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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Chasing the ever lighter carbon frame.

    I read somewhere that the lightest carbon frame can be an unstable, uncomfortable ride.

    My present frame is about 1000gms, and I like the way it handles. I am thinking of buying a new frame, and ever lighter seems to be the mantra these days. I have heard a bike enthusiast I respect lament why Colnago has really not done much regarding making their frames lighter in recent memory, and he thus feels they are overpriced for what you get, and that is why he won't buy one right now.

    Can you framebuilders weigh in on where the sweetspot is on carbon frames weight-wise? I mean, what is too light to handle superbly? And what is too heavy to not get the benefit of lighter weight.

    Thanks.
    Regards,

    Jed

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cactus's Avatar
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    You are looking for over-generalizations which have no meaning. Do you limit the number of water bottles that you carry, because of their weight? Can you feel the difference when you carry tools/spares in a bag under your seat, versus when you leave the bag at home? If not, frame weight won't affect you.

  3. #3
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    Go to www.davesbikeblog.squarespace.com. The first two entries (as of today) are great reading. They won't answer your question directly but may give you some perspective on marketing and weight weenieism. There's also a website out there somewhere for weight weenies with long lists of components and their weights. Probably also a lot of info on carbon frame weights.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by busdriver1959 View Post
    Go to www.davesbikeblog.squarespace.com. The first two entries (as of today) are great reading. They won't answer your question directly but may give you some perspective on marketing and weight weenieism. There's also a website out there somewhere for weight weenies with long lists of components and their weights. Probably also a lot of info on carbon frame weights.
    I just read the entries you referred to. Interesting, to say the least.
    Regards,

    Jed

  5. #5
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    I wonder if Colnago knows the answer to the question of how light is too light. That might explain why they haven't gone lighter as you friend pointed out. A number of years ago the mountain bike manufacturers went through a weight weenie phase of their own. I think it was the large number of catastrophic failures of lightweight handlebars that brought about the phrase "stupid light". I've always wished I'd thought it up. Every time I see a video of a carbon bike coming apart right behind the headtube, I think the manufacturers have found "stupid light".

  6. #6
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Frames and components at the high end are light enough that pros sometimes have to add weight to meet minimum weights.

    for us mere mortals the engine is way more important than the weight of the bike. Beyond that most of us (me any way as a clyde) are carrying way more pounds that could ever be saved with a lighter bike.
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  7. #7
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    I took this for a spin a while ago... super light and very comfortable. Ridiculous price.

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/fr...ht--10241.html

  8. #8
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    Had to revive this thread. Last year I saw frames involved in race crashes that normally would have survived, but didn't because the tubes were simply too thin to handle the impact they received. One fella slid out in a corner and hit a bale. The down tube split open.
    Anther fella got tangled with the rider next to him, his right foot popped out of the pedal, slammed into the left chain stay of the guy next to him and took out a 6 inch section of the tube. There are more stories.
    The point is a stout, 1/2 pound more material in those frames could possibly have resulted in less damage. Yes, I bet Colnago knows what will survive in the environment they cater to and it is not stupid light frames. The other companies build them for little money in China and can afford to sponsor crash replacement programs. They still make money on the replacement frame! Incidentally, I never lost a frame in a crash. Only used metal frames for racing.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    In racing the whole bike is a consumable, it's the Tifosi that buy the gear
    Pro Racers use, and have different expectations.
    but their purchases fuel the industry..
    the race sponsorship is part of the Marketing,
    as well as the Research & development budget.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
    Had to revive this thread. Last year I saw frames involved in race crashes that normally would have survived, but didn't because the tubes were simply too thin to handle the impact they received. One fella slid out in a corner and hit a bale. The down tube split open. Anther fella got tangled with the rider next to him, his right foot popped out of the pedal, slammed into the left chain stay of the guy next to him and took out a 6 inch section of the tube. There are more stories.
    The point is a stout, 1/2 pound more material in those frames could possibly have resulted in less damage. Yes, I bet Colnago knows what will survive in the environment they cater to and it is not stupid light frames. The other companies build them for little money in China and can afford to sponsor crash replacement programs. They still make money on the replacement frame! Incidentally, I never lost a frame in a crash. Only used metal frames for racing.
    TiHabanero; Me am thinkin you be leaning into a factiod there! (Use the Star Wars Jar Jar Binks voice and it will seem like at least a marginally funny complement!). While I have zero footprint into the carbon offset community and even less interest in the bike weight watchers support group; I will add that I recently read a nice article on the Rodriguez website about him crafting superlight racing bikes of advanced steel tubes for a pro rider that matched the weight of the best carbon frames without the disadvances of the carbon ones. Might be worth a read for many folks, fwiw!

  11. #11
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    TiHabanero; Me am thinkin you be leaning into a factiod there! (Use the Star Wars Jar Jar Binks voice and it will seem like at least a marginally funny complement!). While I have zero footprint into the carbon offset community and even less interest in the bike weight watchers support group; I will add that I recently read a nice article on the Rodriguez website about him crafting superlight racing bikes of advanced steel tubes for a pro rider that matched the weight of the best carbon frames without the disadvances of the carbon ones. Might be worth a read for many folks, fwiw!
    link please
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  12. #12
    Randomhead
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    I think he's talking about this one, but I'm not sure

  13. #13
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    Chasing the ever lighter carbon frame

    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I think he's talking about this one, but I'm not sure
    Yes, that is the link to the main site. The detail page about the 2.2 pound steel frames is here:

    http://www.rodbikes.com/articles/art...ghtframes.html

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Pictures on one of those custom bike exhibitions was a diamond shaped grid of carbon thread,
    woven around a mandrel, which was removed after the Epoxy cured, leaving mostly air ,
    then those "tubes" were combined..

    macramé in carbon would be an interesting look.

  15. #15
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    e5bb3a346e9b2885088f3da3355dcdb2911df3ad.jpg

    Isotruss aka "the cheesegrater". Not particularly light, apparently not overly stiff, good thing there's a life time warranty

  16. #16
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    With the minimum race weights the UCI currently has, there is right now not a lot of incentive to make a road frame and fork much lighter.
    Things could change though, pretty fast. Give it another two years for discs in Cyclocross and even guys like Richard Sachs will be pushed into disc brakes. They will show up in road races too, and racers will NEED them.
    Discs will always be a bit heavier than rim brakes, but they are not optimized yet and the rim design to exploit the lack of need for a brake track are not yet fully exploited.
    Bring in the next generation of hydraulic brakes, electronic shifting, CPU monitoring of cadence, power, and rider history... maybe even a fuzzy logic shifting bike and race frame weight will drop to provide allowance for these features and still be at the minimum weight.

    The other weight adding attribute is the UCI's decrees on the measures of a bike frame and fork. Plenty of room to redesign the way one gets to the same basic contact points today, but the UCI does not want to see it. In my view they shot down the Scott Drop-in bars as they were patented, if they had been without protection they would be ubiquitous today, as one example.

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