Carbon Road Bike Frame

Why choose a road bike?

Road bikes, as opposed to mountain bikes, are primarily used on paved roads. (Except for CX Gravel and other specific purpose road bikes, the following road bikes are not included)
1) Lightweight. Road bikes eliminate the need for shock forks, and because of the lack of off-road design requirements, the structural strength is slightly lower than that of mountain bikes. Another factor that contributes to lightweight is that road bikes mostly use C-clamp brakes, and the braking mechanism of the clamp and the smaller number of spokes in the wheelset also contribute a lot to lightweight. For the entry price (2k) of the whole car, the difference is about 2 to 3KG.
2) Low air resistance posture. Road bike frame geometry design makes the rider frontal wind area is reduced, and the wind in 15KM/h or more is the main source of resistance to riding, so the road bike speed will be much faster under the same conditions.
3) C-clamp and hard fork avoid many problems that may occur in mountain bikes. Problems such as scuffing discs, oil brake leaks, fork rebound, etc. are not mentioned on road bikes. The simple structure makes it possible for road bike users to maintain the bike by themselves.
4) The relative value of used vehicles. For mountain bikes, a new car starts and then comes out second-hand with about 4 to 6 percent discount. The value loss of road bikes will be relatively smaller than that of mountain bikes.
5) The low rolling resistance of narrow tires.

Road bike frame carbon fiber and aluminum alloy difference

1.Mechanical properties

According to the data of Young’s modulus of elasticity, the 6 series aluminum alloy is only 69-79(GNm^-2), while the modulus of elasticity of carbon fiber can reach 200(GNm^-2). The higher the elasticity, the smaller the elastic deformation will be after the force is applied. In layman’s terms, it means that carbon fiber frame is more “hard” and better “power”.

2. Weight

The density of carbon fiber is 1.8g/cm3, while aluminum is 2.7g/cm3. But in fact, many aluminum frames can make the weight close to or even surpass some carbon frames by pumping the tube several times.
But there is a limit to how much you can pump. The lightest carbon fiber frame can be within 700g (Merida Scultura 9000 LTD, mass production), but the aluminum alloy is difficult to enter 1000g (Canon Dell CAAD12, mass production).

3. Durability

This is more controversial, many people think that aluminum alloy is durable, but in reality, it is not. In fact, both have factors that are not durable.
Aluminum alloy stress concentration will cause metal fatigue, making the strength drop. And according to experience, it usually occurs within 5-10 years. The higher-end aluminum alloy frame, due to repeated pumping, making the tube wall is extremely thin, the so-called “easy to pull”, in the impact, the bump is very easy to deformation.
Carbon fiber has a weak shear resistance, epoxy resin is easy to age, the impact of sharp objects is weak. However, with the development of technology, such as nanotechnology, the use of woven fabric, some of the problems of carbon fiber are gradually being solved.

4. Appearance

Aluminum alloy is made of welded tubes, which will leave weld channels. Although the welding channel of the big manufacturers has been handled well but inevitably will leave traces. In addition, the overall frame of aluminum alloy will look slightly stiff and rigid because it is mostly in the form of straight lines connecting straight lines.
The basic molding method of carbon fiber is to lay the fiber sheet on the mold and then flow into the resin and burned solid. It can be made into various shapes, and the overall appearance is dynamic and vibrant.

5. Historical trend

The last time an aluminum frame won a Grand Tour was 12 years ago, and in 2004, Cannondale introduced the CAADB, the bike that helped Damiano Cunego win the Giro d’Italia. Nowadays, we hardly see aluminum alloy in any professional level race.

Buying advice

After reading the difference between them, you may feel that you have to buy carbon fiber, which is ahead of the aluminum frame in terms of material strength, weight, and road feel. In fact, it does not, this still depends on the situation, everything is not absolute well. From a sensible and scientific point of view, we should choose a vehicle according to our needs.

High-end carbon fiber road bikes

If you buy a road bike for training, racing or competition, then carbon fiber is definitely the best choice. At present, it is difficult to find carbon frames for all kinds of bicycle races. Follow the PROs and you’ll be right. If you buy a road bike for riding, touring, commuting, etc., then the steel frame should be more appropriate. Most of those excellent long-distance touring bikes are steel-frame designs. It’s also right to follow these choices.

Exquisite aluminum road bikes

In general, if you are not a professional race also want to buy a carbon frame, it is also possible, as long as you have the conditions and watch the budget at hand. Because carbon frames are expensive, although the competition will not care about this, but as a general cycling enthusiast, you can pay the same price, but the carbon frame and aluminum frame level are not the same, this time will highlight the cost performance of the aluminum frame. For example, if a carbon fiber frame below 6000 yuan is considered entry-level, while a 4000 yuan aluminum frame is close to the top, its cost performance is better than the entry-level carbon fiber frame, that is to say, the top aluminum frame is not as good as the top carbon fiber frame, but it is better than the entry-level carbon fiber frame.
In addition, there is a point to overemphasize, do not be greedy for cheap to buy a cottage carbon fiber frame, it is said that there are such products on the market, we have to recognize some well-known carbon fiber brand products, more famous brands are Jet, Merida, permanent and so on, this is related to your riding safety and security issues. In short, you get what you pay for, you want to enjoy the carbon fiber frame in the ride to bring you the sense of the road, you have to come up with the appropriate price to buy it.
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