aluminium vs carbon & gears

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Dave W
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby Dave W » 10 Feb 2015, 7:48pm

I'm not being sarcastic - it's the way you choose to interpret it.

The guy has narrowed down a list of three bikes he wanted advice on, unfortunately as is the way of this forum everyone wants him to buy what they decide he should ride and basically ridicule his choice of bike - just read the posts. Unfortunately the same people regurgitate the same biased views.

"I have Dawes Galaxy with drop bars which I have used for the last 10yrs (bought the bike from Spa) so comfortable with drop bars. Reason I want another bike is becaue I find the Galaxy too heavy for day rides and I believe I will enjoy myself more on a lighter bike"

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bigjim
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby bigjim » 10 Feb 2015, 8:29pm

I'm not being sarcastic - it's the way you choose to interpret it.

No. You were being sarcastic, otherwise why mention 75k miles a year. Just own up. I'm not offended. I'm often guilty of sarcasm as well, as my long suffering wife will testify. :)
The OP came here asking for advice and that is what he has recieved. We can only base that truthfully on our own experiences with different types of machines and the uses they are put to. It is a talking forum after all. Personally, I'm enjoying the variety of opinions. Bring them on.
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AlastairS
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby AlastairS » 10 Feb 2015, 9:29pm

"I have Dawes Galaxy with drop bars which I have used for the last 10yrs (bought the bike from Spa) so comfortable with drop bars. Reason I want another bike is becaue I find the Galaxy too heavy for day rides and I believe I will enjoy myself more on a lighter bike"

Yes that sums up my requirements. I have enjoyed reading all the posts , but some of my questions are unanswered :
Strap-on mudguards for a roadie - how inconvenient are they really ?
28mm tyres on an addax are more comfortable than 25mm on a roadie - but is it really uncomfortable riding with 25mm tyres ?
One person says, road bike has a reasonable spread of gears, someone else says the opposite. The road bike is lighter anyway so doesn't need the smaller gears of an audax ?

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TrevA
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby TrevA » 10 Feb 2015, 9:48pm

AlastairS wrote:Strap-on mudguards for a roadie - how inconvenient are they really ?
28mm tyres on an addax are more comfortable than 25mm on a roadie - but is it really uncomfortable riding with 25mm tyres ?


If I had a choice and it was my only bike, i'd go for a bike that accepts full guards. Strap on guards will keep you reasonably dry but not anyone riding behind you. You could ride your Galaxy on rainy days. I have a summer bike that never gets ridden in the rain and has no guards.

Tyres - it depends on what you are used to. I have a tourer with 37mm tyres and a road bike with 25mm. You can certainly tell the difference in comfort, but the 25's aren't so uncomfortable as to be unpleasant. You can just feel the road buzz more and you get more of a jolt from potholes and rough surfaces.
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bigjim
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby bigjim » 10 Feb 2015, 9:49pm

Strap-on mudguards for a roadie - how inconvenient are they really ?

I find mudguards always inconvenient. They come loose, rattle, stays break, a nuisance packing a bike to fly. Strap on and those with little clearance can start to rub on tyres easily and it's a pest finding out where the rub is. A leaf can easily catch and be annoying, the same with mud. Id rather a bike had plenty of clearance. Low clearance is racing bike fashion. Check this out
http://yarchive.net/bike/frame_dimensions.html
28mm tyres on an addax are more comfortable than 25mm on a roadie - but is it really uncomfortable riding with 25mm tyres ?

Yes they are more comfortable b ut I've toured on 25mm and not had problems but have used a Brooks B17 which does absorb road shock so personally do not mind them. I think we get used to most things and the comfort thing shows up more depending on the road surface. I ride tracks on 25mm tyres and only use 28mm on tour because of the weight not comfort but I'm on a steel comfortable frame.
One person says, road bike has a reasonable spread of gears, someone else says the opposite. The road bike is lighter anyway so doesn't need the smaller gears of an audax ?

