Carbon v Aluminum

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
WrightsW5
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby WrightsW5 » 23 Oct 2011, 11:34am

Steel.

I'd only have carbon or aluminium as a disposable working tool for competing - if I ever had them - because my cx bike is 531 and i'm glad it is.

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iow
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby iow » 23 Oct 2011, 12:23pm

Mick F wrote:Training with towing a concrete block is good training because it gives such a retarding factor up hills. It makes hills harder, and it makes accelerating more difficult. It promotes strong leg muscles and is a good preparation for a loaded tour.

but why not just change up a gear?

Mick F wrote: It promotes strong leg muscles and is a good preparation for a loaded tour.

true.
mark

TwoWheelsGood
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby TwoWheelsGood » 23 Oct 2011, 2:10pm

Mick F wrote:Road buzz? What is that?
Is it something that you suffer from with an alu bike?
Having never ridden one, I wouldn't know, but I reckon alu bikes are stiff with no shock absorption.

All the alu bikes I have ridden have been relatively nondescript, namely being reasonably responsive but nowhere near as 'exciting' as a good steel frame. And the harshest ride I've ever experienced came from a lugged gas pipe steel frame which was unbearable over anything other than a perfectly smooth road surface; obviously it had been engineered for stiffness as opposed to comfort given the material's limitations. (In theory you can produce a harsh-riding, heavy frame using 953/carbon fibre/titanium; good materials just make it easier to design and build a good frame.)

Therefore I would pick alu over gas pipe steel for a cheap bicycle (less than £200), but I would choose a good steel frame over either when given the option to do so. Apparently Condor have recently raced a modern high end steel frame (the Super Accaiaio) and was apparently proven to be still competitive, so steel is still, erm, real.

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Mick F
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby Mick F » 23 Oct 2011, 4:31pm

iow wrote:
Mick F wrote:Training with towing a concrete block is good training because it gives such a retarding factor up hills. It makes hills harder, and it makes accelerating more difficult. It promotes strong leg muscles and is a good preparation for a loaded tour.
but why not just change up a gear?
Because speed is not power.

If you were to chat to someone in the army or the marines, they would tell you that they train with heavy packs. They would also tell you that they use concrete blocks too. They don't just "change up a gear" to yomp over the hills, they add weight instead.
Mick F. Cornwall

JohnW
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby JohnW » 23 Oct 2011, 9:01pm

Mick F wrote:Yes, I do that to my Mercian, and why not?
It's made of steel, it is strong, light, springy and comfortable. Steel is the only bike material to have.

Training with towing a concrete block is good training because it gives such a retarding factor up hills. It makes hills harder, and it makes accelerating more difficult. It promotes strong leg muscles and is a good preparation for a loaded tour...............

.


Mick - is this for real - haven't you got a better reason for towing a concrete block - like having it in one place and needing it in another?

I wouldn't do that to my Mercian - an ordinary, nondescript framed bike I would - but not a Mercian.

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Mick F
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby Mick F » 23 Oct 2011, 9:12pm

All I was doing was pulling my Carry Freedom trailer. The hitch fits on the LH dropout - even with a QR - and it tows beautifully.

Bolt a concrete block on the load-bed. Simple, and the block "only" weighs 44lbs. Similar weight to a full load of shopping - or my stuff on a JOGLE.
Mick F. Cornwall

Winkeladvokat
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby Winkeladvokat » 24 Oct 2011, 11:40am

I own and regularly ride steel, alu, and carbon fibre frames. A decent alu frame is vastly underappreciated and, as such, represents stonking value! A "decent" frame, because this is what it's all about - you can build good and bad frames from any material, however certain materials make it easier to get certain blends of characteristics. I'd pick a £700 alu frameset over a £700 carbon frameset any day! Depending on exactly what frames you're looking at, the £300 difference probably isn't actually buying you anything, I'd say stick with the alu frame but then, do shop carefully, because there are some great alu frames out there.
Last edited by Winkeladvokat on 24 Oct 2011, 3:32pm, edited 1 time in total.

Winkeladvokat
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby Winkeladvokat » 24 Oct 2011, 11:45am

Mick F wrote:
iow wrote:Because speed is not power.

If you were to chat to someone in the army or the marines, they would tell you that they train with heavy packs. They would also tell you that they use concrete blocks too. They don't just "change up a gear" to yomp over the hills, they add weight instead.


Except that, on a bike, speed is exactly power - go faster and you need to produce more power to overcome the additional wind resistance.

