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Longevity versus performance, kind of...

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Longevity versus performance, kind of...

Old 03-18-17, 05:03 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Probably, but asking your admittedly "kind of" question about the reliability of frame set materials construction over a period of 50 years from those who been there and done that while excluding the two two most important alternative materials between steel & CF, AL and TI, is pointless in my opinion.

Through no fault of my own and with considerable enthusiasm pushing race pace on lousy road/trail surfaces, lugging more stuff than necessary on tours in hilly terrain, commuting day after year and riding fixed gear for long distances on a variety of frame materials for >45 years Zero have failed.

The question I never ask: "Will this flavor of frame-set Fail me in service?"

So far, so good.

-Bandera
You have a valid point, but I am still hoping to stick with the OP. The what is more important to you, not the reliability.
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Old 03-18-17, 05:07 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
There are people such as randonneurs who ride CF and steel and Ti bikes longer distances in a year than most in these forum... in fact most recreational riders... would in a lifetime. Then there are the pros who ride CF bikes much longer distances in a year than most would in a lifetime.

It is very rare that there are bike failures JRA as randonneurs and racers would*. The dramatic breakages always seem to occur in crashes, and even steel is not immune to damage in those circumstances.

As far as I can see, you can indeed have performance** and longevity, but it does some down to whether you can afford it.

* The one proviso here is that generally, randonneurs who do the LD stuff and the pro know how to handle their bikes. They are less inclined to abuse their bikes -- the randos because being stuck miles from nowhere is not very pleasant, and the pros because their livelihoods depend on finishing races.

** 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.
Performance is clearly subjective and has to be judged on an individual basis. Does it give "you" an advantage and is it worth it to "you"? I do believe comfort impacts performance on many levels.
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Old 03-18-17, 05:11 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
The what is more important to you, not the reliability.
The Zero Reliability issues on a variety of frame-set materials over decades as previously noted are indeed important/relevant.
What is the "what" precisely that you are referring to?

You have no idea of what is important to me, or anyone else or ever could from an internet post, or anything else.

So once again: What is that "What"?

-Bandera
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Last edited by Bandera; 03-18-17 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 03-18-17, 05:19 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Performance is clearly subjective and has to be judged on an individual basis. Does it give "you" an advantage and is it worth it to "you"? I do believe comfort impacts performance on many levels.
It sure does. My Ti rando bike is dialled in almost perfectly now after several years of experimenting with handlebars, seatpost and tyres, and getting my Brooks properly broken in. I can ride that bike up to 400km (the maximum distance so far) and I am confident it can take me to 1200 because the comfort is so good now. The handicap thus far is just me, the engine.

But the biggest improvement came with the tyres, changing from Schwalbe Duranos to Conti GP4000S II. That has transformed the ride. So frame material is not the only thing that impacts on comfort, or indeed speed and handling.
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Old 03-18-17, 05:47 PM
  #30  
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Approaching 80 - still trying to wear out the frame on my 1998 high quality Reynolds 853 steel bike and I am totally a failure at doing that. But, I am contemplating which bike I might get for my 80th birthday. My wrench says Ti. So many choices, so little time?
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Old 03-18-17, 05:53 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by gobicycling View Post
So many choices, so little time?
Yep.

-Bandera
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Old 03-18-17, 05:56 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
The Zero Reliability issues on a variety of frame-set materials over decades as previously noted are facts.
What is the "what" precisely that you are referring to?

You have no idea of what is important to me, or anyone else or ever could from an internet post, or anything else.

So once again: What is that "What"?

-Bandera
I believe I explained it in the OP.

Basically, if the assumptions noted in the OP are true, how much longevity will you trade for performance or how much performance will you trade for longevity?

And, at our age, is it really a valid concern.
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Old 03-18-17, 05:58 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by gobicycling View Post
Approaching 80 - still trying to wear out the frame on my 1998 high quality Reynolds 853 steel bike and I am totally a failure at doing that. But, I am contemplating which bike I might get for my 80th birthday. My wrench says Ti. So many choices, so little time?
Awesome!

Make sure to show us what you get!
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Old 03-18-17, 06:22 PM
  #34  
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I destroyed a CF frame with a non-replaceable derailleur hanger once. Replaced it with another CF frame. All my bikes, including my new mtn bike, are CF. I like the feel. When I was riding road a lot, I had an extremely high level of discernment among frame geometry, layup and material. Most people never get to that level. Ride what you like, but don't expect anyone to agree with your choices - I don't.

