Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Is the ride much better with full carbon?

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

Is the ride much better with full carbon?

Reply

Old 03-09-07, 12:41 AM
  #1  
jeef
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is the ride much better with full carbon?

I just test road an aluminum/carbon bike. It's aluminum with carbon fiber steam stays, carbon, fork, carbon seat post, carbon handlebar. It is very smooth compared to my all aluminum bike (no carbon anywhere). I like the feel of it and I wanted to know if a full carbon frame bike would ride much better (everything else the same). I'm looking to sell my bike and possible buy the one I test road. But I am not sure if I should just spring for a full carbon bike instead. I don't really care about weight...it's the ride feel that has me hooked.
jeef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 12:46 AM
  #2  
Chucklehead
Whateverthehell
 
Chucklehead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: U.S.S.A.
Posts: 7,433

Bikes: '06 Blue Competition RC5AL w/ritchey pro fork, spinergy stealth PBO, etc.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
there are carbon bikes that ride like a dream and carbon bikes that ride like crud. all you can do is go out and find what you like best.
i rode full carbon bikes for 12 years before i switched to a carbon/aluminum one. i had always thought full carbon was the way to go, but after riding my current bike a few times, i decided i liked the little extra feedback it offered.
__________________
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci
Chucklehead is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 12:46 AM
  #3  
johnny99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 10,859
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 99 Post(s)
Depends on the design and construction of the bike. Some aluminum bikes are very flexy; others are very stiff.
johnny99 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 12:55 AM
  #4  
jeef
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So does stiff = more feedback? Or is it the other way around. I thought the main advantage of carbon is that it is very stiff.
jeef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 12:57 AM
  #5  
Stallion
Cyclist
 
Stallion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 184
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have an aluminum bike and a carbon bike. The carbon bike is a lot more comfy and it absorbs road vibrations. However, I race both bikes. Just depends how i'm feeling, lol
Stallion is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 01:07 AM
  #6  
Chucklehead
Whateverthehell
 
Chucklehead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: U.S.S.A.
Posts: 7,433

Bikes: '06 Blue Competition RC5AL w/ritchey pro fork, spinergy stealth PBO, etc.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jeef
So does stiff = more feedback? Or is it the other way around. I thought the main advantage of carbon is that it is very stiff.
carbon has several advantages. strength to weight ratio, vibration absorbtion, and it can be engineered to be either stiff or flexible.
__________________
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci
Chucklehead is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 01:07 AM
  #7  
the beef
100% USDA certified
 
the beef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Seattle -> NYC
Posts: 4,022

Bikes: Bianchi XL EV2

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Depends on what the manufacturers do with it. It's just a material.
the beef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 09:23 AM
  #8  
DocRay
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by the beef
Depends on what the manufacturers do with it. It's just a material.
Yes and no. Carbon has all its strength in one direction, and little in any other, metals have strength in all directions equally. It's difficult to make a light and stiff metal frame.
What is unique to carbon is that you can design a frame without compromises, it can be made torsionally stiff (that's the head tube flexing relative to the frame), with a very stiff bottom bracket (axle flex relative to frame), yet allow more vertical compliance (up and down flex for vibration absorption) than metal frames.
If it's done right. The difference is not hype, it's 200-300% and a very real feel difference on the road.

But all this depends on rider size. Light riders can ride just about anything and not worry about flexiness, so they can go to titanium. At larger frames and heavier weights (~200lb), it's a whole different story -steel gets heavy and whippy, as does titanium, aluminum is a better option for stiffness and weight, but it can be just as comfortable. At 58+ sizes, some carbon frames greatly excel over metal for weight, comfort and stiffness.
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 09:32 AM
  #9  
eandmwilson
Senior Member
 
eandmwilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: All your base (miles) are belong to us
Posts: 606
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Carbon is great until it explodes catastrophically, usually on your first decent exceeding 35 mph.
eandmwilson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 09:53 AM
  #10  
DocRay
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
"If we lose the war in the air, we lose the war, and we lose it quickly. We need more carbon fiber frames to drop on the enemy."
--Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 10:02 AM
  #11  
spiderbike
Walmart partner
 
spiderbike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Carbon can potentially be made to be a much better bike in terms of the stiffness to road shock absortion trade off. After testing several different kinds of aluminum and carbon bikes it appears to me that carbon's potential is only used in some bikes. Test and find out for yourself...

Last edited by spiderbike; 03-09-07 at 01:23 PM.
spiderbike is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 10:27 AM
  #12  
eandmwilson
Senior Member
 
eandmwilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: All your base (miles) are belong to us
Posts: 606
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by DocRay
"If we lose the war in the air, we lose the war, and we lose it quickly. We need more carbon fiber frames to drop on the enemy."
--Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
Geneva Convention bans the use of dropped carbon frames as "inhumane".
eandmwilson is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 10:33 AM
  #13  
DocRay
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Carbon failure has to be written, CATASTROPHICALLY, ...forum rules.
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 11:53 AM
  #14  
deskjockey
Point&click point&click
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Search around in here and you'll find the debate raging for years. Many say all materials will feel close to the same for most recreational riders if all else is equal (fit, air pressure, tire size, etc). That said, make sure you use the same inflation, have the same bar tape, gloves, fit, and tire width. Tweaking those can make a stiff alu or carbon bike feel great. Most of all, the fit is the most important aspect. All the bartape in the world will not provide much enjoyment if your back, shoulders, knees and feet are all out of whack.
deskjockey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-07, 01:20 PM
  #15  
NtenseGSRracer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 81

Bikes: 09' Orbea Orca, 06' Specialized Tarmac Comp, 01' Rocky Mountain Element Race, 99' Gary Fisher Mt. Tam

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I went from a Specialized Allez to a Specialized Tarmac. I could not be any happier.
NtenseGSRracer is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service