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What to look for when purchasing a used carbon fiber road bike?

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What to look for when purchasing a used carbon fiber road bike?

Old 12-05-14, 03:56 PM
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What to look for when purchasing a used carbon fiber road bike?

I have never owned or even ridden a carbon fiber road bike. "Steel is real" has been my mantra. But recently, I've been thinking about a carbon fiber road bike purchase. I want a quality frame maker, don't want to spend a fortune, so I'm thinking about a used bike. My question deals with the wisdom of purchasing a used carbon fiber road bike and what to look for when examining the frame? Could there be hidden weak points that would compromise the integrity of the frame? Are such weaknesses, if they exist, visible?
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Old 12-05-14, 04:57 PM
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Workshop: What to watch for when buying a used carbon frame - BikeRadar
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Old 12-05-14, 05:54 PM
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My recommendation is to buy new. The price of lower end carbon bikes is very competitive. And if it has Shimano 105, it'll be knocking on the door of the best available. Other than a few grams, there just isn't that much difference. If you plan on racing, look at the Trek Emonda or Specialized Tarmac. If just riding (group rides, training, long distance,etc) look at the Trek Domane or Specialized Roubaix. Those are my favorites. Dealer support, warranty, good advice anytime you need it, follow up adjustments, etc. There are significant advantages in buying new. Significant risks in buying used.
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Old 12-05-14, 06:32 PM
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My last 2 bike purchases have been used. However with a few things in mine. The first was an older 2007 specialized roubaix. Frame had a lot of scratches and might have been damaged, but for around $500 with full ultegra groupset and a dura ace derauiller I couldn't find a better deal even if I didn't get a frame so it wasn't a big deal if the frame was damaged and luckily it was fine after a buddy inspected it for cracks.

The 2nd purchase as a Tarmac that had less than 100 miles on it. Considering how new the bike was (purchased it from a widow) It's doubtful the frame had any damage. Even if it did Specialized has a life time warranty so there is little to no risk for purchasing it used. This bike retailed for $4300 new $2400 on ebay, and I got it for $1250 so yeah I wouldn't hesitate buying used again.
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Old 12-05-14, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by NealH
My recommendation is to buy new. The price of lower end carbon bikes is very competitive. And if it has Shimano 105, it'll be knocking on the door of the best available. Other than a few grams, there just isn't that much difference. If you plan on racing, look at the Trek Emonda or Specialized Tarmac. If just riding (group rides, training, long distance,etc) look at the Trek Domane or Specialized Roubaix. Those are my favorites. Dealer support, warranty, good advice anytime you need it, follow up adjustments, etc. There are significant advantages in buying new. Significant risks in buying used.
pretty much agree, but it's more than a few grams.

OTOH it's unlikely you'll ever know unless you weigh two bikes that are to be compared.

and carbon frames/forks are still advancing at a fast pace. i think i'd just buy new. of course did I buy a new carbon fork when i needed a new fork? not on your life! i bought a used one off Ebay.
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Old 12-06-14, 10:26 AM
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Dont buy used Off ebay . as lots of posters seem to have dissatisfaction with surprises .

De-Lamination cannot be seen and bought Used there is no warrantee to fall back on.

New , save money on the good enough but not top of the Line components , that lowers the Price .

walk into a shop ..test ride stuff before you spend the Bux.
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Old 12-06-14, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tsappenfield
I have never owned or even ridden a carbon fiber road bike. "Steel is real" has been my mantra. But recently, I've been thinking about a carbon fiber road bike purchase. I want a quality frame maker, don't want to spend a fortune, so I'm thinking about a used bike. My question deals with the wisdom of purchasing a used carbon fiber road bike and what to look for when examining the frame? Could there be hidden weak points that would compromise the integrity of the frame? Are such weaknesses, if they exist, visible?
Tsapp
I agree with Neal H that if you must have a carbon bike that new is the safest, and best, bet.

Oh yes, I agree that "Steel is real" so I don't get why you want to ride a carbon bike. **********?
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-07-14, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade
I agree with Neal H that if you must have a carbon bike that new is the safest, and best, bet.

Oh yes, I agree that "Steel is real" so I don't get why you want to ride a carbon bike. **********?
Maybe he hasn't ridden carbon yet? Carbon is real too, I saw one in the store last time I was there. Darn friggin expensive though. I'm in the same place as the OP. Four steel and two AL bikes (and only one bike ever bought new) But I'm CF-curious and don't want to drop several grand to find out.
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Old 12-07-14, 09:28 AM
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I would not buy new unless you committed to a particular bike and you know it's going to be a long-term ride. Consider how that bike is going to drop in value once you walk it off the showroom floor. I have sweet Specialized Roubaix in my stable; it hardly gets ridden compared to my vintage steel bikes. In mint condition I'd be lucky to get half it's retail price on resale, and this is a 'hot' bicycle market.

Buy used, but in a manner that allows you to meet the owner and inspect the bike, e.g. Craigslist, eBay local sale.
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Old 12-09-14, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper
Maybe he hasn't ridden carbon yet? Carbon is real too, I saw one in the store last time I was there. Darn friggin expensive though. I'm in the same place as the OP. Four steel and two AL bikes (and only one bike ever bought new) But I'm CF-curious and don't want to drop several grand to find out.
Are there any dealers in your area that would let you test ride a carbon???
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 12-10-14, 12:37 PM
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You shoulda posted this in the 41 and avoided the troglodyte trolls. But Frenchfit has the right idea. If you have been riding for a while you know if a bike looks abused, don't get that one! Take a close look at the frame and fork.
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Old 12-15-14, 07:18 AM
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Don't do it!! There has been a lot of press this year on C.F. bikes breaking when you don't expect it. On the commuter list, a lady ran over a small stick and it got between the rear wheel and the C.F. frame. Frame broke in half! (She wasn't even going that fast.) Most bike mfg. say that if you can't fix the frame...no matter what. (It's will never be safe.) Look at steel or Alum. Works no matter what.
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Old 12-16-14, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916
You shoulda posted this in the 41 and avoided the troglodyte trolls. But Frenchfit has the right idea. If you have been riding for a while you know if a bike looks abused, don't get that one! Take a close look at the frame and fork.
Originally Posted by Colorado Kid
Don't do it!! There has been a lot of press this year on C.F. bikes breaking when you don't expect it. On the commuter list, a lady ran over a small stick and it got between the rear wheel and the C.F. frame. Frame broke in half! (She wasn't even going that fast.) Most bike mfg. say that if you can't fix the frame...no matter what. (It's will never be safe.) Look at steel or Alum. Works no matter what.
See?
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Old 12-17-14, 06:37 AM
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My first carbon bike was bought new, specifically so I would have the lifetime frame warranty. Last summer I bought a carbon cross bike, on ebay, after very careful consideration. Maybe I got lucky, but it is a great bike, and was a great deal. I have ridden steel, aluminum and carbon, and even had one Trek road bike that was a combination of aluminum with carbon tubes. I love riding my carbon frames. Just what a bike should feel like!

Be careful, do your homework, and by all means, ride something without pre-conceived notions about ride quality.
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