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Pick me: Aluminium or Carbon Frames?

Pick me: Aluminium or Carbon Frames?

Steel. Titanium. Carbon Fibre. Aluminum.

The options are plenty when choosing a frame built specifically for you. However, if you're in the market for an eMTB, the choice is just between Aluminium or Carbon Fibre. As eMTBs are largely similar to regular bikes in terms of looks, they harbor heavier accessories such as batteries.

In this post, Eskute will be highlighting four distinct factors that affect your judgment when purchasing an eMTB for yourself. As the list goes further down, the importance increases, so stay tuned!

aluminum tubesCarbon Fibre

Four Factors that Affect Rideability

Stiffness

While Aluminum is an ever-popular choice for riding downhill and mountain biking, that doesn't mean Carbon doesn't have its spot. A requirement for a top-graded frame is to be stiff. Stiffness is a good factor in providing prominent feedback, meaning the power from pedaling is smoothly transferred to propel you forward, without any hitch.

Stiffness can be manufactured, but a consideration to take note of is the materials used. Carbon Fibre is a receptive material when forming a frame. The hardness/stiffness of the frame can be expertly modified by adding layers and piling different layers of carbon fibre sheets. This is not the case for Aluminium, which is lackluster. To modify the simplest of Aluminium, rigorous testing of materials and different alloys are required, which costs money and time.

Winner: Carbon Fibre

 

Compliance

Comfort, or in this case, compliance, is a necessary component in determining whether a bike is for you. This factor is closely linked to stiffness as no matter how well a bike performs, it doesn't matter if you can't ride it for more than 10minutes. Aluminum is the best bet for many riders these days even if science backs carbon fibre. This is due to the cost of it. Aluminum might be slightly less perceptive in terms of comfortability, but it makes up in terms of costs. These savings could be used to offset the ride by purchasing higher quality accessories, for example, a better handlebar, or even better tires.

Winner: Aluminum

 

Weight

As the list goes longer, the importance of each factor rises. Weight is a necessary factor in determining your ride. If you're weighing in at 50kilos, you can't possibly get an eMTB that weights 30kilos. You'll be thrown off the roads into the ditch. So in a nutshell, having a lighter bike makes it easier to climb and maneuver. Carbon Fibre clearly has the advantage in this situation, as everyone knows that it is one of the lightest materials with a hardness rating above steel. Whilst unbeknownst to some, there exist many variants of carbon fibre, and that includes the cheap stuff too. You might want to research a little before making a decision, as high-grade aluminum is as good as or even better rated than some carbon fibre.

Winner: Carbon Fibre

 

Strength

Strength comes in many advantages, what we're talking about today is not the hardness rating of the material, but rather the durability of it. Aluminum, compared to Carbon fibre, might not necessarily have a stronger hardness rating, since we know that Carbon fibre has a rating higher than steel. However, from the written above, we know that with a small crack, the whole frame might be wrecked. Aluminum would be a better choice for this when considering riding downhill or mountain trails. But if you're jet-set on purchasing the more expensive variant of Carbon frames, read about how to protect it minimally with a simple trick here.

Winner: Aluminum

 

Summary

No matter what material for the frame you choose, it doesn't matter. We can't stress enough that the choice is yours, and these factors are only a guide to help. A carbon fibre bike isn't for everyone and there also exists a huge selection of premium quality aluminum bikes such as the Voyager range or the Wayfarer range.


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