Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
New to the forum. Wanted some advice, looking at moving from a mountain bike to a flatbar road bike for my 20Km (each way) commute and longer weekend rides. Found drop bars a bit uncomfortable so looking at a flatbar road bike. Wanted some advice (pros and cons) on buying a full carbon frame vs alloy. My understanding is that the carbon frame will be more comfortable (i.e. forgiving over bumps) compared to an alloy frame while the material would not make much of a difference to the weight. Is it worth the extra $'s for carbon. Will it be a noticeable difference?
Thanks in advance.
Comfort primarily comes from lower tyre pressure and a saddle that suits you well. It's not worth the extra money for carbon in my opinion.
agree. mostly. there's a guy I see all the time who has converted his carbon trek roadie to a flat bar. looks good, sort of.
On a flat bar, you're sitting more upright, which negates all of the aerodynamic benefits that a carbon bike would normally bring.
you can have an aero alloy bike. maybe what you are saying is a brick into the wind on any material bike is still a brick into the wind.
I don't own one, but I reckon flatbar road bikes are awesome. There never used to be an option for actually going fast on road without drop bars... which led me building a few bastardised MTBs with narrow slicks and road cranks along the way. Now the same thing - but better - is available off the hook. That's a win.
They tend to be a gateway drug. Not many people who buy a flatbar roadie stick with flatbar roadies for long. Most end up upgrading to a drop-bar roadie within 18 months.
Of course, it could simply be that most people who get heavily into cycling on any bike tend to upgrade within 18 months. But it's a very visible phenomenon with FBRs.
That being the case, I wouldn't recommend going all out and spending a fortune on your dream bike this time around. Get a very nice bike, by all means, and love riding it. But experience has shown that your dream bike in <2 years will be different to your current dream bike... and most likely, it won't have flat bars.
Count this as a vote for alloy. Save your carbon credits for when you upgrade.
*sticks his hand up
still ride the flat bar. but if I were looking now, I'd now look at a CX for commuting (all weather, disc brakes being the reasons)
Have done well over 16000kms on my flat bar. still commute on it when not doing an extended ride/when the weather may turn to fud (carbon melts in the rain)
Carbon fibre has mystical and magical properties and you will go 10 km/h faster up hills in a head wind....Except I must be broken because i have a steel bike, an aluminium bike and a CF bke and I am equally slow on all of them. If I ride a lot, i ride faster. If I dont ride much and eat too much, I ride slower.
Ride them both and find out. You will figure out whether the trade off/opportunity cost is worth it for you.
Thanks for all the responses.
I have a had look over the weekend and ridden a few. I think I will stick to a aluminum / alloy frame.
Down to two bikes.
Any thoughts or opinions on the Scott Vs the Cube?
One of the best features of non-carbon bikes is crash resistance. Don't ask me how I know
cube looks betterer
has a couple of better components too
Cube looks heaps better. Whats the deal with V brakes though?
Is it? I've always pondered this, if there was an inherent advantage of v-brakes over sidepull calipers, why don't we run them on roadies?
I figured that given the limited traction on 23-30mm tyres, increased braking power probably isn't a good thing.
Happy to stand corrected - I'm just thinking out loud over here.
Yes. As one of many that has used both, V brakes generally have more effective leverage as a brake than calipers. So for the same apparent lever input, you get more braking power.
I'd rate my Avid Ultimate V brake as either equal to better than my BB7 disc brakes in dry conditions. I don't know of any other rim brake type I'd rate as equal to them.
Depends on what tyres you use, what pressure you run them at and how you use your brakes.
Why would you bother?
Put slicks on the MTB or go to a full road bike otherwise you are moving sideways, not fowards.
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happy owner of a flatbar for 5years
it is only when the wind is blowing a gale that I curse, but I understand everyone else on drop bars curses too.
a carbon seat post was worth every penny. Still have the same seat, but my bum is happier.
would love a full carbon flat bar: Trek fx 7.7
for the money however, there are some very good deals to be had on drop bars, especially when you work in a bike shop that doesnt sell Trek
Trek Madone 3.1
Giant CRX4 - Black Ghost
I need a dualie
and, if alloy is so good why do so many alloy bikes have carbon forks?
answer: vibration dampener.
carbon forks, hard to find ones with pannier lugs.
Trek Madone 3.1
Giant CRX4 - Black Ghost
I need a dualie
That is an interesting point as that is what is making my decision hard. The Cube has slightly better running gear but the Scott has a carbon fork and a carbon seat post, potentially making it more comfortable. Is that more important than the slightly better running gear.
Easy actually - Columbus Tusk Trekking.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
Generally V-Brakes allow you to run a wider tyyre and rim , so you could eventually convert this to a flat bar CX bike...
dont quote me tho...i have enough trouble tying up my own shoe laces
Boardman CX pro now the commuter, Salsa Casseroll, Trek Domane
Thanks for all the input. Ended up buying the Scott Metrix.
I might be the exception to your rule. I have an alloy Giant flattie that I love, especially on longer rides, and a carbon fibre Avanti drop bar that I enjoy.
Next year I will give myself a special birthday present. It will be a carbon fibre flattie. Best of both worlds.
Too heavy to climb, too old to sprint.
Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3
Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
I'm sorry, but frame material is almost completely unrelated to aerodynamics. Carbon only makes some very small aero gains at best, due to the smoother shapes that are possible. Overall geometry, and mostly the person on the bike, have a far greater effect on aero than the material.
Ride comfort is the biggest gain you get from carbon, regardless of frame geometry. It won't compensate for a bad fit, but it does absorb a lot of that irritating road chatter and "buzz" that wears you down over the long miles.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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