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  1. #51
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    Wow, did this thread ever go off course.

    I didn't see where the OP asked anyone about the various stereotypes of various materials. It is a subject that can be, and should be, argued on a different thread. This isn't the place. Why not put your respective ego's aside, and get back on topic, which in this case, is whether the LBS salesman was telling the truth about doubling the distance.

    I personally have never ridden a carbon frame bike, but I can state categorically that the claim of doubling the distance, based on frame material alone is completely absurd. In this case, I find it to be offensive, and the bike shop was trying to make a sale (and line their pockets) based on exactly the same stereotypes that are being argued. I would let the manager know that he had lost a sale, and take my business somewhere else. There are other ways to make a sale without relying on blatant dishonesty.

    There is nothing that will "double the distance" ridden with the exception of the will of the person doing the riding. Is one frame better type better than another? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, that wasn't the question asked.
    Last edited by dahoyle; 07-21-09 at 10:22 AM.

  2. #52
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    What? You mean the stereotypes about steel aren't true?!? I wonder if the same might be said about the out-of-date carbon fiber stereotypes (e.g. durability) you're repeating?

    OK you are right - I make the same assumption about CF. I don't say CF is bad... I just believe it is overhyped and expensive for what you get and CF will break much more easily than steel and Ti

    I think you need to double-check your facts. You can find nice carbon fiber bikes with 105-level components for around $2000. MSRP on most frames from Lynskey, Moots, Merlin, Lightspeed, etc. is more than this. As an amateur frame builder and machinist, I've seen prices on raw titanium go from expensive to almost unaffordable over the last few years...

    Someone mention a high end CF bike - I assume that means with Dura Ace etc. My best friend has 4 custom Ti bikes (from Kish - I'm jealous) - he bargained shopped the components (Dura Ace and Ultegra) and had the wheels built. The bikes coast him less than $5K. I have a custom steel bike - with Ultegra and custom wheel it cost me $3500

    Most bicycles, in general, are made overseas. What does that have to do with anything?

    If given the choice - I rather have American made custom - if the price is the same why not?

    FYI, high-end carbon fiber bicycle frames are made in Taiwan, not China. They do a very good job. I expect that my foreign-made Cervelo RS frame would compare very well against a US-made Trek Madone, for example. Both are a quantum-leap ahead of my old CF Trek.

    Taiwan is China whether they like it or not. Not many Trek Madones are US made anymore. Only the highest end frame is made here
    It's all a matter of choice... Bottom line the shop was full of BS. I hope we all made that clear!
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  3. #53
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    It is clear that everyone agrees that the LBS was spouting BS. I thought that at the time and so did my wife when we heard it.

    However, his major point (to give him the benefit of the doubt) was that the increase in comfort with a CF bike would significantly decrease my fatigue compared to an Al bike frame.

    It seems from the replys so far that a lot of you guys question that assumtion as well.
    Right?
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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
    However, his major point (to give him the benefit of the doubt) was that the increase in comfort with a CF bike would significantly decrease my fatigue compared to an Al bike frame.

    It seems from the replys so far that a lot of you guys question that assumtion as well.
    Right?
    Yes. I don't have much experience with CF bikes beyond short test rides, but those didn't lead me to think that there was any magic 'comfort' level associated with them compared to other bikes. And comparing my Al bike to my steel ones certainly doesn't bear out the common stereotype. I can easily make any of the bikes the most comfortable by proper choice of tires and saddle.

  5. #55
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    As previously stated, I ride a full carbon bike and love it. From the limited research I just completed on the Secteur (couldn't find it on Specialized's web site), it is the same geometry a CF Roubaix but the Specteur Comp is an AL frame w/ carbon forks and seat stays. ( I don't know if there are any all Al variants.)

    Based the identical geometry, carbon fork and seat stays, I very seriously doubt that the Roubaix would offer any significant benefit over the Spectaur Comp.
    Will the ride be different? Perhaps. Significantly decrease your fatigue? I doubt it.
    Proper bike fit and a decent seat (a whole 'nother debate) will significantly decrease your fatigue.

    Only you can decide which ride is best for you. Test ride them both -- see if you can go for a test ride that is longer than 2 loops around the LBS parking lot -- then decide.

