A friend of mine told me that carbon frames don't last as long as steel or alu. He didn't know the details, but told me he had heard that over time the carbon material looses some of its properties (stiffness?).
Since I'm a bigger rider, I'd like to know how much of that is true before I go shopping for a carbon bike.
Also, how durable is carbon at holding up to abuse? Can it survive crashes, the occasionally bounce on the car rack, etc.? Is it really meant to stand up to the abuse of the common man, or is carbon more for the elite racer who either didn't pay for his bike and doesn't care how long it lasts, or uses it only for competition and not all his training riding as well?