On the market today comparing the price between aluminum vs carbon gravel bike you will find carbon gravel much more expensive.
And we can be sure that this is the biggest barrier that you can hardly make a decision.
So what makes carbon gravel bikes so expensive and which one should you choose? Read our article!
What is better between Aluminum vs carbon gravel bike?
Both are good. Depending on different preferences and financial capabilities, each person will have a different decision to buy a mountain bike.
There are people who love and stick with aluminum since the beginning of the sport of cycling and they do not want to leave it.
And they have also accumulated enough experience to be able to handle situations that can happen on the track with aluminum bikes. So changing to new material like carbon will take a lot of their time.
Some people always love new technology, so they are willing to spend a lot of money to own carbon frame gravel bikes.
So what makes aluminum vs carbon gravel bikes different? Check out our analysis below.
What is the difference between Aluminum vs carbon gravel bike?
These are two common materials used for racing cars, specially designed for gravel roads.
Because they are different materials, in addition to the similar design, these two types of gravel bikes have many differences.
#1. The structure of the frame
The carbon frame is made up of carbon fibers. Carbon fiber is a unique material made from individual fibers.
These individual fibers are “woven” and “glued” together to form layers that can be shaped and formed into various shapes.
This creates an extremely light but very rigid bicycle frame. Carbon fiber has a weight ratio 18% higher than aluminum and 14% higher than steel.
A bicycle made from an aluminum frame can be fabricated with thicker aluminum tubes for more rigidity and strength than steel. An aluminum bike cannot be welded like steel if it is met with an accident.
However, aluminum can withstand more than carbon fiber before it breaks down. Aluminum is also a good material for wheels, as a damaged rim is less expensive to replace.
When it comes to the “lifetime” of the aluminum frame and carbon frame gravel bike, the aluminum frame bike only has a “lifetime” of a few years, and the carbon frame bike has an unlimited “lifetime”.
Carbon frame you can use forever if never in an accident. However, it would take a pretty heavy accident to destroy the rigidity and sturdiness of the carbon frame, and the aluminum frame might not be able to withstand it.
Fortunately, damage to a carbon frame can often be repaired, but welding or attaching a cracked aluminum frame is not safe. UV damage is non-existent for reputable branded carbon frames.
#3. The weight & quality
Talking about the weight of carbon gravel bike is usually slightly lighter than aluminum. Moreover, the quality of the carbon frame is better than the aluminum frame because it is stiffer and more stable in difficult terrain.
#4. Price of bike
It is much more difficult to manufacture a carbon frame bike than a bike made from aluminum. Therefore, the cost of carbon is always higher than aluminum. A big gap that you have to consider.
#5. Pedal efficiency
Carbon gavel bike has many advantages over aluminum. Because carbon has more flex and up and down while having less side to side flex. So that carbon can have an asymmetrical bending pattern.
#6. External forces
Aluminum gravel will break by itself after a long time of use. Carbon will break when there is a large enough force from the outside.
Compared with aluminum, what advantages does carbon gravel have?
Between Aluminum vs carbon gravel bike, carbon has more advantages. Some of the advantages are as follows:
- Ride more smoothly
- More efficient pedaling action
- Lighter – easier to finish front and rear
- Get nicer bumps
- On gravel roads, you will experience less shock when using carbon gravel and it has smaller tires. That means it is more suitable for gravel roads.
What should I pay attention to when choosing to buy a gravel bike?
Riders who are experienced with gravel roads and also use aluminum gravel for many years offer the following advice:
- Choose quality tires and the right size for your road. It is best to choose thin tires.
- The weight of the vehicle is also an important factor in shock absorption when moving. Choose high-quality cars, you will have a better experience.
- In addition to the tires, pay attention to your contact points with the vehicle such as the saddle, handlebars, and pedals.
What do I need to keep in mind about the frame design or frame material when buying a gravel bike?
Both. However, the frame design is the most important factor in the “spring” of the bike, not the material.
Regardless of which side you make between aluminum vs carbon gravel bike, you’re right. We cannot have an absolute answer for everyone.
There are people who love aluminum, have their own experience and skills with this type of bike, so they don’t want to change or leave.
There are also people who love carbon, love the lightness, the feeling of gliding in the wind without much effort. Especially with gravel roads, choosing a light bike to save energy is extremely necessary.
Some people like the riding feel of the aluminum frame. Feels more “springy” than Carbon (feels more like steel). The frame design is the most important factor in the “life” of the bike, not the material.
Come to us, we will introduce you to the latest bike models. At the same time, advise you to decide to own a bike that suits your personality.