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want a carbon fiber bike, but nervous

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

want a carbon fiber bike, but nervous

Old 04-12-21, 11:20 AM
  #126  
harrywolper
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Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
Looking to buy my first road bike. Been riding an aluminum hybrid for 15 years, time to go lighter and sportier. I'm choosing between aluminum and carbon fiber. Carbon is 10 pounds lighter in weight, but after reading about all of the horror injuries coupled with the fact that I'm looking to go fast on this bike, I'm nervous about riding carbon fiber. I'm looking for a piece of mind that it won't implode under me at 15 mph. I'm looking to race only against myself and for fitness, so maybe the advantage of lighter and faster carbon fiber, for my purposes, doesn't outweigh the risks. I don't want to spend the time inspecting the carbon fiber frame for hairline-size damage. I want this bike to last me as long as possible. My current hybrid aluminum served me well for 15 years, with some grass hill riding and jumping curbs. That's why I'm leaning toward aluminum. An ultra-light carbon fiber bike sounds lucrative, but safety and longevity are my goals. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Get the best of both worlds - buy a Cannondale CAAD 10, 12 or latest 13. Great aluminium frames, low weight and fantastic all day bike. I've had 6 Cannondales and have loved every one of them.
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Old 04-12-21, 11:21 AM
  #127  
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The difference in weight between carbon, aluminum, titanium, and steel frames will be--at most--a couple of pounds.

If you're really worried about catastrophic failures (which are going to be VERY, VERY rare in any material if it's a reputable manufacturer), go with steel. It will dent before it brakes. But really--if

My biggest concern about carbon would be that if you're getting a frame that really has a weight advantage over other materials (and again, you're looking at a pound, or MAYBE 2), you're going to be spending so much you'll get crap components for the same price. If you look at most manufacturer's sites, you'll see a progression that looks something looks like:

$1000: Steel/AL with Tiagra
$1500: Steel/AL with 105
$1750: Carbon with Tiagra
$2000: Steel/AL with Ultegra
$2150: Carbon with 105
$2500: Carbon with Ultegra
$3500: Carbon with Dura Ace

If you're moving into your first "real" road bike, I'd suggest you buy a high-quality gently-used bike (with any frame material), because within 1-2 years, you'll know what you want and want to buy a different one. Or you'll want to customize it bit-by-bit and spend 3x the cost of a new bike, if you're like most of us.

(I'm in the process of building an all-ti fully rigid hardtail that will do absolutely nothing better than a Karate Monkey but will cost me 3x-4x the price, when I'm done. So I may resemble that last remark)
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Old 04-12-21, 11:23 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by harrywolper View Post
Get the best of both worlds - buy a Cannondale CAAD 10, 12 or latest 13. Great aluminium frames, low weight and fantastic all day bike. I've had 6 Cannondales and have loved every one of them.
But what about the carbon fiber fork? It might suddenly assplode! Carbon fiber always assplodes and kills people. I read about it on the intarwebz!!


