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Carbon Frames Worth The Extra $$?

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Carbon Frames Worth The Extra $$?

Old 03-02-10, 01:29 PM
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Bone Machine
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Carbon Frames Worth The Extra $$?

Planning on new bike some time this year. I started with a Specialized Hardrock Sport; currently ride a
Rockhopper Comp. I guess the next in the line of progression would be the Stumpjumper.
Big range in prices for the Stumpjumper.
The new carbon frame Stumpy Expert costs about $1,000.00 more than the aluminum frame.
I'm sure most of that difference is due to manufacturing cost, but is the performance that much better?
Would a recreational, non-racing rider notice the difference?
The carbon sure does look nice, though...
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Old 03-02-10, 01:42 PM
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As a general observation: It's pretty hard to answer "worth the extra $$" without knowing how much "$$" you have set aside for the purchase.


If the carbon frame is less than what someone spends on a dinner for two and a bottle of wine, then I think the calculation will be different than if getting the carbon bike means missing two months of mortgage payments.

I think the carbon frame will offer a subtlety better ride. I don't know if that's worth $1K or not. It isn't to me, but that's a reflection of my budget, not the validity of the bike's price gap.
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Old 03-02-10, 01:51 PM
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I ride road aswell and $1,000 is not worth it unless you are looking to save weight. C.F. is fragile but not abnormally so- It just will not take knocks that other materials may. Lightness is down to the bloke at the factory and it may not be that light. Handling and to be honest- I would rather ride my L/W ally framed bike.

So worth it for weight===Possibly

Worth it for handling=== not in my experience

Worth it for Bling====Definitely.
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Old 03-02-10, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
As a general observation: It's pretty hard to answer "worth the extra $$" without knowing how much "$$" you have set aside for the purchase.


If the carbon frame is less than what someone spends on a dinner for two and a bottle of wine, then I think the calculation will be different than if getting the carbon bike means missing two months of mortgage payments.

I think the carbon frame will offer a subtlety better ride. I don't know if that's worth $1K or not. It isn't to me, but that's a reflection of my budget, not the validity of the bike's price gap.

Well, I will have to sell one of my kids. But just my least favorite one.

You are right, though. A $1,000.00 is not chump change to me, but I have enough saved...
I just keep going back and forth on this decision.
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Old 03-02-10, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
I ride road aswell and $1,000 is not worth it unless you are looking to save weight. C.F. is fragile but not abnormally so- It just will not take knocks that other materials may. Lightness is down to the bloke at the factory and it may not be that light. Handling and to be honest- I would rather ride my L/W ally framed bike.

So worth it for weight===Possibly

Worth it for handling=== not in my experience

Worth it for Bling====Definitely.

Thanks. I guess I probably woldn't notice the first two. So it's all about the Bling....
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Old 03-02-10, 02:14 PM
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Steel eats carbon for breakfast, and poops roadies.
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Old 03-02-10, 03:06 PM
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I had a 2005 Enduro - aluminium frame - Loved it (now gone)
I had a 2008 Enduro SL pro Carbon - Hated it (now gone) - always creaked and I always thought I was going to break it - not breaking apart while riding - breaking apart while crashing. No more carbon MTBs for me.
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Old 03-02-10, 03:06 PM
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My biggest hangup with buying CF in general is that, while it's not fragile, it's not really super durable either- a ding that would just put a nice "personality mark" in a steel frame will be (if you talk to most of the people on here) a death knell for a CF bike.

I don't know about you, but all of my steel bikes have dents in them, so I've stayed away. If you've got the coin, they seem to be the best, but I sure am not gonna risk it.
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Old 03-02-10, 04:55 PM
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Damn fragile CF frames . . . .



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Old 03-02-10, 05:12 PM
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^^ Not exactly a Stumpjumper though is it.
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Old 03-02-10, 05:36 PM
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That looks like Lopes...posting that picture is like posting a picture of Bill Gates trying out DH on a top shelf carbon Madone. He's got the coin to replace it after each run if need be (obviously not as exaggerated, of course) I mean...sure you can ride an Ibis down some gnarly stuff. If you have enough money to replace it every run, you can ride it anywhere you want.

And the one above it...is there a reason for CF over Alu. (I know there is...I just would like to know)?

Durability is obviously gonna be great when you have 2x8" tubes.