    That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!!
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    Last edited by Bone Head; 07-21-09 at 02:58 PM.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
    However, his major point (to give him the benefit of the doubt) was that the increase in comfort with a CF bike would significantly decrease my fatigue compared to an Al bike frame.

    It seems from the replys so far that a lot of you guys question that assumtion as well.
    Right?
    Wrong. At least for me... I feel a significant increase in fatigue when riding a bike with an aluminum frame and fork versus my all-CF bike.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
    Went to a local LBS (a Specialized store) and was looking at bikes.

    I have been looking at the Roubaix Elite.

    He showed me the 2010 Secteur (an exact frame copy of the Roubaix in aluminum). This new bike will replace the Sequoia - no longer made (sob).

    He said that if I were to ride a Roubaix (or any full carbon bike) I would double my distance due to the increase in comfort compared to an aluminum frame bike.

    That sounds like BS from a LBS - what do you guys think?
    The ONLY way it could double your distance, is that when the family finance manager finds out, how much you spent on a plastic bicycle, your going to have to go a lot faster and a lot further to get away

    Yeah it's BS, there are a lot of factors involved, the biggest seem to be the condition of the "engine" and the time commitment you can afford.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Wrong. At least for me... I feel a significant increase in fatigue when riding a bike with an aluminum frame and fork versus my all-CF bike.
    Wow,

    Don't you think you have made your point already. It is really discourteous to the OP to carry on like this. You have already stated that in your experience, that is the case. I'm sure you were taken at your word the first time you said it.

  9. #59
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahoyle View Post
    Wow,

    Don't you think you have made your point already. It is really discourteous to the OP to carry on like this. You have already stated that in your experience, that is the case. I'm sure you were taken at your word the first time you said it.
    This is a friendly group - no offense is meant. It's a response to a question - just think of it as if we were all sitting around a table, eating lunch and talking about bikes... we are all entitled to state our piece - the OP can take from it what he wants.

    Again this group (as opposed to other forums at BF) means really well and has only the posters' best interest at heart. Don't read any malice into any of the posts. You are new here - you will get use to it.
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  10. #60
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    He's full of it, of course. However, if I was selling bikes to Clydesdales, I'd put 'em on steel. Nice plush steel. Probably a Surly. Then they can upgrade to Gunnars or Waterfords.
    "When I'm on a bike, it's like I'm 14 again, racing off to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters."

  11. #61
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Wrong. At least for me... I feel a significant increase in fatigue when riding a bike with an aluminum frame and fork versus my all-CF bike.
    Honest question here, no offence intended, but:

    How much of the difference is the frame material, and how much is psychological, after hearing time after time that CF means a more comfortable ride?

    I think the biggest issue, for isolation from road buzz is not frame material, but tire pressure. Racers need the harder then solid super high pressures common in tires on road bikes, recreational riders do not, but everyone is taught that they do. This makes the bike uncomfortable due to road buzz, they then try to solve the problem with CF frames with fancy inserts, that of course costs copious amounts of cash. Racers really don't care about comfort, if they are get to the finish line .01 second faster then the next guy. This is why touring bikes, which are comfort oriented often run 30mm + tires at much lower pressures.

  12. #62
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I have a CF bike and an old steel road bike. Haven't ridden on aluminum or Ti. The limiting factor on how long I ride (about 50 miles) is from road buzz making my hands numb and my feet hot on the CF bike -- a nice Specialized Ruby Pro (women's bike). There are lots of "chip seal" (seal coat) roads around here. On the steel bike, a too-soft broken-down gel saddle and too-large frame limited my longer rides as was my relative lack of conditioning.

    If road buzz on the aluminum bike is the limiting factor for ride distance it could play in but CF isn't a cure for rough roads or the amount of weight Clydes put on feet/seat/hands.

