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Does anyone know the AVERAGE weight savings in pounds or percentage on a typical road frame for good quality aluminum vs carbon - assuming a quality bike - none of the bike manufacturers include that anymore and for my limestone hybrid (flat bar road bike with 32c wheels) I am still up in the air - the new carbon road bike is just so much more fun - but a started with a 10 yr old steel Raleigh C40
 

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I bet my CAAD 9 aluminum frame is lighter than hundreds of carbon fiber model frames. Carbon Fiber does'nt always mean lighter.
Components also contribute to weight savings.

I have three road bikes my heaviest bike is about 5 pounds heavier than my lightest. My overall average speed is about the same on all three. Five pounds is only 2.5% of total weight bike and rider included.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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Lateral stiffness and vertical compliance are a huge part of the equation. It's more than just weight.
Can you add more to that - if you have carbon in your road bike - how much a sacrifice would it be not to have that on a flat bar hybrid for the limestone trails ??
 

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davereo said:
I bet my CAAD 9 aluminum frame is lighter than hundreds of carbon fiber model frames. Carbon Fiber does'nt always mean lighter.

Industry_Hack said:
Lateral stiffness and vertical compliance are a huge part of the equation. It's more than just weight.
Two very distinct things that I noticed between my aluminum Defy and my carbon Colnago was more power transfer to the bottom bracket and a quicker response of the bike while turning. A carbon bike also absorbs the road vibrations much better than an aluminum bike (even with a carbon fork and seat post). On my 100K + charity rides, the Defy would wear me out on some of the roads that we took. The same ride on the Colnago was much smoother and much less exhausting. It feels as if I could ride the Colnago all day and not be tired.

Where I really noticed the difference between the two is when climbing. We don't have many hills here in my area, but the ones we do have (and the steep a$$ bridges) were much easier to climb on the Colnago than on the Defy, especially when standing to pedal. That's where much of the lateral stiffness and power transfer comes into play.

Weight wise, the Colnago is obviously lighter than the Defy by a few pounds, out of the box. Except for take-offs, the weight difference did very little to increase my overall speed between the Defy and the Colnago. However, the ride difference between the two bikes made it extremely difficult for me to want to leave the Colnago home and ride the Defy. So much so, that I ended up selling the Defy so that someone would get some use out of it. BTW, the Ace is definitely not one of the lightest CF bikes on the market. The out of box weight was 17.7 lbs.; 18.1 lbs. after swapping the tires for heavier 700x25 Gatorskins and adding SPD-M520 pedals. I think Dave's CADD 9 is lighter than that.
 

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If you want vibration damping, try titanium or steel. I've just never been a fan of carbon fiber. It's great stuff, and it's the easiest material to create complex frames with, but it's still not for me.
 

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If you want vibration damping, try titanium or steel. I've just never been a fan of carbon fiber. It's great stuff, and it's the easiest material to create complex frames with, but it's still not for me.
The last steel bike I had was when I was around 12 years old. Too long ago to make any comparisons. I have heard, by several people, that titanium bikes are awesome when it comes to smooth riding. One of my team members has a titanium Lightspeed and prefers it over carbon.
 

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I went Titanium.
My perception of carbon fiber is that of ...fragile. Do not drop it or scratch it.
My perception of aluminum is that of ...stiff and harsh ride. Will feel every pebble on the road.

However, my perception of bike weight is...Rider, weigh thyself. Take a good constitutional before the ride, and you will be lighter than a good Ti bike...
 

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Carbon is a good material to make bike frames from. If it was not the manufacturers would avoid it's use.

Carbon is not fragile by a long shot. Carbon is one of the hardest materials on the planet.

Aluminum gives a good ride also. Power transfer compliance smooth ride can all be built into aluminum frames.

Blind folded half the cyclist in the world would not be able to identify frame material while riding. I am willing to say 95% would be challenged to make the correct identification.
 

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I went Titanium.
My perception of carbon fiber is that of ...fragile. Do not drop it or scratch it.
My perception of aluminum is that of ...stiff and harsh ride. Will feel every pebble on the road.