It's kinda like Thai food. Most people in the midwest think that the lowest level of heat is too hot. My wife and I think that "Thai hot" (the extreme upper level), is a little too hot, but lower that that is fine. Just a matter of personal choice and what you're used to. I can eat "Atomic" chicken wings and need to add hot sauce. Same with frame stiffness - it's a matter of taste.
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Old 03-18-17, 06:34 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
I believe I explained it in the OP.
Not well enough for me to understand "What" in your Post #1, #26 or #32 in reference to "What is What".

So once again: What is that "What", Precisely that you referenced in your post #26?

The what is more important to you, not the reliability.
?

-Bandera
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Last edited by Bandera; 03-18-17 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 03-18-17, 06:41 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Not well enough for me to understand "What" in your Post #1, #26 or #32 in reference to "What is What".

So once again: What is that "What", Precisely that you referenced in your post #26?

?

-Bandera
Read right after the words in post 32 " how much longevity" to the end. That is the what.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:06 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Read right after the words in post 32 " how much longevity" to the end. That is the what.
how much performance will you trade for longevity
Longevity?
As long as I own the machine of course, and why would one expect less performance in it's category of use if built to contemporary material design standards?
So good, so far, in designs dating back many decades of use in my stable in a a variety of materials and designs.

Why would one expect Less in the current technology of 2017?

-Bandera
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Last edited by Bandera; 03-18-17 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:21 PM
  #38  
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50 years from now, I may well be growing daisies.

If not I'm sure I'll want to squeeze every free watt out of the bike possible... just to maintain 10 MPH
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Old 03-18-17, 07:25 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Longevity?
As long as I own the machine of course, and why would one expect less performance in it's category of use if built to contemporary material design standards?
So good, so far, in designs dating back many decades of use in my stable in a a variety of materials and designs.

Why would one expect Less in the current technology of 2017?

-Bandera
From the OP, was the statement that virtually all pros are riding CF bikes. So, this implies steel bikes have lower performance. Many here appear to believe steel lasts longer than CF. Therefore, you might not be able to have both. You are picking longevity, others might pick performance advantages of CF.

These are debatable concepts, but sometimes discussion requires some "temporary" agreement to hold off certain arguments.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:27 PM
  #40  
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Steel would not be an issue -- it's the ride itself, the geometry, ruggedness V. responsiveness, etc., that makes or breaks a bike.

CF has become popular due to light weight, the capacity for frame tuning for the ride, and vibration damping. The last, IME, is non-existent -- I get MORE vibration through carbon than any metal.

Also, I'm heavy, 255#+, and I just don't trust the way CF fails. I'll buy the alloy or steel frames, get a few years out of them, for the CF pricetag.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:39 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
I keep reading posts in which people are concerned about how long a CF bike will last.

Let's take all of the other arguments off the table for a few minutes, the arguments about whether or not this is actually true.

Let's, for a few minutes take the fact that virtually world class racers use CF bikes as evidence they perform at a higher level.

If these things are true, that means that the CF bikes have higher performance and the steel bikes last longer.

What are you willing to give up to gain something else?

For example, if the CF bike lasted 20 years and the steel bike lasted 50 years ( both ridden hard and worn out), but the CF bike performed better the whole time, what would you choose?

Or, the CF bike lasted 40 years and the steel bike 60 years, but the CF bikes always performed better, what would you choose?

Please stick to the actual OP. I am very curious to hear the what, but more curious to hear the why! The other CF, Ti, Alum, and steel arguments can be saved for other threads, please.
Interesting.

At our age, whether a bike lasts 20 or 40 years is pretty damn immaterial.

Immaterial ... get it? I tell ya ... I've got a million of em.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:48 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
You are picking longevity, others might pick performance advantages of CF.
Wrong once again, as with your assuming that you know what "what is more important" to me in your post #26, which you most certainly do not.
Please refrain from attempting your inept/misguided guesses on the preferences & motivations of other BF members and myself.

I own a CF Merckx which was selected for it's fit, handling and performance advantage and expect the usual excellent reliability of any other road machine that I have owned. Why would anything less be acceptable with modern design and materials vs the same of decades past some of us experienced?