  13. #63
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    Recumbent Vs Carbon DF

    After 11 seasons recumbent on various platforms, SWB, LWB, Compact LWB and Trikes, I aquired a Carbon Roadbike (Orbea Onix TDF). Here are my observations after nearly 3500 miles back on an Upright.
    Carbon is nice. I'm a big horse at 6'1 and 240lbs. As others before have mentioned it soaks up the road vibration, or at least seems too. The bike fits well and other than chronic saddle sores, (yet to figure them out but making progress) it is a joy to ride. However after 60 miles I'm pretty beat up.
    Maybe because I'm riding harder, and climbing more than I did on my recumbents.
    As far as the Recumbents go, I've done many many centuries and several rides exceeding 150 miles in a day. I tend to ride flatter courses though, and here in Northern Pa that can be a challenge in itself.
    After 4 hours on the Orbea, I come home and take a nap for an hour. After 4 hours on the bent I come home and mow the lawn.
    The upright is a better overall work out. The bent is overall more comfortable and fun. I would say if you're in a hilly region you might want to pursue a lighter upright, if you have lots of Flat to rolling hills (rollers are a blast on a bent BTW) you gotta try a recumbent, as a matter of fact try a lot of recumbents and let one pick you. Then if you do have both bikes, I encourage you to try to ride them equally, or close too. Your body will benefit.
    One more word of recumbent advice spend some time getting your bent legs built up, It takes a few hundred miles.
    More information on recumbents than you would care to know.
    www.bentrideronline.com is a great online community and ezine.
    See you on the road
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  14. #64
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    DennyV
    Thanks for the reply. My next step is to try the bents. I have only tried 2 for a few minutes each. I plan to start visiting more shops and trying bents to see if this is a way I want to go.
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  15. #65
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    I want a CF bike so bad, but with the road conditions up here. I am afraid of it cracking and I can't be spending on that money to just wind cracking.

    Can somebody psych me up to not worry about this problem? Haha.

  16. #66
    Draft Producer Fastflyingasian's Avatar
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    steel is real....... my steel bike is very comfortble, but that could also be partly from the rims too. they are not super stiff. my CF fuji with race wheels is super stiff. i love how fast it is, but its not coming with me on my 600 mile tour in a week and a half. i dont think i care to sit on the fuji for 14 hours or so. the pacer is much better suited mostely because of the geometry.

    geometry CAN increase your miles. material can change the ride, but so can the componets.

    My CF - 150k
    My steel - 400k

    if i change the wheels from both bikes to the other, damn right i am going to say the CF rides better.
    "If you never suffered from over training then you've never trained hard enough"

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  17. #67
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    I've been considering Roubaix's, took one for a ride, and loved it. I'm considering the neighborhood of the Elite, carbon frame, mostly 105, at $2,200 msrp. That said, I noticed the Secteur (anyone know what the word means?), which is now displayed on the Specialized website. The top-of-the-line Comp is $1,650 aluminum frame ith 105, carbon fork, carbon seatstay, and carbon seatpost; all three have the shock-absorbing zertz thingy from the Roubaix, so perhaps it's a smoother ride than the usual aluminum-frame bike. Think I might take one for a ride, and perhaps spend less money than I expected.

  18. #68
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    what about Seven's Carbon/Ti framed bikes? (i think that is where i saw it anyhoo)

    they get me all excited just looking at the frame price... $$$$$$$

    *EDIT* yes like this one http://www.sevencycles.com/road_detail.php?bike=luma

    you'd have to pedal really fast and far to explain that to the bank...

  19. #69
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
    DennyV
    Thanks for the reply. My next step is to try the bents. I have only tried 2 for a few minutes each. I plan to start visiting more shops and trying bents to see if this is a way I want to go.
    The balance is different on a 'bent. It took me a week of riding to learn to go in a straight line. When you try one, remember to keep your upper body and your grip relaxed. A very light grip on the handlebars is enough. If you have a deathgrip you'll find you won't be able to steer.

    You could always seek out a road bike that will accomodate 35mm tires or something too. Hey, how about a Moulton?
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

  20. #70
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    If you're looking for comfort and not necessarily speed you might want to try the combo of larger tires, steel frame and touring geometry.

    I'm a Clyde who was commuting 27mi roundtrip on a '08 Sequoia Sport (alum frame, CF fork, 25C tires) for the last year and my search for comfort led me to test ride the Surly Long Haul Trucker (steel frame/fork, 37C tires, relaxed touring frame geometry).

