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  1. #1
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    cx/gravel grinder bike- AL or Carbon?

    Looking at buying one of these two bikes the fuji cross 1.1 or its carbon sibling the altimira 1.3. Both have almost exactly the same components besides the fsa crank and aluminum crown fork on the cheaper 1.1 cx. The biggest difference being the aluminum frame vs the carbon frame.

    I usually keep my bikes for 5+ years and expect them to last and have a great ride for their intended purpose. That said I'll be using the bike for 2 or 3 cx races a year and the rest of the rides will be only when I'm not on my road or mtn bike, such as the 3 gravel grinders I have planned (think almanzo 100-long unsupported road/dirt rides). Or as a bike that I'll take when I can only have one with me to do both road and light mtn duty.

    There is only a 1 lb difference between the two and with 35c tires will I even notice the dampened "buzz" that a carbon frame might provide? Its about a $500 upgrade to go to full carbon, would I be better off spending that on race entry fees?!

    I do like the color more on the carbon bike, call me vain.

    fuji cross 1.1



    fuji altimira 1.3


  2. #2
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    I would go with the carbon bike ... Like you, I like the color better. There is something to be said about being excited about a bike. Performance wise, other than weight, I don't think you will see a big difference. I love my carbon cx bike!

  3. #3
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    I really enjoy my carbon cross bike, I have ridden all sorts of alu bikes and they are just fine too, but the lighter weight and stiffness of the carbon makes it a really fun bike. You can't go wrong with either choice, but for me having an 18 pound bike after riding tanks for years has been a real treat.

  4. #4
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    Even though these bikes are from the same company, there are a couple of small differences in geometry. They don't effect fit but could make for small differences in handling. The 1.3 has 42.5 cm chainstays while the 1.1 has 43 cm chainstays. The 1.3 has a 67 mm bb drop in all sizes and the 1.1 has 69 to 65 mm bb drop depending on size. Also the wheelbases are different with the 1.3 generally being shorter.

    For a racing bike, in my size, I'd get the 1.3 for weight and geometry.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by alias33 View Post
    Looking at buying one of these two bikes the fuji cross 1.1 or its carbon sibling the altimira 1.3. Both have almost exactly the same components besides the fsa crank and aluminum crown fork on the cheaper 1.1 cx. The biggest difference being the aluminum frame vs the carbon frame.

    I usually keep my bikes for 5+ years and expect them to last and have a great ride for their intended purpose. That said I'll be using the bike for 2 or 3 cx races a year and the rest of the rides will be only when I'm not on my road or mtn bike, such as the 3 gravel grinders I have planned (think almanzo 100-long unsupported road/dirt rides). Or as a bike that I'll take when I can only have one with me to do both road and light mtn duty.

    There is only a 1 lb difference between the two and with 35c tires will I even notice the dampened "buzz" that a carbon frame might provide? Its about a $500 upgrade to go to full carbon, would I be better off spending that on race entry fees?!

    I do like the color more on the carbon bike, call me vain.

    fuji cross 1.1



    fuji altimira 1.3

    Holly molly...Nice find, looks like Fuji got it together for 2013 !!

  6. #6
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    Both look like nice bikes.

    It really depends on your budget. I would say choose the 1.1 if buying the 1.3 means you won't be able to buy a spare or tubular wheelset of if it means you will have a hard time replacing expandables parts because of cost. From a pure logical pov, buying one of those bikes is not really justified by 3 cx races + 3 gravel grinders a year while you could find a nice used cx bike for a fraction of this price. It's all about the joy of having a new bike. We can't really help more.

    Best advice I can give you is go to the nearest bike shop selling fujis and ask for testriding both. Only then will you be able to figure if the difference is worth the price difference.
    Last edited by T0mi; 11-29-2012 at 02:09 AM.

  7. #7
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    I never take my carbon bike on gravel rides... don't like the sound of big ol rocks hitting the carbon... prefer the sound of the 'ping' against my aluminum bike... just me. I will RACE the carbon bike, but for gravel grinding... i'd go aluminum

  8. #8
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    I bought an aluminum CX bike so I wouldn't have to worry about it. It feels bullet proof
    Dogma 65.1 CAAD 10 Cervelo RS Felt CX F65X
    Epic Expert Flash Alloy 1 Boris Fatbike

  9. #9
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    Those who fear the pinging of rocks on a carbon downtube should check out Niner's demo of their carbon fork

    Niner Bikes Fork Hammering - YouTube

  10. #10
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    I have a Colnago C50 cross that I have been racing since 2006. I probably have over 100 races on it.....and plenty of crashes.
    I have heard a lot of things bang off the down tube....and other parts of the bike.
    It's fine.....

    I have broken steel, aluminum and ti cross bikes.

  11. #11
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    We put on several gravel grinders a year and I might be able to count on one hand the number of carbon bikes that have shown up for our events. Granted, we try to put together tough routes with as much loose stuff as we can find but the carbon bikes typically get left at home. I've had quite a few people tell me they just don't want to have any concern in their head while grinding away.
    Long, Hard & Dirty
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinistry View Post
    We put on several gravel grinders a year and I might be able to count on one hand the number of carbon bikes that have shown up for our events. Granted, we try to put together tough routes with as much loose stuff as we can find but the carbon bikes typically get left at home. I've had quite a few people tell me they just don't want to have any concern in their head while grinding away.
    I think that's just superstition. Carbon frames are put to rugged use in cross-country mtb with great results. Noone worries about rocks hitting the frame. Carbon is plenty durable.

    With the gravel grinder crowd, I think it's a cultural thing. They don't like carbon in general: steel or ti is their thing.

