Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Are Carbon Road frames really worth the extra cost?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Are Carbon Road frames really worth the extra cost?

Old 01-23-22, 11:16 PM
  #1  
rickster1
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are Carbon Road frames really worth the extra cost?

Hi everyone, I'm new to the site and was wondering are carbon road frames really worth the extra cost (sometimes as much as $1400 more)? I'm looking to buy my first road bike and after digging around I guess I'm looking of either 105 or Tiagra components, I have test rode Trek's Domane AL5 and SL5, Emonda SL5 and ALR5 as well as the Specialized Roubaix (I'm open to other brands and models).


I know the Domane is classed as an endurance bike and understand the difference between that and the Emonda's but when I test rode them, I really didn't feel any difference between them. This will probably be my first and only road bike since I tend to keep my gear in good shape, I currently ride an older Trek 830 on the roads that I have swapped the tires out to more of a road type tire. I also have a full suspension MTB for the trails.


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?


A little bit about me- I'm 53 and in average shape, I recently lost about 80 lbs this past year (gained some back over the holidays), did my first bike challenge for kids' cancer back in Oct. (rode 410 miles), mostly ride on surfaced trails and country roads, I ride about 35-40 miles each time I ride and average 14 MPH on the old Trek.


I appreciate any comments and recommends that you may have for me as I try to decide what to purchase.


My wife asked me why I need another bike? So, I said you need one for the different type of road material (dirt, crushed limestone, asphalt/concrete, etc.) but I don't think she's buying it


Thanks,

Rick
rickster1 is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 12:05 AM
  #2  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 2,076

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 785 Post(s)
Liked 629 Times in 477 Posts
My solution has been to buy a new bike for the wife when I want a new one as well. Hasn't been a perfect solution but she rides and is more amenable to my shopping.

Personally I have never been impressed with aluminum road bikes, I've ridden a number of them and they're nice enough, brands like Cannondale can make them really lively and comfortable, trek and specialized aluminum to me is kinda whatever. This is regarding road bikes, my mtbs have almost all been aluminum and I can't complain there. Carbon from trek though has always been a really nice ride and way better than their aluminum, and I would consider it worth the cost difference on a road or endurance bike over their aluminum. That said, if I was spending enough to go that route, I'd also look at higher end steel or titanium instead which I like better. My current road bike is carbon and I absolutely love it, but it was on clearance and if I had to pay the full price knowing how well it rides, I'd still have gone Ti.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 12:48 AM
  #3  
ooga-booga
lead on, macduff!
 
ooga-booga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: insane diego, california
Posts: 7,173

Bikes: 85 pinarello treviso steel, 88 nishiki olympic steel. 95 look kg 131 carbon, 11 trek madone 5.2 carbon

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1295 Post(s)
Liked 2,004 Times in 1,111 Posts
dunno the quality of roads nearby but sounds like you've been crushing it on the current rig/setup. congrats on
the life priorities/riding changes!

the new(ish) carbon stuff is pretty dayum smooth, no two ways about it. my question for you is:

if you did buy a new(ish) carbon frame/bike, would you have more time, less time or same amount of time for riding?

unless you're coming into a substantial increase of time involved in riding your bike (empty nesting, retirement, etc, et al),
i'd be more tempted to stick with the current rig with maybe a component upgrade if necessary. a new frame/bike is sexy until it becomes
the usual. how long does that take? 3-6 months? a year? guess it depends on riding frequency and personal preference.

you can get a lighter bike/frame, better gearing, and/or get in better shape. maybe all three. maybe one. maybe two. my experience
has been to take the current rig as far as you can before considering upgrades. losing 5-10 lbs of belly fat is worth one-two spaces on the cassette.
a dream machine will possibly increase the range but make the legs "softer."

ps...i'm the same exact age.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 01-24-22 at 12:55 AM.
ooga-booga is online now  
Old 01-24-22, 04:22 AM
  #4  
Outrider1
Senior Member
 
