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  1. #1
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    Carbon, or Alloy???

    So, in my local shop, the C'dale carbon Flash 3 29er (X7/X9, carbon frame & fork FLASH CARBON 29'ER 3 ) & the Flash Alloy 2 29er (X9/XO, nice alloy frame, same Lefty FLASH 29'ER 2 ) these are my 2 choices.
    Price difference - $1100.
    Weight difference, 2.1lbs.(both weighed in-store last night)

    Obviously, parts can be upgraded, wheels & such made lighter, blah-blah-blah.

    I ride a Madone SL carbon road bike currently, after many C'dale aluminum carbon roadies, so I know there's a qualitative diff in ride, alloy vs carbon (at least on the pave).

    Quandry: Is the carbon frame worth $500 per pound more than the alloy?

    Sure, I could probably knock off a couple lbs from the alloy by going tubeless, lighter cranks, some CF bits here/there - wouldn't cost $1000 to drop a kilo.

    I am 6'3", 195lbs, riding mtb since '89, don't want/need DS, love the Lefty, don't know if carbon will be any better than the alloy (currently riding original Caffiene 29er from '07 for 4+ years), and will probably ride the new bike for 4+ years.

    Opinions? Advice?

    Anyone out there go from an alloy C'dale 29er to the carbon?

    thanks in advance.
    The easy path is rarely the better choice.

    '07 KTM Superduke
    '07 RedLine Monocog 29er
    '07 F29
    '06 Madone 5.2 SL

  2. #2
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    Nice comparison of the two not to long ago: 29er Throwdown: Flash Alloy vs. Flash Carbon
    CyclingCentralVa.org

  3. #3
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    Does the Flash Alloy 2 have a carbon Lefty?
    2012 Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er 3
    2009 GT Peace 9R SS
    2008 Cannondale Prophet 4, Lefty Max TPC

  4. #4
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    Neither in the compare above have carbon Leftys.
    The easy path is rarely the better choice.

    '07 KTM Superduke
    '07 RedLine Monocog 29er
    '07 F29
    '06 Madone 5.2 SL

  5. #5
    Helmetless Crasher
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    Pocket the grand, buy the alloy bike and move your bowels before each ride.
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
    '11 Cannondale RZ 120-two

  6. #6
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    I personally prefer carbon.Been riding a carbon Rush for years without regret.

    Your an experienced rider and know that weight matters so go carbon.

  7. #7
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    I think the two comparison points are the Flash Alloy 1 and the Carbon Flash 3. The only difference between the two bikes is the frame and the price difference is about $500 between the two. There are little differences between the Flash Alloy 1 and 2. Look at wheels, stem (The Flash 1 has the OPI stem, Flash 2 has the older clamp on stem (not integrated steerer), hubs, cranks, shifters, etc.

    So to compare apples to apples, the comparison is Flash 1 to Carbon 3 and the price difference for the upgrade to carbon is about $500.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  8. #8
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    Neither. They both desperately need wheel upgrades. I'd keep the cash in your pocket and keep riding the Caffeine. Or spend a little on some nice wheels for the Caffeine.

  9. #9
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    Buy the alloy, upgrade the wheels.
    Race Reports, PreRide Reports, and General Rambling:

    www.roostersbikersedge.com
    http://www.ENVEcomposites.com

  10. #10
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    Unless you win the money in XC competition, get the alloy with better wheels or better yet - like the guy says keep the Caffiene and upgrade the wheels. Ejoy the ride as the Caf is a good bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by collyer View Post
    Neither in the compare above have carbon Leftys.
    The reason I asked was you stated: "C'dale carbon Flash 3 29er (X7/X9, carbon frame & fork FLASH CARBON 29'ER 3 ) "
    2012 Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er 3
    2009 GT Peace 9R SS
    2008 Cannondale Prophet 4, Lefty Max TPC

  12. #12
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    I prefer carbon :-)

  13. #13
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    Sentence structure wasn't my strongpoint in the drinkfest my parents called "college". That's why I put the links to each of the bike's page to compare.
    I would definitely go either Flash 1 (alloy) or Flash 3 (carbon), and then upgrade wheels, components, and I already go to the log cabin before every ride.
    Nothing wrong with the Caffiene, already upped the wheels & bits on that, just wondering if carbon is going to make me more comfortable/smoother & able to do the Ouachita Challenge a little quicker next year.

    Brentos' comparo of his 2 Flash bikes is very interesting.

    Looking for another 4-5 year 29er.

    Racing is far behind me, but being fast/smooth/strong is not.

    Keep it coming - thanks all.
    Last edited by collyer; 11-09-2011 at 05:15 AM.
    The easy path is rarely the better choice.

    '07 KTM Superduke
    '07 RedLine Monocog 29er
    '07 F29
    '06 Madone 5.2 SL

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 rex View Post
    Neither. They both desperately need wheel upgrades. I'd keep the cash in your pocket and keep riding the Caffeine. Or spend a little on some nice wheels for the Caffeine.
    I'm with Rex. I missed that part where you already had a Caffeine 29er. I would spend a little to upgrade that one and keep riding it. If something happens with that frame (crack), you can use the trade in program to get the newest frame (assuming you cannot warranty it).
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manicmtbr View Post
    I'm with Rex. I missed that part where you already had a Caffeine 29er. I would spend a little to upgrade that one and keep riding it. If something happens with that frame (crack), you can use the trade in program to get the newest frame (assuming you cannot warranty it).
    +1

  16. #16
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    Alloy + arch's then buy carbon frame after a few years....

  17. #17
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    Don't know your financial situation, but if you can afford it go Carbon. It will always way less than the alloy and I like the way the handle better as well.

  18. #18
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    Went Carbon. Carbon Flash 3.
    Put my Luv Handles on, flite, and swapped the brakes to moto-style.
    Also had the frame strategically covered with Clear Bra 8mil protective film to protect the paint/carbon.

    First ride today.

    A revelation in subtlety. A subdued ride, much tighter steering, a silent ride. The new Lefty has way better damping, 10mm more travel, same stiffnesss. Initial feeling is I'm riding slower than normal, but in actuality faster, since the carbon is more compliant, it is less nervous and feels slower. The Racing Ralph's are fine on the rear, but tend to tuck the front much quicker than my normal Crossmark front. The stability in the steering allowed me to save some front tucks that on the Caffiene would've had me on the ground. A little vague in the rear while climbing, but thats the compliance of the carbon absorbing vibration of the rear wheel.

    The 6lbs less than the '07 Caffiene XL didn't hurt either.

    Carbon was the right move.

    The feel of the ride for XC or enduro trail riding is a quantum leap in the right direction.
    A tiny bit less "connected" to the rear, but the front is so planted its crazy. The damping characteristics of the CF make it feel like I've got an inch of suspension in the back.

    But that just me.
    The easy path is rarely the better choice.

    '07 KTM Superduke
    '07 RedLine Monocog 29er
    '07 F29
    '06 Madone 5.2 SL

  19. #19
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    I have the alloy 1 and I have ridden a carbon 2 a good bit... I didnt feel any difference between mine and the carbon. The only thing I really could feel was the flexy save seat post on the carbon2.

    You are the first person I have ever heard say they tucked the RR more than a CM. I ran CM for a bit but I could never get a good feel out of the CM. It seemed to push a good bit and it never gave me any warning before it washed out. The RR would slide but I always new were it was.

    Congrats on your new bike. I'm sure you will have a great time riding it.

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