10 year-old carbon vs new aluminium?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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themidge
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by themidge

Sorry this is such a boring topic, but for this dilemma I feel I need the help of this board's depth of knowledge and expertise :)

So, recently I've been saving up to buy a BMC ALR01 frameset in size 54 (shiny anodised silver) and I had my mind set on it for quite a while until I came across a very lightly used Cannondale Supersix from 2008 in size 56 (gloss back with red/white writing) for a really good price and now i'm torn between the two, hence this thread. I've put together a few pros and cons that I can think of, but they seem to balance out to me, so any points for one or the other would be much appreciated. FWIW, at the moment my main bike is a B'twin Triban 540 that fits like this:
Image
And here are the two bikes' geometries compared:
Image
(bmc in red, cannondale in green)
Oddly the 54 BMC seems to fit about the same as the 56 'dale.

BMC ALR01
Pros
- completely new
- 2018 technology
- heard good things about bmc geometry
- ~1295g for frame, (claimed) not light, but not so heavy for alloy
- comes with a carbon seatpost
- stiffer than 10 year-old carbon?
- bsa threaded bb
Cons
- heavy fork at ~450g claimed
- £999 :? (seems a lot for alloy, but it looks really well made)

Cannondale Supersix 2008
Pros
- cannondale geometry
- 1050g claimed weight (probably more like 1150, but still lighter)
- 350g fork
- bb30 (lighter + stiffer(?) than bsa)
- very lightly ridden
- same front end as the system six :thumbup:
- ~£350 :D
Cons
- 10 year-old technology
- stiff as 2018 alloy?
- cannondale's first full carbon frame (quality?)
- bb30 is harder to work on than bsa

That seems like a pretty comprehensive list on paper, but if anyone has any experience with either bike or any other points to add, they'd be very welcome.

[Edit: finally learned how to make pictures work here, practised by fixing these]
Last edited by themidge on Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

morganb
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by morganb

In general, I would say new aluminum versus old carbon, but for this specific case its a bit harder as the price and weights are very different. I prefer Cannondale geo and loved my CAAD9 (same era) which I still have the frame sitting around to build up again in the future. How big of tires do you want to run? You are likely going to be limited on the Super 6 to 23s or 25s on relatively narrow rims while the BMC should be able to fit 28s.

by Weenie


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themidge
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by themidge

Thanks for the reply :D
At the moment I run 25mm veloflex masters on mavic aksiums (I know, what a pleb!) and they measure 24mm. I'd be interested to try wider tyres, but I think 23-25 is plenty for my weight. I have 22mm tubs on my vitus and they feel fine too so yeah, both bikes should be fine clearance-wise.

coriordan
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by coriordan

I would go with Carbon. The only bike I would suggest going Alu for is a new Caad10 or the Caad12 as reviews of both are absolutely amazing.

I have a 2008 Boardman Pro Carbon (the same bike Nicole Cook won the 2008 Olympics on!) and compared to a brand new Kinesis Aithein it is so so much better in every way.

I ran the two with identical setup (105 11sp, deda zero 100 finishing kit, Zondas and 25mm Michelin Pro 4 SC tyres), the fit is identical and the Boardman is nicer in every single way.

Stiffer, more comfortable, more stable and just so much happier at speed and descending. In spite of some reviews saying its 'skitty' you get used to it really quickly and other bikes can feel quite dead in comparison.

I actually sold my Boardman in favour of the Kinesis and after 6 months contacted the buyer who sold it back to me, and then I sold the Kinesis and I am so glad I did.

That said I was fortunate that the Boardman is BSA and never so much as squeaked and the Kinesis was BB86 and noone could stop the damn thing creaking.

moonoi
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by moonoi

I'd go with modern Alu, I owned a S Works Tarmac SL4 and a Specialized Allez Sprint x2. The sprint is a much better bike, as stiff but more comfortable as well. I've since sold both, but I do miss the sprint. It was that good, I think you'd be convinced it was a carbon frame if you didn't know.

