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  1. #1
    I heart moonsaddle cyclebee's Avatar
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    Thoughts on carbon fiber bikes

    I was thinking about getting a trek domaine in one of their carbon fiber versions I was wondering what everyone thinks about carbon fiber. How does it ride etc. from what the sales person told me as long as you don't over tighten parts everything is good. The test ride was really good but it can be hard to tell from riding a bike for ten minutes

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Read thru the many back posts on the subject in the archives of this site .. abundant opinions expressed ..

    the Domane seat tube disconnect for suspension, with elastomer dampner is unique , they make a lower cost aluminum version as well ..

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    My Trek Pilot, which is about 6 or 7 years old, is definitely a 'softer' riding bike than my aluminum frame bikes. In my experience, carbon is a superior material for shock absorption, and any new bikes in my future will be carbon.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Carbon fiber?
    Got 38,000+ miles on a custom carbon fiber tandem.
    We love it!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I have a CF front fork one one of my bikes and I'm a huge fan. No idea about an entire bike.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I have the Trek Madone in carbon. I love it. No problems.

  7. #7
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    IMHO, most carbon bikes made by reputable companies are superior to most other materials. Carbon is stronger and more durable than aluminum for sure!


    Just don't scratch carbon!

  8. #8
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    And what happens when you scratch carbon?

    Same as when you scratch steel or any other frame material.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    It's such a new technology I'd wait several years before dipping your toe. Eventually, CF will find its way into more mainstream products. Avoid being an early adopter.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    It's such a new technology I'd wait several years before dipping your toe. Eventually, CF will find its way into more mainstream products. Avoid being an early adopter.
    That would have been good advice 20 years ago.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    And what happens when you scratch carbon?

    Same as when you scratch steel or any other frame material.
    When you scratch brushed Ti, a minute with a Scotchbrite pad, and the scratch is gone.
    That doesn't work so well on other materials.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    And what happens when you scratch carbon?

    Same as when you scratch steel or any other frame material.
    I've seen some God awful-looking scratched carbon. OTOH, whenever I've scratched my steel or aluminum bikes, I've found that a little fingernail polish can work wonders without looking suspicious.

    Fingernail polish on carbon...I dunno!

  13. #13
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    That would have been good advice 20 years ago.
    No kidding. These people must be living under a rock somewhere...

    "You'll have to pry my buggy whip out of my cold, dead fingers."
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    No kidding. These people must be living under a rock somewhere...

    "You'll have to pry my buggy whip out of my cold, dead fingers."
    Gee, you think?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    It's such a new technology I'd wait several years before dipping your toe. Eventually, CF will find its way into more mainstream products. Avoid being an early adopter.
    This is a joke -- right? LeMond rode a Look carbon fiber frame in the TdF in the mid 80's. I've personally got 33,000. miles on my 2006 Look 585 frame.

  16. #16
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    i have a 2012 specialized roubaix. have put about 5K miles on it.
    had a trek 1.2 and a trek 2.1. both had CF forks with alloy frames. put about 8K combined miles on them.

    i can confidently say the roubaix ride quality and power transfer is SIGNIFICANTLY better.

  17. #17
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    Just don't scratch carbon!
    Good advice. Any scratch will cause the carbon matrix to suddenly fail.

    Hopefully someday CF will be tough enough that it can be used for cross and MTB's.

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  18. #18
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Not to mention the Spring Classics.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  19. #19
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    I'll go with the opinions that carbon frames are better at shock absorption, and stiffer for better power transfer. What that leaves is do you think those factors are worth the extra +$500 you'll pay over and aluminium frame with the same components hanging on it? To me it wouldn't be worth it; I'd rather save the +$500 for extras (pedals, seat, etc). I also personaly like attachment points for fenders and a rack (to carry stuff on long rides - I don't like backpacks) which I've never seen of a carbon frame. I also don't want to be too overly concerned about fastener torque when working on a bike, so the extra margin of error an aluminium frame is a comforting thought (yes, I know you can strip out Al threads, too).

    Just my 2 cents worth. FWIW: the only carbon component I have is a fork on a CX bike that only sees road rides on pavement. It seems to work OK, but I really can't discern any difference from a good steel fork.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclebee View Post
    I was thinking about getting a trek domaine in one of their carbon fiber versions I was wondering what everyone thinks about carbon fiber. How does it ride etc. from what the sales person told me as long as you don't over tighten parts everything is good. The test ride was really good but it can be hard to tell from riding a bike for ten minutes
    1) Don't buy any bike on a 10 minute test ride. Take it on a much longer ride, and ride several similar models from other brands for comparison.

    2) I've ridden the same bike in carbon and aluminum. I bought the carbon. YMMV
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Bent Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidder View Post
    I also personaly like attachment points for fenders and a rack (to carry stuff on long rides - I don't like backpacks) which I've never seen of a carbon frame. I also don't want to be too overly concerned about fastener torque when working on a bike, so the extra margin of error an aluminium frame is a comforting thought (yes, I know you can strip out Al threads, too). .
    The Domane has fender/rack mounts and it comes with a preset torque wrench
    I have the 5.2 the cheapest one with the true seat post de'coupler
    I think its a great bike
    very big difference between it and aluminum bikes and most other carbon bikes
    Last edited by Bent Bill; 04-06-14 at 09:49 PM.
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  22. #22
    Rhapsodic Laviathan
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    Ive never riden a carbon bike, I always think I might break it. If it survive at least daily curb hops and the random flight of steps, I'm sold.
    The speed is break neck, faster than a high speed dual cassette tape deck.

  23. #23
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    I'm a bit beyond 50+ and currently using a Trek Alpha 2.3 about 5 years old. I am keen to know if I would notice a significant difference in climbing hills if I were to upgrade to (say) a Trek Domane 5.2. Would anybody have any thoughts on this please?
    So far I've moved on from thinking a hill of 7.8% was impossible to yesterday managing a 17.3% incline - I had to take a bit of a breather after that one.

  24. #24
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    Well I'm a bit green on the experience since I've never owned another bike. However, I like it well enough - but the roads where I live are pretty much a disgrace to modern society, and I thought the ISOspeed on the Domane frame might be useful. I'm also keen on the thought on something slightly lighter to drag my 71 year old frame up some pretty sharp hills. Added to my hope to complete a 220 mile 3-day event in a few weeks.....!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Duane Behrens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    It's such a new technology I'd wait several years before dipping your toe. Eventually, CF will find its way into more mainstream products. Avoid being an early adopter.
    :-) you've GOT to be kidding. CF is tried, true, and the frame of choice for virtually all professional race teams. Scratch that "virtually." ALL professional race teams.

    That said, except for weekend mashes with friends who only want to own me (you know who you are) my 10-speed, all-carbon CF Tarmac mostly sits in the garage these days. I actually enjoy riding my trainer - a restored, 1980 Nishiki with a freewheel hub, 7-speed sprocket assembly, downtube shifters and 1.25" wheels and tires - more than I enjoy the CF Tarmac. There is no better sight-seeing platform, it's freight-train stable on fast descents, and it makes me work just a bit harder on climbs; a perfect trainer.

    But mostly, it's just COMFORTABLE, with a capital "C." Riding the carbon and steel back-to-back makes the carbon bike SEEM a bit twitchy and harsh. YMMV.
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