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Carbon frame for commuter?

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Carbon frame for commuter?

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Old 01-22-19, 01:10 PM
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MB4
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Carbon frame for commuter?

I haven't bought a new bike in almost 10 years. All my bikes have steel or aluminum frames. I'm thinking about getting a new or used bike for my commute and am looking at some carbon-framed bikes. Does anyone use a carbon fiber framed bike to commute? The commute is around 35 miles round trip, roads and paved bike paths, every day. I've never owed a carbon fiber bike and am wondering about durability, locking it up on a bike rack every day, scratches and so forth. They should be fine, right?
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Old 01-22-19, 02:04 PM
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HardyWeinberg
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I ride a CF bike throughout the summer, I love it. I extend my 13 mile roundtrip to 30-50 mile loops, so much fun. It definitely shows signs of use but hasn't shattered yet.
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Old 01-22-19, 02:07 PM
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It will be fine.

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Old 01-22-19, 03:50 PM
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I ride my Colnago C-40 in good weather. Not a lot of packing stuff with it, but I have towed a trailer with it.

The bike would probably be fine for wet weather, but I try to keep it fairly clean.



One will likely get some wear on the Carbon Frame from locking and whatever. I saw an older Scott CR1 bike locked up a while ago with all the clear coat pealing off.

If you do choose to go with CF, I'd hunt for something a couple of years old for perhaps < $1000. There are also some newer budget oriented bikes being made with Tiagra, or perhaps Sora.
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Old 01-22-19, 04:04 PM
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You’ll go up our mileage leaderboard quick at that rate

The only reason my bikes aren’t all carbon fiber is that aluminum is less expensive. No qualms about it.
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Old 01-22-19, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
You’ll go up our mileage leaderboard quick at that rate

The only reason my bikes aren’t all carbon fiber is that aluminum is less expensive. No qualms about it.


My goal is 20 miles a day, and I'm still managing to keep above that through the middle of the winter. I don't get out every day as the OP states though.

I'm more of a utility cyclist than a commuter, but choose the bike for the task.

Straight shot, good weather... Whew, rolling CF is nice.
Rain, miserable weather... maybe more of a cross bike.
Also, I'm frequently hauling something, or pulling something, so my bike choice varies.

I just picked up an older Reynolds 853 road bike. It would make a SWEET commuter, but rather, it is destined to be converted into a light touring/randonneur bike.

Build up a bike that is comfortable for the long commutes, but there are quite a few options out there.
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Old 01-23-19, 08:40 AM
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I put some frame peotecting stickers on my thin-walled aluminum bike at the spots where they normally touch the bike rack.
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Old 01-24-19, 12:50 AM
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FWIW...

I work in an industry where we use carbon fiber. IMO the bike industry uses it better than we do.
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Old 01-24-19, 07:38 AM
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If you are carrying weight in panniers, that would increase lateral and twisting torque on the frame. I ride steel for commuting. The Brompton carries the load on the front, centered. I carry the load on the Riv in panniers. Although I try to even the load, the weight is often lopsided due to my computer. I can feel the stress on the frame when riding but it’s lugged steel so I have little concern. Don’t know if I’d feel as comfortable doing that on a CF bike. If you carry your load on you back where it is centered, it would probably be better. I just personally hate riding with a backpack.

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Old 01-24-19, 07:47 AM
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I wouldn't worry about that. The rider's weight and the designing for a maximum weight is an order of magnitude later that the stuff you would carry to work. A ride would also induce side-ways forces on the frame.
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Old 01-24-19, 10:03 AM
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CF is fine. You'll love it. I have commuted for years on steel, aluminum, CF.
AL was stiff but fast
Steel was noodly, not light, but comfy
Cf is stiff, light, comfy. Weight helps with hills and stop and go. I like the comfort and responsiveness. If its your desire, you'll love it.

I only worry about chipping and abrasion when strapping it on a bike rack on the rear of a car.
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Old 01-24-19, 11:42 AM
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I've been commuting with CF for years. The only difference with commuting is that you're typically going to carry stuff. We all have differing needs as to what to carry. For me, it's my lunch on the way to work, on the way home empty lunch containers / biking clothes I don't need for warmer weather. It all fits nicely in a front handle bar thing I bought. I typically drive to work once a week for "laundry day", and pack a week's worth of clothes on that day. Otherwise I just use a back pack if I don't drive.
I am able to park my bike in the office out of the way in a secure spot, so theft is not a worry for me.
When the weather's wet I will ride my belt drive bike, which is aluminum - but my #1 choice is pictured.
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Old 01-25-19, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I ride my Colnago C-40 in good weather.
That thing is glorious!
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Old 01-25-19, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
That thing is glorious!
One thing, I ride between Eugene and Portland regularly. My route varies from about 135 miles to 200 miles, as kind of a mix between commuting, and touring, and personal randonneuring.

