There are a lot of questions to ask yourself when shopping for a new mountain bike. Near the top of the list are questions such as “What wheelsize is right for me, how much suspension travel do I need, and what combination of frame angles will suit my riding style?” but beyond those, there’s the question of “What material should my next frame be made of?”
Riders in our All-Mountain forums are debating the relative merits of carbon versus aluminum frames for their next mountain bike purchase. Some mountain bikers prefer the value of a metal frame along with the possibility that it could stand up to more abuse. Other riders point out that while carbon frames are generally more expensive, the argument that they can withstand more abuse is questionable at best.
It’s easy to forget that while the technology behind carbon fiber frames (carbon sheets, resins, and molding technologies) have all advanced, aluminum fabrication technologies have also been refined. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in metal frame technology, with brands such as Pole pushing the envelope of what’s possible with fabrication and brands such as Ibis introducing an alloy version of their popular Ripmo, the Ripmo AF, that is more affordable, not to mention longer and slacker, than it’s carbon fiber counterpart.
What do you think?
When it comes to choosing your next mountain bike, where do you stand in this debate? Click here to share your thoughts.