(Note - This is not directed at you. I'm continuing the well-deserved mockery of the OP. By the way...Welcome to BF! )
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Old 04-12-21, 11:26 AM
  #129  
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Get a bike that fits your body and your wallet, regardless of what its made of.
Side comment: Wonder how many 15-year-old + carbon frame bikes are still being used?
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Old 04-12-21, 11:29 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
Spend $1000 on a bike with an aluminum frame. Probably better than $400 on an aluminum frame or $1000 on a carbon frame.
Agree...you'll be better served buying any bike from a reputable brand (regardless of the material) than some budget bike from an unknown Chinese manufacturer. Here's one example of a sub=$1000 AL bike --> https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-al-2/p/33037/. I'm sure others on the forum would have other recommendations as well. Even though many of today's bike are made in China, the big brands do get to impose their quality standards on the manufacturers, since it's their reputation on the line. Those unknown brands can do whatever they want.
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Old 04-12-21, 11:29 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
If you're really worried about catastrophic failures (which are going to be VERY, VERY rare in any material if it's a reputable manufacturer), go with steel. It will dent before it brakes.
This is not correct. There is plenty of history of steel frames cracking and breaking, sometimes pretty darn quickly. I have a few friends who had some fairly unpleasant experiences with their steel frames breaking during a race, back in the day when steel was the material of choice for top-level frames.
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Old 04-12-21, 11:34 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
I can agree with that. Please see above, I was looking at $1,000 CF bikes from China. I don't want to spend thousands. At my budget, I think I'm safer with aluminum. Now, high quality CF bikes, that I'm sure is another story. Appreciate the response.
sounds like you've answered your own question. Get aluminum fo ryou immediate purpose, costs and state of mind.
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Old 04-12-21, 11:40 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
This is not correct. There is plenty of history of steel frames cracking and breaking, sometimes pretty darn quickly. I have a few friends who had some fairly unpleasant experiences with their steel frames breaking during a race, back in the day when steel was the material of choice for top-level frames.
If a person is inspecting their bike regularly, this rarely happens. Cleaning the bike weekly is a good habit because one is looking over the bike ar regular intervals. My first carbon bike was in 1992. Back then, they broke all the time. I would break it once every year. I got very good at detecting cracks.
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Old 04-12-21, 11:54 AM
  #134  
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And I would feel safer on a new aluminum bike than a 15-year-old carbon fiber one......
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Old 04-12-21, 12:16 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by stumuffn View Post
And I would feel safer on a new aluminum bike than a 15-year-old carbon fiber one......
I still ride my Trek 5200 I bought in 1992. What is that, 29 years? I guess I should stop. I keep upgrading the groupset every 20 years or so.
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Old 04-12-21, 12:36 PM
  #136  
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What's the best chain lube?
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Old 04-12-21, 12:53 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
What's the best chain lube?
That's an easy one. It's angel tears.
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Old 04-12-21, 01:05 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
What's the best chain lube?
Might be one that has carbon in it. Only they call it graphene or something like that. Wasn't that the one going for $400 a 8 oz bottle when it came out?
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Old 04-12-21, 01:12 PM
  #139  
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Get a Titanium frame. Ti doesn't rust, it's fairly light and it won't fail catastrophically.
Most reputable builders provide a very robust guarantee if your the original owner.

Last edited by LeroyZ; 04-12-21 at 01:13 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 04-12-21, 01:21 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
That's an easy one. It's angel tears.
Correct
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Old 04-12-21, 01:24 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Might be one that has carbon in it. Only they call it graphene or something like that. Wasn't that the one going for $400 a 8 oz bottle when it came out?
I remember that one. I think it works better with hydraulic brakes.
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Old 04-12-21, 01:48 PM
  #142  
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Dump the cheap CF and Aluminum bikes

Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
i tried posting a few links, but I have under 10 posts, so the forum is not letting me. google "carbon fiber bike lawsuits"...there's an Outpost article. Youtube "carbon fiber bike failure".

+ someone I know broke his arm in several places when his carbon fiber handlebars broke for no reason. he ended up suing and won.