Walking up hills is different, because your legs/back are load bearing and adding weight does change the difficulty. But on a bike, just go faster! The limiter on a bike is not physical strength, it's the ability of your muscles to convert/use energy (i.e. sustainable power).

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Mick F
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby Mick F » 24 Oct 2011, 12:40pm

I don't agree.
Have you tried pulling a heavy load with a trailer?
I can and have ridden fast, but I've also towed a heavy load for days/weeks on end.

Have you done both?
If not, how do you know?
Mick F. Cornwall

Poshgill
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby Poshgill » 24 Oct 2011, 2:00pm

Winkeladvokat wrote:I own and regularly ride steel, alu, and carbon fibre frames. A decent alu frame is vastly underappreciated and, as such, represents stonking value! A decent frame, because this is what it's all about - you can build good and bad frames from any material, however certain materials make it easier to get certain blends of characteristics. I'd pick a £700 alu frameset over a £700 carbon frameset any day! Depending on exactly what frames you're looking at, the £300 difference probably isn't actually buying you anything, I'd say stick with the alu frame but then, do shop carefully, because there are some great alu frames out there.


Excellent advice Winkeladvokat, many thanks. I was slightly leaning towards the alu frame, but I'll take both out for a spin to get a proper perspective.

Interesting to see how the original topic has digressed. I'm no expert, but I would certainly favour load-bearing vs. gear changing as a training aid. It just seems logical. Boxers train with heavier gloves, sprinters run dragging loads so makes sense to ride with a heavier load as a training aid.

I intend to keep my steel frame Dawes Super Galaxy for tours. The new bike is purely for one day rides or training runs, I've never used a trailer before but the more I read Mick's posts, the more inclined I am to try one!

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iow
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby iow » 24 Oct 2011, 3:58pm

Mick F wrote:
iow wrote:
Mick F wrote:Training with towing a concrete block is good training because it gives such a retarding factor up hills. It makes hills harder, and it makes accelerating more difficult. It promotes strong leg muscles and is a good preparation for a loaded tour.
but why not just change up a gear?
Because speed is not power.

on a bike effectively it is - if you make no other changes you can't increase one without the other.
Mick F wrote:If you were to chat to someone in the army or the marines, they would tell you that they train with heavy packs. They would also tell you that they use concrete blocks too. They don't just "change up a gear" to yomp over the hills, they add weight instead.

that's because most peoples leg length is fixed, so it is impossible for someone on foot to change up a gear - they only have a single gear ratio. the only way to increase the resistance on foot is via gravity ie. hills or weight.
on a bike we can just change up.
mark

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Mick F
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby Mick F » 24 Oct 2011, 4:39pm

I cannot argue with the theory of gear ratio vs load for effort.

The point is, you need to try it to appreciate what I'm saying - therefore there is more to it than just gear ratio. If you haven't experienced it, you will never know. All you will believe is what mathematics tells you.

I reckon training for cycling is not just going faster for the same effort, it has much to do with slow plodding too. You need to be at one with the bike and the load, not just sprinting with a light bike to get the training value.

Try hills for training. Pulling a load makes the hill harder and longer. Going up faster on a light bike just makes it harder - so go up and down them instead! How boring is that!

Towing a load can be rewarding and enjoyable in itself - always a good idea for training - just haring up and down hills for the sake of it isn't enjoyable at all.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby snibgo » 24 Oct 2011, 6:27pm

The simple physic/maths is correct, of course. To increase the exercise I get from climbing a hill, I might either increase the load or go faster.

But the physics/maths of long-distance multi-day loaded cycling is far more complex. The best way to train for it is by doing it, IMHO. (Although I don't claim to have Mick's experience, fitness, speed, power, etc.)

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iow
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby iow » 24 Oct 2011, 6:31pm

Mick F wrote:I cannot argue with the theory of gear ratio vs load for effort.

The point is, you need to try it to appreciate what I'm saying - therefore there is more to it than just gear ratio. If you haven't experienced it, you will never know. All you will believe is what mathematics tells you.


but that's the problem - i find it very difficult to believe in your own unique logic as opposed to my own experience and biomechanical fact! :lol:
mark

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Mick F
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Re: Carbon v Aluminum

Postby Mick F » 24 Oct 2011, 9:06pm

iow wrote: .... your own unique logic as opposed to my own experience and biomechanical fact! :lol:

Exactly.
...... your own experience and biomechanical fact! ......

Do it.
Tow a trailer with a heavy load, or even have a heavy load in panniers, and you will KNOW what the difference is.

Fact is Fact, and Experience is different to Experience.
Some facts are different to other facts, and some experience is different too.

Try it, and then report back to this thread.
Mick F. Cornwall