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90s Trek Carbon Composite frames - ride reviews/opinions?

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90s Trek Carbon Composite frames - ride reviews/opinions?

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Old 03-22-13, 03:19 PM
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frantik
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90s Trek Carbon Composite frames - ride reviews/opinions?

I've been reading about Trek Carbon Composite frames.. seems they have mixed reviews. People like them because they are light, but I've read some really negative things such as "dead feeling", "wet noodle", etc.. I've also read things about poor durability, though I suspect any frame that's lasted 20 years is probably going to be ok

So I've only ridden steel bikes before, but have been interested in trying out some vintage crabon or aluminum.. anyone here owned some Trek composite carbon frames and want to weigh in? I'm 195lbs so if these are flexy frames maybe I should stick to what I know is "real"?
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Old 03-22-13, 03:32 PM
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i rode one briefly. i found the aluminum fork and seat stays really negated any joy of riding the carbon. i think in terms of weight and ride, people really prefer the OCLV treks. of course, they don't have that classic small-tube proportions, even if they aren't near as space-ship-y as many other carbon monocoque frames.

i love my Look KG281 MUCH more.
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Old 03-22-13, 04:25 PM
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Apart from being way to small for me, I liked mine, a 1992(?) Trek 2100. I thought it was actually kind of stiff, at least compared to the steel bikes I was riding. (I've never been on a full-carbon bike, but, yeah, I think those are supposed to be stiffer. Full disclosure: I've also never ridden an OCLV bike, and the only fully aluminum frames I've ridden are MTBs.)

At 19lbs built up, my 2100 was a full 5lbs lighter than my lightest steel bike and I could really feel the difference climbing. Still have the frame/fork (56cm) if you're interested. Been meaning to put it on the frame swap thread again.
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Old 03-22-13, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
i found the aluminum fork and seat stays really negated any joy of riding the carbon.
can you offer any more detail on what you mean?

Lascauxcaveman, if i were looking for roadbikes i'd probably hit you up.. but i'm firmly in MTB land
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Old 03-22-13, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
i rode one briefly. i found the aluminum fork and seat stays really negated any joy of riding the carbon.
I had a beautiful 2500 composite. This description is spot on.
I had some custom Hope Tech/Ambrosio tubulars on it. Looked awesome.

Super Light
Super Agile
Super Precise
Every grain of sand came through the saddle and bars.

Made me want to lower the pressure to 50psi.
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Old 03-22-13, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
Made me want to lower the pressure to 50psi.
that's not a problem with mtbs
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Old 03-22-13, 06:31 PM
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I have a friend who's a sarge in a local PD. They have a confiscated 2100 with full Shimano 600 & STIs (but no wheels) hanging in their garage. I keep asking him about it...
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Old 03-22-13, 06:44 PM
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I had this 2120 for a while. Bought it as a frameset no eBay (I was the only bidder--wonder why?!), built it up with 650B x 32mm wheels, took it for a couple of long rides. Didn't quite see any magic to the materials plus it was a bit too big for me, so I ended up selling it locally as a frame set:

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Old 03-22-13, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by frantik View Post
can you offer any more detail on what you mean?
yeah, the benefits of carbon are that it absorbs road noise really well, especially for the weight. the 2 places my body is putting weight on the bike is my ass and my hands. the part of the frame that is going to absorb road vibrations to my hands most is the front fork. the part of the frame that is going to absorb road vibrations to my ass is the seat stays (i believe even more than the seat tube). so while these bikes had a carbon main triangle, which provided some pliability in the frame as a whole, it was not possible to (affordably) at that time make reliable carbon tubes thin and strong enough to be seat stays or fork legs, so it was kept to the main triangle.

what you will see now commonly (though less so with the increased affordability of full carbon frames) is an aluminum frame that is the exact inverse of those treks and other makes. it is an aluminum frame with carbon seat stays and a carbon fork. like this one:
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Old 03-22-13, 07:24 PM
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for the record, i still ride an old Peugeot with the carbon main triangle. it was a $40 impulse buy that i got for camp value more than anything. it doesn't particularly ride well at all, the spinergy wheels absorb more road noise than the frame does anyway.



