Carbon frame or alloy

Vernon7026

Regular
Hey all

am looking into getting into cycling incl commuting to work ,

im 18 St and 6ft

would a carbon frame bike be ok ? Big espense don’t want to mess up
 
OP
V

Vernon7026

Regular
This is for road bike btw

thanks
 

si_c

Veteran
Location
Wirral
You'll be fine with a Carbon framed bike - worth bearing in mind however is that it's often better to buy a premium Steel or Alloy framed bike than a cheap carbon framed bike - they often have a slightly better specification and the weight difference is usually small if - an example is Trek's Emonda series the best alloy frame is under 9kg and the same specification basic carbon version is £500 more and weighs more than 9kg.

Edit to add - getting a lower cost Alloy frame would allow you the extra to get a good set of handbuilt wheels as @vickster suggests.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
A steel or Alu bike is also usually more amenable to taking mudguards and a pannier rack for the commute and bad weather.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
As said strong wheels, the ability to fix rack and mudguards are more important for commuting. The supplied wheels that might come on a carbon bike will usually be quite skinny so not very comfortable on less than perfect roads. If you’re determined to go carbon an adventure/gravel bike might be a better bet. I’d go for a steel frame but that’s just a personal preference.
The actual differences between aluminium and carbon are less than you might think:

View: https://youtu.be/h3RG5dztrXM
 
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RoubaixCube

~Tribanese~
Location
London, UK
Personally for me - I commuted on an alu bike during the weekdays then carbon bike during the weekends for various reasons.

1. Different bikes, different handling, different rides
2. Roads in the city are slightly quieter during weekends. (London city roads are quite busy)
3. Alloy is more durable than carbon should i end up getting hit by something - One less thing to cry about and expensive thing to replace.

4. (personal opinion) I dont take my carbon bike out in cold, wet or damp weathers. You dont want your best bike out in the worst weather.

YMMV

I would however suggest maybe spending the extra money and getting a titanium 'do-it-all' bike if your budget can afford they are as light as carbon (if not lighter) are super strong, quite weather resistant and pretty comfortable to ride.

though since youre just starting of maybe a titanium might not be the best suggestion but they should hold their resale value pretty well :whistle:

I would start off with an Alu frame like a £600-800 Triban then spend £200-300 on getting some hand built wheels to carry your weight. I weighed 16stone when i started cycling and had both my wheelsets built by @Spoked Wheels but I think he has since stepped back from wheel building.

A good local bike shop worth their salt may build you a set if you ask them to but if not there are websites that make strong wheelsets for the reverse backpack carrying cyclists

https://www.stradawheels.co.uk/product/big-fella/
 

BigMeatball

Senior Member
I don't think the OP needs hand built wheels at 18 stones. It's just unnecessary at that weight.

I was 17 stones when I started cycling and the stock wheels on my boardman (32 spokes) did just fine and after more than 1000km are still going strong, no broken spokes nor have I had to true them.

I'd go with the wheels that come with the bike and look at hand built wheels ONLY if I kept breaking spokes frequently.
 

cambsno

Active Member
Depends on budget - all things being equal you are better off with a sub 1k alloy bike than a sub 1k carbon one - the weight will be negligible and often the other bits on the alloy will be better.

Well thats what i understand!
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
I don't think the OP needs hand built wheels at 18 stones. It's just unnecessary at that weight.

I was 17 stones when I started cycling and the stock wheels on my boardman (32 spokes) did just fine and after more than 1000km are still going strong, no broken spokes nor have I had to true them.

I'd go with the wheels that come with the bike and look at hand built wheels ONLY if I kept breaking spokes frequently.
You may have been lucky :okay: I was around a similar weight & suffered with broken spokes on a few stock wheels. Had handbuilt wheels with 36/32 spokes & not had an issue with them. I'm a little lighter now, but wheels is always my first priority on a bike now 👍

& back to the OP original question, check manufacture advice on weight limits. I've had a couple of cheaper carbon frames crack & had warranty issues so have been weary since, but do currently have 1 carbon bike in the fold. As others have mentioned Ti might be a better option if the budget allows, you won't regret it :smile:
 
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