I always have a large rear cassette 32 or 34 and use it, even on a light bike with a 50/34 double. Better to have it than not. I prefer a triple really as I tend to stay in the middle ring, touring or long day ride.
There you go. My opinion only and I'm sure someone will come along to disagree.
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pwa
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby pwa » 10 Feb 2015, 9:55pm

I would say if you race, buy a road race bike. But if you don't, buy something that sacrifices a little speed for comfort and practicality. An audax style bike (e.g. Spa or Thorn) will be lighter than your Galaxy and will feel nippy in comparison. 25 or 28mm tyres will be lighter than 32mm touring tyres and will add to the light feel. I have a tourer and an audax bike and there is a noticeable extra bit of speed with the audax. I have used 25 and 28mm tyres on the audax bike and the difference isn't huge. I settle for 25mm for their lightness, a quality more important in tyres than in any other component. But I don't pump them up above 100psi because the ride would be too harsh for my taste. Proper mudguards (correctly installed) are solid, rattle-free items, but the strap-on versions for bikes with narrow clearances are a pain. If you are a strong road rider you may be happy with the gears on a regular road bike, but on a long ride I like the option of truly low gears for the last hills between me and my destination. I prefer a triple (Shim 105 etc).

SteveHunter
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby SteveHunter » 10 Feb 2015, 9:57pm

I will do my best to answer the specifics in my limited knowledge.

AlastairS wrote:Strap-on mudguards for a roadie - how inconvenient are they really ?


I put SKS raceblades on my Allez, attached with the rubber straps. I didn't really like them as they kept moving and rubbing on the tyre. It's the experience with these that made me buy a winter bike. You already have a winter bike though so I would keep the new shiny one for fun rides on sunny days.

That's my plan now, the Allez will be ridden for fun and in nice weather, we do have some ;). If it's raining I will take or the winter bike.

AlastairS wrote:28mm tyres on an addax are more comfortable than 25mm on a roadie - but is it really uncomfortable riding with 25mm tyres ?


I have 28mm tyres on my winter bike and after the 23mm tyres on my Allez it was quite a significant difference. I have just switched to some 25mm tyres on my Allez and it's much nicer. I don't think there is much noticeable difference.

AlastairS wrote:One person says, road bike has a reasonable spread of gears, someone else says the opposite. The road bike is lighter anyway so doesn't need the smaller gears of an audax ?


I don't think the lightness of the bike will make much difference especially when you add your own weight to it as well. The carbon bike may be 8 kg vs. 11 kg for the Audax bike but when you add 75kg of rider the overall difference becomes quite minimal.

I have the same gearing on both my bikes 50/34 at the front and 10 speed 11/28 at the rear. I haven't found anything yet I can't get up, of course if you are touring with luggage that may be a differing factor but I don't.

Brucey
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby Brucey » 10 Feb 2015, 10:20pm

foxyrider wrote:
Brucey wrote: Tiagra is indeed reasonably priced vs Ultegra but to describe any shimano 10s transmission as 'super durable' for everyday use shows me how warped the views of many cyclists have become, presumably as a result of reading too many glossy magazines or something. People who run 10s transmissions round here and do use their bikes every day (training etc) either turn into chain maintenance obsessives or simply ditch the lot and go again about once every ten or twelve weeks. 'Super durable?' yeah, like a mayfly is....?


Its from personal experience - i ran a set of Tiagra for 6 years day in day out, commuting, sportives, training - thousands of miles. I destroyed wheels, wore out a chainset (yes it had new chains and cassettes periodically) and pretty much trashed the frame but the constant was the Tiagra transmission. It was rarely cleaned and used through floods, snow and the nastiness that is Pennine winters...


Six years? -in which case it was 9s Tiagra, not 10s. I don't think the shifters and mechs are bad at all; I reckon it is the canny choice in Shimano groupsets because it works very well and isn't absurdly expensive. But whatever life you got from a 9s cassette and chain, you can reckon on it being significantly less with 10s.