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Old 03-22-13, 07:25 PM
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that's an interesting point you make how modern composite frames tend to be constructed of AL main tubes with Carbon stays/fork.. that's also kind of the opposite of using cromo for main tubs and heavier steel for the stays.

the trek MTBs seem to all come with steel forks, so i suppose that makes it even more of a question mark with regard to how it rides All I know is I have an obsession with vintage lightweight rigid mtbs and these carbon treks seem to be an obvious way to shed some pounds. But I'm left wondering if the different material is going to leave me disappointed. I wish i could test ride the bike i'm interested in.. :\
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Old 03-22-13, 07:30 PM
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what size are you looking for? i have a full carbon CATO hard tail frame from the early days (looks similar to OCLV treks) sitting around collecting dust
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Old 03-22-13, 07:51 PM
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I ride a ~21" mtb (assuming a level top tube)
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Old 03-22-13, 08:41 PM
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I now I have a Peugeot like the one above, but a rather complete bike. Haven't put any miles on it yet. Having that, studying the similar Trek bikes from the same (or later) era and having a full carbon Orbea, I'm gonna go out there and say that all the things people say about modern bikes aren't gonna really apply to the al lugged/carbon tubed bikes. I would think if one were truly interested in the differences in composite materials that the Calfee bikes would also give some interesting data points because are (or at least were) made with round carbon tubes so in a way their construction is maybe a bit more similar to the C&V bikes we love vs. the free-form-plastic-sculpture approach on a bike like, say, my Orbea.
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Old 03-22-13, 09:05 PM
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yeah i tend to agree that you can't really compare modern fully formed carbon frames with the multipiece construction from the 90s.. that's why I'm asking for reviews of these kind of frames once again it seems it's mixed reviews..
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Old 03-22-13, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by fiataccompli View Post
I now I have a Peugeot like the one above, but a rather complete bike. Haven't put any miles on it yet. Having that, studying the similar Trek bikes from the same (or later) era and having a full carbon Orbea, I'm gonna go out there and say that all the things people say about modern bikes aren't gonna really apply to the al lugged/carbon tubed bikes. I would think if one were truly interested in the differences in composite materials that the Calfee bikes would also give some interesting data points because are (or at least were) made with round carbon tubes so in a way their construction is maybe a bit more similar to the C&V bikes we love vs. the free-form-plastic-sculpture approach on a bike like, say, my Orbea.
my Look KG281 is carbon tubes (all but the head tube) seated into aluminum lugs. it has a distinctly different feel than a steel frame and definitely different than aluminum. my Calfee Luna Pro is also full carbon tubes seated into aluminum lugs, however the lugs are very very thin and then reinforced with carbon wrap. it has a much more "carbon" feel to it, much closer to full carbon monocoque frame. the Look, despite the same construction, still feels much different than the Treks and Specialized's I've ridden, once again because of those carbon stays and fork.
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Old 03-23-13, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I had a beautiful 2500 composite. This description is spot on.
I had some custom Hope Tech/Ambrosio tubulars on it. Looked awesome.
Stiff
Super Light
Super Agile
Super Precise
Every grain of sand came through the saddle and bars.

Made me want to lower the pressure to 50psi.
On the other hand, my Ironman Carbons were a year newer,
and had carbon stays as well as ST/DT/TT/HT.
Not so stiff
Almost as light
Not so agile
Not so precise
You could wiggle the handlebars; it would set up a simple harmonious vibration.
Gave me the willies every time I crossed a bridge.

Great century bike, once you got used to the handling.
Easy on the hands, arse, and everything else.

I agree with frantik. These older models have almost nothing in common with the monococque frames.
In fact, Aegis, who made the early Trek frames, split into Kestrel and Aegis, and both went monococgue right away.