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Old 03-02-10, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
That looks like Lopes...posting that picture is like posting a picture of Bill Gates trying out DH on a top shelf carbon Madone. He's got the coin to replace it after each run if need be (obviously not as exaggerated, of course) I mean...sure you can ride an Ibis down some gnarly stuff. If you have enough money to replace it every run, you can ride it anywhere you want.
Yes, it's Lopes; and showing him on one is just to prove a point. I think the Mojo SL is one of the most dialed, versatile frames out there and I would not hesitate owning one in an instant. It will be interesting to hear long-term (4-5 year) reports from owners. Hope MX keeps us updated periodically on his.

Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
And the one above it...is there a reason for CF over Alu. (I know there is...I just would like to know)?
3 lbs. or so is the reason. I have hefted one of Alex's frames; it's a feather. Bike in the build is an honest 37 lbs. When you figure sub-40 has become the new Grail for DH rigs; shaving another 3 — safely — is mind-bending.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:26 PM
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You know I'm just dishing you a spoonful'o'crap, D.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:46 PM
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My answer is no. I just purchased the 2010 Stumpy Comp and I couldn't be happier. I was just like you debating over the carbon or the aluminum expert(actually for brief moment I thought about Enduro too ) until I realized that I don't need anything more then the stumpy comp. I test rode all of them for a few blocks around the neighborhood on bumpy roads and I know it's not like riding on a single track but I got an idea about all of them and like I said Stumpy comp was all the bike I needed.
So save your money and get the Stumpjumper comp. You'll save $1100 over the expert and whopping $2200 over the carbon.

I don't know what kind of trails you ride but unless you are doing full on downhill 25 foot drops which I know you don't because you thinking about buying the carbon frame basic comp will handle anything you can throw at it.
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Old 03-02-10, 08:41 PM
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I just want to clarify that I'm not against CF frames- I think they're great. I just can't justify laying down the coin for a frame I can't afford to replace if I break it. If you've got the scratch, then by all means have fun
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Old 03-02-10, 08:54 PM
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Specialized frames has lifetime warranty on them. They'll replace the frame for free in almost any condition, I know because one of my good friends is a specialized dealer. Only reason that I can think of that they won't replace the frame is if you have your seat post very high above the recommended line and you crack the frame around the seat clamp.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:39 PM
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^^ or if you crash - that was my worry. I ride a bunch, and I crash. Crash an AL frame you have a little scratch or a dent - crash a CF and you have a chip or a crack. Might not be an issue - but it will always be there. Probably not great for resale.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Bone Machine View Post
Planning on new bike some time this year. I started with a Specialized Hardrock Sport; currently ride a
Rockhopper Comp. I guess the next in the line of progression would be the Stumpjumper.
Big range in prices for the Stumpjumper.
The new carbon frame Stumpy Expert costs about $1,000.00 more than the aluminum frame.
I'm sure most of that difference is due to manufacturing cost, but is the performance that much better?
Would a recreational, non-racing rider notice the difference?
The carbon sure does look nice, though...
And that..... is the point brotha !
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Old 03-02-10, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dminor View Post
Yes, it's Lopes; and showing him on one is just to prove a point.
Heck, Lopes and the Santa Cruz Syndicate are running carbon rims this year.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:55 PM
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If the bicycle is 4,000 say.. and then carbon is 5,000.. i doubt the bicycle will be 25% better because of the carbon frame. Basically you're looking at a diminishing return, it is up to you how far you wish to pursue it with your wallet.
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Old 03-02-10, 10:40 PM
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Giant's Carbon Fiber manufacturing plant.
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Old 03-02-10, 10:43 PM
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i raced my carbon s-works stumjumper in the first cross race of the season...upon a dismount, the cleat on my shoe chipped the paint down to the carbon.
was it fine? yes.
did i sweat it? yes.
would i have even thought twice if it was a steel or alum frame? no.
bottom line is, i've raced on the best -by my standards- ($6,100 carbon hardtail), and i keep coming back to metal frames.
they just make sense.
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Old 03-02-10, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
You know I'm just dishing you a spoonful'o'crap, D.
Oh, I know; but I like arguing so much I do it anyway .

Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
I ride a bunch, and I crash.
You, sir, are spectacular.

But I crash too - - so I mostly admire CF from afar. Still, may not stop me from owning a 575 eventually.
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Old 03-03-10, 08:43 AM
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Glad I posted my question here. Looks like I'll be saving myself a bunch of money. I must have been secretly hoping to get talked out of paying for the CF. Thanks to all who responded.


Regarding steel frames - the only ones I've seen recently are on the least expensive models. I guess high end steel mountain bikes aren't very common. I'd love a good steel bike.
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Old 03-03-10, 08:56 AM
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