New Aluminium Bike

by lewis_petrie   January 16, 2014  

So I've decided after around a year and a half that I need (want) another bike. My first bike - triban 3 - is good enough for getting you into the sport but after that you just crave more, so nows the time I've decided and I am enlisting the help of you wiser people out there that know more than me.

I have a few conditions however:
1. It must be aluminium with no exceptions, I am not prepared to have a carbon fibre bike snapping on me while I'm out and the material that is aluminium just seems more attractive to me.
2. It must have a groupset of 105 or above.
3. Racier geometry would be preferable.
4. Preferably from LBS which stocks Giant, Ridley, Cube and Bianchi.
5. A good quality stiff and lightweight frame with good compliance to road vibrations if possible.
6. Around £1000 might be able to push up to £1250.

I will be keeping my trusty Triban for the winter as its not getting thrown out. I may be able to swing to a bike from online if I can get vouches for it being amazing and better than anything than my LBS can provide.

Thanks in advance.

23 user comments

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http://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DxreZdUBqpJs&cd=1&ved=0CC8QtwIwAA&usg=AF...

That carbon fibre snaps like a twig is a commonly held misconception. I've linked you an impact testing video of a carbon frame versus an alu frame of the same geometry.

If you're dead set on alu: giant defy 1 for 999 or a cannondale caad 10 for about 1300, both equipped with 105. The latter has a v light alu frame, 1100g which gives 1500-2000£ carbon fframes a run for their money if weight is a concern of yours.

posted by Zee [65 posts]
16th January 2014 - 18:51

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Edit: correct link (i hope)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xreZdUBqpJs

These new fangled mobile telephones are so fiddly

posted by Zee [65 posts]
16th January 2014 - 18:58

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Go to rose bikes or canyon,no other bikes come close

posted by Shanefutcher [108 posts]
16th January 2014 - 19:24

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Definitely certain on aluminium, cannot be budged at all.
I have looked at the defy 1 and was quite impressed but then I looked at last years giant TCR SL 2 and was taken aback bit I can't seem to find a 2014 model and it seems the 2013 model is impossible to obtain.
Thanks for the video quite enlightening

posted by lewis_petrie [13 posts]
16th January 2014 - 19:26

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My problem with canyon is that because they are so cheap in relation to their groupsets I think the frame will be of poor quality, I cannot speak of rose bikes however
And also test rides become an issue

posted by lewis_petrie [13 posts]
16th January 2014 - 19:33

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I'm a bit partial to Spesh so will recommend this:
http://www.freeborn.co.uk/specialized-allez-race-2014

Although do think you are missing a trick by dismissing carbon.

posted by Super Domestique [1583 posts]
16th January 2014 - 19:41

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From usage of my bike I really don't think carbon is necessary for me I'd feel a lot more comfortable on an aluminium bike I think

posted by lewis_petrie [13 posts]
16th January 2014 - 19:49

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Cannondale CAAD10. Awesome bike.

posted by deero83 [18 posts]
16th January 2014 - 20:20

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Giant TCR SL2 ticks all your boxes. 1050g frame weight too - http://road.cc/content/review/79975-giant-tcr-sl-2-2013

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [206 posts]
16th January 2014 - 20:52

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Which is annoying because I think its been discontinued

posted by lewis_petrie [13 posts]
16th January 2014 - 21:00

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Kinesis Aithein or the obligatory CAAD8/10 (depending on if you're the right shape for a short head tube). All great and Alu.

