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Your bike has a front derailleur. You want to go from a 27.5 to a 29er. There’s a variety of reasons you’ve finally decided to pull the trigger and buy a new bike. The crucial decision lies in the choice of frame material. Should it be aluminum or carbon? We’ll delve into the comparison between aluminum vs carbon bike frames to help you determine which one suits you best.

Aluminum, Carbon, Steel… as long as its 2 wheels I’m Cool

Before we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of each material, it’s worth noting that Dylan actively rides both. He enjoys the distinct feel of both carbon and aluminum bike frames, and depending on the day, opts for one or the other.

The Myth… Carbon Is Gonna Break

broken carbon bike frameAround campfires and bike shops, you might have come across the myth of carbon fiber weakness—whispers of shattering on the trail if struck just right. While there may have been instances in the early nineties, it’s crucial to debunk this myth. Modern carbon frames are meticulously designed, constructed, and rigorously tested to withstand abuse, putting any concerns about fragility firmly in the past.

Weight Savings Comes With Big Price Tag

Let’s address the elephant in the room: Carbon is often considered the “elite” material by pros due to its lighter weight compared to aluminum. However, this elite status comes with a substantial price tag, potentially costing you thousands more. On average though, the weight savings typically amounts to just 1-2 lbs for the entire bike.

Which One To Go With

mountain bikesIn the ongoing debate of aluminum vs. carbon bike frames, the choice ultimately hinges on your budget and perspective. When it comes to a traditional mountain bike (mtb), the weight savings may not justify the higher price tag. There are numerous top-of-the-line aluminum bikes available, and investing that extra money could be more beneficial when allocated to enhancing the components already on the bike.

When Carbon Is A Good Idea

Nevertheless, there are situations where choosing a carbon bike is advisable. If you’re gearing up for racing, particularly in the cross-country format, opting for the lightest bike is crucial for that style of riding. Additionally, if you’re considering an E-Bike, Dylan recommends going for one with a carbon frame. The weight advantage enables you to harness more power from the motor, enhancing overall efficiency.