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The trend towards Carbon(33 posts)

The trend towards CarbonripSRV
Oct 22, 2002 1:48 PM
What I'm hearing is a lot of riders are giving up on aluminum and titanium and buying carbon frames. After I did 90% of my rides this year commuting and touring I'm thinking of jumping on the carbon bandwagon.

My steel frame is fine because of the rack braze-ons, longer wheel clearances, and a general laid back touring set-up. Since I don't have to go fast any more I'm thinking of selling the aluminum bike and putting the money into a carbon frame.

What should I look for out there that fits my riding style these days that includes rear rack braze-ons? I've thought about the Seven Odanata, but I hesitate because of the Ti tubes. I don't want another steel bike. Only carbon will satisfy the urge. Any suggestions are welcome.
Calfee. nmNo_sprint
Oct 22, 2002 1:51 PM
That's what I'm getting built (nm)Aztecs
Oct 22, 2002 2:33 PM
Calfee. nmripSRV
Oct 23, 2002 8:34 AM
Does Calfee make a touring frame and how do I contact them?
What advantage does carbon have over Titanium, other than ...fbg111
Oct 22, 2002 4:10 PM
weight? I've heard Ti is stiffer and lasts longer. True?
What advantage does carbon have over Titanium, other than ...The Human G-Nome
Oct 22, 2002 4:27 PM
carbon is said to have the most road absorption and can give riders the feeling that nothing is beneath them (which is also listed as a drawback for those who don't want carbon)
What advantage does carbon have over Titanium, other than ...filtersweep
Oct 22, 2002 6:11 PM
.."can give riders the feeling that nothing is beneath them (which is also listed as a drawback for those who don't want carbon)"

That's like saying all aluminum is harsh- maybe for some carbon frames, but not all. I have a Look 281 which is last years 381 and it is the perfect amount of road feedback... definitely NOT a dead ride. People say the 5200 frame has a "wooden feel" but I think that is more about Trek bashing than anything else. We'll see what the snobs have to say about the new Giant frame ;)
How durable is carbon compared to Ti and Alum?fbg111
Oct 23, 2002 6:06 AM
Does it get flexier over the years, or does it maintain its stiffness?
CF CAN be stifferColnagoFE
Oct 23, 2002 8:18 AM
For the same weight frame CF is probably gonna be stiffer than a TI frame. Stiffness and ride qulaity can be controlled much easier with CF than TI as well.
re: The trend towards CarbonThe Human G-Nome
Oct 22, 2002 4:28 PM
my vote would either be for a Look 381i or if you're particularly loaded, a DeRosa King. those blue finished carbon Kings are just absolutely beautiful! i'm still trying to decide if i should break the bank.
381i vs 361 whats the difference besides 1K? nmBruno S
Oct 22, 2002 4:43 PM
381i vs 361 differenceIan
Oct 22, 2002 6:37 PM
The upgrades to the 381i are;

Better grade of carbon fiber
Shaped tubes
Adjustable dropouts / wheelbase
1 1/8" carbon fiber steerer tube
Integrated headset

thanks nmBruno S
Oct 22, 2002 7:27 PM
Chris Boardman votes for 361Timo Vennonen
Oct 24, 2002 2:52 AM
Chris Boardman did a review on the 381i in Procycling a while back. His conclusion was that you'd be better off choosing the 361. It weighs only 100 grams more and is a lot cheaper. I'd trust the guy - he's got plenty of kilometres with Look under his belt. Granted, the design is more striking and high tech on 381i, but if you can't tell the difference while riding...
re: The trend towards Carbonmmquest
Oct 22, 2002 8:52 PM
If you from Europe. Price from Maestro ~$2200, a LOT less than CC!
Can't picture either with paniers for commuting - nmdzrider
Oct 23, 2002 4:33 AM
re: The trend towards CarbonCarbon fiber fanatik
Oct 23, 2002 1:56 AM
It's all about personal preference. I've ridden all sorts of frames. Old stuff and the latest and greatest. The one thing I will never do again? Is buy because of the name on the tubes. My preference will always be carbon fiber. Simply because it works for me, I love the way it feels and it's just dead gorgeous.

