Switching from carbon to aluminum - thoughts and opinions welcome

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
3Pio
Posts: 1213
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:13 pm

by 3Pio

ToffieBoi wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:10 am
3Pio wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:22 am
Sock3t wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:20 am
ToughInTheStreets wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:25 pm
@3Pio, thank you very much for the feedback after your long ride today. Its crazy to ever be comparing a C60 to an aluminum anything, isn't it? It's also odd to realize that it is lighter than your carbon framed top of the line Colnago. As far as how much I ride, I am gone quite a bit and unable to ride sometimes, but squeaked in over 8k KM last year, which I feel is decent enough and getting my money's worth out of my bikes. In comparison, I drove less than 2k km last year haha. I really appreciate your input and truly didn't expect to hear this.

@Sock3t, damn. That's a sharp looking ride you put together :beerchug: . Always liked those Controltech carbon saddles as well. Do they flex enough to take out any harshness? Plan would be to toss on some 50 mm carbon wheels as well. Do you do any racing on it? Thanks for sharing
I race Cat 5 on it. The saddle is a little flexible but not much. It's 7.2kg as it sits right now with DA 9000 on it.

It's a really fun bike to ride!
My Caad12 is 6830 gm in lightest version (Bora 35 Tub/CorsaG+ tires/kalloy uno 110mm stem), but consider 6950 gm, since this is with Look Keo Ti pedals, and i ride Favero Assioma Power Meters which add 100 gm. 20-30 gm extra, for different stem, since im still experimenting with this..

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=154473&hilit=caad12 ... 0#p1457147

In heaviest version is 7150 gm:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=154473&hilit=caad12 ... 5#p1454102

I also considered Steel frameset, but give up after realizing that will be flexy and heavy (Considered Ritchey Road Logic and Colnago Master X-Light).. So to be metal + stiff+light+not uber expensive = Alloy :)

BTW, i have another alloy frameset/carbon fork for my commuting.. It's Bianchi Pista SeiGiorni (here i have alloy Cinelli Lola Handlebar), and realized on this frame that it's not harsh, and also very fun for my city riding (it can be fast and very nice acceleration)

Even i prefer clasic look framesets, That Allez look very good..
I also think that steel frame will fit you better. There are many builders and brands out there with modern steel bikes. Cinelli Nemo TIG has massive tubes, so does Stelbel SB/03. They don't ride any different than a modern aluminum frame + ride quality is phenomenal!

edit: by you, I mean ToughInTheStreets :)

When i was purchasing my CAAD12, i considered Cinelli Nemo Tig as well.. But few things put me off..

1. Price (3 or 4 times more expensive then CAAD12)

2. Weight (about 800 gm heavier then CAAD12 frame, which is not that minor difference...)

3. Geometry (51 have a low stack for me, 54 on high side as i wanted to try a bit smaller size then what i have now)

by Weenie


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

by Greenduck

ToughInTheStreets wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:02 pm
Greenduck wrote:
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.
See, that's the kind of stuff that you don't read or hear from many people, especially on bike reviews. Any idea on why you feel that way going from the CAAD 9 to the SSix? I bought a SSix HM a few years ago, but the shop dropped something on it and wrecked the frame. Decided to look elsewhere. I felt bad for the shop though, they had to eat the cost.
I think I had a preconception of what to expect from the SuperSix. And because the CAAD9 was such a good frame my expectations kinda fell short.
Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=139324

Stendhal
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am

by Stendhal

ToughInTheStreets wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:53 am
angrylegs wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:51 pm
@ToughInTheStreets Having two bikes is nice. You've got a nice carbon one. It would be worth it in the long run imho.
Totally agree with you. Bad news is that I already have 5 bikes plus my wife's for a total of 6 as well as 4 motorcycles. I may have a problem with two wheels. Funny thing is, I drive a 35 year old Toyota pickup that everyone makes fun of me for still driving.

However, you and several others have made great points here and I propose this solution for scrutiny:

- I buy the allez sprint disc frame, swap over my etap, crankset, power meter, and brakes from the Focus.
- source out a crank arm power meter and build the Focus back up with DA 9000 that I have set aside. The cranks are 175, instead of my preferred 172.5, but any noticeable difference would probably be all in my head. I would also have to get new wheels. 👎
- Reluctantly sell two bike from my stable to make things right in the universe

This could be done with minimal effort and sacrifice. I put down a lot of hard miles this weekend on the Focus and it really is a great bike that I enjoy riding quite a bit and would probably regret selling right now.
Very good plan. I did not switch completely from carbon to aluminum, but I did switch my #2 bike from carbon to aluminum (a high end brand, LOW//) and it complements the #1 carbon bike (S-Works Tarmac) well, such that I enjoy bikes both more for their strengths.
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 (6.39 kg)
Retired: LOW// mki road, Pinarello Dogma F10 \ F8, Lapierre Pulsium FDJ, TIME Fluidity S, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2, R3, R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

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choiboi
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:38 pm

by choiboi

I own both and still ride both.

