Switching from carbon to aluminum - thoughts and opinions welcome

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
ToughInTheStreets
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:28 pm
Location: Florida

by ToughInTheStreets

Does anyone have any experience switching from high end carbon road bikes to an aluminum frame road bike? I have a Focus Izalco Max Disc and have been tossing the idea around to pick up an Allez Sprint Disc frameset.

Am I crazy? I have plenty of experience on both materials and truly enjoy my Focus as it is now, but as it seems, the new bike itch is back.

Current specs if that is relevant:
2017 Focus Izalco Max Disc
SRAM Red eTap
Fizik Cyrano 00 Handlebar
Fizik Cyrano 00 Seatpost
Fizik R1 Stem

More than likely, all parts would be swapped over to the new frameset except the seat post of course. I guess I would classify my riding style as hard and fast paced. Lots of solo intervals and sprints, weekend A group, occasional crit.

I crashed last year and handlebar strike on the top tube left a bit of a disconcerting mark and really bummed me out. i know this can happen to aluminum as well, but I have crashed tons in the past on my aluminum framed bikes with nothing more than a few scuffs to the paint.

So, if I'm not alone on this venture, I'd love to hear from others that have switched. Good or bad.

3Pio
Posts: 1155
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

ToughInTheStreets wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:26 pm
Does anyone have any experience switching from high end carbon road bikes to an aluminum frame road bike? I have a Focus Izalco Max Disc and have been tossing the idea around to pick up an Allez Sprint Disc frameset.

Am I crazy? I have plenty of experience on both materials and truly enjoy my Focus as it is now, but as it seems, the new bike itch is back.

Current specs if that is relevant:
2017 Focus Izalco Max Disc
SRAM Red eTap
Fizik Cyrano 00 Handlebar
Fizik Cyrano 00 Seatpost
Fizik R1 Stem

More than likely, all parts would be swapped over to the new frameset except the seat post of course. I guess I would classify my riding style as hard and fast paced. Lots of solo intervals and sprints, weekend A group, occasional crit.

I crashed last year and handlebar strike on the top tube left a bit of a disconcerting mark and really bummed me out. i know this can happen to aluminum as well, but I have crashed tons in the past on my aluminum framed bikes with nothing more than a few scuffs to the paint.

So, if I'm not alone on this venture, I'd love to hear from others that have switched. Good or bad.
My main bike is Colnago C60 with Campy Record and Bora wheels... I realized i worry too much how i transport it sometimes, or during rain/ice etc, so decide to build another bike which is alloy (Cannondale CAAD12, which often is compared to Allez Sprint..)...

Not too many chances to ride outside since winter here, but let's say that Colnago C60 (carbon) is more sofisticated ride, more comfortable and stiff in same time.. Caad12 (alloy), more harsh, u feel the surface more, but fun definetely...

But i'll edit my post tommorw when i'll probably have first gran fondo outside on CAAD12 so will add more personal experience..

And for more detailed info, probably will need to have more km's in better weather, and to compare some PR's from the past...

Is there chance to have them both?

by Weenie


ToughInTheStreets
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:28 pm
Location: Florida

by ToughInTheStreets

@3Pio, those Colnago C60's are beautiful and it sounds like you have a wonderful set up. CAAD12's are nice as well. Especially nice that if you scrape it up, you won't cry for days like you would with the Colnago (well, at least I would cry).

Good luck on your fondo tomorrow, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the differences. As far as having both, I mean, I guess I could, but I have too many bikes as it is and since I would be cannibalizing most of the parts. I guess I could toss a DA 9000 hyrdo groupset on that I have lying around. For arguments sake, I'd prefer to plan on selling the Focus.

angrylegs
Posts: 164
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 2:32 pm

by angrylegs

Myself I had an older LOOK and a couple Cervelo S2s, before picking up an Allez Eite to use as a Zwift bike and also outside in the spring. Rebuilt the LOOK until I can buy a new carbon frame, so I've by no means left carbon behind. It's my preferred frame material and I wouldn't own just an aluminum bike, personally.

That said, I really enjoy the Allez. Sits too high and not aggressive enough, but I suppose that's an irrelevant complaint to the topic. It's fun to ride. You defnitely feel more road with it, but I didn't find it numb inducing even on an 80+ mile ride. It's definitely heavier, and I can feel that on climbs. I don't feel it accelerates quite the same. I put some demo 404 NSWs on it for a few weeks in the summer and it was a total blast, but a lot of that was the wheels. It certainly wasn't slow set up like that, and it's a heavier, non-aero bike than the S2. I'd say aluminum these days is so much better than the first aluminum bikes I had, but still not as nice as carbon. The Allez Sprint is probably going to be a little less smooth than the regular Allez due to the tube shaping cast in aluminum, and both are less smooth than even your average carbon bike, but I don't get beat up on the Allez, although roads for the most part around here are great.

