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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, the LBS has a sale on their 2015 Raleigh Revenio models. I have been looking at the Revenio 3.0 for $1000 because it has Shimano 105 11-speed (11-28t) groupset, Kenda Koutach 60tpi 700x25c tires, Weinmann Gmax double-wall 23mm rims and a carbon composite fork. But the guy says, "we have the 2014 Revenio Carbon 1 in your size for just $100 more." The Carbon 1 uses mostly Tiagra components (12-30t) with a Shimano 105 derailleur and comes with Vittoria Rubino Slick 700x25c tires and Weinmann Momentum double wall 21mm rims.

They took a bunch of different measurements to size me. They also said that at this price point, I'm not really saving any weight, but getting a more comfortable ride as carbon doesn't vibrate like aluminum. So, is carbon really that much better than aluminum? The Revenio 3 already has a carbon fork. And how easily does carbon break in a crash? I'm worried I'll wreck on my first time out with clipless pedals and destroy the frame. (I had a steel framed Itoh back in the late '80s that you could throw off a cliff and still ride it.)

For $100 more, I get full carbon, but give up a full 105 groupset for mostly Tiagra and (according to the reviews) slightly better tires. $1k is already at the high end of what I am comfortable spending. I still need to get pedals and shoes.

I am currently riding a Diamondback Edgewood. I'm 50 years old. And I'd like to do my first century within a couple of years. I'd also like to do a couple days of RAGBRAI or a full Biking Across Minnesota. I currently bike 25-35 miles four to five times a week.

The carbon bike is at one of their other locations and they can have one transferred over if I want a test ride (but that will take a $100 deposit, which is totally refundable). So I haven't ridden it yet.

So, is carbon really that much more of a better ride? And how likely am I to damage the frame in an accident (compared to aluminum)? Anyone with either of the bikes?
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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I can only speak from my own experiences/ impressions and opinions formed after 30 years of road riding.

I'm a bit old school, so my opinion is get the best frameset you can. All the other parts bolt onto it, and, over time will be replaced anyway. The frame is 'forever', dictating the fit, handling and (to some extent) ride.

As for dropping down to Tiagra from 105, IMO it's a non-issue. Tiagra is a solid group and will serve you well for a long time. More importantly, tailor gearing to fitness and terrain.

Re: CF versus alu or steel, you can't really compare steel bikes from 'back then' to now. Whether alu or steel, manufacturers now use thin walled tubing to save weight, relying more on tubing shapes to add stiffness.

Also, CF has a higher strength to weight ratio than either alu or steel, so while it'll still break, it fails differently and at different forces. I've been riding CF since '08, have dropped my bike on more than one occasion and nary a scratch, so I wouldn't hesitate buying CF.

All that said, I wouldn't buy a bike I didn't test ride - out on the roads, and for some duration. So by all means ride before you buy any of the bikes under consideration.

Also, ask that the tire pressures be equalized on the bikes before riding. That probably has the most influence on ride characteristics than any other single factor.
 

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So, the LBS has a sale on their 2015 Raleigh Revenio models. I have been looking at the Revenio 3.0 for $1000 because it has Shimano 105 11-speed (11-28t) groupset, Kenda Koutach 60tpi 700x25c tires, Weinmann Gmax double-wall 23mm rims and a carbon composite fork. But the guy says, "we have the 2014 Revenio Carbon 1 in your size for just $100 more." The Carbon 1 uses mostly Tiagra components (12-30t) with a Shimano 105 derailleur and comes with Vittoria Rubino Slick 700x25c tires and Weinmann Momentum double wall 21mm rims.

They took a bunch of different measurements to size me. They also said that at this price point, I'm not really saving any weight, but getting a more comfortable ride as carbon doesn't vibrate like aluminum. So, is carbon really that much better than aluminum? The Revenio 3 already has a carbon fork. And how easily does carbon break in a crash? I'm worried I'll wreck on my first time out with clipless pedals and destroy the frame. (I had a steel framed Itoh back in the late '80s that you could throw off a cliff and still ride it.)