Oh yeah, I would def choose the giant carbon over look any day of the week. My advice? Do the research and ride as many different types of frames you can get ur hands on. Find what works and forget about the posers, the freds and the goofy rich ppls who have no prob buying a name.
re: The trend towards Carbonpmf1
Oct 23, 2002 4:38 AM
I have 2 carbon bikes and like them quite a bit. They're very plush. Some folks think they feel dead, but I think they feel comfortable.

I don't think you'll find any carbon frames out there with utilitarian features such as rack braze-ons or even pump pegs. If you want to ride with a rack, ride your steel bike. That sounds like the logical choice for commuting and touring anyway.

There are a number of good carbon bikes out there. Colnago C-40's are being "improved" with a ghastly looking chain stay, so the 2002 models will be going cheap on close out. I have one and really like it. Other U.S. makers such as Kestrel, Aegis and Calfee make nice carbon bikes. I've had a Kestrel 200 Sci for 9 years now. Its been a solid bike. Calfee bikes can be made custom, but most folks, probably you included, do not need a custom bike. Look also makes a number of nice frames. Lastly, there's Trek who makes the most common bike on the road. I don't like Treks, but merely because everyone has one and they are a huge corporation. I'm sure they're bikes are OK.

As for Seven, they don't make a full carbon bike. But if you want plenty of toe over-lap, that is apparently the place to go.
Kestrel and C-40?!wolfereeno
Oct 23, 2002 2:30 PM
You have one of each? How's the Kestrel compare to the C40?

Kestrel and C-40?!pmf1
Oct 25, 2002 4:13 AM
The C-40 is much lighter than the Kestrel. Both the frame and the fork are quite a bit lighter.

I have always been happy with the Kestrel. I was suprised to find it almost as stuff as a Litespeed Ultimate I bought a few years ago. Some people complain that the LS Ultimate is too stiff.

The C-40 is a nicer riding bike. Its a bit more lively, but equally stiff in the BB. The Star fork is the nicest carbon fork I've ever ridden. It has a more laid back geometry. They both share the same feel that I'd guess all carbon bikes have. Some folks like it, others say it feels dead. Its a personal preference. I find it comfortable. There are times when I prefer the feel of my ti bike, and times when I feel like riding a carbon bike instead. Its hard to beat that Ultimate if you want to go out and really jam. Of the three that I have, I have not been riding the Kestrel very much the last year or so. I think about selling it, but figure I'm not going to be able to get much for it so I might as well keep it. The components only have about 2 years worth of riding on them. I'll probably stick lights and some mtn pedals on it and use it for commuting this winter.

I've ridden that Kestrel a lot over the last 9 years (not so hard the last year I guess). Its still in great shape and rides like it did the day I bought it. Kestrels are good bikes, although I think that Talon model they have is butt ugly and can't see why anyone would choose it over the one-piece 200 design.
Carbons not that expensivetheeatkins
Oct 23, 2002 4:47 AM
I've ridden carbon bikes for years now. I had aluminum before that. My last carbon bike was an Aegis. Great bike but a
little on the heavy side. I now ride a Calfee. Dragonflys are expensive, Tetras are a better value, but I ride a Luna Pro.
I love the ride and didn't need a custom frame. There are plenty of good carbon bike on the market. Ride as many as you
can and talk to as many people as you can before deciding. Good luck.
Oct 23, 2002 8:54 AM
Dunno where you get your data, but my limited sampling doesn't really agree. Used to ride an OCLV, but dropped it like a bad habit once I had a chance to ride a Serotta Legend Ti. Don't get me wrong, there are some nice things about carbon: light weight, stiffness, durability, and minimal corrosion issues. Notice I didn't say "no corrosion" issues. You can still have problems with bonded aluminum fittings corroding and paint flaking off. Probably the biggest criticism leveled at the carbon bike is the ride. It just feels dead and this is coming from someone who's riden Kestrels, Calfees, and OCLV's. Carbon bikes have no soul. They are a means to an end - nothing more.

