First carbon bike

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ukjason, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. ukjason

    ukjason sexist pig

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    Thinking about buying this as im after a new bike, but also i can get it an amazing staff price on it:biggrin:

    Only problem i have is how strong are they?, and will i consently
    be looking for cracks and dents, any advice would be great.

    scott scale 30

    View attachment 93773
     

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  2. DHS

    DHS Friendly Neighborhood Pool Boy

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    carbon can be really strong. but don't buy it if you're consently going to be worried about it. if you JUST plan to do XC riding on it. i don't see any issues.

    edit, get rid of the huge brake rotors though. carbon/xc/hardtail. no need for anything bigger then 6"
     
  3. ukjason

    ukjason sexist pig

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    I think its 185 on the front
     
  4. FrontRangeDH

    FrontRangeDH Monkey

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    Still its an XC bike, personally i would run a 6 in the front and a 4 or whatever size it is from avid
     
  5. CBJ

    CBJ Turbo Monkey

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    And why would it be less strong than a light weight alu frame?
     
  6. MMcG

    MMcG Ride till you puke!

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    buy it and ride it like a madman!
     
  7. johnbryanpeters

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    There's no strength deficit until you bang or scrape it on a rock. Once you do that, you're on the road to failure. Any kind of metal used for frame construction is a lot more forgiving.
     
  8. FreeRide-Junkie

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    They are extremely strong. You should have no worries riding it unless you put a decent cut or gouge into the weave. If that happens, the crash was most likely going to damage an aluminum, ti, or steel bike in a similar way.
     
  9. Changleen

    Changleen Paranoid Member

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    Yes, Like everyone has said, Carbon bikes can be extremely strong until the lattice is damaged. If you get one be sure that your bike rack is very padded and doesn't cause the frame to rub on it. Rubbing through the lacquer and allowing moisture into the weave is a problem too.
     
  10. ukjason

    ukjason sexist pig

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    is there any guards that anyone can recommend
     
  11. jimmydean

    jimmydean The Official Meat of Ridemonkey

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    Make some sweet steel diamond plate guards that cover the entire frame and stick them on with 3M tape. That would be awesome.
     
  12. johnbryanpeters

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    By the time you added guards, you would probably lose any weight advantage.

    Once you're off the bike and it's tumbling to where it will come to rest, it's absolutely unpredictable where on the bike you might get a rock scrape. Once you get a scuff or a cut through any surface, you have a problem.

    When carbon layups do fail, they fail completely and without warning.

    Jason,

    What does your frame look like after you have ridden for three to five years? Is it scraped and scratched and maybe a little dented? That would argue against carbon.

    If it looks pristine and shiny like one of stinkyboy's bar bikes, it would argue that you could do just fine with a carbon layup frame.

    J
     
  13. ukjason

    ukjason sexist pig

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    i see your point, you see they also do the scale 35 which is the same bike apart from it comes with a aluminum frame which i think might be best
     
  14. FreeRide-Junkie

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    If I had the cash for a carbon bike I would absolutely own one..... but I race XC. If I was riding trails just for fun or a bit of exercise, I don't know if I would put the money into one unless I had that amount of disposable income. It's not that they are weak by any means, its just that accidents do happen and its cheaper to replace an aluminum frame after an accident than a carbon one. I don't think either is really more prone to failure than the other though. Carbon weave and composite technology has come a long way. The final decision is really up to you and it just goes back to the ride what you can afford to replace theory (that I never follow anyway).
     
  15. Konabumm

    Konabumm Konaboner

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    Here's the thing with carbon - looking for dents and cracks will be a waste of time because carbon doesn't dent or crack. When carbon breaks it's catastrophic -

    the bike looks sweet - go for it !
     
  16. Echo

    Echo crooked smile

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    How many of you guys ranting about broken carbon frames have actually seen one broken, firsthand?

    Seriously, I've been mountian biking for about 15 years, all over the USA and the world. I've ridden XC, DH, freeride, BMX, road, 24 hours, and just about everything in between, and I have never seen a broken carbon frame. In fact the only broken carbon bike item I can ever recall seeing was a picture in a forum of a broken Easton carbon MTB handlebar.

    It's not like there's some friggin epidemic of carbon frames catastrophically failing every time they get a tiny scratch. Carbon bike stuff is fine.
     
  17. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    I know a few people that got Scott carbon MTB's as soon as they became available in the US and they have had no problems.
     
  18. fluff

    fluff Monkey Turbo

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    I've also seen a picture of a broken carbon seatpost, probably very rare failure, but the way it looked was nasty enough that I will never get a carbon seatpost. I've used carbon bars with no problems and I'd have no issues with a carbon frame (apart from being unable to afford one...).

    How carbon fails is also down to the way it is designed and built; carbon-fibre can be constructed many different ways, with differing properties.

    Anyway, plenty of aluminium-based alloys are prone to catastrophic failure too.
     
  19. Konabumm

    Konabumm Konaboner

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    I know this isn't a mountain bike & bla bla bla

    but carbon breaks




    I'm not ranting on carbon - I love carbon. I would like to try and build a carbon SS this year.

    The man asked for advice from monkeys - so monkeys gave him advice.
     
  20. J-Dubs

    J-Dubs Monkey

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    I've seen two broken carbon frames. Both Treks. I was behind one on a climb when it failed and man did it fail. It was like someone put an m-80 inside his chainstay the way it blew up.
    The good part about it was that he was able to pedal most of the way out. The rest of the frame remained strong enough to support him even with a destroyed chainstay. That was impressive as I don't think a metal frame would have allowed that.
     