My supersix is definitely a smoother ride overall. However, it ain't 2x better, which is what the price differential is.. I'd say my caad10 is 95% as good as the supersix. The biggest difference I seem to notice is the BB of the supersix is noticably stiffer.Image

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David
[b]'10 CANNONDALE CAAD10

calleking
Posts: 170
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:20 pm

by calleking

I have a Cannondale Slate and an S-Works Tarmac SL6. The Slate is such a fun bike to do all types of mixed surfaces with. It's heavier and it's not as stiff but still surprisingly good. Alu has really come a long way. It's nice to have a bike like the SL6 but there's also a relief in not having to worry that much about a bike. The Slate gets used and abused heavily. I don't have to wash it or service it constantly. The SL6 on the other hand is a pure race machine and it feels incredible to jump on it after using the Slate.

Sure, my bikes are designed for different purposes but the reality is that a CAAD12 or something similar is almost as good for us normal people if you compare road bikes aimed at racing. Pair it with wide rims, tubeless and carbon seat post/handlebars and you're good to race anything on a higher level. Performance gains come through good training, consistency, increased load, rest and tapering. I bought the SL6 because I could afford it and because I liked aesthetics - not because I thought I'd make me faster. The SL6 sure feels different in a good way but it's all very subjective and after awhile it feels normal until you try some other bike.

TLDR: Both bikes give me smiles in different ways.

Image
Image
2018 S-Works Tarmac SL6 Sagan Superstar DA Di2
2017 Cannondale Slate Ultegra
2016 Grand Canyon AL 8.0
2014 Crux Elite

Retired: Aeroad CF SLX 8.0 DI2

chiefspinninggear
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 11:56 am

by chiefspinninggear

Im trying to decide from carbon to custom steel, in the hope it could be a one to rule them all etc. Looking through this thread just tells me to buy another bike anyway

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ToughInTheStreets
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:28 pm
Location: Florida

by ToughInTheStreets

Hello everyone. Thank you all for the comments and insight. I have been out to sea for a while and haven't been able to read them until now.
choiboi wrote: I own both and still ride both.

My supersix is definitely a smoother ride overall. However, it ain't 2x better, which is what the price differential is.. I'd say my caad10 is 95% as good as the supersix. The biggest difference I seem to notice is the BB of the supersix is noticably stiffer.
Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk
That's interesting that you say it is noticeably stiffer. Both of those bikes are beautiful, they compliment each other nicely IMO. For a CAAD being half the price of the SS, that's a bit disappointing to have that sentiment of only being 5% better. I guess that's what we deal with in this hobby/sport, huh? Marginal gains and wanting the best of the best hurts our wallet the most. Thank you for your perspective. How much do you ride both bikes? Do you usually go for the SS or CAAD?
calleking wrote: I have a Cannondale Slate and an S-Works Tarmac SL6. The Slate is such a fun bike to do all types of mixed surfaces with. It's heavier and it's not as stiff but still surprisingly good. Alu has really come a long way. It's nice to have a bike like the SL6 but there's also a relief in not having to worry that much about a bike. The Slate gets used and abused heavily. I don't have to wash it or service it constantly. The SL6 on the other hand is a pure race machine and it feels incredible to jump on it after using the Slate.

Sure, my bikes are designed for different purposes but the reality is that a CAAD12 or something similar is almost as good for us normal people if you compare road bikes aimed at racing. Pair it with wide rims, tubeless and carbon seat post/handlebars and you're good to race anything on a higher level. Performance gains come through good training, consistency, increased load, rest and tapering. I bought the SL6 because I could afford it and because I liked aesthetics - not because I thought I'd make me faster. The SL6 sure feels different in a good way but it's all very subjective and after awhile it feels normal until you try some other bike.

TLDR: Both bikes give me smiles in different ways.
Stunning bikes you have there and that Slate looks like a blast to ride. However, I think we might be on different wave lengths a bit. I have experience with both materials and originally was debating on whether to switch back to aluminum completely and sell my high end carbon bike. I totally understand the basis of training harder is always the best upgrade, but that's not really what I'm asking. I have a pretty firm grasp on the subject, but scheduling is always the limiting factor because I am gone so often. However, I digress. Racing isn't my main priority in life as much as I would like it to be. Unfortunately, as a result, I pretty much just ride for fitness, fun, and hard hitting local group rides on the weekends as well as racking up the completely arbitrary strava kom's. That's about the gist of it. Riding bikes and working on them is really the only thing I do with my free time nowadays.

I think our shopping habits are on the same page though. At this point, I don't expect a new bike to make me any faster, but I would only buy one if it looks good and has the features I want. In the end, this topic has pretty much convinced me to buy the new frameset and keep the Focus as well. That will be a lot more money than the original plan, but I can offset it by selling a few things and using a few parts that I have sitting around. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insight!

ToughInTheStreets
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:28 pm
Location: Florida

by ToughInTheStreets

chiefspinninggear wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:02 am
Im trying to decide from carbon to custom steel, in the hope it could be a one to rule them all etc. Looking through this thread just tells me to buy another bike anyway

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
Haha! Yep. Pretty much exactly how it went for me. Good luck to you and your wallet :beerchug:

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fa63
Posts: 2367
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:26 am
Location: Atlanta, GA, US

by fa63

If impact resistance is important, you might be disappointed in modern thin-walled aluminum frames. I had a CAAD10 which would seemingly dent if I stared at it too hard :-) Usually the dents are no problem, but they will leave your frame unrideable if severe enough, and unlike carbon, aluminum can't be repaired easily.
ToughInTheStreets wrote: 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.

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