The titainiium ride can really be extremely good if done right. If you buy low end budget ti then you should lower your expectations accordingly. Yes, the frames are ridiculously expensive, but for that price you often get fully custom geometry at no extra charge and a ride that is dialed into your style and likes.

I don't know what you're looking for - it seems that you may be more interested in being on the "bandwagon" than finding the best ride. Ultimately you're the judge and you need to test ride everything that you're considering buying. If you can't ride it then don't buy it. FWIW - Serotta even has a test ride program.
Similar experienceAlex-in-Evanston
Oct 23, 2002 10:40 AM
I went from a Kestrel to a lugged steel Serotta CSI.

When you put on good rubber, inflate to 110, lift the bike an inch off the ground and drop it - I like the sound and vibration it gives off. Rubber and steel. It even smeels good.

Oct 23, 2002 10:53 AM
Yup, the smell of rubber and steel....reminds me of my strap-on. ;-b
Oct 23, 2002 1:20 PM
Fully custom geometry at no extra charge? I think that's covered under the topic "RIDIULOUSLY EXPENSIVE"
"The band wagon" could just as easily be get a ridiculously expensive bike, hence it must be nice.
Oct 23, 2002 4:14 PM
I'm not the one who labeled and identified the bandwagon as such (see the original post). FWIW - you can still get into the "R.E." category and NOT get custom geometry or even ti - witness a Colnago C-40. Price is not always a direct measure of quality.

Here's a blasphemous thought for you - buy a nice used "RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE" frame for a reasonable price and enjoy the ride for what it is. This really irks the moneyed set b/c you gained admission to their little club on the cheap, but who the hell wants to go to their stuffed shirt event in the first place? With the exception of the status seeking crowd the high-end stuff wouldn't keep selling if there weren't any difference between them and the stuff coming from China. There are all sorts of clever and creative ways to avoid paying full pop retail for top quality products.
Yes, butpmf1
Oct 24, 2002 4:50 AM
You buy the "RIDUCULOUSLY EXPENSIVE" frame used and the geometry is custom for the person you bought it from, not you ... so aren't you back in the world of POS cheap ti bikes or even, gasp, the C-40? Then again, I guess the welders at Serotta can do things to ti pipes that no one else in the world is capable of.

I love the way you always humbly point out that what you do/have is the best and everything else is just cr@p. It must be nice to be so smart and confident.
You didn't mention that you have ridden a Look.look271
Oct 23, 2002 7:35 PM
I have been on an OCLV, and you're right-it feels like a chunk of plastic. Not so with a Look (for me, a kg271).Lively, good road feel, a really light feeling. Take one for a test spin and you won't be disappointed.
Yeah he willpmf1
Oct 24, 2002 4:51 AM
because he doesn't own one.
filter out the hype and what do you get? Carbonbigrider
Oct 23, 2002 9:39 AM
Reasons Carbon will be around to stay

You don't hear about great steel, ti, or aluminum forks on high end bikes.

If carbon IS the material of choice now for the most demanding part of the bike, THE FORK, then it is good enough for the rest of the bike.

The price of carbon bikes is dropping just like the cost of producing carbon forks and rear stays.

The only other factors that will convince me to ride anything other than carbon is weight vrs. cost and/or addiction to a certain way a bike should FEEL, ride quality vrs. cost.

BTW, I own a Lemond Zurich and an OCLV 5200 and love them both. If I was doing a trip across country and could only ride one bike it would be the 5200. I have never ridden Ti so I am ignorant on how a good Ti bike feels.
Oct 23, 2002 10:56 AM
After riding a good Ti bike an OCLV is like kissing your sister.

It's OK if you don't know any better and some people do prefer it! ;-b
If you're from WV that is a good thing nmbigrider
Oct 23, 2002 11:20 AM
Next bike - Giant carbonfracisco
Oct 23, 2002 11:17 AM
I know a few people that have the new Giant composite, and love it. It's going to be my next bike, probably in the next month and a half. The Ultegra-spec'd frame seems to be a great bang for the buck, and I can't wait to really step up to the plate, get fitted, and plunk down my money.

I also have a couple of friends that race the Trek 5200 at Cat 2 and really like it.