I second 3Pio and keeping both. Use the Allez Sprint for racing (especially crits) and some fast training rides and intervals. Keep the carbon bike for longer solo rides. It's nice having both.

TimF
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 11:18 pm

by TimF

Did you consider titanium?

wintershade
Posts: 228
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

I have a Canyon Ultimate SLX (Record, Boras) which I don’t really get along with. I’m building up a Bowman Palace:R as we speak (Chorus, Zipp NSW). I’ll report back in a couple weeks and let you know what I think.

ToughInTheStreets
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:28 pm
Location: Florida

by ToughInTheStreets

Hi Angrylegs. I hear the non-sprint Allez's are pretty dang comfortable to ride. I should also mention that I still have a Cannondale CAADX disc (aluminum frame fyi) that I have ridden the ever living crap out of on all terrains and 5K or so miles on road. Overall, I don't feel that it is as harsh of a ride as reviewers tend label aluminum as being. My Focus is stiff and agile, but can be perceived by my ass as being just as harsh on rough roads. However, I may be easier to please and gladly sacrifice comfort for speed most of the time. You're probably right, I should probably just keep the Focus and build up another bike. Ughhhh. I was trying to make it easy and not add another bike to the garage hahah.

@TimF, I will own a titanium bike someday! I almost pulled the trigger on one a few years ago and kind of regret that I didn't. I may have to think about it again.

@Wintershade, IS THAT RIGHT? What a difference in direction! I would love to know your thought process on the switch and what lead to it if you wanna share. Glad to hear I'm not completely alone! :beerchug:

Thank you all for your input and opinions.

flying
Posts: 1750
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:16 am

by flying

I switched to Aluminum after riding Look's KG381 & 585
Also Cervelo R2.5 in between those looks

Anyway if you want to try Aluminum I would not hesitate at all. :wink:
Last edited by flying on Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

2lo8
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:32 am

by 2lo8

Keep in mind, it's not just material that affects durability. For any given material, heavier (low end) is usually going to tend to be stronger. So consider if past experience is because of material, or because of lack of WWness.
[6.6kg of no carbon fiber]
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dastott
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:35 pm

by dastott

Wouldn’t tyres, wheels and saddle play a very large part in ride quality, rather than the frame? Must say I fancy a CAAD10 or 12 to see how it compares to my SS Evo...

dim
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

I owned a Specialized S-Works Transition (TT alu E5 frame, carbon forks, carbon stem and handlebars) ... this was converted to a road bike (drop bars)

I had a Airone Flex saddle, and thick bartape .... it was super fast and comfy for long rides .... I used various tyres and there was no difference in comfort between my Giant TCR and the S-Works

I'm still sad that I sold it..... I'd love the new Allez sprint
Trek Emonda SL6
Miyata One Thousand

Greenduck
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:36 pm

by Greenduck

I don't have any experience going from high-end carbon to aluminium but I have the other way around as many others.

I bought a Cannondale CAAD 9 some years ago. Everyone else bought carbon so obviously I wanted that too. I then bought a Cannondale SuperSix, sold my CAAD 9 and instantly regretted it. The SuperSix was a great bike but there was just something about the CAAD 9 I didn't realize before it was gone. And I can only imagine that newer aluminium frames has gotten even better.
Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=139324

thorerik
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:46 pm

by thorerik

I have gone from Canyon endurace sl disc back to allez sprint rim brake. I really like it, but as someone mentioned it is the tires that affects the comfor the most.
I think you will be hayypy with your choice if u go the allez sprint route

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northwestern
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:13 pm
Location: Phoenix,AZ

by northwestern

How about just swapping out carbon handlebars for alu ones? Shimano make alu aero bars. I have 42 and they're 235 grams. Not too much of a penalty but 10 times more comfortable.

by Weenie


AJS914
Posts: 3113
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

ToughInTheStreets wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:26 pm
Am I crazy? I have plenty of experience on both materials and truly enjoy my Focus as it is now, but as it seems, the new bike itch is back.

I do think you are crazy. You have a nice 2017 top tier bike. It doesn't make sense to step down to aluminum to get a new bike just because you want new.

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