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Alu vs carbon? Decisions?!

I'm looking to purchase a road bike (already have a TT and would like to save this for races & dry miles) that fills the function of commuting, winter miles (with roadracer plastice guards of course ), cycling training camps & winter sportifs.

I'm undecided about going for a aluminium frame with carbon forks or full on carbon frame, which is more suitable for such a role? I would be at the top end of my budget in buying a carbon frame but there seem to be a few options open at around £1000 i.e. Boardman and planet-x (both of which seem to have barn storming reviews). Not too worried about components at present as they can be upgraded later, priority is a sound frame.

Not sure if my thinking is correct but does carbon fatigue with time due to the flexing? Has this presented anyone with problems in the past? Or is my thinking from Mars?


  • wyno70wyno70 Posts: 189
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    I'd go for alu.

    Cheaper than carbon. More likely to fall off in the winter and the bike will take more of a hammering so better to have a more robust frame. It'll be heavier than your summer bike so when you come to race time you'll get an instant boost when you switch bikes.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I think intuitively I would agree with Jules, it would seem logical that an alu bike would stand up to the day to day rigours more than a carbon and I am sure you will suffer deep long standing trauma if you fail to lovingly wipe very last trace of road dirt from a carbon frame every night. Alu just shouts out 'I can take it' (steel more so!) - but I stand to be corrected. As you have looked at Boardman the Team aluframe/carbon fork seems to be worthy of a glance or two.
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    In this case, where you are looking for a good reliable frame which you might upgrade later I'd be thinking about a CAAD9. Excellent and upgradeable alloy frame.

    I'm an idiot, though.
  • day to day use i'd go for alu,
    have both myself, love the carbon tt,
    but its always at the back of your mind it wouldnt take to much to write it off,
    keep it for racing, t.t's and good weather training.
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