Outrider1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 221

Bikes: Trek Emonda ALR 5, Motobecane Cafe Disc Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 135 Times in 65 Posts
Hey Rickster! I'll throw in my two coppers. I ride an Emonda ALR 5 with the usual upgrades (wheels, tires, bars, saddle). I absolutely love the ride and am comfortable on my rides ranging anywhere from quick 15 mile runs to 50 mile rides. When I ride carbon, I don't see a significant enough difference to regret going with the ALR and investing the difference in the aforementioned upgrades, which I'd require with a carbon Emonda as well. As always..YMMV
Outrider1 is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 05:55 AM
  #5  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3,109
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1119 Post(s)
Liked 987 Times in 576 Posts
I rode high-end steel road bikes for about 40 years and then bought my first aluminum bike and fell in love and bought a few more. I did also buy one carbon road bike, figuring that that might be even better, but I made the mistake of buying one with a slightly longer wheelbase than my racing-geometry aluminum bikes.

It's OK, and I did keep riding it for a couple of years, having spent the money, but I was almost glad when I cracked a dropout on the carbon bike as a result of doing a sloppy job of installing it on an indoor trainer. Now it's my permanent trainer bike, and I'm back to doing all my road miles on my aluminum bikes.

You'll probably be happy with whatever bike you choose, since you seem open-minded about the choices available. Just posting to let you know that some of us have found that we're at least as happy with aluminum as with carbon bikes.
Trakhak is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 06:05 AM
  #6  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 10,039
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2970 Post(s)
Liked 3,752 Times in 1,930 Posts
Cycling is a hobby. Your purchases should never cause distress. If the additional $ for carbon causes even a little discomfort for you or your spouse, your choice is clear.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 06:23 AM
  #7  
Kapusta
Cyclochondriac
 
Kapusta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,332

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Surly Wednesday, Turner 5-Spot, Canfielld Tilt

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2341 Post(s)
Liked 1,972 Times in 1,097 Posts
The question of whether or any bike upgrade is worth the money really comes down to what the money is worth to you.

For some folks $1400 is a month's salary. Others make it in an hour. Probably not worth it to the former, but worth it to the latter.
Kapusta is offline  
Likes For Kapusta:
Old 01-24-22, 06:31 AM
  #8  
jpescatore
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashton, MD USA
Posts: 1,217

Bikes: Trek Domane SL6 Disc, Jamis Renegade

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 338 Post(s)
Liked 260 Times in 190 Posts
Back in 2017, I made a deal with myself - lost 20 lbs and buy a carbon bike that would be 10 lbs lighter than my 20 year old Trek 520 steel bike. Bought a Domane and I love that bike, rally caused me to increase my mileage each year.

But, in 2018 I decided to do the Seattle to Portland 2 day 209 mile ride and rather than ship my Domane back and forth across the country, I rented a Fuji aluminum road bike that had the same components and similar geometry as the Domane. I did bring my own seat.

After about 250 miles over 3 days, I realized I really couldn't tell the difference. I'm 65, weigh 220 and am not a racer and never have been able to tell if a bike is 'twitchy" or "aggressive" or "sassy" or any of those terms bike reviews use - so YMMV.

The only downside (besides the added expense) of the carbon bike has been the 24 spoke rear wheel - after two years I started breaking spokes and had it rebuilt with stronger spokes and brass nipples. So far so good, but that less expensive aluminum Fuji came with 28 spoke wheels and in my past experience I probably wouldn't have been breaking spokes so quickly.

So, if I had to do it again I'd probably get an aluminum frame and apply some or all of the savings to a wheelset upgrade. But, I am really loving that Domane!

By the way, I did a N+1-1. I donated my 30 year old Schwinn hybrid to keep my bike total the same after buying the Domane...
jpescatore is offline  
Likes For jpescatore:
Old 01-24-22, 06:38 AM
  #9  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 2,901

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1077 Post(s)
Liked 275 Times in 205 Posts
I'm in a similar situation to jpescatore. Similar age, similar weight (but I've yet to lose that 20lbs!). I ride a 2014 Carbon Domane, and I love it. I also have a 1999 Lemond Zurich with a full Ultregra R8000 groupset. Some observations:
The CF Domane rides very nice. I have a Ritchey CF (Pro Logic II IIRC) handlebar on it, and the handlebar DOES make a difference.
The Lemond (853) also rides ok. I enjoyed it, but when I swapped out the original fork for a Ritche WCS, with the pro logic handlebars, it made a big difference. It rides super.
I defer to jpescatore's experience with aluminum.
BTW, I weigh about 245 and have had the Domane wheels with Trek Paradigm wheels (18 spokes?) and so far... no spoke breakage. Maybe my legs are just weak.
WizardOfBoz is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 07:05 AM
  #10  
fishboat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: SE Wisconsin
Posts: 1,456