Maybe I don't have a very level-headed view on this kind of thing but when a cassette won't outlast a decent set of tyres I think there is something seriously wrong with the way bikes are built.

cheers
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Mark1978
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby Mark1978 » 11 Feb 2015, 8:40am

AlastairS wrote:Strap-on mudguards for a roadie - how inconvenient are they really ?


Depends on the bike, the mudguards and your expectations really! I have some SKS Raceblades (not long!) which strap onto the rear stays using rubber bands. They don't provide full coverage and aren't that much better than an ass saver but it keeps my buttock dry. I had issues with the front so don't bother with it.

28mm tyres on an addax are more comfortable than 25mm on a roadie - but is it really uncomfortable riding with 25mm tyres ?


Not at all. I ran 28mm tyres on my hybrid and that was way harsher than even 23mm on my road bike. I'm running 25mm on my road bike now, and road bumps etc just aren't a big issue.

One person says, road bike has a reasonable spread of gears, someone else says the opposite. The road bike is lighter anyway so doesn't need the smaller gears of an audax ?


As long as you're riding without panniers etc then the vast majority of people can manage with 34/28 as their lowest gear on a road bike. I have 34/30 mostly because that's what my first bike came with and I'm happy with that.

Don't forget this site is geared towards touring cycling so you'll always get advice that big tyres, big clearances is best ;). But there's nothing quite like a light bike to trash around on a sunny Sunday. It's not going to get you through a LeJog in January but that's not what it's for.

Giant TCR Advanced 3 2015, (Carbon frame , tiagra components) £1100
Giant Defy 1 (Alu. frame, 105) £899
Giant Defy 0, (Alu. frame , Ultegra) £999


Of those, I'd choose the Carbon, tiagra model. Mostly based on the fact that carbon offers a lot of advantages in a Sunday best bike. Tiagra is a good and reliable groupset, run it all year and through the winter then you can bin it and buy a 5800 105 set next Spring.

Or you can look on the likes of Planet X and get a good carbon bike for less money.

Mark1978
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby Mark1978 » 11 Feb 2015, 8:50am

Brucey wrote:
Maybe I don't have a very level-headed view on this kind of thing but when a cassette won't outlast a decent set of tyres I think there is something seriously wrong with the way bikes are built.


Maybe, but when you can get a 10 speed Tiagra cassette for a tenner, does it really matter that much?

Brucey
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby Brucey » 11 Feb 2015, 9:32am

Mark1978 wrote:
Brucey wrote:
Maybe I don't have a very level-headed view on this kind of thing but when a cassette won't outlast a decent set of tyres I think there is something seriously wrong with the way bikes are built.


Maybe, but when you can get a 10 speed Tiagra cassette for a tenner, does it really matter that much?


If that were the limit of it, probably not. But it isn't. There's chains, chainrings, jockey pulleys, rear wheels that are not strong enough... the list goes on and on.

If the 'extra gears' were actually useful I wouldn't mind so much but it is quite evident that most riders rarely if ever use the extreme gears on a daily basis. I guess it will happen in very hilly areas but not otherwise.

The last time I looked into it I concluded that (for me) a typical year's riding on (say) a 10s setup would cost me between £100 and £150 just in knackered transmission components, plus the time and effort to fit them, and the potential for the things letting go (at the least convenient time, of course). And that doesn't allow for any wheel problems that the daft dishing might bring on.

I honesty believe that most riders (who are getting the miles in, in all weathers) would be far better served by a more durable transmission with fewer (better chosen) gears and less rear wheel dish. In fact that is pretty much what I have on my touring bike (derailleur gears) and what I have on my hack bike(s) (IGHs).

Racing is said to 'improve the breed' but in this case I think that the defining thing for a racing bike is that it can be made to 'work reliably for a single race' and if changes to it degrade longer term reliability and/or durability in return for even a tiny 'performance benefit' of some kind then this compromise will shortly appear on shiny 'road bikes' in a shop near you. [Of course if speed were the only goal for a leisure rider, you should buy a recumbent machine; no question about it. But that is another discussion, I guess.]

