Top (ish) aluminium frame, or cheap carbon?


Going to replace my old faithful road bike. Reliability is key, not expecting to be be super fast but want to enjoy riding my bike…

My budget is higher end aluminium, or entry level carbon. What’s better!?

second hand, you can get all you would ever need for 800quid

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I’ve really enjoyed my canyon alu. Worth every penny I paid.

Had I gone carbon I’d have lost my disc brakes that I love.


But not 2nd hand carbon surely. I wouldn’t.

To the original question I would go high end alu myself.


We have loads of second hand carbon, I think we only have one first hand road bike carbon in the house and loads of second hand road bike, the mountain bikes are only 1st hand due to the complete impossibility to buy bikes in the covid times.

Damage can be seen on carbon - and also repaired really cheaply.


Also if you want second hand, but don’t have the contacts with cycling clubs etc that can turn up more “trusted” friend sales, and don’t want to risk dodgier sales, the middlemen such as can still give a good discount and the extra piece of mind / warranty.

oh and I realise I didn’t actually answer the carbon or aluminum side of things - I think carbon is the safer bet due to longevity and ease of repair, but really the frame material matters less than the geometry and other components.


I have a couple of carbons and a couple of Alu. Carbon 100% all the way.

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Titanium is always the answer :smiley:


If you’re buying new, I think “expensive” aluminium is better than cheap carbon.

Cheap carbon tends to be heavy and/or not very stiff. For the same money you’ll get a better frame in aluminium, although you’ll probably lose a few fillings if the roads you ride are a bit rough because the ride quality is usually harsher.

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if you’re interested I could be selling my trusty old Isaac carbon bike. back in the day, Isaac was a well respected UK/German brand that built good frames. it’s been my “everyday” bike for about 12 years but as I’m no longer racing I’m converting my Ti frame back to road status and using that instead when I do go out for a ride. the Isaac is still in good nick despite the '000s of miles in it. PM if interested

My first “expensive” bike was an Isaac Joule TT bike :sunglasses: .

I’ve done 8 IMs on it, but it’s been sat in the garage gathering dust for the last 5 years. I’m pretty sure it’s nowhere near as aero as modern TT bikes, but it’s a thing of beauty and I can’t see I’ll ever part with it.


After over a year of messing about (also known as running local races to avoid being massively overweight), about to pull the trigger.

@gingerbongo, love the Canyon range.

In your opinion, are Disk brakes worth the extra money (c. £400) over RB?


I’d guess that if you aren’t doing lots of long hill technical descending at high speeds or spending a lot of time out in the rain then possibly stick with rim brakes as you won’t need the added stopping power.

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I had the choice of ultegra and RB or 105 and discs, and bought the latter. I don’t regret it all.

Whilst we don’t have anything even closely resembling a mountain around here, it is up and down. And for that I love my discs. They give me confidence and haven’t let me down.

Disc all the way for me.


Carbon or Alu?

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I’d bear in mind the new and second hand market for rim brakes and wheels is probably diminishing as well.

As per GB’s comments, 105 is good stuff, Ultegra is better but if it’s tuned properly I doubt many of us would notice the difference.



For the little I ride, can’t really justify the extra £800-£1k for a CF frame.


For me, having bought a nice rim brake bike a few years ago…I wish I’d have bought disc :see_no_evil:

Not for the stopping power at all.
I don’t reckon there’s a difference for the speeds I descend at :rofl:

Why disc?

  1. Winter crap. You do not get mucky rims with that silvery mess everywhere.

  2. Rim wear. Rotors are way cheaper to replace than rims.

  3. Availability. Discs everywhere. Rim brakes will be like 9 speed soon :sob:

But my god, the freaking squealing banshee noises need to end :stop_sign::raised_hand:t5:


Trek seem to be paying BikeRadar to sell their ALR over their more expensive SL5. Two YouTube episodes in one month.

My spidey senses are tingling.