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Alloy Frame to Cervelo P2C Frame

Got asked a question which basically stumped me. I was showing a friend my Focus Izalco Tria and made a comment along the lines of 'of course its not carbon but I like it'. He remarked 'why carbon, is it any faster?' Caught on the back foot I said 'well yes of course (its carbon - innit) one I really like is the Cervelo P2c and it is reckoned to be fast' He continued 'so what you are saying is that because this Cervelo is carbon it is faster than this, how much faster?' I took a guess and said 'oh it would be about 3km/hr faster'

He was not convinced.

You know I am not sure I can find anywhere that says the P2c is faster by 'X' Km/hr - help! My mate now thinks that triathletes are just bling merchants - which of course we are not.

Has anyone experience of going from a similar spec alloy bike to the Focus, and getting a similar component specced P2C and going faster? If so by what sort of factor? I need to reassert myself over a smug mate.


  • risris Posts: 1,002
    i spoke with a bikeshop owner about something similar to this - i was interested in whether a cevelo alu frame (s1 soloist?) was that much different to a similar priced carbon frame. his view was that the alu and carbon were probably close enough in weight and aerodynamics that in terms of speed they would be fairly close, but where the carbon frame wins out most is on ride quality.

    he suggested that carbon absorbs far more of the road buzz which makes them more comfortable over medium and short distances - not wearing you out as much for the run in particular.

    that might all be bunk, but it sounded plausible to me at the time.
  • arh yes..... plausible bullshit.....its a fine art that most of us more seasoned folk have down to a fine art. So how can you actually believe what you're told these days?!

    I know the answer to the alu/carbon question. Its easy, its the same answer I tell myself when buying anything really. For example, It doesn't really matter if the tv i'm looking at has 200htz picture quality, because after 15 seconds of watching the bloody thing it'll look the same to me as every other telly i've ever watched, and therefore the 20hta is largely irrelevant. The answer however, is yes, i NEED it, because its the latest and greatest and best and most expensive = better = faster = happier = MORE.

    That's why we need carbon. (not because we really need it, because we don't. but because we want the best - even if it make little or no difference in the real world).

    Oh yeah.......and we like to look good
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385

    Ris, Gary you have provided convincing arguments which I will put over as emprical evidence that the carbon is at least 2Km hr faster because of its attributes when taken holistically.
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    I'd say at keast 5km/hr!
  • 5km/hr, I'm out to get a carbon bike.
  • As mentioned above, the carbon will absorb a lot of the vibrations from the road, so although it won't make you go faster, it will mean you can go longer and you are less fatigued.

    In terms of speed, carbon can be made into pretty much any shape possible, whereas there are limits for aluminium, so if you were to look at the P3, it would be very difficult to make that shape in aluminium, which is a much more aerodynamic shape and so is much faster than an aluminium frame
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Just to hijack (er I mean broaden) the thread, what about titanium frames?

    There was that article about frame material in 220 a couple of months back. IIRC the main advantage of titanium over carbon is that it is more robust, carbon being easily damaged.

    I ask because I happened to pick up a titanium wheelchair at the weekend, an adult sized chair, which felt amazingly light to me (I could easily have lifted it over my head one handed). Obviously a wheelchair is not a bike, but I reckon if you unfolded all the tubing there is about the same amount of metal as a bike frame.
  • You can only claim 5km/hr if the carbon frame also has some red on it-pretty sure that's what I read anyway.

  • I heard that as well. But it has to have bare carbon too.
  • It's the law of decreasing returns isn't it..

    Very unscientific, but I first started triathlon on an MTB, when I switched to a road bike (alum) my time dropped by over 15mins for a 40k. I didn't do an proper comparison this year with my new bike, which is basically a Giant TCR, so carbon composite, but I'd estimate a 5 minute drop due to it, but then that's with tri-spoke wheels and a silly point hat.

    ...becuase such things interest me, I might do a similarly un-proper test and time myself on my old bike, new bike with normal wheels, new bike with tri-spokes, and again with hat.

    ......of course being pessimistic these days, i wouldn't be surprised to see no difference at all (time wise).

    ............of course my bank account is considerable lighter, or heavier considering it's an overdraft.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Oh no Tesseract don't do it

    Actually I am sure there will be a difference and as you say (indeed I myself have said) it's all diminishing returns, but then that's what we fight for.

    Its just that my mate is not a triathlete and simply does not understand that red+carbon=fast
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Thanks Conehead

    This is exactly what I wanted - irrefutable scientific evidence that he simply can't argue with - I mean we all understand this so why can't he.
  • He's not a Triathlete, that's why. His brain hasn't been turned to mush with chlorinated water, electrolyte drinks and energy gels, or shaken to pieces with the constant pounding of the pavements.
  • My advice would be to stick with your current bike, the P2C is an awesome frame but for the average age grouper who does sprint triathlons I wouldnt bother.

    So the P2C is averaging 3mph faster than an ally framed TT bike, where was this info gleaned from may I ask..............
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    just look at the Cervelo, or course it's 5km/hr faster.....sheesh....

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