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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bikes & Carbon Frames

    Many "Roadies" are convinced that the best frames for a road bike are carbon frames - they are "lighter" and "more expensive", which in the "Roadie" world, means "better".

    And, "lighter" makes sense when riding a bike UP a mountain. But what about the folks who enjoy riding DOWN seriously fast hills and mountains at high speeds? Of those whose riding involves a high amount of riding DOWN trails at high speeds, how many of your are riding on carbon frames? How many of your are using carbon handlebars?

    When you are getting ready to ride DOWN an intense trail that requires experienced and skilled riders, what percentage of the riders that you see on the trails are riding with a carbon frame or a carbon fork?

    And, if you won the lottery, and "money was no object", and you were looking for a bike that go DOWN any trail, at any speed, would a carbon frame be your first choice? Would a carbon handlebar be your first choice?

  2. #2
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I don't trust it...at all...but living here I see lots of bikes...soo

    Carbon bike = .25%...there is one. The BCD. I only saw it cause I knew the rider (by fame and another forum). He is both a freerider and dhiller and djers...smallish guy but super smooth...
    carbon parts = 5 - 10% .... seatposts and bars, thats being generous btw I just think there might be some I missed along the way. Oh and on freeriders...none...I don't know any serious freeriders who use carbon anything...(ecept helmets and maybe visors...)

    If money was no object I still wouldn't buy carbon. Have seen and heard of too many seriously bad accidents caused by them. Most of the guys I know who tried it, loved it....absolutely loved it...till the carbon breakage occured. Sometimes user error (tight bolts) sometimes after a crash (gauge) sometimes no reason at all. But scary and common.

  3. #3
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I only know 1 person riding a carbon frame and he's strictly xc. It's an older trek. I don't know of anyone going big on cabon.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  4. #4
    Senior Member Iffacus's Avatar
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    I ride a Giant Cadex CFM2 which frame is carbon Fibre tubes onto aluminium lugs.

    I have had no problems with it, even when upgrading to suspension forks (the bike is a '92 model and was non-suspension geometry)

    If money were no object I'd probably get a titanium frame
    Prerace, I use a misplaced faith in my innate ability, with a dose of needless optimism. For recovery, I use self-delusional techniques.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Iffacus's Avatar
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    Forgot to add I only ride XC
    Prerace, I use a misplaced faith in my innate ability, with a dose of needless optimism. For recovery, I use self-delusional techniques.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SuBHuMaN12356's Avatar
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    I have Carbon Fiber Chain Stays on my bike (Cannondale Scalpel) But its an XC bike.. its realy nice but i wouldnt trust it on any big drops (bigger then 3-4 feet) i just dont trust something that flexes like my chain stays and doesnt snap that easily

    They also make Carbon Fiber Cranks ( i forget who does... but if i find the link ill give it to ya) Carbon fiber is one hell of a way to save wieght... if your an XC rider then you should get as much carbon as possible on your bike (within reason)
    Cannondale Scalpel 900 in SoBe Green

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  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuBHuMaN12356
    I have Carbon Fiber Chain Stays on my bike (Cannondale Scalpel) But its an XC bike.. its realy nice but i wouldnt trust it on any big drops (bigger then 3-4 feet) i just dont trust something that flexes like my chain stays and doesnt snap that easily

    They also make Carbon Fiber Cranks ( i forget who does... but if i find the link ill give it to ya) Carbon fiber is one hell of a way to save wieght... if your an XC rider then you should get as much carbon as possible on your bike (within reason)
    FSA has carbon cranks

  8. #8
    Senior Member SuBHuMaN12356's Avatar
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    link me up Mael
    Cannondale Scalpel 900 in SoBe Green

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  9. #9
    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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    I wouldn't ever own anything carbon for my mtb... people here have snapped their carbon handlebars, one guy got nearly impaled. I'm sure those are exceptions to the rule, but I beat the crap out of my mtb.

    I doubt I'll ever own a carbon roadie.

    I'm thinking Ti for both styles next time I buy.

  10. #10
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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  11. #11
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    Only ONE rider on the forum has ridden a Mountain Bike with the main frame made with carbon tubes? Just one? Surely, at least two people have tried their luck on a carbon framed mountain bike?

  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    There aren't many xc guys here anymore. I bet those guys would have used them. But general consensus in fr and dh is carbon=death or paralysis

  13. #13
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    My Sugar has Carbon Chainstays. I wonder if putting a brake booster will cause the stays to bend in a way not intended by the designers.

