Buying a new bike - Carbon or Aluminium ???

Submitted: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 at 13:55
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I am new to triathlon and I am in the market for a new bike.
I have a budget of $2000 and cant decide whether i should buy an aluminium frame or an entry level carbon road bike with 105 components. Any thoughts on this ??????
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Reply By: TriathlonOz - David - Wednesday, May 02, 2012 at 18:49

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 at 18:49

What a great question, I have gone through all this in the last 5 years. I only started 5 years ago myself and entered the Tri market coming from Mountain Biking.

My first road bike was a free gift from a friend going interstate. It was an old aluminium bike with old everything and a whooping 8 speed rear end, weight about as much as I did. But you know I enjoyed this bike as it made me look half decent going to races and not taking a mountain bike.

I rode this bike in a few events and it quickly became apparent that I needed something better, lighter and more up-to-date. The reason I knew this was needed was that I was actually doing really well on my bike splits even on this bike.

So next came an entry level Cannondale Synapse but it was a little more that your listed $2K more like $3K. I used this bike until last year when I identified a crack in the frame, but in the mean time I had also purchased an Azzurri TT bike which I still race now and will be racing on Saturday in the Busselton 70.3.

So what can I tell you about your purchase. Well hold off and save for as long as possible and get something as good as you can afford because you can and will keep it for a long time unless you win Lotto or something. So it is better to make the biggest investment you can afford. When I replaced the Cannondale late last year I spent more than I had allocated n the replacement but now I am very happy I did I love my Argon road bike.

If your budget is $2K why not look at the Azzurri bikes there was one that came out in Feb/March for about $2-3 that has Ultegra electronic shifters and at the time was unbelievably cheap. I have not heard much more about it since release but I have shut out reviews etc since I made my purchase but at the time I was looking to get one of these to take the electronic shifters to my TT bike.

These days I would always go carbon, I prefer the ride over ali. 105 will get you in the door but again if you can stretch it is these components that make up most of the bike weight.

There you go, not sure it helps but once you start spending it does not stop. I am wanting to now start looking at a new TT bike using Dura Ace electronics to match the electronics on my Argon roadie and these are not cheap.

What ever you do, keep it clean and look after it and it will serve you well for many years.
If it's not hurting your not tri'ing!
David Martin

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Reply By: TriathlonOz - Michelle - Monday, May 07, 2012 at 19:50

Monday, May 07, 2012 at 19:50
Hi Rohan, how serious do you EXPECT to be in triathlon? Most people find their bike skills pick up very quickly initially if they train regularly so in just one season, you might be disappointed if you go in at the bottom end. A new bike depreciates quickly so you could look at picking up a 1 year old bargain on a carbon bike, or reconsider what you might lose if you buy new at the bottom end and need to upgrade in a year. Best of luck.

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