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Thread: carbon or Alu

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    carbon or Alu

    So, about to order a Bronson frame and I have a major choice to make.

    For the $ I can either get an alu frame with some nice wheels ( light bicycle on hope) and some other random new bits or I can get the carbon frame with lots of my old parts on it and some cheap WTB wheels.

    Thinking carbon frame may still be the best choice and then upgrade parts later? thoughts?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmallory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Usually the best bet to spring for the most expensive piece now and upgrade replaceable parts later. If you can afford carbon, do it

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    My wife and I just went through the same decision process before ordering Solo/5010's. We decide to go carbon frame and the base set of wheels, until/if we want something lighter. We're still a few weeks out from delivery and feel good about that choice.

    Have fun on the Bronson, we almost got those....

  4. #4
    Golden Bears United
    Reputation: TeeKay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    If carbon frame + heavy wheels = Aluminum frame + light wheels in terms of weight and costs, then I would go with Aluminum and light wheels. One, you will feel a bigger difference in the lighter rotational weight than the fixed weight (of the frame) and that will affect speed. Two, you don't have to worry about scratching/cracking carbon frame.

    I know that SC test videos show carbon frames as stronger etc., but they don't usually break at the strong points such as toptubes, downtubes, etc. It's always at the weak links like pivots etc. where a small crack will ruin an otherwise stout frame.

    Of course, if money is no object and you only keep frames within the warranty period, then go all out for carbon frame AND lightest wheels.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ColinL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Pivots are different on the Bronson C than on the problematic bikes in the 'carbon disbonding' thread... but there aren't enough miles on enough new carbon bikes to be completely confident it is resolved.

    If you have a set budget I would get the carbon frame and buy a good wheelset on sale. You can get 30-50+% off wheelsets at times, and you'll never get that kind of discount on handbuilts.

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