They were way cool for the time, and are way cool now, but it's an acquired taste. First you have to acquire one.
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Old 03-23-13, 06:38 AM
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I had a 2300 (1995 I believe) for a while. Virtually unridden. I was impressed with the workmanship in the frame, and very pleasing to look at with its "vintage" lines. I rode it some in the trainer (winter time) and found it to be too short and too long so I sold it to a collector. I was a bit surprised when I weighed it at 21 pounds. Shimano 105 8 speed worked flawlessly.



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Old 03-23-13, 08:45 AM
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OP, I have one of those lugged Trek MTB frames in my basement. I think the model # is 9700 or 9800. The aluminum bits are "copper" (their name for the color of the anodized aluminum) which is a reddish copper, not like a penny. I kinda sorta built it up once, briefly, to size it up, but I didn't have any MTB forks, so I never rode it, LOL. I still feel it has potential, which is why I haven't got rid of it yet. I'm still watching CL for an affordable CF MTB fork.
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Old 03-23-13, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by frantik View Post
once again it seems it's mixed reviews..
As with all frame and materials discussions.

Somone above said that carbon tubes absorb road vibration/noise which is a partly true statement. The tubes can also be constructed to be as stiff as (or stiffer) than any other material. An engineer can jump in and define all the properties.

I stayed out of this discussion earlier because you are interested in MTB, where my opinions aren't worth much. However, an old carbon mountain frame is probably not your best option for serious riding off-road. I would think this especially true for the bonded frames. Trail riding might be just fine. Also, with fat mt. tires, who cares much about carbon's absorbing vibration characteristics.

If you are a collector disregard my comments.
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Old 03-23-13, 11:54 AM
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[QUOTE=Chuckk;15420795]My '96 2100 is a good distance bike. Stiff like aluminum, but without the high frequency buzz - probably because of the three CF mains.
The '92 5200 is smooth and light. First year for the design, so the wheel base is long, and the stringbean CF forks a little to lanky. QUOTE]

Chuckk - So you are probably the best person to validate or dismiss an opinion I've long held. About 1996/97 I was most disappointed in the ride of Trek 5200 & Aegis but loved the Look and Calfee from the same years. Was the OCLV/molded process yielding a MUCH different road feel than your 2100?
I must admit to being one of those people that felt the molded frames from the 90s had too much material (resin) for an overly "damped" ride.
Very, very nice bikes btw. (will call you before next trip to Lostin)
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Old 03-23-13, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
However, an old carbon mountain frame is probably not your best option for serious riding off-road. I would think this especially true for the bonded frames. Trail riding might be just fine. Also, with fat mt. tires, who cares much about carbon's absorbing vibration characteristics.

If you are a collector disregard my comments.
I love MTBs, but I don't do much off roading, and definitely nothing that could be called "serious" I live in a city where the roads are torn up so badly that mtbs just make more sense. All of my MTBs are "hybridized" to some degree or another to be made more suitable for the road, which is why lightweight mtbs interest me so much; I like fat tires but don't like the weight penalty of the heavy frames
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Old 03-23-13, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
First you have to acquire one.
For some reason this line really stuck with me... and i couldn't resist


I'll let yall know what i think when it arrives

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Trek-8300-Ca...vip=true&rt=nc
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Old 12-04-18, 01:49 PM
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2300

Originally Posted by SvenMN View Post
I had a 2300 (1995 I believe) for a while. Virtually unridden. I was impressed with the workmanship in the frame, and very pleasing to look at with its "vintage" lines. I rode it some in the trainer (winter time) and found it to be too short and too long so I sold it to a collector. I was a bit surprised when I weighed it at 21 pounds. Shimano 105 8 speed worked flawlessly.



wearyourtruth and fiataccompli: I would be thrilled to be able to ride a PY10-FC!!

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Great photo composition. How did you not leave tracks in the snow and stand it up? Trickery

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Old 12-04-18, 02:25 PM
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No trickery - that's crunchy snow. Just plop it down and it stands by itself.
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