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Old Carbon Fiber Frames(6 posts)

Old Carbon Fiber FramesTim
Aug 31, 2001 1:00 AM
I looking for my first "real" bike and *think* I've found a great deal--but I'm suspicious that it's a little too good to be true. It's a Trek 2120 carbon fiber (not touring model) with aluminum fork, built up with all Ultegra components except 105 hubs and brakes. It is 8 speed in the back, three in the front. The price is 400 bucks. I would be buying this sight unseen, but he says it's in excellent shape, and it would fit my height.
So, this seems really good. Is there a reason for this low price? Is there something I don't know or haven't considered? Any experience with this frame? Please advise me, because 400 bucks is quite a significant investment for me right now (in college).
re: Old Carbon Fiber FramesJammin
Aug 31, 2001 2:29 AM
Older carbon frames can have problems where the carbon is bonded to disimilar materials, such as in the crank area, rear wheel ect... Temperature cycling disimilar materials over time is also another stress factor because of the different expansion rates. I wouldn't trust an older carbon frame. Plus the aluminum fork just is not the hot set up for a good ride up front or even for safety reasons. I once owned a bike that had a recall on the front aluminum fork because it would stress crack and then unexpectedly snap. Doesn't mean that this potential purchase of yours would, but I would look for a good older aluminum frame or steel frame bike. Newer carbon would probably be fine, depending on the abuse it saw.
re: Old Carbon Fiber FramesSteeve
Aug 31, 2001 5:37 AM
The greatest concern I would have is that you cannot inspect the bike yourself.

You could (if you are that inclined to purchase this exact bike) to arrange with the owner to have the bike brought to his local bike shop for an inspection. You could then contact the bike shop directly for their professional assessment. You will have to pay for this service.

Trek sold thousands of that type of frame throughout the 1990's. I even had one myself, with never a problem. (Sure, there have been reports of broken frames, but you could get a lemon from any manufacturer).

Is the bike STI? What year, 93 or 97? My opinion is that it may be an OK deal, but not a great deal. I'm sure you could find a "great" deal and be able to ride and inspect it yourself if you continue to search.
re: Old Carbon Fiber Framesbadabill
Aug 31, 2001 5:55 AM
I had the same bike for 4 years. My first and only carbon bike. It is a good bike, not as lite as you might think. Since this is your "first" road bike you need to test ride before purchase. $400 is not all that good a deal for this bike, I sold mine 3 years ago for $250. IMHO you would be better off to look for a good steel bike you can test ride first.
re: Old Carbon Fiber Frames, Sort ofChen2
Aug 31, 2001 6:47 AM
This is not a carbon fiber frame. It is a combination of carbon fiber main tubes and aluminum stays and, head tube, with bonded joints. I think $400 is a reasonable price for the bike if it is in great shape with no scratches, cracks, or corrosion. I'm assuming that it has STI shifting, since it is 8 speed. I rode a '94 2300 7 speed three years and it was a good bike. It came through a serious wreck with no damage at all.

re: Old Carbon Fiber Framesbikedodger
Aug 31, 2001 6:49 AM
I have a 5 to 6 years old 2120 that I use as my main ride. It is very comfortable and has over 16,000 miles on it with minimal maintenance. The bike came standard with 105 components so the owner must have upgraded to the Ultega.
I don't know about the price as I have never tried to sell a bike.

Enjoy whatever you get.