Carbon & Cross
I've noticed that most frames are made of aluminum alloys or steel. Why aren't many manufacturers utilizing carbon?
I think most people who buy cross bikes do so after they already have a road bike, or a mountain bike, or both. They don't want to spend a lot on another bike, and they're worried about crashing and destroying it in their first race.
So, the market out there is for inexpensive cross bikes, or even just inexpensive cross frames that you can put your old road parts on. Aluminum or no-name steel fits that bill much better than carbon.
Does anybody make a carbon cross frame? Colnago, or Empella?
Ridley makes a carbon cross frame called the X-Night, which will run you about $2800 for the frame.
Alan also makes a carbon cross frame. I saw one busted at a cx race a few years back. The rider hit a curb head-on (I was told), and the frame was destroyed near the head tube.
Wrong tool for the job, in my opinion.
Carbon cross frame
Blue Competition makes both an aluminum and a carbon.alum mix. Both have stunning paint schemes and are about $600.00. I have a firend who has been a cross rider for 20 years. he said the Blue bikes are fast for cross w/great geometry.
I'll second the notion that carbon bikes are the "wrong tool for the job". Furthermore, at the risk of raising the ire of others, I'd propose that those who ride 'cross on full carbon (or even carbon/aluminum) bikes are missing the point of 'cross.
Sure, there seems to be more carbon forks than you can shake a stick at at 'cross races. But I hesitate to ride anything in 'cross (or off-road) that can have it's structural integrity compromised by a scratch or gouge.
Full disclosure: I'm 35 and stuck in a time when the mantra "If you ain't hikin', you ain't mountain bikin'." ruled the ride. Thus I qualify as a stodgy old coot.
Preach brother!!! I'm 33. When I started racing MTB's in the late 80's we didn't have shocks. We didn't even have wheels. We just ran around making vrooom, vroom sounds. We were pimp. BIG PIMP.
Originally Posted by i_r_beej
A rider in my road club has a Colnago C50 Cross frame with bling parts, beautiful bike! I think that most it has seen are forest service fire roads. He doesn't race cross, he just likes to collect $5,000+ bikes.
Originally Posted by same time
There are a lot of european pros who would disagree with i r beej's comments.
No doubt, and I'm sure their carbon frames perform amazingly, but I'd bet that they don't have to pay for them. For the rest of us poor slobs who go out and ride 6 or 8 cx races per year, it's hard to justify shelling out the bucks for a frame that may not even last one season.
Originally Posted by 42x16
Of course, if the good folks at Ridley or Colnago decided that they wanted me to represent their brand as I brave the fierce "B"-race competition in the Minnesota cx series, I take a size 57.
Oh, i don't doubt it! I'm sure that those same pros would also disagree with my Midge handlebar the shark squeaky horn mounted on it!
Originally Posted by 42x16
Oh, and i STILL run around making "vroom" noises. Covers the thumping sounds of my square wheels.