I struggle a bit with long-distance cargo hauling. But, really like a good bike for the longer rides.

And, I haven't given into the concept of fat tire endurance bikes.

I don't use the Colnago as frequently for local utility rides, even if I often hit 40+ miles.
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Old 01-30-19, 04:16 PM
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@CliffordK , do you do the Eugene<-->Portland thing in a single day?
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Old 01-30-19, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@CliffordK , do you do the Eugene<-->Portland thing in a single day?
I usually include a little night too... sometimes a lot of night.

That is one-way headed to Portland one day, back another day. I've ridden up to Salem and back RT a couple of times which also makes for a long ride.

Only once, or twice, was I able to finish the ride mostly in daylight.

I vary my route course considerably, from a low of about 130 to 140 miles, and a high of about 186 miles. I can hit 200 by adding a little extra on the ends of the ride.

We have the "Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway", mostly on not too busy rural roads, but the course design is to go a little here, and a little there, and little up, and a little down. To pass by as many cities and towns between Eugene and Portland as possible. While the actual Scenic Bikeway route is only about 140 miles, it adds another 40 or 50 miles or so at the two ends of the rides, and the total ride gets pretty long.

Keep in mind that the Willamette Valley is mostly flat. That is why it is called the Willamette Valley, slowly losing elevation heading northward, and gaining elevation southbound.

My first actual double century was Spring of 2017. I was going up for some hill climb rides in Portland.

RondePDX

Those are WICKED HILLS!!!

I was delayed until Friday due to the rain, and I rolled into Portland so late that I took a nap, and only did about 1/3 of the Saturday ride, then 100% of the Sunday ride (not real fast).
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Old 02-03-19, 02:19 PM
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Love being able to ride on CF frame, 30 mi RT on mostly crushed limestone, gravel trails. DFon't do winter though because the trails are covered with snow or a soggy mess.

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Old 02-04-19, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MB4 View Post
I haven't bought a new bike in almost 10 years. All my bikes have steel or aluminum frames. I'm thinking about getting a new or used bike for my commute and am looking at some carbon-framed bikes. Does anyone use a carbon fiber framed bike to commute?

The commute is around 35 miles round trip, roads and paved bike paths, every day. I've never owed a carbon fiber bike and am wondering about durability, locking it up on a bike rack every day, scratches and so forth. They should be fine, right?
I commute year-round, preferably on a high-end carbon fiber bike. I have secure indoor parking, and a fine aluminum beater for inclement weather.

Security and protection notwithstanding, I have posted about the performance characteristics that make it desirable for commuting:
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Performance in this context does not mean outright speed because that is down to the person riding it and their strength and endurance.

But rather is in the quality of the shifting, braking, ride, handling through corners and over rough surfaces, aerodynamics and (dare I say it) comfort.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My average speed stayed the same, but I thinkI was hampered by injuries from the accident, and I believe the new bike compensated at least to maintain my average speed. I did note that I was more inclined to sprint (successfully) to beat traffic lights before they turned red.

I further craved the smoothness of the ride, including the shifting,making cycle-commuting more pleasurable. Of greatest benefit, while long (greater than 40 mile) rides took the same amount of time as before, I felt much less tired at the end.
Since carbon fiber bikes usually don’t have eyelets for a rear rack:
Originally Posted by joelcool View Post
I've been commuting with CF for years. The only difference with commuting is that you're typically going to carry stuff. We all have differing needs as to what to carry…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Like most carbon fiber road bikes, mine has no eyelets for a rear rack. I recently posted to this Touring Forum thread, “Light Touring” about my search and satisfactory find of (large) seat bags:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I use my carbon fiber endurance bike (Specialized S-Works) for commuting, and my best solution has been to use a seat mounted (not seatpost) Arkel 15 Liter Bikepack..

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Old 02-04-19, 07:41 AM
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Where I live most (urban Europe) commute bikes get left outside and serve simply as tools, so it seems a little excessive.

However, if you have the infrastructure for indoor storage, then I'd give it a go.
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