If you bother to open a glossy magazine, you will be exhorted to buy this 'racing stuff' by the scribblings within; it is as well to remember that in most cases the glossy magazines don't exist without the advertising revenue so the scribes are little better than the compliant minions of the bike industry; the last thing they want is for you to be happy with the bike you presently have and to carry on riding it, or worse still want something that their advertisers don't actually manufacture...

So.... this is how it is that you can end up buying stuff that is actually a step backwards in some respects, and be advised to do so (at the expense of important stuff like frame and wheelset quality) by brainless shop assistants.

Don't believe the hype.

cheers
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bigjim
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby bigjim » 11 Feb 2015, 10:06am

Does anybody ever think we have too much choice? All these differing opinions. If all you had and all everybody else had was a Galaxy you would be as happy as Larry with it and riding with a broad grin on your face all day long. :)
I had one bike as a kid that did everything, school, shopping, touring, meeting girls, giving your mate a lift home etc. I can never remember thinking about anything technical or improvements to do with the bike. Just pleased I had one. Like this happy chap. Lots of clearance and mudguards as well.
Image
But I digress. Sorry, where were we?
Last edited by bigjim on 11 Feb 2015, 1:46pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Brucey
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby Brucey » 11 Feb 2015, 10:20am

bigjim wrote: Like this chap. lots of clearance and mudguards.


and no brakes....? :shock:

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reohn2
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby reohn2 » 11 Feb 2015, 10:26am

AlastairS wrote:"I have Dawes Galaxy with drop bars which I have used for the last 10yrs (bought the bike from Spa) so comfortable with drop bars. Reason I want another bike is becaue I find the Galaxy too heavy for day rides and I believe I will enjoy myself more on a lighter bike"

That's understandable,unloaded my Galaxy felt like pedalling a dead dog over 40miles,loaded was a different matter.

Yes that sums up my requirements. I have enjoyed reading all the posts , but some of my questions are unanswered :
Strap-on mudguards for a roadie - how inconvenient are they really ?

Well they don't give decent coverage so you and the bike will still end up full of crap on mucky/wet rides,they're prone to being disturbed and knocked into the wheel,the fitting rubbers perish and rot after time.
Whereas properly fitted mudguards ie;SKS or Bluemels,on a frameset with enough clearance,with four stays per guard are very secure and give complete coverage(especially the Longboard version).
Also if you so wish they can be removed in the summer months turning an Audax bike into a 'road' bike within 15minutes :wink:

28mm tyres on an addax are more comfortable than 25mm on a roadie - but is it really uncomfortable riding with 25mm tyres ?

Comparing the same tyre 28mm will be far more comfortable,if the different size tyres are run at correct pressure for load,especially if run on the same narrow(say 17mm internal dim) rim.

One person says, road bike has a reasonable spread of gears, someone else says the opposite. The road bike is lighter anyway so doesn't need the smaller gears of an audax ?

It depends where you're riding.
Most 'road' bikes are supplied with compact chainsets with either 34/48 or 34/50 chainring combinations,and with a short cage rear mech that can't handle more than a 30t largest cog.For most people who are likely to encounter anything more than say 10% hills,the bottom gear could be too high if they're likely to encounter more than a few such hills per ride it'd definitely be too high.
The cost of lowering the gearing if that's the case is costly,ie;new triple chainset /shifters or new long cage rear mech,new chain,new cassette,both of which should be fitted in the first place IMHO.
The forum is littered with people buying road bikes and finding out the hard way they seldom use the big ring and or can't get up the hills due to their bike being overgeared.
Last edited by reohn2 on 11 Feb 2015, 10:35am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mark1978
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Re: aluminium vs carbon & gears

Postby Mark1978 » 11 Feb 2015, 10:31am

reohn2 wrote:The forum is littered with people buying road bikes and finding out the hard way they seldom use the big ring and or can't get up the hills due to their bike being overgeared.


IME those who complain about overgearing on road bikes have either been sold a bike with a 'standard' chainset, or a 11-25 cassette, or both.