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Longevity versus performance, kind of...

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Longevity versus performance, kind of...

Old 03-21-17, 09:52 AM
  #76  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
The question that needs to be answered here is at least two fold. First of all what do you plan to do with the bike, and second how much money do you have. If you intend to race, and have the money maybe a CF bike would be a good choice. But give the fact that if the bike is going to be used just for everyday riding for several years, a metal frame bike would be a better choice...
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
As far as I can see, you can indeed have performance** and longevity, but it does some down to whether you can afford it….

** Performance in this context does not mean out right speed becausethat 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 rydabent View Post
The fact is on the really high priced bikes, there is an old saying that applies."There is a sucker born every minute".

IMO so many of the really high priced bikes are bought by people with lots of money just for the snob appeal. But what is really funny is that onlyprobably less than 1% of people that see their bike will be impressed. What is even more funny is that if the person on a $10,000 dollar wonder bike and I are setting at a stop light, he will be ignored…
Just as I expected…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Nicely said, @Rowan. When I first read the OP, I decided not to reply because I anticipated the thread would devolve into the tiresome argument about expensive (carbon fiber) bikes vs cheaper, “holier-than thou” (steel) bikes…
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Old 03-21-17, 10:22 AM
  #77  
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Threads like these invariably end up with a ride what you like, or some variation depending on the forum or activity.

But on a 50+ forum, there are so many other aspects that come into play. A dream bike for a 50+ might just be a vintage steel with friction shifters that will most likely not be the same dream bike for a 20/30 year old. But it may also be the latest, greatest, and lightest bike available. And this group runs the entire gamut of financial levels. Aside from limiting economic factors, some of it is a reflection on the image we want to portray to others.

The longevity piece is pretty amusing as has been pointed out already.

John
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Old 03-21-17, 12:12 PM
  #78  
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The bicycle market seems to be fracturing after a long stretch of domination by road bikes with short-reach caliper brakes.

Cyclist young and old are interested in retro steel road bikes as a comfortable alternative to race orientated carbon bikes. Gravel and adventure bikes, that feature disc brakes and bigger tires, are also a hot category.



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Old 03-21-17, 02:15 PM
  #79  
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George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948, it's sales performance was slow, then... 49 & early 50's,

But its Longevity put it at the top of the Best seller list, in 2017.





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Old 03-21-17, 04:22 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
On the third hand, the accident board(s) found that the rudder had been cycled rapidly, beyond anything feasible in the case you incorrectly cite, for the umpteenth time.

I am friends with many airline pilots from my military service, and living in an aviation community. In conversations with them, none are shy about flying an Airbus A320, or any other of their aircraft. If the old MD, Lockheed, Northrup-Grumman, and Boeing can use CF in military aircraft (F/A 18 in all variants, the F-35 in all variants, etc.,) and the new generation of Boeing 77X and 78X airliners can use CF in their air frame and flight controls its good enough for them. Please read up and use current data about this item before incorrectly attributing the loss if lives to the wrong causation.
When I was flying light planes, I could slam the rudder clear to the stops in a cross wind landings. And yes they tried to blame the pilots. It remains that the CF rudder broke off two or 3 Airbus airplanes. It still remains IMO that CF is not nearly the wonder material some make it out to be.
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Old 03-22-17, 01:36 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by MarioT View Post
It's all about how happy you are with the bike, right? Happy for 20 years on the CF vs unhappy on the steel for 50, I chose the CF.
Also, it's a mixture of components, so for example, heavy wheels on a CF bike vs light, responsive wheels on a steel bike, I chose the steel bike.

However, to answer your question and taking materials and components out of the equation, I chose a better performing bike that lasts 10 years vs a less performing bike for 50 years. Life is short, try to get the most enjoyment out of it.
This is kind of how I view it too. I don't expect anything to last a "lifetime". That's not an important thing for me. Yes, I like quality and durability. But even with the fact that I drive my cars for 15 years, all I really care about is that they work well until I decide to get something else. I currently have a '02 Suburban, just sold '00 and '02 Subarus, and an '86 Chevy P/U.

So for bikes: I really doubt my 8 year old CF Felt will "wear out" or break before I decide I need a different bike (unless I crash hard... which I avoid very diligently) I love my metal bikes too (steel and alu), but it's not because I either expect or desire that they'll be passed on to my kids.
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Old 03-22-17, 04:21 PM
  #82  
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I have a 1995 steel Colnago that I will probably always keep for sentimental reasons -- it's the bike I rode when I first started taking cycling seriously -- and because it's pretty.

A lot of the time, though, I ride with folks who are more than twenty years younger than me and who all ride CF bikes. I always had to work really hard to keep up and started wondering if I would find it any easier on a more modern, CF bike. I had ridden an early CF Giant TCR and had not been thrilled with the feel of the bike, but a couple of years ago I bought a lightly used fairly high quality CF frame (Ciocc Exige).

