From Alu to Carbon, from 11 speed to 12

Hi,

I’m new to the forum. I’d like to start with a huge topic: frameset and groupset.
I own a caad10 equipped with a dura-ace di2 9070. I’d like to try a carbon frameset like the tarmac and, may be, to switch to a 12 speed groupset like the sram force. Is it worth to spend 2-3k for a carbon frameset since I like mine but I’m also curious because I’ve never rode a carbon road bike?
If I’d make the switch, would be the case to switch to the force, may be equipped with disk brakes?
Thank you all

  1. What, if any, goals do you have that could be impacted by a new or different bike?

  2. Are there any issues with your current setup that you dislike or find bothersome?

It helps to define where you currently are (good, bad or indifferent) with respect to where you could go. Simple material or gearing comparisons miss the opportunities of changing to different geometry, improve comfort or performance (or both), etc. The options are numerous and potentially confusing, so it’s hard to make a worthwhile recommendation without more specific info.

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Thanks for replying.
Objectives: I’d like to start competing on amateur level next year. I have never. I train constantly following a program, I’m raising my FTP and the volume both indoor and outdoor. I’m not saying that I can’t compete with my bike but it’s getting old (second-hand purchase). Thus, I am starting to think if it could be the case to change. I mostly use my road bike to train, both indoor (weekdays) and outdoor (2x, 3x per week). When I’m outside, I ride 70-100k on hills (north of Italy).
No fitting issues issues with my current set-up, only mechanical problem with the shifer sometimes. I 'd like to ride a smaller frame . Currently i’m on a 58.
I’ve no benchmark for comfort, I always rode an alu bike wiht carbon wheels and I feel fine. I can say, of course, that I’d like to increase the performance. I’m 27, relatively new to the sport, and training to get better that means competing as I mentioned.

Thanks

OK, simple approach could be to consider a regular “road” bike as a racing option with traditional geometry. Carbon is nice, but not necessary. Many of the newer generation aluminum bikes (Cannondale, Trek, Specialized and others) have elevated the ride feel and performance of the new aluminum bikes. They perform as good or better than some similarly priced carbon bikes.

I’d look at the newer models with hydraulic disc brakes, that also tend to allow and come with wider tires. The new “standard” is often 28mm wide, and pays off in more comfort, better traction for cornering, and is often faster than thinner tires at higher pressures.

I know you mention SRAM, but the new Shimano 105 group in particular is a massively good group for the price. On par with the original Dura-Ace 9000 and Ultegra 6800 groups, with great feel and function. The front shifting in particular tends to be much better than even the best SRAM setups.

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I’d just race on your Caad10 (It’s what I race on) and learn the sport with that bike. Once you figure out if you like bike racing and what types, that might better define what kind of bike you would want to get eventually. I know the bike is a big and important piece of equipment in bike racing, but I think you’re getting hung up on needing a high end “racing” bike to race. Just like you don’t need the Nike Alphafly shoes to run a 5k, you don’t need a Venge to race a crit. :slight_smile:

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Asking in a cycling forum - you will get a biased answer ;). We all love new bike day. If you can afford it and it makes you happy and ride more: Go for it.

My personal recommendation: Do a bike-fit first. I know you said you don’t have any problems, but I prefer to measure once instead of buying twice. Especially since you mentioned that you wanted a different size on your new bike. A bike has to fit you and your body. I wouldn’t want to ride the newest Tarmac and realize after the purchase that I need 5cm of spacers and a reversed stem (well, bad example if it’s an integrated bar-stem combo…)

What would be your budget for the whole build? If you want 12 speed that means (to my knowledge) only electronic shifting from SRAM. Since you mentioned changing to disc brakes this means new wheels as well. Cheapest total for something like a Canyon is ca. 6.000 EUR. For the Tarmac it’s more like 10.000 EUR. Personally I don’t see the need for 2x12. Maybe on 1x it makes a bit more sense.

Last personal opinion: Do a couple of races and see from there what you need. Are you enjoying Crits, Road Races, TTs, Gran Fondos, etc. It would be a shame to have the fanciest Aero bike and you realize you want to do Gravel Races or Hill Climbs etc.

But don’t let me stop you. All above is my personal view. I still ride an Alu Canyon with Ultegra Groupset from 2014 (obviously replaced some parts). But I have to admit I ordered a new carbon bike (hypocrite, I know right). I couldn’t justify an upgrade earlier, what pulled the trigger was, in the end, a move and the ‘‘need’’ for more tire clearance (love bike packing and want to go a little bit more offroad and have nice trails near my new home), hence I ordered a gravel bike.

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The CAAD10 is a great bike with race-y geometry, and you already have a top-end groupset on it. Modern aluminum frames are about 200-300 g heavier than their carbon equivalents, so you aren’t saving all that much. Comfort-wise, modern aluminum frames can be very good. Others are as stiff as anything by design (e. g. the Specialized Allez Sprint a team mate of mine owns has apparently a very harsh ride — it is a race machine).

The only reason why I’d consider getting a new bike is disc brakes, which are very useful especially if you live in the mountains. Otherwise, I’d probably get a set of carbon wheels. The used market for rim brake wheels is quite good because everyone is switching away from them.

Umm. Campagnolo launched superb 12 speed mechanical groupsets in early 2018…

You are of course right - doesn’t change a lot about my pricepoint argument though :).

I was thinking about a bike fit some time ago. Have you ever tried? did you find it useful?
I will do some races as you suggest. Anyway, my budger in nothing around the 10k.

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I suspect all you will get is slightly less road buzz / feel through the bike, possibly a little extra stiffness, far trickier maintenance, worse gear change and a far far far lighter wallet.

No way so would be changing from my CAAD12 at the moment were it not for the seemingly critical failure. I’ve gone back to a CAAD8 I built as a trainer bike and have zero performance impact, just a minor comfort increase through extra road buzz (feet especially)

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Well, it does, because he could use his current frameset and the mechanical Chorus groupset is not astronomically expensive. Campy free-hubbed wheels are also easily found (and usually very high quality).

Yes. Since then my saddle is further up an my stem a little bit longer. Never had big issues - just discomfort, but I have none now. Totally worth it. Plus I knew what to look for in my next bike.

Fair enough. But I think the main point was upgrading the frame and maybe when at it additionally 12 speed / disc. Upgrading from dura ace di2 to mechanical campa… I don’t know - wouldn’t be something that I would do. But everyone as they want.

Yes, ideed. I like the di2. and the main reasons i’d like to upgrade are the carbon frame (nothing sure) and disc brakes.