Bikes: Lemond '01 Maillot Jaune, Lemond '02 Victoire, Lemond '03 Poprad, Lemond '03 Wayzata drop bar conv(Poprad), '79 AcerMex Windsor Carrera Professional(purchased new), '88 GT Tequesta(purchased new), '01 Bianchi Grizzly, 1993 Trek 970 drop bar conv

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 468 Times in 276 Posts
Where are you located?

What size road bike fits you (or how tall are you)?

You're definitely hammering on your 830. Given the type of riding you're doing, or want to do, (being a bit older than you) tell your wife:

1) The new bike will making your riding much more fun
2) As a result of #1, you'll probably ride more
3) As a result of #1 & 2, you'll get in and maintain better mental and physical health as you grow older
4) (you see where this is going)..As a result of 1, 2, 3 you'll be a happier companion
5) You won't live for ever, but you can live better. Living better doesn't require the latest whizbang electronic landfill-fodder. When it comes to bikes and using them..they improve your life in more ways than nearly any other hobby/sport-type equipment.

That said, one might think a $10K bike is warranted. For some it may be, but in general(at your stage) not all, not even close. I know how an street-equipped 830 rides..it can be a fun ride, but you have LOTS of headroom to get into a more appropriate (and fun) bike for a modest investment. As you climb up the bike-cost ladder you'll find diminishing returns on "better"..that you can really notice. (Yes..when you ride 4 different bikes back to back you'll note differences, though once you settle on any one of them that fits right..those minor differences tend to be forgotten)

With the types of rides you're interested in, and your starting point, I'd be looking at a gravel type bike that can run good, fast tires in the 38mm range. And I'd buy it used.
This would be a worthwhile, recent discussion to read:
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...ance-bike.html

If you're not sure what to look for, folks here will be more than happy to help you spend some money. You can buy a bike that retailed for $1500-$2500(i.e. nice frame and quality components with minimal wear) for around $1K or less, and often far less. It could be aluminum, carbon(?), or steel. Buying used will make your wife happier and leave you with some extra cash for other gear.

Where are you? What's your budget? What size are you looking for?
fishboat is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 07:17 AM
  #11  
Bald Paul
Senior Member
 
Bald Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 781
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 370 Post(s)
Liked 675 Times in 318 Posts
If you're looking at Tiagra, and still would like a carbon frame, take a look at one of the Fezzari Empire models (Empire Sport). 105? Look at the Comp. Empire – Fezzari Bicycles

I own a Fezzari, and love it. You'd have a hard time finding a carbon bike for that price. In fact, the Empire Sport sells for less than their ultralight carbon frameset! Oh, and it comes with 28 spoke wheels.

Last edited by Bald Paul; 01-24-22 at 07:26 AM.
Bald Paul is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 07:35 AM
  #12  
MinnMan
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,904

Bikes: 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3417 Post(s)
Liked 2,372 Times in 1,440 Posts
Just buy a bike that fits and ride it.

Your concerns about carbon versus alloy, 105 vs. tiagra, etc. are noise.

Go enjoy yourself.
MinnMan is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 07:40 AM
  #13  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,379

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2003 Post(s)
Liked 1,077 Times in 653 Posts
Honestly, this is one of those “if you have to ask, then no, it’s not worth it” situations. The levels of variability and nuance in the complete bike setup far outweigh the frame material choice, and if you understand what that means, you’ll know how frame material becomes relevant and won’t have to ask the “is it worth it” question. So no, it isn’t worth it to the OP.

Now, there may be extenuating circumstances, like the need to lift the bike to wall hooks or carry it upstairs, which would recommend getting the lightest bike you can afford, which would probably be carbon fiber. Or, perhaps you want to telegraph your accomplishment, taste, and means to your ridemates, which also might recommend carbon fiber.

