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  1. #1
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    Carbon frame or carbon wheels

    Itís hard to do a direct comparison because very few bike companies make an aluminum and carbon version of the same frame, and even when they do (Jeffsey) the build kit is different. But since the nearest examples I could find seem to have around a $1000-1500 difference, would buying the aluminum version, then spending the extra cash on upgrading the rims to carbon make more of a difference to the bike performance than buying the carbon version? Seems to me that lighter rims would make the bike feel faster than a lighter frame, overall weight would probably be about the same.

  2. #2
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    what is the ratio of money spent vs grams saved?

    but overall grams on a wheel matter more than grams on a frame... (when going up)

    and if the bike is more gravit based, neither and spend the money on broken parts and beer


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    and if the bike is more gravit based, neither and spend the money on broken parts and beer
    Yep. If it was me and an enduro/miniDH, I'd prolly grab a RipmoAF with some of those swanky I9 305s. B/c: you can use a hammer on AL rims.

    EDIT: b/c I'm here to help: the 305 are appx 35g more than carbony equiv. (They're still pretty pricey though, but: colors!))
    It makes perfect sense...until you think about it.

    I suspect there's logic behind the madness, but I'm too dumb to see it.

  4. #4
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    With an identical part spec... on average.... An aluminum bike with carbon rims would be heavier than carbon bike with aluminum rims.

    You are lucky to loose like 1/3lbs per wheel going carbon.

    You loose like 2lbs going with a carbon frame.

    This decision should come down whether you like the feel of a carbon rim or aluminum... not weight.


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  5. #5
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    Carbon frame or carbon wheels

    Carbon MTB wheels arenít really about being lighter than aluminum. The rims are usually the same weight, or maybe a scant bit lighter.

    Carbon wheels are an upgrade because at the same weight as aluminum they can be made to be laterally stiff, vertically compliant to high frequency chatter, so overall better tracking and more dampening of vibrations than aluminum at the same weight. (Carbon rims also donít bend, they break, so if you are riding super rough trails then itís probably not a good choice)

    These dampening properties apply to the frame as well. The suspension is designed to limit how much chatter and vibration is transmitted from the tires into the frame, but obviously a shock and fork canít limit everything (though coils can do a much better job than air for high frequency stuff). But then there is the issue that you canít build in as much strength into an aluminum tubed frame at the same weight, so it will be heavier.

    If I could get the same frame kinematics in both materials, and the upgrade price of carbon frame vs carbon wheelset was similar, Iíd probably take the wheelset for better tracking and a more damp ride. But Iíd also know that the ride could be even more damp and much lighter overall with a carbon frame.
    _______________________________________________
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  6. #6
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    Depends on the frame and depends on the wheels.

    I've ridden some carbon frames that weren't all that much lighter than an equivalent aluminum, and I've ridden other carbon frames that were ultra stiff and harsh. I've ridden carbon rims that were heavy and too stiff. I've also ridden aluminum frames that were tanks and aluminum rims that'd bend if you looked at them funny.

    Assuming good quality on both, I'd rather have a nice carbon frame with a good quality aluminum wheelset than an aluminum frame with a nice carbon wheelset.

  7. #7
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    Last few posts hit the nail on the head. But assuming you get to chose your components (build from scratch), I think min/max would be, in order of priority:
    1) alloy wheels, alloy frame, great suspension
    2) carbon wheels, alloy frame, great suspension
    3) carbon wheels, carbon frame, great suspension

    I would never drop top end suspension for carbon frame or wheels. Ripmo AF does a good job prioritizing this. Next priority would be really great brakes. Drivetrain is essentially a consumable, and while some are heavier than others and some levers feel a bit better than others, they're all pretty decent and won't make you go faster or able to ride gnarlier trails. There's so many decent $200 dropper posts now that's essentially not a decision anymore, other than getting the longest possible one you can fit on your frame.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andeh View Post
    Last few posts hit the nail on the head. But assuming you get to chose your components (build from scratch), I think min/max would be, in order of priority:
    1) alloy wheels, alloy frame, great suspension
    2) carbon wheels, alloy frame, great suspension
    3) carbon wheels, carbon frame, great suspension

    I would never drop top end suspension for carbon frame or wheels. Ripmo AF does a good job prioritizing this. Next priority would be really great brakes.
    RipmoAF with Trickstuff Maxima's!
    It makes perfect sense...until you think about it.

    I suspect there's logic behind the madness, but I'm too dumb to see it.

  9. #9
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    IMO, it isn't as much about the weight savings but the value. Like you said, metal frames are getting harder to find and when you do, it's more of an entry level thing.
    The resale value of metal is squat.
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  10. #10
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    Anyone ridden the Jeffsy aluminum and the carbon in a similar build and and can speak to the difference in feel? Is it a noticeable difference or subtle?

  11. #11
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    A thing not mentioned is you can upgrade the wheels later, so get the carbon frame, ride it, then get the carbon wheels later. Like an installment plan.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    A thing not mentioned is you can upgrade the wheels later, so get the carbon frame, ride it, then get the carbon wheels later. Like an installment plan.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Problem with that is that I was thinking of that process on the aluminum frame. Pay less to start, then add the carbon rims later to upgrade.

  13. #13
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    I can only compare carbon frame to alu wheels and carbon wheels. Stans Flow vs SC Reserve. The carbon wheels definitely feel different in a good way. Now does it feel like approx twice the $$? I'd say no, but they are pretty freakin awesome. The tracking is amazing.

  14. #14
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    Got a shop bud who gets a nice bike on a great deal, wraps it, swaps the stock wheels for his high end carbon wheels, maybe an electric der, some more carbon.

    After 20 rides swap the Alu rims back/ any extra parts out, sell the stock bike with virgin parts breaking even and do it all over again

    Personaly I think ( I did ) carbon frame/ alu wheels is good enough for me
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackstraw View Post
    I can only compare carbon frame to alu wheels and carbon wheels. Stans Flow vs SC Reserve. The carbon wheels definitely feel different in a good way. Now does it feel like approx twice the $$? I'd say no, but they are pretty freakin awesome. The tracking is amazing.
    Agree with your tracking comment...to me, carbon wheels feel like skis with sharp edges.

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