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want a carbon fiber bike, but nervous

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want a carbon fiber bike, but nervous

Old 04-08-21, 09:11 AM
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motopokep
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want a carbon fiber bike, but nervous

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Last edited by motopokep; 04-13-21 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:22 AM
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topflightpro
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Carbon is fine.

They make cars, airplanes and boats out of it too.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:27 AM
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Carbon fiber alone will not result in a 10 pound weight difference compared to an aluminum frame. The only bike frame that I have ever had a failure with in almost 50 years of cycling was an aluminum framed mountain bike, the 4 carbon fiber bikes I have owned since 2005 are all still going strong after tens of thousands of kilometers of use. Just yesterday I descended a hill nearby at more than twice the 15 mph you are worrying about. Professional top tier riders regularly reach speeds of 60+ mph on carbon fiber bikes on long mountain descents. The 2 carbon fiber bikes I now use on a regular basis both date from the 2007 model year. Even aluminum road bikes almost always have carbon forks.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
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.
All these horror stories?? Where do I find all these?
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Old 04-08-21, 09:54 AM
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You'll be safe with a carbon fiber frame, especially new. I'm still riding my CF 2005 Specialized Roubaix several times a week.

-K
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Old 04-08-21, 09:55 AM
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Don't be.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:09 AM
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Old 04-08-21, 10:10 AM
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Eric F
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Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
An ultra-light carbon fiber bike sounds lucrative, but safety and longevity are my goals. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
You're wrong.

CF has been used in bike frames for over 20 years, and continues to be the choice for the top bikes from most manufacturers. Don't you think that if CF was prone to the sudden and catastrophic failures you're fantasizing about they would have stopped using the material a long time ago? I have every bit of confidence in my 2003 CF road bike that I do in my 2018 CF road bike. Both bikes also have CF wheels, seats posts, stems, and handlebars. My nervousness about going fast is about my human abilities, not concerns about the structural integrity of my bicycles.

Last edited by Eric F; 04-08-21 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
I'm choosing between aluminum and carbon fiber. Carbon is 10 pounds lighter in weight
No.
A quality aluminum road frame will at most weigh 1.3# more than a quality carbon road frame of the same style. Call it 600g.
If the bikes you are comparing weigh 10 pounds different, there are a lot more differences than just frame material.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:14 AM
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Old 04-08-21, 10:16 AM
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10 pounds? Frame weights are generally around 4 pounds for steel, 3 pounds for aluminum or titanium, and carbon fiber frames can be under 2 pounds but some are 3 pounds. So if you had aluminum and cf bikes with the same parts the difference could be 1 or 2 pounds.

Get the bike you want and don't obsess over frame material.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:19 AM
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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.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:22 AM
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Personally, I'd feel safer on a new CF bike than a 15 year old aluminum one.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:23 AM
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Eric F
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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.
First of all, buy a bike made by a reputable manufacturer that has a history of quality products. For your budget, you'll probably get a lot more bang for your buck by buying something a few years old, rather than new.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:26 AM
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Just so I'm clear - you're looking for people to convince you to buy a carbon bike that you can't afford and believe will implode and result in "horror injuries"?

Sure...
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Old 04-08-21, 10:29 AM
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alcjphil
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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.
In terms of reliability I would take a $1000 Chinese carbon bike over a $400 aluminum bike every time. The chances are that the aluminum bike would have been made in China as well and would have much inferior, less reliable, heavier components which would result in that 10 pound weight difference that were talking about
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Old 04-08-21, 10:30 AM
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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.
You're likely at higher risk of grievous injury driving to the bike shop to pick up your CF bike than of the bike spontaneously asploding under you. CF is a pretty mature technology and, as other have said, they build airplanes out of the stuff.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:31 AM
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big john
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Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
At least if aluminum starts to fail, I'll have early warning signs.
I don't know why you'd think that.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:33 AM
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Don't buy some oddball bike of a brand no one knows. No matter what it is made of.

Get a bike that is made by any of the many well known bicycle manufacturers. And if it happens to be carbon, it'll be a great bike. As long as it fits you properly and is for the type riding you want to do.

Unless some other new fangled material comes along, you are going to see more and more carbon bike frames in the lower tier bikes in the coming years.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:35 AM
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Careful - carbon will assplode eventually.

Seriously though carbon frames are more readily repairable than aluminum ones are. I'd venture to say than even steel ones are now as there are way more people doing carbon repairs than steel frame repairs anymore (it seems. I am sure someone will tell me I am wrong. It's kind of why I come here. So tired of always being right all the time IRL )
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Old 04-08-21, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
I don't know why you'd think that.
It makes as much sense as his thoughts on CF. At least he's consistent.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:41 AM
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Spend $1000 on a bike with an aluminum frame. Probably better than $400 on an aluminum frame or $1000 on a carbon frame.

Last edited by guachi; 04-08-21 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 04-08-21, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by motopokep View Post
An ultra-light carbon fiber bike sounds lucrative, but safety and longevity are my goals. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I'd go with the lucrative bike. Why not get paid to ride?

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Old 04-08-21, 11:26 AM
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Buying your first road bike without ever having draped a leg over it is a bad idea even before talking about the choices being potentially unknown, unestablished bike brands. Your two overriding criteria are lowest price and weight, which is also a bad prioritization for a first road bike. I understand that there are some sellers that are more established, with actual track records and customer service, although they cost more, so I have some suspicion that you've excluded them.

What is it that you expect to get out of a road bike? Weight is going to be a minor factor at best if you end up on an ill-fitting/uncomfortable bike, ride it as upright as your hybrid, and/or do minimal climbs on it. Things like geometry and handling, frame and fork compliance - you don't get those from looking at weight and price listings. The least you can do is get some test rides on real road bikes so you can see past weight and price before taking the plunge, not ask BikeForums whether 15 mph crabon assplosions is worth $600.
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Old 04-08-21, 11:33 AM
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Get that anxiety under control with some cognitive behavioral therapy and/or high-quality prescription pharmaceuticals. Then get the carbon fiber-reinforced polymer frame.
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