But again, if you have to ask, then no, it’s not worth it.
chaadster is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 09:04 AM
  #14  
venturi95
Senior Member
 
venturi95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 484

Bikes: Pure Cycles disc road, Jamis hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 25 Posts
FIRST- I won't say if carbon is worth the extra cost, but more importantly: If you haven't spent three hours or so on a road bike you may hate the radically different and aggressive position. I'm assuming the old Trek MTB has you sitting upright more than almost any performance road bike will position you. Fit is everything. Like a nice Italian suit, if it doesn't fit... not really worth the cost.
SECOND- Include your wife in this frivolous purchase of yet another bicycle. You don't want this to become a "bone of contention". She should consider the cost of the most mundane cardiac surgery.
THIRD- This being your first road bike you need to consider this as a learning experience. You may want something else (probably more expensive) sooner than you could imagine.
venturi95 is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 09:24 AM
  #15  
MinnMan
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 4,904

Bikes: 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3417 Post(s)
Liked 2,372 Times in 1,440 Posts
Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
This being your first road bike you need to consider this as a learning experience. You may want something else (probably more expensive) sooner than you could imagine.
Ain't it the truth.
MinnMan is offline  
Likes For MinnMan:
Old 01-24-22, 09:25 AM
  #16  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,300

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4155 Post(s)
Liked 2,681 Times in 1,867 Posts
Ride your current bike some more. When you know what it doesn't do well for you then you'll know what you need.

As a few others mentioned, the frame material is the least of your concerns.

Spend on a new bike what you can easily afford.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 09:26 AM
  #17  
sdmc530
Heft On Wheels
 
sdmc530's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 3,124

Bikes: Specialized,Cannondale,Argon 18

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 886 Post(s)
Liked 558 Times in 345 Posts
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Cycling is a hobby. Your purchases should never cause distress. If the additional $ for carbon causes even a little discomfort for you or your spouse, your choice is clear.

VERY SOUND ADVICE! Nobody here can tell you what you should spend your money or if its worth it. Some will say absolutely, some will say meh no.

I have both a Spec Allez Elite in Aluminum and a Argon 18 full carbon set up. Both have pro's and cons but WE the forum simply shouldn't not make financial decisions for you. Simply ride what you like and makes you happy...

I have the luxury of having the ability to have both...FWIW if I had to choose one, it would be carbon
sdmc530 is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 09:51 AM
  #18  
prj71
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 3,478
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2022 Post(s)
Liked 623 Times in 410 Posts
Originally Posted by rickster1 View Post
For those that have a Trek with the ISO system does it really make a difference in aiding in a smoother ride?
Yes. I made the move from a 2015 Giant Carbon bike to a new 2021 Domane. Domane is much smoother.
prj71 is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 11:06 AM
  #19  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5,046
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4916 Post(s)
Liked 7,078 Times in 3,068 Posts
"Worth" is subjective, and hence no one can answer this for you.

You would get more on-point answers if you asked specific questions about the sort of ride and performance you want from your next bike.
Koyote is offline  
Likes For Koyote:
Old 01-24-22, 11:07 AM
  #20  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3,173
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1498 Post(s)
Liked 1,601 Times in 1,026 Posts
Originally Posted by rickster1 View Post

I'm having a hard time trying to justify the extra cost of carbon over aluminum?
Sort of answered your own question right there.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 01-24-22, 11:27 AM
  #21  
c_m_shooter
Senior Member
 
c_m_shooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paradise, TX
Posts: 2,025

Bikes: Soma Pescadero, Surly Pugsley, Salsa Fargo, Schwinn Klunker, Gravity SS 27.5, Monocog 29er

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 155 Post(s)
Liked 204 Times in 146 Posts
Frame material doesn't matter, fit does. Make sure you have room for fatter tires, it gives you options, and tires really can smooth out the ride. A gravel bike makes a fine long day road bike, but road bikes can beat you up on gravel and chip seal.
c_m_shooter is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 12:06 PM
  #22  
blacknbluebikes 
Senior Member
 
blacknbluebikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 925

Bikes: two blacks, a blue and a white.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 307 Post(s)
Liked 488 Times in 242 Posts
Sometimes a more useful question is "what else are you saving it for?" If there's something specific and important, well, there's your priority. If not, well... What I think everyone needs to find is a bike you really like, one you want to get on all the time, one that will last you through all the evolution your riding future might hold. If the enthusiasm is tempered, don't spend much. If the enthusiasm is ingrained and growing, look up the line. If you know you will be doing this for hours and hours every week for as far as you can see, then go big or go home.
blacknbluebikes is offline  
Likes For blacknbluebikes:
Old 01-24-22, 12:15 PM
  #23  
vespasianus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: In the south but from North
Posts: 476

