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Reasons to buy aluminium not carbon bikes
#1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4oUAH4UWVQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeNX9QqN6B8
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#2
Over 30 years, I've gone from steel to aluminum, to cro-moly, to carbon frame, to full carbon(the last two builds)
This timeline also went from $600 - $6000!
My next consideration, and maybe my last bike, would be titanium. Doing some additional research and the fact that I am not racing any longer, I will consider aluminum simply for the cost and put a little more money into the components; after all, it is all about what's in the tank, the legs, and the head.

As with any build, regardless of the materials used, the manufacturer is ultimately responsible for the quality. The best aluminum, carbon, titanium, or steel will only be as strong and durable as the shape of the tubes and the quality of the welds. Choose a good brand with a history of quality control.
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#3
I started out on steel too. It's really the go anywhere, do anything. But I've loved aluminum for the durability and weight. I would find it hard to go to titanium even, simply because it's not as light as aluminum. It's hard to go back. One day, I would love to ride on all carbon. I think it's kinda harsh (and pointless) to suggest for people to not buy carbon. Moreso, we should remind ourselves that it is a specialty compound. We should expect what we get from it, and be more cautious towards the material. It would only be that recklessness that makes carbon a bad thing.

Also consider a bike is only as strong as its weakest link. One could blame the frame, when in fact, the wheels had a lot to do with whatever may have happened to the frame. Not using double wall, not having high tension spokes, and/or not having proper size (width) or psi tires are great examples of how shock can slipstream over to the frame and create a catastrophe.

With carbon, I think it's even more important to be mindful of keeping your bike wiped down and clean. We live in a very corrosive environment, and many toxic compounds from the atmosphere allowed that build up on the frame could be expected to weaken it.

For example, acids that are commonly used as rust removers have been shown to penetrate carbon fiber epoxy.

Hydrochloric acid (which is also called muriatic acid in its diluted form), as well as phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid may be used in rust removal formulas using strong acids.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331015373_Salicylic_acid_impregnated_activated_carbon_fiber_paper_An_effective_p​latform_for_the_simple_and_sensitive_detection_of_hydroxyl_radicals_in_the_atmos​phere

Also from Google: [ "Carbon fiber is chemically stable, corrosion-resistant, and won't rust. That's why it works well in harsh environments. But strong oxidizing agents, such as hydrogen peroxide or sulfuric acid, may affect it." ]

Keep that carbon fiber bike wiped down and clean!
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#4
My reasons for buying a full aluminum and not a partly carbon bike are the following:
1. I was going to be traveling in South America, India. So, less expensive it's better for my mental health.
2. With a lot of transportation, the bike would get banged up and such. Again, for mental peace aluminum/steel bike made more sense.
3. Here in India( and in South America), people kept asking how much my bike cost. With a carbon bike, I would be attracting a lot of wrong kind of attention.

I am happy with my aluminum frame. Steel would have been even better but could not get one then..
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#5
Are there different aluminum strengths, too like carbon 3T-4T etc? Good point on the corrosion. I'm mostly in beach towns. About once a month, it gets the whole treatment with dawn to degrease. On rainy, or even dusty days, I will take a hose to it. Just a quick rinse after a ride I think helps a lot. I also lube the chain about every 100-150 miles.
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#6
Thanks, Spinman for that reminder on a quick rinse and lubing. I need to do that before it ends up costing me an arm and a leg..
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#7
I can't recall ever seeing a really dirty bike riding with groups. I'm slightly embarrassed sometimes showing up for a ride and not having cleaned my bike for a week! Regardless of financial status, if you spend $5-$10k on a bicycle, you are doing maintenence and keeping it sharp looking. I'm speaking road bikes now. I've had my share of muddy MTBs. You get credit for riding "dirty" and scratched. 😁 Keep the drive train clean and have fun. As far as cleaning the carbon, you probobly don't have to. It doesn't corrode or rust but it does have a life span. Can aluminum last a lifetime of cycling?
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#8
I have a bunch of bikes but only four complete bikes here at home:

1. cheap steel single-speed 'rat' bike - my hop-on-and-ride shopping bike. 28mm tires
2. 90s very not cheap steel road bike - my jewellery that comes out on occasional dry days - 25mm tires
3. 2010s full-CF road bike - 25mm tires
4. aluminium hybrid with fenders/rack - my old longer-range shopping bike - 32mm tires

I can't remember the last time I used the aluminium bike. It will probably get used a bit more over the winter, but between being slightly big for me and the harsh ride, I avoid it. My steel and carbon bikes get used about 100x more than the aluminium bike.

Between the corrosion/fatigue risks and the uncomfortable ride I've experienced on aluminium, I can't see myself ever buying another aluminium bike. I just find older steel and modern CF just so much more fun and pleasant.
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#9
It really depends on what you want to do, compete in Crit Races? Id probably go Aluminum

Hardcore Mountain Biking? (Trail or Enduro)
Probably still go aluminum or even steel

Weekend Gran Fondo on asphalt? That's where carbon shines

Triathlon? Carbon is going to save your legs for the run later

There is no one material that is perfect for everything that's why N+1 bike rule is real
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#10
I've owned aluminum, steel, and carbon bikes. Carbon has the best ride quality. And consider that carbon fiber is laid up in sheets, stiffness and compliance can be had much easier than aluminum.

But if I was racing crits, I'd be on aluminum. Everything else road, carbon.
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