On the other hand a carbon frame won't break unless you really screw up (and will likely be better on point 5). Just like an Alu frame so I really wouldn't limit yourself.

posted by racingcondor [108 posts]
16th January 2014 - 21:11

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lewis_petrie wrote:
From usage of my bike I really don't think carbon is necessary for me I'd feel a lot more comfortable on an aluminium bike I think

You might want to test ride a bike with a carbon fibre frame; if it's comfort you are after, then there is no comparison between the two materials. Alu has pretty poor vibration damping qualities, while CFRP generally has excellent vibration damping. Don't knock it 'til you've tried it!

posted by pwake [264 posts]
16th January 2014 - 21:15

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Canyon are cheaper as they cut out the middle man

posted by Shanefutcher [108 posts]
16th January 2014 - 21:56

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If you want to experiment, I can sell you a Bianchi frameset with carbon seatstay and fork, but Alu everything else. Has been boxed up for a couple of years having done 7-800 miles.

It's a 53cm Via Nirone 7 which got rave reviews at the time but just didn't do it for me as it didn't fit well. (a bit too small and definitely too short along the top tube).

I'd recommend using 25mm or wider tyres on most Alu frames as they can transmit a lot of the bumps straight up your rear.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [295 posts]
16th January 2014 - 23:11

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Boardman - the man is a genius!
His bikes always get 5 stars - ignore any snobs.

But only get one if you are a competent mechanic - if getting it from Halfords Wink

posted by ajd [21 posts]
17th January 2014 - 1:04

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Super Domestique wrote:
I'm a bit partial to Spesh so will recommend this:
http://www.freeborn.co.uk/specialized-allez-race-2014

Although do think you are missing a trick by dismissing carbon.

+1! The Allezes are beaaaautiful.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [534 posts]
17th January 2014 - 9:07

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Take a look at the Alu' bikes of Kinesis:

http://www.kinesisbikes.co.uk/

posted by HowardR [18 posts]
17th January 2014 - 11:10

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+1 Kinesis ... ridden t2 and tk3 and loved 'em both ....

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [664 posts]
17th January 2014 - 11:29

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Kinesis bikes are good.

Don't assume that Alu won't break and carbon will. I actually have the opposite experience.

A good warranty and customer service are worth a lot (kinesis is great in this respect).

Also note that there is a rider weight limit imposed on the super-light new Athein - so do you really think that aluminium is 'unbreakable'?!

Frame material can't be considered in isolation, or by applying stereotypes, which companies such as kinesis et al are busy disproving!

posted by 700c [541 posts]
17th January 2014 - 12:38

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This was pretty much my dilemma, and don't worry about wanting to stick with alu either, as carbon at this price is generally just the cheaper variety and you'll lose out on the components.

Of the brands listed, the Giant Defy 0, with Ultegra, is perhaps a standout choice. I think the racier TCR is carbon only and weighs in a little ovet budget anyway.

Cube Peloton Race is worth a look, good quality kit for a grand, but the finish wasn't the best in my view. Cannondale Caad8 105 is a decent bike too, I would've gone for one but work were adamant I couldn't top up over the £1k C2W limit.

I went for a Trek Madone 2.1 in the end but, to be honest, these bikes all rode pretty much the same to me. That's the key, get out there and ride as many as you can before taking the plunge.

posted by parksey [168 posts]
18th January 2014 - 0:04

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mooleur wrote:
Super Domestique wrote:
I'm a bit partial to Spesh so will recommend this:
http://www.freeborn.co.uk/specialized-allez-race-2014

Although do think you are missing a trick by dismissing carbon.

+1! The Allezes are beaaaautiful.

Allez was my first bike too, haven't looked back.
Also +1 for board man, great value

Specialized Allez 2009, Campagnolo Centaur 10, Campagnolo Shamal Wheels. 8.3kg

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posted by Miles253 [190 posts]
18th January 2014 - 0:42

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+1 for Canyon. German precision and quality. Outstanding lightweight alloy frames, lighted than some carbon. They CT scan every set of forks for defects!

posted by drmatthewhardy [276 posts]
18th January 2014 - 22:05

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Have a listen to what Mike Burrows has to say on frame materials.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JjYNIaI26EQ&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DJjYN...

Refreshing to hear an engineer talk about the subject. The other videos are worth a look too, especially the one about wheels.

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posted by joemmo [768 posts]
18th January 2014 - 22:53

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