    I've definitely found the ride is much more comfortable, I'm less tired and don't get so rattled by the unavoidable potholes and cracks on my commute anymore, and while I think that LBS claim of doubling your distance is sales BS, I can definitely say I've been able to do longer rides on back to back days without being so sore compared to the Sequoia. Most of comfort is likely the 37C tires and the relaxed touring geometry but I've also definitely seen the steel fork flex on the washboard potholes/cracks I commute over, something I never saw the CF fork with Zertz Inserts do. The tradeoff is the LHT climbs a bit slower and is a bit heavier (7-8lbs), but as a Clyde I lose and gain that much weight every couple of months anyways so the tradeoff is worth it for me.
    '09 Surly Long Haul Trucker (commute, hauling kids, all around fun bike)
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  21. #71
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    I know it's been said, but I'll echo it - the salesman is just trying to sell you a bike.

    I have a Tarmac (carbon) and an Allez (aluminum). The bikes have the exact same geometry. They have the same saddle, seatpost, bars, bar tape, pedals, wheels, tires, etc. on them. The only real difference is the frame material (and that the Tarmac has a compact crank and the Allez has a triple). I honestly don't see any difference on rides. Yeah, the Tarmac may dampen road buzz a little more, but not drastically more. I have ridden both of them on 70+ mile rides, and I don't really feel any different at the end of the rides no matter which bike I ride.

    I do have a Giant FCR that I commute on. It was originally a flat bar bike, but I put drop bars on it. I have two layers of bar tape on the bars and 32c tires, and I don't feel anything on the road. And it's aluminum. So, if you are looking for more comfort, go to wider tires first. That makes the biggest difference in my opinion.

  22. #72
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    I hope people in bike shops read forums like this one; maybe BS like "you'll double your mileage" will start to disappear from sales pitches.

    That said, I'm in the "tires, wheels, handlebars, saddle, riding position make a comfort difference - frame material doesn't" camp. I had an ulnar nerve operation about 10 years ago to try to eliminate nerve damage in my hand. It helped, but my hand still goes numb on longer rides unless I tuck down into the aero bars. Of all my bikes, the steel frame/steel fork bike is the worst for hand numbness; of the rest, the second best is the aluminum frame/carbon fork bike. (No carbon frame bike yet.) But the best (i.e., the one I can ride the farthest with no numbness) is a track bike, with an aluminum frame with large-diameter tubing and an aluminum fork.

    Since all the bikes have the same 23-mm-width tires, the difference must be in my position on the bike: the track bike is my only bike with bullhorn handlebars. The bullhorn bars are set pretty low, but the setup is such that I ride with a nearly flat back and with my arms extended all the way forward instead of down. Works for me, and I've done a number of pretty intense 6- and 8-hour rides on it with no problems. So the position seems to make all the difference, and the all-aluminum steep-geometry frame doesn't seem to create any discomfort.

    And on that subject, when people refer to aluminum bikes transmitting "road buzz" that they can feel, I have no idea what they're talking about. Maybe it's that aluminum bikes resonate differently, and so the sound of the tires on the pavement is amplified in a particular way by large-diameter aluminum tubing. If so, it could be that, in discussions of aluminum bikes, "road buzz" originally referred to the amplified sound and that people have come to misinterpret the term as referring to feel and not to sound.

    In any event, given the various studies and tests cited in a couple of earlier posts in this thread that proved that there is no significant difference between aluminum and carbon frames with respect to deflection in response to vertical (i.e., comfort-related) forces, it's puzzling that people continue to debate this as if it were still an open question.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a Clydesdale; I just come here because this is where the most friendly and mutually supportive people in BikeForums hang out. However, I often remember selling a Cannondale bike (the first year they made bikes, when they had only one model) to a customer who was a pro wrestler well north of 300 pounds in weight. He came back after a few weeks and said, "You get any other big guys in here, you can send them to me. I'll tell them to get the Cannondale. It's the first bike I've ridden since I was a kid that didn't feel like spaghetti under me."
    Last edited by Trakhak; 09-03-09 at 02:51 PM.

  23. #73
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    You could very probably double your mileage if you switch to a carbon bike.

    You can just as probably double your mileage on an appropriate aluminum, steel or Ti bike.

    My aluminum bike is very comfortable even on 10 hour rides. I've never had to limit my miles for any reason that I can attribute to the frame material.

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