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carbon fiber frames(15 posts)

carbon fiber framesWade
Jun 8, 2001 11:00 AM
Okay, does ANYbody know ANYthing about a carbon fiber frame? I'm looking at a Giant CFR T, but any general CF comments might be helpful. TIA
re: carbon fiber frameszero85ZEN
Jun 8, 2001 11:13 AM
Treck OCLV. Winner of two Tours de France.
re: carbon fiber framesCima Coppi
Jun 8, 2001 11:26 AM
Lance Armstrong, Winner of 2 TdF's. Not necessarily the bike!!
re: carbon fiber framesJon Billheimer
Jun 8, 2001 12:05 PM
Exceptionally light, stiff, strong. Because of the fabrication process, stresses can be distributed according to the designer's specifications. Same goes for stiffness vs. compliance in any plane. Damps out vibrations exceptionally well. People who prefer the liveliness of steel or ti may not care for the CF ride. Expensive.
Difficult if not impossible to repair if crashed and damaged.

I LOVE mine. But like anything else, CF isn't for everyone.
Not so sure about the last pointseth1
Jun 8, 2001 12:19 PM
At least in Kestrel's warranty they state that if a frame is damaged that they will either repair or replace the frame. Implying that CF frames are repairable.
re: carbon fiber framesTSW
Jun 8, 2001 1:16 PM
I have heard that lugged carbon fiber frames, like Look, provide a much livelier feel than molded frames.

Anyone no if this is true?
re: carbon fiber framesLen J
Jun 8, 2001 1:25 PM
My reading says this is not true. Carbon strength comes from the way the strands are oriented. The bike designer/manufacturer has tremendous flexibility in strengthening/stiffining where they want vs making the frame compliant in the direction they want. This can be done with either a molded frame (Kestrel) or a wound tube frame (Trek, Look etc.) BTW the bootom bracket & the Headset in both the Look & Trek frames are molded, the tubes are wound and then lugged together. using either Aluminum, Titanium, or carbon depending on the Manufacturer. Each Production Method has its inherent strengths and weaknesses (similar to other material Manufacturing choices).

The key to any frame performance is how the designer/manufacturer utilizes the material properties to achieve the balance of weight/vertical compliance/lateral stiffness desired. This is just as true for Carbon as it is for Titanium, Steel, & Aluminum.

For what it is worth.Ian
Jun 8, 2001 4:25 PM
My Look KG281 does have a livelier ride than my Trek 5200 did.
Molded vs. Bondedsidley
Jun 8, 2001 12:34 PM
A LBS guy told me that molded cf frames are stronger at the stress points than bonded cf frames (essentially glued). Apparently, Trek cf frames are bonded and sometimes fracture, whereas Kestral mold thier frames and are less subject to breakage.
I don't know about Giant.

Like I said, this is the grand total of my knowledge about cf frames. I would humbly defer to a more knowledgeable poster who says otherwise.
Calfee's Technical White Paper on the Subject...PsyDoc
Jun 8, 2001 12:47 PM
...can be found on Calfee's website ( ) or by clicking this link:
re: carbon fiber framesMrCelloBoy
Jun 8, 2001 1:12 PM
Calfee also offers a 10-25 year warranty on their frames. I just ordered their Tetra Tetra tandem.
The frames are repairable. They just require that you take off all the components and return it to them.
The "dead" zone...MrCelloBoy
Jun 8, 2001 1:39 PM
My personla experience has been that the OCLV single felt pretty stiff when I first rode it. Since then I've spent over 100 cum. miles on several Calfee tandems, and I've come to realize that (at least these bikes) give a ride that's a strange combination of rigidity and shock absorbtion. The road vibration is truly "deadened" within the frame. You can feel every pebble in the road surface, and you don't lose much energy to flame frex, but the vibrations don't reach your body as in other materials. You've got to feel it to really get it. The advantage to Carbon over Ti is that ti ends up being compliant in ALL directions and you'll likely end up losing some lateral rigidity in the equation. Some shaped tubes like Litespeed's downtube seem like they'd help resist some of that.
Carbon fiber is bad get a aluminum bikeRayler
Jun 8, 2001 3:14 PM
Qualitygrz mnky
Jun 8, 2001 4:49 PM
Now there's a well thought out and reasoned approach based on objectivity, fact and personal expereince. Geez - we should all be riding recycled beer cans to be cool.

In general CF is good if you want a lighter and more comfortable ride. However, they seem to do just fine in the competitive arena as well. Look, Trek, Carbon Frames (aka Calfee), Colnago and others make competitive models and have been race proven. The primary differences are "lugged" (alloy or CF) vs. monocoque constructed frames. Not so sure about Giant - they have tended to use cast alloy "lugged" technology to bond CF tubes together. This isn't the lightest nor the most durable way to do things, but it can be serviceable. I'm not familiar with the exact model quoted.

I guess you should ask yourself what kind of riding you want to do, what you like/dislike and why you're looking at the Giant. A good deal on something that you don't want or need isn't much of a deal.
CF for relief from AlWade
Jun 9, 2001 12:25 AM
I road ride for fund raisers and centuries and when the trails are too wet. Dirt is my passion. This old 'dale is killing me on the rough backroads I prefer to ride (less cars, steeper hills). My butt is really soft from a high zoot mountain bike with 3 inches of travel on both ends.

I don't think I'll ever put "high" miles on a road bike, 30-50 per week when the trails are mushy suits me.

Thanks for the input. I may try it. Report as this story develops