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Last edited by Bandera; 03-18-17 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 03-18-17, 07:50 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
.... frame material is not the only thing that impacts on comfort, or indeed speed and handling.
This.

To me (and that's pretty key), the performance gain is trivial compared to dozens of other things I can do to improve performance, thus not worth a great deal of consideration. OTOH, if the normal life expectancy is worse than 50%, when I hit a pothole at 2:00 a.m. in rural anywhere, I'm going to start wondering what the abnormal life expectancy looks like. I guarantee at that moment, performance will be zero consideration.
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Old 03-18-17, 08:10 PM
  #44  
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As a 50++ Rider I have no plans to Race in the next TDF. I have ridden Steel Bikes all my Life. Still ride a couple that are over 50 years old. They perform well enough for my riding style. I have ridden Plastic Bikes but do not like the ride or ascetics. Steel Bikes have "Soul" especially the Hand made ones from the 60's 70's and 80's. The Day I find a 23lb Bike heavy is the Day I give up cycling. And to dismiss popular belief they do not Rust if taken care of.
I have a Friend that went out and bought a $7,000 wonder Bike. Two Weeks later He parked it in it's special spot in His Garage only to have a Wrench from a Shelf above fall on the Top Tube sending a crack from the headset to the Seatpost. Still fighting over Warranty issues and it's been 18 Months.
This wouldn't have happened with a Steel Bike.
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Old 03-18-17, 08:21 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
And to dismiss popular belief they do not Rust if taken care of.
I've got a steel bike I like very much ... but rust issues depend on the environment you ride in. I commute along the beach daily, and trust me ... no reasonable amount of taking care of a steel bike will prevent it from rusting. I've had aluminum bikes corrode under the paint.
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Old 03-19-17, 02:49 AM
  #46  
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I've snapped 2 aluminum frames after 3 years each. Alum was the go to material for big guys, I don't think so!

I now have full carbon and just beyond 3 years. Material had nothing to do with my best performances. It's all about the engine.

Honestly, I would race on alum or carbon and not feel either held me back.

I just want a bike that lasts.
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Old 03-19-17, 04:41 AM
  #47  
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Life is too short to worry about some things ... this is one of them for me. I keep my bikes for sentimental reasons but if one suffers irreparable failure, well, first I hope it's one with a lifetime frame warranty and it's covered. If not ... China makes more. For me, discovering carbon was like finally trying contacts and seeing how great they are ... and how inferior my glasses were. It's a no-brainer for me, if I'm going to be lugging a bike around I prefer to carry the lightest one I can. Not always applicable in all classes, but in road, mt and hybrid my older bikes basically sat after getting carbon in each of those.
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Old 03-19-17, 05:00 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
In theory, carbon fiber could outlast other materials. Carbon fiber is used in advanced aircraft, subject to huge stresses and environmental extremes.

However, ...........
That said, in my practice I am sticking with my steel framed bicycles (and Greenspeed GTO).

I will be 69 in June and have no need to prove anything while bicycle touring. The fact that my "travelling companion" will join me on my/our next bicycle tour adds to the idea that I MUST carry on with the equipment I have instead of just spending cash on "some idea" and then pontificate on the results.

Better for me at my age to continue custom built (to fit me) touring with the equipment I have than to even "waste time" thinking about how CF may improve my touring...

Still, it is interesting to read about "youngsters" speculating about CF bicycles...
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Old 03-19-17, 05:10 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by tmac100 View Post
That said, in my practice I am sticking with my steel framed bicycles (and Greenspeed GTO).

I will be 69 in June and have no need to prove anything while bicycle touring. The fact that my "travelling companion" will join me on my/our next bicycle tour adds to the idea that I MUST carry on with the equipment I have instead of just spending cash on "some idea" and then pontificate on the results.

Better for me at my age to continue custom built (to fit me) touring with the equipment I have than to even "waste time" thinking about how CF may improve my touring...

Still, it is interesting to read about "youngsters" speculating about CF bicycles...
Sounds like you have some fun coming your way!

Also, this is one of the few places I get to go and be a youngster, thanks!
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Old 03-19-17, 05:36 AM
  #50  
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The question is performance over long life. I will go with performance. When deciding on performance of anything, go with the racers. They know. That is true in boats, cars, motorcycles...........anything that is raced.
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