Bikes: Turner 5-Spot Burner converted; IBIS Ripley, Specialized Crave, Tommasini Sintesi, Cinelli Superstar, Tommasini X-Fire Gravel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 256 Post(s)
Liked 235 Times in 130 Posts
Originally Posted by rickster1 View Post
Hi everyone, I'm new to the site and was wondering are carbon road frames really worth the extra cost (sometimes as much as $1400 more)? I'm looking to buy my first road bike and after digging around I guess I'm looking of either 105 or Tiagra components, I have test rode Trek's Domane AL5 and SL5, Emonda SL5 and ALR5 as well as the Specialized Roubaix (I'm open to other brands and models).


I know the Domane is classed as an endurance bike and understand the difference between that and the Emonda's but when I test rode them, I really didn't feel any difference between them. This will probably be my first and only road bike since I tend to keep my gear in good shape, I currently ride an older Trek 830 on the roads that I have swapped the tires out to more of a road type tire. I also have a full suspension MTB for the trails.


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?


A little bit about me- I'm 53 and in average shape, I recently lost about 80 lbs this past year (gained some back over the holidays), did my first bike challenge for kids' cancer back in Oct. (rode 410 miles), mostly ride on surfaced trails and country roads, I ride about 35-40 miles each time I ride and average 14 MPH on the old Trek.


I appreciate any comments and recommends that you may have for me as I try to decide what to purchase.


My wife asked me why I need another bike? So, I said you need one for the different type of road material (dirt, crushed limestone, asphalt/concrete, etc.) but I don't think she's buying it


Thanks,

Rick

I would say that for the most part, frame material does not mater. Carbon is more expensive, because of demand. It is lighter but if you are a bigger dude, it might not make any difference. Another issue is that carbon bikes can be more fragile and if you are rough on your stuff, you could easily do damage without much thought.

Aluminum has a reputation of being harsh but honestly, I think that trait is over-rated.

Tires have a much bigger impact upon comfort, so I would always go bigger on tires and think tubeless if you are riding on rough or bad roads.

Last edited by vespasianus; 01-24-22 at 12:21 PM.
vespasianus is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 01:52 PM
  #24  
gpburdell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Georgia
Posts: 629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 219 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 120 Posts
rickster1 I'd had a Trek dualsport for a few years and it'd been good, but I didn't ride it regularly. In 2021 though I started doing a lot more cycling than running, and decided in the fall to add a road bike. I ended up choosing the Domane line for its endurance geometry and was faced with the similar AL vs SL choice.

I ended up choosing the SL5. Partly for the isospeed - which I really notice vs my dualsport's frame, partly for the slick integration of the FlareRT tail light to the seat, partly for the internal storage compartment for multitool & tire repair kit, and partly since I've not had a carbon bike before and woulda wondered what-if. I did not have the opportunity to test ride an AL5, but I also doubt anyone would truly notice the difference in such a short time/distance.

I've been exceptionally happy with my SL5 and have zero regrets. I'd make the same choice again.

If you're one to keep a bike for a good while, as the possession of an 830 suggests, consider if the price difference is truly impactful over several years ownership.

Last edited by gpburdell; 01-24-22 at 01:56 PM.
gpburdell is offline  
Old 01-24-22, 01:58 PM
  #25  
Rolla
Victimless Criminal
 
Rolla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 2,112
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 943 Post(s)
Liked 2,183 Times in 987 Posts
Originally Posted by rickster1 View Post
when I test rode them, I really didn't feel any difference between them.
I'm having a hard time trying to justify the extra cost of carbon over aluminum.
If the subtle differences between frame materials are imperceptible you, you're hardly alone. IMO, a good carbon fork is a great equalizer; that's where I'd more easily be able to justify spending $.
Rolla is offline  
Likes For Rolla:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.