I did not realise I would get into like road riding like I have and I am running a 2012 Defy 1 aluminium frame bike and have been told a few times I would be better off changing to a carbon frame bike. I have been looking at a carbon Defy and has some one ridden both on the road and would it be worth the extra money swaping bikes. I am told the carbon bike is miles better for climbing and fair smooth on long rides.
Defy Alu frame against a carbon frame bike
You'll need to test ride one and make your mind up then. Only you can decide if its worth the extra money.
A good carbon frame can be a superb ride but some don't ride better than a good alloy one.
I doubt it would be miles better for climbing, but it might be a bit of an improvement over your existing bike. The biggest difference can be made by riding up more hills more often. Don't get too hung up on frame material there are some fantastic aluminium frames out there and some poor carbon ones.
The ally Defy is a fantastic bike. I owned one and like you, bit the bug a little. Ended up upgrading it for a very nice carbon bike...
To be honest, the Defy is such a good frame on its own that in retrospect, a good set of wheels would have transformed the ride more than the swap to a new frame. My Defy was about 9.5kg, my new bike is 8kg, but only about 250g of that is in the frame, the rest is in the wheels, group set and components.
Unless you're really pushing out BIG wattage, I don't think you would notice going from your (exceptionally good) ally Defy to a carbon one. I think new wheels and/or more miles in the saddle will make much more difference overall!
Don't let me stop you upgrading though if you want to, the Carbon Defy is an exceptional bike also! Just that when some people bang on about carbon like its some wonder material and nothing else will do, generally they've never ridden a good ally, steel or Ti bike.
I'm just about to buy a (current) Defy 4 as a winter bike due to its comfort in the frame. My,other bike is a (carbon) Bianchi Sempre.
The only difference your going to notice is that the carbon will be lighter (in some case's ) the Kinesis aithein is alloy and is ment to be just as good) but carbon will make the riding over long distances more comfortable as the carbon will take out more road vibrations over the alloys..
the next question will be do you want.
the advance carbon
or the advance sl carbon
Thanks you for tha answers and I did ask about wheels today at a shop as the Giant set on my bike are about 2200g and I asked about some thing like Falcrum 3 or Mavic Ksyrium equipe but he did not think I would gain much. I have done the 102 mile Castle 100 route on it ok with just me not eating enough when I ran out of steam near the end.
Sounds like you need a tub of High 5 or pack of Soreen rather than a new bike.
I did ask about wheels today at a shop as the Giant set on my bike are about 2200g and I asked about some thing like Falcrum 3 or Mavic Ksyrium equipe but he did not think I would gain much
Putting a pair of 1500g wheels on and losing 700g rotating weight (as opposed to about 250 of frame weight by going carbon) will make quite a difference. Pair that along with some lighter, faster tyres, and you'll notice the benefits.
OP I went from a defy to a giant tcr advanced (1/2 price from wiggle) and the difference was dramatic for me. The wheels probably played a good part in that, but i only upgraded to mavic aksyium so not so light.
i did cut 9 minutes off my 21 miles training loop instantly.... I haven't looked back.
If you want it just get it..
I tested a 105 alloy defy and an ultegra composite one. There was a big difference in comfort, feel, response. I bought the composite carbon one.
I have an alloy TCR and a carbon Defy Advanced SL. The carbon frame feels just like my clubmate's TCR Advanced SL and it is indeed a lovely smooth ride, smoother and more efficient (but not stiffer). However, losing a kilo with lighter wheels and a few upgrades such as carbon bars and seatpost will make a much bigger difference to the ride than switching frames.
Unless you significantly upgrade, the next Defy, even in carbon, will have heavy wheels and probably the same groupset. I would test ride a Defy Advanced from a Giant shop, if you can. See what you think. I did and bought the SL.
mboy's comments are spot on. They are all good bikes, and they all have compromises. But the alloy Defy frame really is a very good starting point.
i would stick with the defy as the geometry designed for the rider to go for longer as the TCR is more of a racer bike...
Im looking at getting a defy myself but im looking at the composite 1 so thats the basic carbon but with the ultegra groupset... and wont break the bank too much at £1900ish
the advance version £2500 is all sold out via main dealer Giant so only hope there is phoning around shops for your size.. this is due because it was bike of the year:)
not too sure on the sl version but on the top of my head i think the same set up your looking at around £3200
Your cash probably best spent initially on nice wheels, they can make a massive difference, and some light carbon bits. The standard seatpost, stem and bars are likely fairly heavy items. Frame would likely be the last thing I'd upgrade (in terms of cost, weight and performance.)
Having said that I do have the TCR Advanced and it is astonishingly good. Though for rides over a couple of hours I do tend to go for my old alu winter bike.
Carbon will probably be more comfy, maybe a bit stiffer but you'll notice more benefit climbing if you get a good light, stiff pair of wheels. My Ksyrium Elites transformed my bike.
However, Westbrook Cycles are knocking out some reasonably priced Scott CR1 framesets at the moment - if you do want to give carbon a go at a decent price.
What's the difference between a Defy Advanced and Conposite versions
About 200g and some compliance. The SL is another 200g lighter again and has an integrated seatpost.
And don't believe the press - the Defy is a race bike and feels just like my TCR. But don't take my word for it, ask Sep Vanmarcke
(A comfortable sportive bike seen earlier this year - no gloves!)
Can some give me a idea of what carbon bars I could look for. As for wheels Giant P-SL1 are the next wheel up from mine or Fulcrum 3 or 5 or Quattro and Mavic Cosmic Elite but is it true you have to watch the Mavics in crosswinds.
Can some give me a idea of what carbon bars I could look for.
Don't bother, they'll snap.
I like Ritchey bars, personally, with a matching stem (and fork in the case of the TCR). As for wheels, anything deep can be errr... fun in the wind. I have the SLR-aeros and am really only just getting used to them in blustery conditions. The freewheel makes hope sound like silent clutch!
Any wheelset that weighs 1400-1500g will feel like a big improvement. Only the Fulcrum 3's come close in your list. For Mavic, I'd look for Ksyrium Elites. I have a set and I think they are a great wheel. A cheap immediate upgrade will be better tyres.
Don't bother with carbon bars, on a road bike you can get all you need from gel padding under decent tape.
Consider a vibration damping seatpost (Cobl goblr, Canyon vcls etc.)
Decent wheels will certainly be more noticeable than switching to a carbon frame, I'd go with some handbuilts (105/H+S archetype sort of thing), can run them tubeless to. I wouldn't go with Ksyriums if you're sticking to factory wheelsets, they're good wheels (I have elites on my summer bike) but are very stiff which although it's nice for climbing it doesn't offer much compliance so can reduce the ride comfort.
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