  13. #13
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    I have had both an al redline conquest pro that I raced and did gravel grinders on. It was fine for racing and was comfortable bike but long bouts in the saddle on this bike was a bit punishing. Also the gravel grinders I did were fun but I was happy to be off the bike when done. Last year I picked up a NOS 2009 Sworks carbon tricross and this bike it fantastic. It is great for racing but it is awesome for long rides in gravel. I did a 40 mile gravel grinder that got pretty sketchy due to some road repair and large rocks not yet compacted and the bike handled great and I did not feel all beat up when I got done. If I were to do it again I would go carbon in a heart beat. I would also look used as you can find some pretty good deal of racers cleaning out their pit bikes. Just check out the frame well and if you are not comfortable doing this have a shop do it.
    2009 Specialized S-Works Carbon Tricoss
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 4
    Gary Fisher Tassahara

  14. #14
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    I wouldn't hesitate to ride aluminum. The comfort of the frame isn't all that important when you're riding 32mm tires at 85psi.

    That said, I would probably buy a carbon bike, all things being equal. It sounds like you want the carbon bike. So just wait a few pay periods and pay the extra money



    While both your bikes have Force w/ discs, Fuji also has an affordable ($1999) Ultegra bike w/cantis on bikesdirect. If you're concerned at all about weight, rest assured that a canti bike will save about a pound over a disc bike.



    Cross Bikes - Cyclocross - Fuji Altamira CX 2.0 Cross Bikes

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alias33 View Post
    Looking at buying one of these two bikes the fuji cross 1.1 or its carbon sibling the altimira 1.3. Both have almost exactly the same components besides the fsa crank and aluminum crown fork on the cheaper 1.1 cx. The biggest difference being the aluminum frame vs the carbon frame.

    I usually keep my bikes for 5+ years and expect them to last and have a great ride for their intended purpose. That said I'll be using the bike for 2 or 3 cx races a year and the rest of the rides will be only when I'm not on my road or mtn bike, such as the 3 gravel grinders I have planned (think almanzo 100-long unsupported road/dirt rides). Or as a bike that I'll take when I can only have one with me to do both road and light mtn duty.

    There is only a 1 lb difference between the two and with 35c tires will I even notice the dampened "buzz" that a carbon frame might provide? Its about a $500 upgrade to go to full carbon, would I be better off spending that on race entry fees?!

    I do like the color more on the carbon bike, call me vain.

    fuji cross 1.1



    fuji altimira 1.3

    The Altamira looks sweet, but I don't think the difference is only 500. its more than that.
    the MSRP: $2979 vs the CROSS 1.1 at $2049.
    Did you manage to find a good deal ?

  16. #16
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    I've been looking at used bikes lately and this trek cronus has caught my eye, granted its not a disc model but its a sub 16 lb. build and a quality oclv carbon frame.
    Plus I just think the cronus is a sexier bike, hmmm.
    cx/gravel grinder bike- AL or Carbon?-3ee3g73m55gd5e65haccc06b260ed78791fe5.jpg

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAW.S.T View Post
    The Altamira looks sweet, but I don't think the difference is only 500. its more than that.
    the MSRP: $2979 vs the CROSS 1.1 at $2049.
    Did you manage to find a good deal ?

    its a shop sponsorship discount, I still have to pay out of my own pocket, just a little less with the discount.

  18. #18
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    Just some advice for the fujis about the wheels, THEY SUCK! Oval wheels are absolute garbage. They are crazy heavy, terrible durability, and make your bike feel like it's from walmart.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warpdatframe View Post
    Just some advice for the fujis about the wheels, THEY SUCK! Oval wheels are absolute garbage. They are crazy heavy, terrible durability, and make your bike feel like it's from walmart.
    Funny coming from a dude by the name "Warp dat Frame"

    Everything you mentioned is opinion based. What wheels were you using, and what did they weigh? How did you determine the durability? Where did you buy your Fuji/Oval wheels?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by alias33 View Post
    its a shop sponsorship discount, I still have to pay out of my own pocket, just a little less with the discount.
    very tempting.....

  21. #21
    jrm
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    Ive used packing tape on the downtube of my alum bike to keep the paint from chipping. It works...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKTrain View Post
    Funny coming from a dude by the name "Warp dat Frame"

    Everything you mentioned is opinion based. What wheels were you using, and what did they weigh? How did you determine the durability? Where did you buy your Fuji/Oval wheels?
    the oval '524' wheel is not great.. especially for gravel riding. I have toasted 2 hubs, and my wife 1. Make sure you check the 'locknuts' on the axle frequently, i have had 2x them back themself off somehow, one time lost the pawls on the freehub, stranding me out on a gravel road in the dark, caught the other one.

    I may actually try out some oval 535's. they are the wider version. I get them pretty cheap so i can live with the issues, but don't expect too much

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local Hero View Post
    I wouldn't hesitate to ride aluminum. The comfort of the frame isn't all that important when you're riding 32mm tires at 85psi.

    That said, I would probably buy a carbon bike, all things being equal. It sounds like you want the carbon bike. So just wait a few pay periods and pay the extra money



    While both your bikes have Force w/ discs, Fuji also has an affordable ($1999) Ultegra bike w/cantis on bikesdirect. If you're concerned at all about weight, rest assured that a canti bike will save about a pound over a disc bike.



    Cross Bikes - Cyclocross - Fuji Altamira CX 2.0 Cross Bikes
    I have always been curious as to how they got these special deals.
    This looks like a nice deal too with a pretty "fiery" colour

  24. #24
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    I am debating the same bikes. Do you happen to know the weight of both bikes.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Ive used packing tape on the downtube of my alum bike to keep the paint from chipping. It works...
    no damage when you remove it ?

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