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Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?(15 posts)

Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?dctrofspin
Jan 9, 2004 11:18 AM
I'm at present riding a Cannondale CAAD5 frame with a full carbon Time Avant Stiff Fork, full D/A group and Kysrium SSC-SL wheels. When I upgraded to the Time fork from the stock Slice Prodigy, I had no idea how much stiffer the ride would be -- I mean the bike already was plenty stiff over the bumps, but now it's tooth-cracking harsh. If I were to switch frames to a full-carbon or titanium+carbon rear triangle model, how much of a difference in ride comfort will I notice? I will race a handful of crits next year, but want to focus more on endurance events where comfort is a factor. My fear is that I'm going to spend $1,500 on something that only has a slightly different feel. The bike I have now is really sharp to look at, and plenty light (sub-17 lbs.). Any help would be appreciated.
Here's the bike I have now...dctrofspin
Jan 9, 2004 11:21 AM
re: Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?PaulCL
Jan 9, 2004 11:45 AM
I don't have long term experience on this one but, here goes. I bought a new CF Aegis Victory last year (end of May). I put about 3000 miles on it. The Aegis replaced a Colnago Ti frame. The end of summer, I built up an all AL no-name frame (OK, a Tsunami) with CF fork as my secondary or bad weather bike. I've put maybe 300 miles on the AL frame. I can ride all day on the Aegis comfortably. I can feel every single bump with the AL frame. I wouldn't want to do a century on the AL frame. They both fit well, but the feel is very different. I now understand the comment about CF having a 'dead' feel. It isn't really a 'dead' feel but its' the lack of every road vibration coming right up through my spine.

Maybe, maybe notDropped
Jan 9, 2004 12:09 PM
So many things affect comfort on a bike -- saddle, tires, geometry, materials, builder, etc. -- that it's tought to predict based on a generality such as CF vs. aluminum.

I rode a carbon fiber bike for seven years before switching to aluminum. Honestly, I can't really tell the difference between the bikes. The new one fits me better, but the ride quality is pretty much the same.
I just switched from a CAAD4 to a...DERICK
Jan 9, 2004 12:48 PM
Giant TCR1 and the ride is definately smoother. I actualy feel more refreshed after a long ride and not so beat up. I'm using the wheels and tires off my Cannondale so the difference is all in the frame-fork. With Dura Ace 9spd and older Ksyriums my bike weighs 16.5 pounds and it's not hard to look at either.
I just switched from a CAAD4 to a...BaadDawg
Jan 9, 2004 2:22 PM
I have a Giant TCR Composite 1 and the ability to absorb bumps and road harshness is mindblowing....and every time I ride it it's the same sense of wonder at how smooth and absorbant it feels. And it does not feel dead in the least.

Can't compare to AL though since I came off an old steel frame.
I just switched from a CAAD4 to a...DERICK
Jan 9, 2004 8:04 PM
I've never ridden steel my self. One of the big improvements I felt when I switched to the TCR1 was how quiet it rides. Going over bumps and even pedaling is just not as loud. I'm even using most of my old drive train from the Dale. I think the frame absorbs some of the noise instead of amplifying it. Did you notice that coming from steel?
Jan 9, 2004 1:01 PM
re: Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?The Human G-Nome
Jan 9, 2004 2:21 PM
It also depends on the kind of aluminum you're talking about and the build. I really don't think you can just say "how is aluminum compared to CF?"
re: Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?one_speed
Jan 9, 2004 2:25 PM
absolutely! carbon will do it, as will steel or ti. with the crits, i'd be tempted to go full ti, if you've got the $$.

better yet, keep the 'dale for the crits and then you're more open for the other bike. (you won't have to worry as much about breaking a nice carbon frame) you could even outfit the 'dale with cheapo parts and take your best parts and put them on your new frame.

i think you have a good thought with this and i firmly believe you will notice the difference. but TRY THEM OUT! since you really know what your after. and, look for a slightly longer wheel base for what you want, not one with crit geometry. the longer wheel base will help a little with stability and help soak up the bumps.

have fun with this! and take your time making a decision.
re: Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?Gripfer
Jan 9, 2004 3:22 PM
#1 You're going to buy a new frame for your fork??
#2 Why did you change the fork? If it was less harsh before and is objectionable now, why don't you change the fork back? Maybe "upgraded" is the wrong term.
#3 Carbon or aluminum can both be harsh to the point of jarring or smooth depending on many variables other than the material.
re: Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?dctrofspin
Jan 9, 2004 5:22 PM
I purchased the Time fork for mainly for weight (almost 200 grams savings). The ride issue was a surprise, I didn't switch it thinking I would necessarily make the ride better. Like I said, the bike was already pretty stiff. I've considered trying to find a full carbon Slice fork, they're just hard to come by. The whole issue just got me thinking, hence this thread....
re: Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?JimP
Jan 9, 2004 3:24 PM
I switched from a Cannondale to an Aegis Aro Svelte and there is a big difference. The Cannondale would pass the vibration from chip-and-seal pavement up so much that the frame would "sing". The Aegis has reduced the vibration and my hands and butt are very gratefull. The feel isn't dead but smooth and will give you more confidence when the road surface is rougher than you would like.

Try different tiresKerry Irons
Jan 9, 2004 6:44 PM
You will feel a difference in the frames IF the other frame is designed to give a softer ride. You can make a stiff frame out of any material, and you can make a soft frame out of any material. Try lower pressure and/or larger cross section tires. You'll get more out of that step than just about any frame change.
re: Aluminum vs. CF -- Will I notice a difference?lyleseven
Jan 9, 2004 10:04 PM
No doubt that CF or Ti will give you a more comfy ride. No doubt...... case closed, period!