I am slightly faster in some, but not all types of riding on the CF bike and I love the frame's responsiveness. I am, however, paranoid about some weird sounds it has started to make and can't help thinking about the "asplosions" that pop up over and over in BF materials threads. I'm sure it's only paranoia, but it's there. All in all, it's my favorite bike, but I kind of doubt it will last a lifetime or even that I would want to keep it a lifetime without replacing it with something newer and shinier.

Most recently I bought a 33-year-old steel frame to build up as an around town bike. It has turned out to be the most comfortable and I can make it go almost as fast as the CF bike. I'm sure it will last as long as I want it to.

So, to try to make this relevant to the OP, if I had to choose just one bike, I'd go with the steel bike for comfort and perceived durability (or at least peace of mind -- if it fails, steel tends to fail predictably). Performance at our age is not paramount; it's more about fitness and fun. I'm not racing anyone. I just like riding bikes. In the end, though, like many of the posters here I don't have to choose just one bike!
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Old 03-22-17, 05:08 PM
  #83  
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I got tired of dealing with rust on steel frames so switched to composites. So for me better longevity. I'm not really interested in "failure mode", rather the probability of a failure which causes a crash, for which I have no data. I agree with FB a problem with current crabon bike is the use of proprietary interfaces, such as ISM, integrated headset/stem/bars, and strange BB configurations.

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Old 03-22-17, 05:24 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
I got tired of dealing with rust on steel frames so switched to composites. So for me better longevity. I'm not really interested in "failure mode", rather the probability of a failure which causes a crash, for which I have no data. I agree with FB a problem with current crabon bike is the use of proprietary interfaces, such as ISM, integrated headset/stem/bars, and strange BB configurations.

scott s.
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Thanks for reminding me... Steel Bikes were like Ford Pinto's. They Rusted in the Showroom... As you say the current "crabon" Bikes will be put in obsolescence due to their parts availability and poor design features.
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Old 03-22-17, 05:38 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
When I was flying light planes, I could slam the rudder clear to the stops in a cross wind landings. And yes they tried to blame the pilots. It remains that the CF rudder broke off two or 3 Airbus airplanes. It still remains IMO that CF is not nearly the wonder material some make it out to be.
A steel jackscrew failed and caused the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261. Steel is not nearly the wonder material some make it out to be.

Stuff breaks. Individual events don't define a materials worth.

Just FWIW, my carbon fiber bike is much more comfortable and stable handling than my vintage steel bike. The idea that old steel is so damn comfortable is just nonsense. It depends on the bike, the builder the geometry and the tires. My CF bike is designed for comfort and it is. My 30+ year old steel bike is designed for racing and it rides as such.

But I love the aesthetics of both and I love riding both.
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Old 03-22-17, 06:44 PM
  #86  
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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.
You should be concerned, very concerned.

Let see, cf frames made in a far away place and marketed by front companies that can disappear into thin air, with unknown engineering designed to look cool and weigh as little as possible in a giant box factory in a giant box factory country by either robots or slaves. What could go wrong--
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Old 03-22-17, 06:49 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
You should be concerned, very concerned.

Let see, cf frames made in a far away place and marketed by front companies that can disappear into thin air, with unknown engineering designed to look cool and weigh as little as possible in a giant box factory in a giant box factory country by either robots or slaves. What could go wrong--
How do you really feel about this?

So far, many years of CF MTBs, one commuter, and several road bikes. Luckily it has worked out really well for me. I also have steel and aluminum, like all of them.
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Old 03-22-17, 06:56 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
How do you really feel about this?

So far, many years of CF MTBs, one commuter, and several road bikes. Luckily it has worked out really well for me. I also have steel and aluminum, like all of them.
I feel like I would not be willing to pay these huge prices for a life limited bicycle especially when we do not know what that limit is and the material itself does not yield to any normal inspection process readily available. And all to get a bicycle two pounds lighter than an aluminum or ti bike.

J
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Old 03-22-17, 07:10 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
I feel like I would not be willing to pay these huge prices for a life limited bicycle especially when we do not know what that limit is and the material itself does not yield to any normal inspection process readily available. And all to get a bicycle two pounds lighter than an aluminum or ti bike.

J
Luckily, we have options. My geared MTBs I replace about every 3 years, so CF and nice component groups. My SS MTB I don't see replacing and it is aluminum.
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Old 03-22-17, 07:46 PM
  #90  
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Performance is observable/measurable. I got back into cycling at 41 and steel was still acceptable. BUT I told myself that if I ever got 4th place in anything, I would get a latest and greatest CF high performance bike so that I could get on the podium. It hasn't happened yet. My newest bike is made for me Steel. If bikes aren't abused, they last forever.
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Old 03-23-17, 01:15 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
You should be concerned, very concerned.

Let see, cf frames made in a far away place and marketed by front companies that can disappear into thin air, with unknown engineering designed to look cool and weigh as little as possible in a giant box factory in a giant box factory country by either robots or slaves. What could go wrong--


With the exception of custom hand made metal bikes, the same can be said of most other bikes, as well.


Actually there is a guy near here who makes custom cf recumbents.
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Old 03-23-17, 01:22 PM
  #92  
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As to the original question, I like having a nice bike, and I like getting a new one once in a while. I don't mind paying a little more for a performance gain, but since I tend to break things, I have to balance the durability part as well.


