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Carbon Seat Stays: Chi-Chi Fad or True Design Advance?(4 posts)

Carbon Seat Stays: Chi-Chi Fad or True Design Advance?MeDotOrg
Jun 14, 2001 2:39 PM
I'm seeing more and more frames available with carbon seat stays. They would seem to promise lighter weight and a more compliant ride.

What I would like to know is: has anyone done any comparisons? Is it worth and extra $150-250?

And most importantly, how does the bonding hold up?
re: Carbon Seat Stays: Chi-Chi Fad or True Design Advance?fuzzybunnies
Jun 14, 2001 10:00 PM
It seems to offer a more comfortable ride, I didn't get to ride one long to get a decent comparison. I would think on a steel frame the bonding would hold nicely, though maybe not as good as it does with titanium. Also due to the fact that they are bonded it is possible to repair the stays should you crack one so the bike isn't totally disposable. TTFN
Design advanceMass Biker
Jun 15, 2001 8:26 AM
I got a chance to ride one not too long ago. It is definitely a step forward for aluminum, and I think the price is worth it. Sandwiching aluminum between carbon (carbon fork/al. main triangle/carbon stays) produces a frame with the bottom bracket stiffness of aluminum yet tempers this stiffness with the shock absorbency (and stiffness) of carbon. What you end up with is a frame that is comfortable yet not noodly. As far as ride characteristics, I have to say that the carbon rear triangle does track exceptionally well through the rough stuff - definitely better than aluminum (in my opinion, anyway). While an all aluminum frame will probably be lighter than an aluminum/carbon rear frame, the additional comfort appears to far outweigh the marginal weight penalty. However, I do have to say that the road feel is somewhat muted - that is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your viewpoint. In terms of durability - I know that Vitus and Look have been gluing carbon tubes into aluminum lugs for some time now. I can't see how this would be that much different. However, I do question the long-term durability of such frames. Time will tell I guess. - MB
maybe some day the whole frame will be carbon :-)Dog
Jun 15, 2001 8:43 AM
A bit of humor, but it seems that carbon is creeping into more and more parts, as the techs become more knowledgeable about its use.

I have a carbon frame that is much stiffer torsionally, yet less buzzy than my aluminum frames, and roughly the same weight. It makes sense that portions of a alum or Ti frame using carbon would contribute the same qualities.