    I would not trust a full Carbon frame. They dont like knocks, heat like inside cars, and will eventually fatigue. A bit like Aluminium except for the heat bit.

    If money was no object - Ti baby, all the way

  14. #14
    Pedalphile BurlySurly's Avatar
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    I use carbon bars and seatpost on my XC bike. I dont see any reason not to use a carbon frame as long as youre just trail riding. Its just as safe, but if you're going to be doing big, high impact stuff, Id look elsewhere. Carbon is real nice though. I love the stuff. I want some carbon pants.
    Dont PM me.

  15. #15
    Withdrawal Symptoms! Cornish_Rdr_UK's Avatar
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    Hmmm, this is strange, maybe its a different type of Carbon Fiber used, but on Formula one cars the whole chassis is made of Carbon fibre and its incredibly light and incredibly rigid.....

    When the guy who designed the first Carbon chassis for a formula 1 car actually showed all the drivers and teams his design, they all thought he was off his rocker, apart from 2 teams or something like that who decided to try it....

    Anyway, the cars were much faster, obviously, but when a car hit the wall, they all thought he'd be dead, but the carbon actually kept the guy alive in a 160mph head on crash into the wall with a carbon fibre chassis, and the shear vibrations from the cars when it hits speeds of 200mph when its flying down the straight is probably more violent than hitting a 4 ft drop on a carbon mtb frame, so why dont we trust it if its already a tried and tested technique in cars, seeing as we all know how versitile and strong it is....

    Im the same, i dont trust Carbon, but i think its strange why i dont considering this little fact about the cars....

    Nevermind eh?

  16. #16
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    The Trek fuel 70... I hear some guys do 5 foot drops with the thing and there are no issues, I hear it is aluminum but I have been told that it is carbon, I hear the frame is very strong and light, any recomendations If you wanted this bike, would you get it?

  17. #17
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    The problem with CF is that there is no warning when failure is emminent. It's usually explosive and catastrophic.

    Plus, minor gouges are enough to damage the integrity of carbon.

    I've ridden a lot of different bikes, road and mountain made of CF. Would never buy one.

    With that said, I do use a set of Easton's Monkey Lites for my bike. I don't do a whole lotta jumping and the Easton's are stronger than most aluminum bars. I do think that it is to change them (a couple season's old) and will probably stick with aluminum upon replacing them.

    I would stay far far away from a carbon seatpost.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  18. #18
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    Is the trek fuel 70 carbon fiber? I'm confused about this bike If its carbon then Its a nono to buy but if its not then its a yes yes because I like it but I don't want my frame breaking. Didn't buy it yet, just another 30 days

  19. #19
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I think it is just the linkage.

  20. #20
    Frozen in carbonite Grimlock's Avatar
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    Formula One racecars aren't meant to be durable, they're meant to go really fast for a weekend. The frame of an F1 car is not made of CF, just the skin.
    Just watching hockey sticks explode by the dozen (last year, of course) was enough to get me to stay away from CF parts for a few years to let them (scienticians, of course) figure out how to make it more durable.

    Or, you know, until I develop x-ray vision and can spot any hairline stress fracture in a second.
    Last edited by Grimlock; 11-08-04 at 05:08 PM. Reason: logic

  21. #21
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    Before you panic about CF, read THIS. It is a little outdated, but educational. At least you will know what are the benefits of various materials and how construction and intended application are key.

    Obviously nobody in his/her right mind would use a CF frame for heavy duty riding (downhill, freeride, jumps, etc), but you cannot deny the benefits of CF for certain applications, such as XC riding. While catastrophic failure of CF is a possibility, I doubt that your average XC rider (130-170 lbs) has to be worried about it.

  22. #22
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    trek fuel 70s are not carbon fiber... full aluminum... i have one and love it. not the lightest thing in the world, but it's not that bad, and I like the bike for the money.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    There aren't many xc guys here anymore. I bet those guys would have used them. But general consensus in fr and dh is carbon=death or paralysis

    Where did all the XC'ers go?

  24. #24
    Senior Member SuBHuMaN12356's Avatar
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    I'm an XC'er... but i know why there arnt many of them... cuz freeride and DH is more fun
    Cannondale Scalpel 900 in SoBe Green

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuBHuMaN12356
    I'm an XC'er... but i know why there arnt many of them... cuz freeride and DH is more fun


    LOL...well being a newb to mountain biking I will have to reserve final judgement of that for myself...however for now I would rather ride across 15-20 miles of varied track that just bomb down the same hill all day long.

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