For $100 more, I get full carbon, but give up a full 105 groupset for mostly Tiagra and (according to the reviews) slightly better tires. $1k is already at the high end of what I am comfortable spending. I still need to get pedals and shoes.

I am currently riding a Diamondback Edgewood. I'm 50 years old. And I'd like to do my first century within a couple of years. I'd also like to do a couple days of RAGBRAI or a full Biking Across Minnesota. I currently bike 25-35 miles four to five times a week.

The carbon bike is at one of their other locations and they can have one transferred over if I want a test ride (but that will take a $100 deposit, which is totally refundable). So I haven't ridden it yet.

So, is carbon really that much more of a better ride? And how likely am I to damage the frame in an accident (compared to aluminum)? Anyone with either of the bikes?
Ride bikes that appeal to you in both materials, buy the one that whispers on your ear "ride me, ride me NOW!"

The alm tech is advanced to the point that from a purely weight perspective you are talking differences in ounces. My CAAD 10 weights almost the same as my SuperSix.

Best of luck to you.

EEC
 

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Just test ride them both.

You should not get hung up on aluminum or carbon but be thinking about which bike fits better (if at all); which saddle fits better; which bars feel easier to move around and fit you...keep in mind tires can make or break a ride. A bad rolling tire can make a super frame feel bad while a good tire act as a filter on a bad frame.

There are wonderful aluminum and carbon frames out there just like there are bad aluminum and carbon frames. Buying carbon just because it's carbon is a really bad mistake though imo/e. I suspect if you rolled the same wheels, tires and saddle you may not really tell a difference (with the two bikes in your op).
 

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The material really doesn't matter nearly as much as the marketing hype would have you believe. Do some good long test rides, and buy the bike that feels best to you.

Get it now so you can get in lots of riding this summer and fall, and schedule that century for early next summer. No reason it should take a couple of years to get ready ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. They said they will let me take the bikes on as long a test ride as I needed. I asked if ten miles was OK and they said that was not a problem. I guess I'll put down the $100 (completely refundable) to get the carbon one down here, then take them both on a test ride. There is a mile long hill that starts about two miles from the LBS. And there are some nice open flat roads at the top. That will be a good test of comfort and how I manage with the gearing.
 

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Thanks for the replies. They said they will let me take the bikes on as long a test ride as I needed. I asked if ten miles was OK and they said that was not a problem. I guess I'll put down the $100 (completely refundable) to get the carbon one down here, then take them both on a test ride. There is a mile long hill that starts about two miles from the LBS. And there are some nice open flat roads at the top. That will be a good test of comfort and how I manage with the gearing.
With respect to gearing, don't forget that you are going to get better - much better even - shortly after you start riding regularly and build a fitness base. Don't sweat the cog size as you can always put on a different cog out back for a hundred bucks installed, or less.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Thanks for the replies. They said they will let me take the bikes on as long a test ride as I needed. I asked if ten miles was OK and they said that was not a problem. I guess I'll put down the $100 (completely refundable) to get the carbon one down here, then take them both on a test ride. There is a mile long hill that starts about two miles from the LBS. And there are some nice open flat roads at the top. That will be a good test of comfort and how I manage with the gearing.
Sounds like a good plan.

A couple of thoughts...

Assuming gearing is matched to your fitness/ terrain, climbing is all about power to weight. Power being a constant (you), the bike that weighs less will be the better climber.

Re: comfort - fit and tire pressures go a long way in determining that.

Just some things to keep in mind. Keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
And then I saw this:
BIANCHI NIROME

It appears to be this: Via Nirone 7 Carbon/Tiagra Mix Triple | Bianchi USA

Any opinions on a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 C2C? It has a 50/39/30 triple crank and a 9 speed 12/25. It has a carbon fiber fork and carbon fiber seat stays. Will carbon seat stays make that much of a difference? Is $450 a reasonable price? Should I be concerned about internal damage to the forks and/or seat stays? Any thing else I should look for?
 
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