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  1. #1
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    Carbon vs Aluminum Cranks

    Other than weight is there a major difference (dampening) between a carbon and aluminum crank?

    I'm looking at getting a direct mount crank and not sure if I should pay the extra for carbon.

  2. #2
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    Other than bling factor... No


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  3. #3
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    A crank is one of the last places I'd look for damping.

    I've run aluminum then carbon on the MTB and carbon then aluminum on the road bike. Can't tell a difference.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by softbatch View Post
    Other than weight is there a major difference (dampening) between a carbon and aluminum crank?

    I'm looking at getting a direct mount crank and not sure if I should pay the extra for carbon.
    I doubt it, cranks never really had much of a problem in stiffness unless you go back to cottage industry CNC machined aluminum of the late 80s early 90s and titanium square taper spindles.

    But the weight advantage can be rather significant. My Race Face Cinch 170mm with Garbaruk Melon 30T come in at 515 grams including BB. You gain a bit more than 100 with XTR. Race Face Cinch aluminum is 700+

  5. #5
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    I ride three days a week and around 200 miles a month and I started having foot pain. I use platform pedals and Five Ten shoes and after a ride the bottoms of my feet were really sore. I read on here about a rider with the same problem that went to carbon cranks and his foot pain disappeared - so I found a good deal on a carbon crank and decided to give them a try. Since then my foot pain has disappeared almost completely. The extra bling and the drop in weight were an added bonus - but losing my foot pain was worth the extra money to me. Your results may vary.

  6. #6
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    ^interesting. maybe there is a difference in damping we can't perceive. based on how other carbon parts perform it seems plausible.

  7. #7
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    I ride a Ti Hardtail and went from XTR to Raceface Carbon Next SL cranks. I feel that the carbon dampens the vibration vs aluminum. At the same time I switched from XTR to Xpedo M-Froce 8 Ti pedal. With this setup the weight saves is very noticeable while spinning.


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  8. #8
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    Good news, for me anyways, I ordered some X0 cranks on the cheap from bike wagon so I guess my decision is set.

  9. #9
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    Carbon cranks are v. stiff which is a good thing. Never heard of them dampening anything....love my S-Works.

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  10. #10
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    My Easton carbon-fiber handlebars appear to dampen vibrations to my hands too. I did a thirteen plus mile ride yesterday over some very rocky and steep terain and I feel like doing it again today.

  11. #11
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    ^^^yes but they is by-design. Cranks are designed to be stiff. There is a prevailing notion that carbon fiber equals flex and vibe dampning...only if designed that way. Carbon fiber is attractive because it is very light and very stiff.

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  12. #12
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    My frame is Carbon-Fiber and although it is stiff and light - I feel it also dampens some of the vibrations and jolts - but this just may be a placebo effect.

  13. #13
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    ^^^My honest belief is that 95% of the "feel" that folks claim for their chosen frame material is based on the tire volume/pressure.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  14. #14
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    I cant recall feeling my carbon crank damp anything more or less but I noticed a rather large difference in stiffness between my old Raceface Altas cranks and my XO carbons.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

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