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morganb
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by morganb

moonoi wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:41 pm
I'd go with modern Alu, I owned a S Works Tarmac SL4 and a Specialized Allez Sprint x2. The sprint is a much better bike, as stiff but more comfortable as well. I've since sold both, but I do miss the sprint. It was that good, I think you'd be convinced it was a carbon frame if you didn't know.

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I have an SL5 and a Sprint and have a hard time deciding which one I like better. I like the handling of the SL5 slightly more but the Sprint feels great sprinting and on all out fast rides/racing.

Multebear
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by Multebear

If the carbon bike was any other bike, I would have picked the BMC. But since it's a dale, definitely the dale. If you've noticed the 10 year old super six was only upgraded two years ago. And the upgrade was - well it almost wasn't an upgrade. They changed a few minor things, but the overall design is still the same. And some of the pros still prefer the old one. With the supersix, cannondale really hit bullseye. So the tech is old, but it doesn't matter, if it can't be done better. In the future it probably will be done even better, but not at the moment.

I own two of them myself - both evo hi-mod versions though (2012 and 2014). And they're still the best bike (and best looking bike) I've ever ridden.

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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

The SuperSix being used, how well do you know the history of the bike? If it was new old stock, it would be more tempting, but unless you absolutely know the full history of the bike, I'd probably go new. For the difference in price, you could do a lot toward better wheels, etc, but if the frame is hiding hidden damage, it's not worth it.

I have no problem with old carbon, I have an '05 S-Works Tarmac that's still a great bike. I kept it as a backup to my '18 Allez Sprint. They are both nearly identical build, setup nearly the same, and the geometry is close enough that they ride about the same. The Allez is my primary; it's stiffer, more lively, slightly lighter, but the 13 year old Tarmac is still more comfortable over anything more than 2-3 hours.
* There is a 70% chance that what you have just read has a peppering of cynicism or sarcasm and generally should not be taken seriously.
I'll leave it up to you to figure out the other 30%. If you are in any way offended, that's on you.

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themidge
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by themidge

The listing says this: "The frame has been very lightly used so is in immaculate condition"
From the pictures the frame looks in really good nick as far as I can tell. There aren't any obvious marks or scratches and it's as clean as can be. It must have been built up for at least a little while because the steerer has been cut (not a problem btw). From what I've found on t'internet the frame has alloy inserts for the bb and headtube, hopefully no corrosion issues? From the description I get the impression that the seller hasn't used it in a long time and needed to make some room in a house probably full of other his wife thinks he should get rid of :D .
Here's the ebay listing: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Cannondale-S ... SwmFNZZ3RB

AJS914
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

With the BMC, don't you get a whole bike for around 1000 pounds?

In general, I'm all for scoring great deals on lightly used bikes.

RussellS
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by RussellS

I kind of agree with the previous person who mentioned new vs used aspect. I have nothing against used bikes. I own a CAAD7 and CAAD9 I bought used. They are perfect. So I love Cannondales. But the Super Six is used. You don't know what life it has had. New or old carbon frames are both good. No miracle in carbon frames has happened in the last decade so any carbon frame is fine and good. My now 5+ year old carbon frame is fine and will be fine for the next several decades. No miracle changes are going to happen. So the fact the Super Six is 10 years old now means squat. Given the price difference, 350 to 1000 Pounds for frame/fork, I'd probably take a risk on the used Super Six. Even if it breaks in a year, so what you are only out 350 Pounds. Peanuts.

fromtrektocolnago
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by fromtrektocolnago

go with the bike that fits and feels better. don't focus on the material, focus on how the bike fits and how it rides.
Colnago C-59 (Dura Ace)
Firefly(Ultegra)
Trek 5200(ultegra)

fordred
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by fordred

if it's the same price, i would likely go modern alu.
But it's 350 vs 999 now! I'll get the carbon pls even if I don't like BB30 creaks.

waltthizzney
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by waltthizzney

buying a 10 yr old carbon bike is not a good idea

by Weenie


AJS914
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by AJS914

Looking online, the price for an ALR01 with a Tiagra groupset should be around 1000 pounds so for that money you should be getting a whole bike. And that is full retail so you could probably find a 2017 model with 105 or Ultegra on sale.

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