Whether a mountain bike is good or not depends on a lot of factors.
The material for making a mountain bike is an important factor. It directly affects the rider’s ability to control the vehicle. The popular materials for making mountain bikes today are aluminum and carbon.
However, there are quite a few differences between these two types of mountain bikes. Mountain bike aluminum vs carbon which is better? We will share with you the answer soon!
Mountain bike aluminum vs carbon, which is better?
Both aluminum and carbon mountain bikes are good. However, in terms of perfection, the carbon mountain bike is a bit better. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to the user that they get better.
You will know which mountain bike is better for you by analyzing the following factors:
- Stiffness and flexibility
- Shock Absorbers
A low weight mountain bike will help you climb slopes faster. It also saves a lot of energy for you. Many people assume that light bikes are better for trails and slopes.
A low weight mountain bike will help you climb slopes faster
Needless to say, carbon is always lighter than aluminum. Especially with mountain carbon bikes, they are designed to be lighter than normal carbon bikes. This makes it easy for riders to carry them to any mountain terrain.
Many people consider carbon mountain bikes to be the best option. They will support the rider best when going uphill. Due to its really light weight, it will be easier for riders to control it.
Aluminum mountain bikes are heavier than carbon bikes. Currently, manufacturers have improved the aluminum material a lot. Some aluminum mountain bikes are already much lighter in weight.
Some riders love to use aluminum mountain bikes.
Simply because they think, when going downhill, the weight of the aluminum bike will help them be more stable. For rough downhill rides, aluminum frames are the best material for them.
You can choose based on your weight preference. Do you want a lighter or heavier vehicle?
If you don’t know whether to choose carbon or aluminum. Try each vehicle. You can refer to the MTB on the market or at the store that sells it. It will help you make more accurate choices.
Stiffness and flexibility
The rigidity of the bike frame will help it resist bending. In addition, the stiffness reduces the force of bicycle control to help the rider save power.
With a mountain bike, you need to consider handling stiffness and lateral stiffness. Good handling stiffness will make the bike more flexible. It also helps the rider to easily control the bike.
The rigidity of the bike frame will help it resist bending
Side stiffness will affect your thrust on the pedals. During the transition, if the lateral stiffness is not enough, the chassis will take some of the force.
From there your thrust is not completely transferred to the pedals and to the road surface. This is also the reason why the rider loses a lot of strength but cannot accelerate much.
Carbon is known to be harder than aluminum, even steel. The carbon fiber frame offers 2 to 5 times more rigidity than aluminum and steel of the same weight. This stiffness helps it transfer force on the pedals faster. However, too hard will also cause disadvantages. Because the speed is too fast, the rider will not be able to handle in many situations.
Aluminum is not as hard as carbon. The manufacturer tried to renovate the mountain aluminum bike. They make aluminum frames with larger diameters to increase rigidity. And they try to make it lighter so that it doesn’t affect the weight.
Try some aluminum mountain bike models that can beat cheap carbon bikes in terms of stiffness. But they are not all.
In short, the hardness of carbon bicycles is better than aluminum. But aluminum is also creating products with its own advantages.
A mountain bike needs to be durable. It will reduce the rider’s risk of having an accident. It can be said that aluminum has better strength than carbon. It withstands and directs better touch.
Carbon fibers are materials that last indefinitely. While aluminum has a shelf life, up to 5 years. In cases where aluminum mountain bikes are not damaged. They will still soften after a period of use.
Reliability will reduce the rider’s risk of having an accident
In fact, carbon fibers are very brittle and prone to splitting and cracking. Through the refining process of the manufacturer, it has increased durability and bearing capacity. Currently, mountain bike frames made from carbon can withstand light impacts.
However, when there are strong direct collisions. Carbon mountain bike frames can break apart more easily than aluminum frames.
Aluminum easily bends when encountering strong impacts. You can’t go on with a mountain bike with a curved frame. However, in some cases, aluminum is only slightly dented. Riders can still continue with these mountain bikes. But you should double check to make sure it’s still safe.
The obvious difference is that the carbon will suddenly crack and without warning. While aluminum will slightly dent or bend partially before bending the whole. This may be the advantage of these mountain bikes. It is safer for riders on dangerous roads.
In short, as long as it doesn’t bend completely, the aluminum bike can still move. It can be said that aluminum will have better endurance and durability than carbon mountain bikes.
The road to the mountain will not be smooth, it has a lot of obstacles and small rocks. There are even some very rough mountain roads. Good shock absorbers will help the rider ride better. They will also avoid unexpected situations.
Carbon fiber is known to be the best shockproof material. Its texture is suitable for those stages that are more rugged. It will reduce any tremors. Riders will have a smoother experience with a carbon MTB.
In fact, everyone knows this. Carbon mountain bikes are more expensive than aluminum. Due to the special way of production and need to go through many complicated processes. Carbon bicycle frames are very difficult to make.
Aluminum is the cheaper option but it’s improved a lot now. Two equally cheap bikes made from low grade aluminum and carbon. You should choose an aluminum bike.
However, aluminum bicycles cannot be repaired when the frame is broken. The only way is to replace it with a new one. But the MTB carbon can be repaired to its original state.
===== Frequently Asked Questions =====
What is the speed of an aluminum vs carbon mountain bike?
Speed is always something that racers care about. Carbon mountain bikes will have faster speed than aluminum MTB. Simply because:
- Carbon MTB vs aluminum is lighter in weight. From there, the speed uphill or downhill will also be faster. Weight is an important factor in determining speed. Light weight makes it easier to move.
- The frame of carbon MTB vs aluminum MTB is stiffer. The stiff frame allows the rider’s thrust to be fully transferred to the pedals. There are no cases where the frame “swallows” part of the force.
- Carbon MTB damping is better than aluminum MTB. Since carbon fiber can absorb shock, the bike doesn’t have to be subjected to much extra external force.
- External forces can cause the vehicle to slow down. It’s like you walking on a flat road and walking on a rough road. The flat road will go faster because there are no obstacles.
Can the aluminum frame mountain bike be re-welded when broken?
When your aluminum frame mountain bike breaks, I recommend you get a new one. It’s really not fixable. Welds will soon crack and continue to break. It is very dangerous if you continue to use it.
What type of MTB is suitable for rough roads?
The Carbon MTB is a bike suitable for rough roads. It can absorb very well and maintain speed. That will make it comfortable for you to ride.
What other materials make a good MTB besides carbon and aluminum?
There is a very good mountain bike material. That is titanium. But titanium is usually very expensive. You will have to spend a large amount of money if you want to buy this type of bike.
To choose the best mountain bike for you, you should consider many factors. However, choose the type of vehicle that you feel most comfortable using.
In this article we have made a comparison between aluminum vs carbon mountain bike. Hopefully, you can choose a better bike for you!