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Carbon Framed Commuting Bikes?

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Carbon Framed Commuting Bikes?

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Old 10-25-04, 02:32 PM
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alanbikehouston
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Carbon Framed Commuting Bikes?

Many, or most of the folks who race road bikes, or want to look like someone one races road bikes seem to think a carbon framed bike is superior to a steel framed bike - lighter equals better, correct?

Yet, when I see people commuting, especially with racks, bags, luggage, most seem to be on steel framed bikes, some on alumininum framed bikes, NONE on carbon framed bikes.

Is there anyone on the forum who commutes to work on a bike with a carbon main frame?

If so, what do you see as the advantages for a commuter of using a carbon bike, instead of a steel bike or aluminum framed bike?

And, folks who own a carbon bike, and commute on a NON-carbon bike, why did you make that decision? Does "lighter equals better" hold true in the world of commuting?
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Old 10-25-04, 02:56 PM
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Iron Chef
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Originally Posted by alanbikehouston

And, folks who own a carbon bike, and commute on a NON-carbon bike, why did you make that decision? Does "lighter equals better" hold true in the world of commuting?
1) I don't want to leave my good bike outside all day. My office is not in the best part of town.

2) The bike would not be up to the job. Not because of the frame but because of the wheelset. The pot holes and chuck holes would kill my wheels. Putting the heavy wheelset I use for my commuter on my carbon bike would seem so wrong.

3) Not as stable when loaded down. Not because the frame is made of carbon but because the wheel base is short.

Wrong tool for the job.
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Old 10-26-04, 10:46 AM
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MichaelW
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The only thing wrong with carbon as a material for a commuting bike is its toughness. The material is vulnerable to scratching when you lean it against brick walls, or when it falls over, or when other people lean their cheapo bikes against your frame.
I dont know of any carbon frames which are commuter ready, having threaded eyelets for rack/fenders and sufficient tyre clearance, but I'd be interested to hear. Calfee make a nice/expensive Carbon CX frame but its for racing: no threaded eyelets.
Most quality commuter frames are made by small workshops (like Surley and Gunnar) where the economics of carbon just don't make sense. Steel is just more cost-effective to build at the right price/quality/volume.

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Old 10-26-04, 10:58 AM
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Corsaire
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Carbon frame bikes are for pure light road riding or racing, it's kind of like asking a plumber to work with a titanium (or made of carbon IF that was the case) pipe wrench instead of his trusty rugged steel wrench: wrong tool for the job. The lightness and cost wouldn't justify at all a tool made of titanium or carbon for that matter, to give an example.
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Old 10-26-04, 08:37 PM
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I currently ride my Cf frame bike to work, more out of necessity than anything else (as the other bike is being used by the wife atm).

I don't carry anything though (as my clothes are at the office) and security is not an issue because I park the bike in the space in front of my desk.

I was considering getting a lower end bike bike for the commute or waiting till the wife shifts to a road bike and use the MTN bike again. But the biek has held up pretty well to the everyday rides.
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Old 10-26-04, 09:06 PM
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A carbon bike would work in the Summer for my 4 mile commute but when the days get short, cold & wet I hang up the fairweather bikes & switch over to my "rain" bikes, most of which were priced in the $10-$80 range. Some day, a carbon bike may show up at the local thrift store or at a yard sale & if it could be fitted with fenders & rack, it could be a fine Winter commuter since the frame would be immune to rust. Don
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Old 10-26-04, 09:23 PM
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Currently have over 5,500 miles on a carbon fiber tandem bicycle.
We are retired , so commuting does not enter the picture.
A c/f single bike frameset will set you back around $1,800 and up, and currently know of no c/f commuter specific bikes.
However do have a website to check from a custom carbon builder: www.arizonatandems.com . . . .and he does build single too.
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Old 10-26-04, 10:47 PM
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When I read "carbon fiber is only for racing" or "carbon isn't tough enough for commuting," I just chuckle. If and when factories in Taiwan or Korea or elsewhere can automate and mold CF at a wholesale price point comparable to steel or aluminum, then you will see CF used for lower end bikes, comfort bikes, commuter bikes, etc. It may be a few years down the road, but the day will come. I mean, look around now, you can see how carbon is becoming more commonplace in forks, seat posts, handlebars, wheels, cranks...
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Old 10-26-04, 11:06 PM
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Around here, I see alot of them. I commute on a Trek 5200 carbon frame and before that a Trek 2200 (carbon combo). The Rolf Vector and Bontrager Race lites are plenty heavy enough for the road. These bikes are fast on the hills.

And yes a good mechanic can put fenders, rack or whatever on without the brazons. If somebody doesn't like it...too bad. Each commute, I'm reminded how nice a light bike is when I have to hoist the thing on my shoulder to clear the stair well rail.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:05 AM
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as the other bike is being used by the wife atm
Identify the meaning of that acronym "automated teller machine" or "at the moment."

(just kidding.)
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Old 10-27-04, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by cerewa
Identify the meaning of that acronym "automated teller machine" or "at the moment."

(just kidding.)
wife and automated teller machine seem to go well together as well ....
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