Home Chat General Chat

Carbon vs Aluminium - opinions and advice


While I accept there seems to be a general consensus that a Carbon frame is better than Alumimium from stiffness and ride compliance perspectives, can anyone actually verify this first hand? All replies welcome.
I'm considering getting a carbon road bike to upgrade from my alu frame but have just been told by a respected fellow cyclist that carbon frames are so stiff that vibrations from the road can make it uncomfortable. He also said that some pros ride alu frames if the roads are bad. Can anyone confirm this or is he talking rubbish? Should I have less respect for him?

If upgrading to a carbon frame, what am I paying double the amount for exactly? Is it just bling factor?

Thanks all


  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I went for a carbon frame for its better vibration dampening properties. Carbon soaks up the road buzz and gives a more comfortable ride. The first time I rode my P2 I went over a bumpy bit of road which although unpleasant was much more tolerable than when riding over the same route on my alu bike. To finish off I then swapped the clincher wheels for carbon tubs and yea verily I have seen the light.

    I basically swapped over the components from my alu bike to the carbon frame so a compasrison can be made; the acceleration difference was noticeable and in my last 2 races over courses I had previoulsy compteted in was definitely faster but the main reason for the switch was to get a more comfortable ride over 180Km and in that respect job done.

    Having said that in terms of handling as always a good frame is better than a bad frame and a good alu frame is better than a bad carbon frame.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    like zacnici says, a good alu frame will be better than a poor carbon one.

    i was always under the impression that carbon was more of a comfort thing than a compliance one, as i understand it alu and carbon frames are pretty close in terms of power transfer, but carbon absorbs road buzz better. worth bearing in mind what difference a set of wheels can make to the experience though - i have a fairly aggressive and compliant alu frame which is made more bearable for longer rides by having slightly more forgiving wheels.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Forgot also to add that is also the reason why most bikes have at least carbon forks and there are some alu bikes that have carbon chain and seatstays although can't remember the models off the top off my head.

    There is also Titanium which I understand soaks the bumps nicely as does Steel AFIK - correct me on that one if I'm wrong.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Yup Ti bikes are also strong as hell and spark like buggery when you smash it on the road

    Get carbon. Its the stuff of the Tri Gods. Black Naked carbon is best. Once you buy it, you just want more
Sign In or Register to comment.