i'm on a budget and looking to purchase either a $400 aluminum or a $1,000 carbon fiber bike from China. at this low price, i think its safer to go with aluminum. i know most carbon fiber bikes do not break, but most people buy $2,000 - $4,000 carbon bikes made with quality. I don't want to spend that much, as this is my hobby #10, not #1 like probably for many serious life-long cycling enthusiasts on here. If I break my arm or leg, I'll be out of my 9 other hobbies for a long time....just want the piece of mind riding aluminum. At least if aluminum starts to fail, I'll have early warning signs. If I wanted to spend $2-$3k, maybe I'd go with carbon.
At that price level, you are far better off buying a used, high-quality, steel racing/road bike. It will never break and overall it will be a far better ride than your two options. At $400 for a new aluminum bike, I shutter to think what the components are made of (that's only about 2 or 3 times as much as a good set of tires). At that price point, the brakes and wheels are more likely to fail than the frame. But for a used steel bike you can probably get a nice handmade frame with good components for less than $1000. Just be sure you know exactly what frame size you need. Steel bikes are typically made in 1 cm increments, measured on the seat tube. Some makers had/have as many as 17 different sizes. Most modern CF bikes at that price will come in 3 sizes, if that. Check out your options on eBay, there are literally hundreds of used steel road bikes for sale, many by famous builders. For about $1,000 or so, you can get what was a top of the line vintage steel bike that should weigh between 20 and 24 lbs. depending on size, etc. It will have a great ride feel and handle like a new $9,500 bike. I know because I have both, one being an early '80's Simoncini that still turns heads and rides like a dream. There are businesses in Europe and the US that specialize in restoring and selling vintage steel bikes. The cost of shipping a steel bike from Europe to the US is about $150.
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Old 04-12-21, 02:00 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by LeroyZ View Post
Get a Titanium frame. Ti doesn't rust, it's fairly light and it won't fail catastrophically.
Most reputable builders provide a very robust guarantee if your the original owner.
I don't expect the OP will be able to manage that with his current budget.
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Old 04-12-21, 02:17 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
But what about the carbon fiber fork? It might suddenly assplode! Carbon fiber always assplodes and kills people. I read about it on the intarwebz!!


(Note - This is not directed at you. I'm continuing the well-deserved mockery of the OP. By the way...Welcome to BF! )
Eric, I agree with the points you've made and yes it's silly to suggest carbon as a material will just fail as one is riding along. I do feel a lot of people in the thread are not making an apples-to-apples comparison. The OP didn't generalize carbon bikes. It seems he is only referencing the cheap no name 'open mold" carbon bikes that can be had for $800-$900. Then everyone started talking about how reliable their $3,000+ Tarmac or Giant TCR has been.

Again, agree with your points made on the subject of carbon but I don't think a bike I can order direct from China for $900 is the same as Specialized, Giant, Trek, C'dale.......
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Old 04-12-21, 02:20 PM
  #145  
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Just to add some fuel to the OP's paranoia, in last year's TDF wasn't there someone, I want to say an Astana rider, who couldn't make a curve and ran up a driveway where his bike broke in two? Of course we know that all the teams have to modify the frames so they can insert an electric motor and still be at the UCI weight limit.
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Old 04-12-21, 02:26 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
Eric, I agree with the points you've made and yes it's silly to suggest carbon as a material will just fail as one is riding along. I do feel a lot of people in the thread are not making an apples-to-apples comparison. The OP didn't generalize carbon bikes. It seems he is only referencing the cheap no name 'open mold" carbon bikes that can be had for $800-$900. Then everyone started talking about how reliable their $3,000+ Tarmac or Giant TCR has been.

Again, agree with your points made on the subject of carbon but I don't think a bike I can order direct from China for $900 is the same as Specialized, Giant, Trek, C'dale.......
It takes a lot more research to get a quality frame from China. I bought a track frame from China. It was a great frame. I heard a few masters riders were on them at Masters Nationals and I saw some New Zealand National Team riders on them at a World Cup event. $574.00 for the frame was not bad for a track frame.
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Old 04-12-21, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I don't expect the OP will be able to manage that with his current budget.
That's a pity, $1K budget is a bit tight.
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Old 04-12-21, 02:32 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
Eric, I agree with the points you've made and yes it's silly to suggest carbon as a material will just fail as one is riding along. I do feel a lot of people in the thread are not making an apples-to-apples comparison. The OP didn't generalize carbon bikes. It seems he is only referencing the cheap no name 'open mold" carbon bikes that can be had for $800-$900. Then everyone started talking about how reliable their $3,000+ Tarmac or Giant TCR has been.