I have broken 3 steel frames and 1 aluminum frame, none due to crashing. Anything can fail under the right person.


Another thing which comes up in frame material threads is someone will say cf frames are extremely expensive. Not true, cf can be had at similar price points to any other material and generally cheaper than custom ti or high end steel.
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Old 03-23-17, 03:48 PM
  #93  
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I'm late to the thread but has anyone mentioned that some of us over 70 really haven't got the budget to buy whatever we want.
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Old 03-23-17, 04:00 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
I'm late to the thread but has anyone mentioned that some of us over 70 really haven't got the budget to buy whatever we want.


It was a theoretical question, if you were willing to give up in one area to gain in another.
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Old 03-23-17, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
It was a theoretical question, if you were willing to give up in one area to gain in another.
Yes. I'd vote for giving up on price so I could have a bike to ride. IMO the cost of the modern superbike is simply out of reach for many of us. The price is a part of the performance of the bike. If it's a 3000 dollar frame I get no performance out of it.
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Old 03-23-17, 10:41 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Luckily, we have options. My geared MTBs I replace about every 3 years, so CF and nice component groups. My SS MTB I don't see replacing and it is aluminum.
So is it just to get more performance or is the original CF 20 year longevity example really only 3 years for you?

I don't really care how often you replace your bikes, but 3 years is hardly any length of time.

John
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Old 03-24-17, 07:22 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
So is it just to get more performance or is the original CF 20 year longevity example really only 3 years for you?

I don't really care how often you replace your bikes, but 3 years is hardly any length of time.

John
It has nothing to do with longevity for me. I created the OP because a lot of folks appear worried about the longevity of CF, whether there is or is not any truth to that concern. So, I was curious what was more or less important to them. Given all the pages of responses, some folks must find this interesting.

For me, biking is a hobby, a way to stay in shape, and fun. So, the part of me that is a hobbiest wants a new toy to play with every few years. My commuter bikes and my SS MTB are more purposeful bikes, so I am ok with not replacing them. I tend to only replace my main MTB for the hobby part of this.
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Old 03-24-17, 08:27 AM
  #98  
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What performance issues are most important to you?

A carbon fiber race bike set up like for professional tour riders would almost be useless for the riding I do; primarily light touring (no packs or panniers) in the mountains of North Central, PA with various road surfaces (asphalt, bad asphalt, chip and tar, dirt road and various gravel). From what I understand the perceived "fragility" of carbon fiber frames is due to a manufacturing compromise to produce the strongest yet lightest frame. I am sure a heavier touring carbon frame could be produced that would last a very long time, however, the weight difference between steel would be much less and would be much more complicated to manufacture.
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Old 03-24-17, 02:24 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by xraydog View Post
What performance issues are most important to you?

A carbon fiber race bike set up like for professional tour riders would almost be useless for the riding I do; primarily light touring (no packs or panniers) in the mountains of North Central, PA with various road surfaces (asphalt, bad asphalt, chip and tar, dirt road and various gravel). From what I understand the perceived "fragility" of carbon fiber frames is due to a manufacturing compromise to produce the strongest yet lightest frame. I am sure a heavier touring carbon frame could be produced that would last a very long time, however, the weight difference between steel would be much less and would be much more complicated to manufacture.
I will be looking for all the bikes falling apart on the pave the next couple of weeks (E3 is today).

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Old 03-24-17, 06:44 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
Yes. I'd vote for giving up on price so I could have a bike to ride. IMO the cost of the modern superbike is simply out of reach for many of us. The price is a part of the performance of the bike. If it's a 3000 dollar frame I get no performance out of it.
There is an interesting marketing psychology at play here that was adopted years ago by the car industry. Put the glitzy, higher performance car on the floor and have the motoring magazine test it and glowingly praise its performance, and all the punters will stream into the dealership to look and dream, then see they too can own the same brand, albeit not even the same model and spec.

Top Gear and The Grand Tour do the same thing. They deride anything that is cheap and nasty in their eyes, and get their kicks doing drifts on a closed converted airfield circuit in cars that many of us only might have dreamed of.

Now it's happened with bikes. Gone are most of the small, intimate bike shops, replaced by the glitzy one-brand showrooms will rows and rows of CF bikes at diffferent grade levels. Read Bicycling's recent test of a bike, and you go have a look, pick it up and see if it does in fact weight next to nothing. But that bike down there is cheaper, and gee, so tempting. A push in that direction by a sales person, and hey presto, you are out the door with a brand new bike (likely CF). And how many people you know say they bought a bike because they (a) like the colour scheme or (b) just like the look of it, while mechanical performance is secondary?

When bikes shops went that route and glitz, I think they signed their own death warrants. The issue with both the States and here in Australia, is that there is a greedy middleperson who is imposing significantly stringent rules on pricing and stock levels. Plus many sales people get so wrapped up in the hype, they cannot discern that the bike they want to sell you is impractical for your purposes.

So, many customers are not getting what they actually want. And I suspect that CF frames are significantly cheaper to mass produce than welding metal frames.
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