those go into ride feel differences so you can skip that.)

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Old 01-25-22, 01:56 PM
  #73  
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TBH, I think the Isospeed on the AL 5 is in the fork only, but I still have no idea what this has to do with the stated topic of the thread.
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Old 01-25-22, 02:01 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
Carbon Domane has front & rear isospeed. Aluminum has front only.
AL has rear Iso, not front.

edit: in doing more looking, it seems as if Trek recently changed and is no longer doing rear Iso on the AL Domane. Funny thing is that they're not really doing front Iso, either, at least not in the sense of the traditional Front IsoSpeed with the upper headset bearings in a cradle that allows the front steerer to flex. From the info that I can find on their new "IsoSpeed Fork," it appears as if it's not really doing anything different than any other carbon fork that's allowed to flex a bit, It looks as if it's "IsoSpeed" in name, only.
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Old 01-25-22, 02:10 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
OP concluded his post with "I appreciate any comments and recommends that you may have for me as I try to decide what to purchase."

That's makes very clear blah blah blah blahde blah
I love the way you cherry-pick quotes--it's very clear that he was talking about those bikes because he had test-ridden them. He specified roughly the level of components "I'm looking to buy my first road bike and after digging around I guess I'm looking of either 105 or Tiagra components," in the OP. You're free to give the guy any advice you want, but you jumped onto my post where I was making fun of the idea that there's a single right answer to what frame material to implicitly criticize OP for posting about bikes that were different in other respects. I still don't get what your point was with that comment, I'm just certain I don't care.

Last edited by livedarklions; 01-25-22 at 02:14 PM.
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