  21. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    Bikes break. Really, it's true. For every pic of a broken carbon bike, there are dozens of broken aluminum and other bikes. (I remember seeing an aluminum fork break in the 80's and a bunch of people saying they would never ride aluminum. Now, the grouches stick with aluminum and say they'll never ride carbon. Go figure.)

    There are plusses and minuses to just about every material. Carbon bikes are way more durable than many people think, as long as they are built properly (which, of course, is true for every other material). I'd love a carbon trail bike and would be no more or less worried about it than aluminum.
     
  22. Echo

    Echo crooked smile

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    Frames that have been run over by cars don't count :busted:

    And I fully realize that anyone can google image search for broken carbon bike. What I asked was who has actually seen one in person.
     
  23. johnbryanpeters

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    Echo, few of us have seen a murder, but murder exists.

    I am basing my statements on years spent as an aerospace engineer and what I learned about carbon in that context. The material is very strong and has well documented vulnerabilities and failure behavior.
     
  24. Echo

    Echo crooked smile

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    I'm not sure I see your point.

    My point was, it only takes one carbon frame breaking, and the subsequent posting of pictures on the web with no context, to have a million people saying "carbon sucks and it breaks!!!11" when in actuality, the broken frame everyone saw was never scratched, it was dropped off a cliff and run over by a semi, but nobody knows that part of the story.
     
  25. Echo

    Echo crooked smile

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    And I have seen literally dozens of broken aluminum frames, firsthand.
     
  26. johnbryanpeters

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    I'm not holding that aluminum or steel frames don't break, they do. They also tend to creak and groan and show cracks for a quite a time before separating, and they don't start to fail due to a seemingly trivial dent or scrape.
     
  27. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    A friend of mine is a pro for a bike company I will not name. He gets pre-production bikes, he is basically used as a tester. He has cracked and broken several test bikes. None of them were catastrophic and he rode cracked bikes through two endurance races, an 8 and 6 hour.
     
  28. Konabumm

    Konabumm Konaboner

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    Well Number 1 - that bike wasn't run over by a car and Number 2 - THATS MY BIKE!
     
  29. fluff

    fluff Monkey Turbo

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    I've seen a few aluminium frames break and they all snapped clean. I've seen steel bend a bit more 'forgivingly'. It really does depend on the particular incident I imagine.
     
  30. Echo

    Echo crooked smile

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    So you were just riding along and your frame snapped in two? Was that break caused by a scratch?
     
  31. Konabumm

    Konabumm Konaboner

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    Nope I crashed - a very common thing that happens in mountain biking. The point that I'm trying to make is that when carbon goes it goes without warning (or crash) - I'm not the only one saying this - so does the bike manufactures. If they didn't agree they wouldn't put stickers on their carbon bikes that say Warning - the material the this bike is made out of can break without warning (not an exact quote but something along those lines)
     
  32. OGRipper

    OGRipper Turbo Monkey

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    I was going to guess roof rack/garage incident...

    JBP, do you know much about carbon manufacturing techniques for bikes vs. aerospace? I am curious about differences. My understanding is that the modern multi-direction lay-ups for bikes are far more resistant to the kinds of catastrophic failures you describe, but I really don't know. Maybe I'm just believing the hype.
     
  33. FreeRide-Junkie

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    What kind of crash?? My buddy broke a Kuota Kom but he hit a pedestrian at ~22mph because he was being a tool....

    Carbon will fail just like anything else. I have a buddy who sheared the headtube off of a mountain bike doing an endo.... that was aluminum.

    My point is rarely do frames fail without warning. In or after any bad crash there is a chance for failure, not matter what the material. Carbon is nice, really nice. It does not fail any easier or sooner IMO than any other metal. It's just more expensive (usually) and more spectacular (usually) when it does. Ride what you can afford, maintain it, and keep an eye out for damage on a frame of ANY material.

    Another good friend of mine didn't have any nasty wrecks or crashes and his frame developed a weird creak. It was an aluminum frame with a cracked chainstay. Had he kept riding, I'm sure there could have been a great JRA story to go with it.....
     
  34. FreeRide-Junkie

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    Also.... I personally snapped a carbon seatpost but I was an idiot and overclamped it. So... torque yer bolts. LoL
     
  35. johnbryanpeters

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    Speaking generically, aerospace is going to be way ahead of the curve because they have more money to put into the effort than any bicycle company. I doubt that there's any comparative data.
     
  36. Konabumm

    Konabumm Konaboner

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    Freeride - I agree with you. And again I'm a supporter of carbon. ukjason asked "will i contently be looking for cracks and dents" if you have a carbon frame and crash there is a huge change that you won't see cracks in the frame but a week later it will break without warning.
     
  37. Stray_cat

    Stray_cat Monkey

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    All carbon is not created equal...just like Aluminum or Steel. I think Scott has one of the best carbon programs in the bike biz (in my always biased opinion). If I told you all the ways an Aluminum frame can fail you'd probably get kinda nervous...but we've figured out how to design around those issues. I personally think carbon is now on the same level. So long as it's coming from someone reputable they'll know how to design around the limitations and benefits of the material. I think Scott would be a great choice.
     
  38. Echo

    Echo crooked smile

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    That's a mountain bike??
     
  39. FreeRide-Junkie

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    I will give you that. I take a lot more time looking over carbon bikes that come into my shop after crashes than aluminum or steel. It is often easy to see even tiny cracks in aluminum while they can be virtually invisible on carbon frames. Not enough to stop me from riding them though. If I ever upgrade my Klein race bike it will be to either a Carbon Hardtail or FS bike.
     
  40. fluff

    fluff Monkey Turbo

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    I think you may be onto something there....