Touring - Can I use a Carbon fiber bike as a touring bike?
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05-22-08, 01:25 PM
Hi I previously made the thread "Best Touring bike?". Ok so what I said in that thread was that I wanted a cross between a road bike and a touring bike. As for the touring part, I don't need more than 15 pounds to carry since all I really carry are groceries and books and maybe gym stuff from home to school and back to forth. I also replaced the Carbon Seatpost with an alloy seatpost so I guess I lose vibration damping but oh well. And when I want to race, I can just take off my rack. How do you guys feel about this, I also weight 230 + some other stuff in the rack. Is it better for me to exchange for a sport tourer or am I fine with what I have? By the way, I prob dont plan on going long expedition touring rides.
My bike is an OCR c3
Oh and I commute more often than I race with it. And I also want to make sure my bike is at least somewhat ok against gravel road and dirt.
05-22-08, 01:47 PM
cross bike ftw
05-22-08, 01:51 PM
Specialized Tri Cross would be the ultimate bicycle for your planned uses.
05-22-08, 01:55 PM
, I don't need more than 15 pounds to carry since all I really carry are groceries and books and maybe gym stuff from home to school and back to forth. I also replaced the Carbon Seatpost with an alloy seatpost so I guess I lose vibration damping but oh well. And when I want to race, I can just take off my rack.
You can just put a seatpost mounted rack with quick release on for carrying that little.
Also by the way CF seatposts are extremely over rated, and do virtually nothing to damp vibration.
And if you are going to road race, I wouldn't go to anything more touring or cross oriented than your OCR.
05-22-08, 02:20 PM
One of my most important question is how well it can stand against gravel. There's this one rode at home that I extremely love but after 6 miles, it turns into dirt and gravel.
05-23-08, 01:39 AM
I bought a TCR2, so I "converted" my Trek 2100 (also a carbon fiber) into a touring/commuter. I struggled with the thought of mounting a rack on a fine racing bike, but did so, and put on a pair of Panaracer Paselas (28's) I also took off the Look pedals and put on rattraps with toe clips (for the intown riding) I absolutely LOVE riding this geeked out former racer, and it handles gravel, dirt, and crushed limestone very well. In fact, I look for excuses to ride this "comfort bike" rather than the new Giant!!
CF bikes do the Paris-Roubaix over cobblestones that would put in the shade any gravel road you may want to ride. You biggest issues will be size of tyre to handle the surface, and clearance on the chainstays and fork for wider tyres. I have a CF frame what will take 25C tyres with just enough clearance, but no bigger.
In short the frame should handle the road; you may need to hone your pothole and stone dodging skills to preserve the tyres and wheels.
You may also want to consider some protection of the downtube behind the front wheel from stones and other debris from the gravel road. Some gaffer tape or several layers of it might be enough.
The thing is... if you abuse your frame for any reason, then you don't deserve to rely on it.
I have no doubt that the people on this list and elswhere who have spent a fair bit on their touring frames (or bikes overall) take really good care of them as they would anything of value. I don't see CF as being any different -- as someone pointed out to me, they aren't eggs.
A steel bike falling over in a gust of wind can sustain damage as much as a CF or aluminium bike -- ask me how I know.I also don't see why attentive long-distance riding opens a bike to any more risk of damage than careless short-distance riding.
Yes, the repairability issue might come into play. But can any individual please point me to 10 examples of where a person, cycle-touring in a remote location, has had their bike repaired by welding? I've weld-repaired my steel frame, but repairing aluminium is a whole different ballgame -- almost on a par, I would suggest, with CF in its lack of practicality.
I would recommend keeping your current bike and getting a cyclocross for commuting duties. Then you will have a backup if something breaks. The cyclocross can accept wider tires which may be more comfortable for you plus more road worthy on a sketchy road. As long as your load is light on the rear rack Carbon Fiber should be OK and even preferred for a smoother ride. However, I would have the tendency to want to go with a large seat bag if possible for commuting with a carbon bike since there will not be any metal straps wrapped around the frame at any point from the rear rack.
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