However, my perception of bike weight is...Rider, weigh thyself. Take a good constitutional before the ride, and you will be lighter than a good Ti bike...
That was my perception of carbon fiber, especially after reading some posts on other bike forums where CF bikes broke in half at the middle of the tubes. Then I saw several YouTube videos of people purposely trying to break CF frames and that changed my mind. Further research found that CF bike frames, like any frame material, will fail if there is a flaw or defect in the material or construction of the frame.

I'm in total agreement with you on bike weight. It's cheaper to lose a few pounds than it is to buy a lighter bike and it's not that hard to do if you really try. It's also healthier and improves the engine.
 

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I am sure I only hear the bad things on Carbon fiber frames,But...
I have dropped my bike hard a time or two, didn't even scratch the titanium, messed up the cf front fork a bit, not to failing, but it no longer looks the part.(I did take it in after the last "spill" as there was a bigish scratch in the fork and thinking cf fragile, the lbs gave a good to go, so perhaps it is tougher than I give it credit.)
My titanium frame will still be around after the sun burns itself out...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That was my perception of carbon fiber, especially after reading some posts on other bike forums where CF bikes broke in half at the middle of the tubes. Then I saw several YouTube videos of people purposely trying to break CF frames and that changed my mind. Further research found that CF bike frames, like any frame material, will fail if there is a flaw or defect in the material or construction of the frame.

I'm in total agreement with you on bike weight. It's cheaper to lose a few pounds than it is to buy a lighter bike and it's not that hard to do if you really try. It's also healthier and improves the engine.
I agree with losing weight - one of the reasons I love riding - but NOTHING (in terms of biking) makes me smile as getting on my carbon bike & the feel of it and how it seems to get the power to the ground - therefor the more of I love to ride the more I ride - a win for me losing weight - I have yet to have the carbon bike feel like a chore (except at the end & middle of my Florida rides in 95º weather with 100% humidity) - I can't say that about my old comfort steel hybrid C40 Raleigh - my goal is not a debate on the merits of alum vs carbon vs titan - merely the percentage of fun each will provide
 

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There is the state of mind that when we get on something that we are happy with we feel great. New wheels mounted on an old steed and we go out for a ride and do our best time of the season. Switching pedal systems and we somehow become faster more effiecient. Its mostly in the mind.

So if its the fun or wow factor you crave get what tickles your fancy because if it makes you happy you will be happy with it.

Once you sort through all the options and combinations of things available to you you will then know what it is you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I remember in high school - only the old guys will remember this - most were still using wood tennis rackets and discussion such as these would take place - I started with wood and learned the game & worked my butt off - and then I upgraded to an Arthur Ash Composite - my game went up - part of it was in my head - but no one uses wood anymore - most of the people that have carbon bikes would not ride any thing else - I have never ridden titanium - I assume it cost alot ?? Maybe I would feel the same way after I rode that - but I think i could definitely feel the difference between either with chrome moly steel
 

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You've never ridden Ti or high end steel yet you can tell the difference by ride feel? You must have a highly developed sense of touch.
 

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bikertank said:
I agree with losing weight - one of the reasons I love riding - but NOTHING (in terms of biking) makes me smile as getting on my carbon bike & the feel of it and how it seems to get the power to the ground - therefor the more of I love to ride the more I ride - a win for me losing weight - I have yet to have the carbon bike feel like a chore (except at the end & middle of my Florida rides in 95º weather with 100% humidity) - I can't say that about my old comfort steel hybrid C40 Raleigh - my goal is not a debate on the merits of alum vs carbon vs titan - merely the percentage of fun each will provide
Yep! Regardless of the frame material of your choice, if it makes you feel good and ride more, it's the best thing out there. I feel the same as you do when on my carbon bike. The difference in the ride between my Ace and my old Defy was instantly noticeable, and I really liked riding my Defy.

BTW, in the summer, I ride in 95* Florida weather with100% humidity or I don't ride at all. It's all part of living in paradise. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yep! Regardless of the frame material of your choice, if it makes you feel good and ride more, it's the best thing out there. I feel the same as you do when on my carbon bike. The difference in the ride between my Ace and my old Defy was instantly noticeable, and I really liked riding my Defy.

BTW, in the summer, I ride in 95* Florida weather with100% humidity or I don't ride at all. It's all part of living in paradise. :D
I am sure you get used to it - but not in 2 days that i got to ride
 
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