Again, agree with your points made on the subject of carbon but I don't think a bike I can order direct from China for $900 is the same as Specialized, Giant, Trek, C'dale.......
One of my early suggestions to the OP was to buy a used bike from a reputable manufacturer. It makes sense for his budget, and his concerns about quality. However, when he started going down this path...

Originally Posted by motopokep
I'll share these stories and have you guys rethink your CF bikes.

...he was definitely generalizing CF as being more dangerous than other materials.

Last edited by Eric F; 04-12-21 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 04-12-21, 02:39 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
Looking to buy my first road bike. Been riding an aluminum hybrid for 15 years, time to go lighter and sportier. I'm choosing between aluminum and carbon fiber. Carbon is 10 pounds lighter in weight, but after reading about all of the horror injuries coupled with the fact that I'm looking to go fast on this bike, I'm nervous about riding carbon fiber. I'm looking for a piece of mind that it won't implode under me at 15 mph. I'm looking to race only against myself and for fitness, so maybe the advantage of lighter and faster carbon fiber, for my purposes, doesn't outweigh the risks. I don't want to spend the time inspecting the carbon fiber frame for hairline-size damage. I want this bike to last me as long as possible. My current hybrid aluminum served me well for 15 years, with some grass hill riding and jumping curbs. That's why I'm leaning toward aluminum. An ultra-light carbon fiber bike sounds lucrative, but safety and longevity are my goals. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

First, you will never find hairline cracks or stress risers in used carbon frame sets. I have a used frame set that belonged to Thomas Fritchnecht. He would definitely be some one that would have stressed the frame. I have had no problems.

Riding really fast is not likely to cause you injuries unless you are not a good bike handler or use poor judgement.

if you are serious about getting is seriously lighter bike, try Titanium. I have 5 bikes that are under 15 pounds. Two carbon fiber, two Ti, one aluminum. To bring the weight down you have to go way beyond the frame set. All components must be lightweight/high strength designs. For instance, my front wheel weighs less than 500 grams including tire/tube and skewer. Wheels are far more likely to contribute to crashes if improperly built than the frame set.

DO NOT BUY CHINESE CARBON. THERE HAVE BEEN NUMEROUS ARTICLES EXPLAINING WHY THESE ARE INFERIOR

Last edited by sabele; 04-12-21 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old 04-12-21, 02:40 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by seymour1910 View Post
Eric, I agree with the points you've made and yes it's silly to suggest carbon as a material will just fail as one is riding along. I do feel a lot of people in the thread are not making an apples-to-apples comparison. The OP didn't generalize carbon bikes. It seems he is only referencing the cheap no name 'open mold" carbon bikes that can be had for $800-$900. Then everyone started talking about how reliable their $3,000+ Tarmac or Giant TCR has been.

Again, agree with your points made on the subject of carbon but I don't think a bike I can order direct from China for $900 is the same as Specialized, Giant, Trek, C'dale.......
​​​​​​At first, yeah, the OP was still "in character." But then:

Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
I'm very comfortable, I've ridden steel bikes since the age of 4 or early 5, when I took off the training wheels, while many other kids my age were still using them. I rode almost daily during the warm season up to my early teens, then a lot in college, and occasionally rode my alum bike with no issues ever since 2006. I like to ride, I'm very comfortable with steel and aluminum bikes. I'm not comfortable with CF though I want a CF Bike. Maybe the frame will not fail, but the CF handlebars, wheels, or most likely the CF fork will fail. I don't see a point getting a CF frame with the rest of components being aluminum. I'd like it to be either all CF or all aluminum. I got the answers I wanted from this thread and made my decision to go with aluminum for my purposes. I see that 99% on here have faith in CF. I'll get back into this hobby with a cheap aluminum bike, and if I'm really into it down the line, I'll purchase a quality CF bike, from a manufacturer like Specialized or Trek, who are trusted for quality CF. Oh wait, didn't Specialized recall 12,000 CF forks? https://www.velonews.com/gear/specia...f-12000-forks/
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