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How did it feel when ...

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

How did it feel when ...

Old 10-22-08, 06:49 PM
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dennis_said
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How did it feel when ...

...you switched to a FULL CARBON bike? Whether it was from Al/Ti/Steel

How much different did it feel and how "great" did it feel? Any experiences welcomed!!! Please also let me know how long you were riding your original bike for prior to switching over.

I'm still on my first bike, aluminum and what to know what I'm looking forward to

Thanks in advance
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Old 10-22-08, 07:02 PM
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I just switched from an entry level steel Bianchi Brava to a full carbon Lemond Zurich. 4 months, 900 miles, including one century on the Bianchi. The Lemond is another a whole 'nother story. Of course it has way a better group set and wheels. But it truly does feel "great". Way lighter, faster, smoother, and sweeter ride. The way it soaks up road buzz compared to the AL bikes I have riden is night and day.
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Old 10-22-08, 07:10 PM
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rides like butter
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Old 10-22-08, 07:15 PM
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I love carbon. When I first got mine I found myself coming-up on rough pavement or small potholes and would brace myself for the jolt - but oftentimes it didn't come. I also thought I had a flat tire a couple of times at first because it felt so smooth.
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Old 10-22-08, 07:26 PM
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It felt completely and utterly dead. Then after 5 minutes I began to enjoy how smooth it was and came to appreciate it. A couple days later I started noticing the small bits of road vibration that still made it through, but still noted how much smoother it was.
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Old 10-22-08, 08:00 PM
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I switched from a full aluminium Allez to a full carbon TCR a few years ago. I also changed wheels so I can't say it's fully the bike, but I was regularly riding a road that looked like the surface of the moon and it was night and day. It was also about 5 pounds lighter (22 vs. 17) and that was very noticeable. I've since also gotten a Tarmac SL and even that is far more comfortable than the TCR, although I didn't appreciate it until I switched back to the TCR for about 2 months. I had a general feeling the first or second ride on the TCR again that it just beat me up more, and when I went back to the Tarmac it was so smooth... For what it's worth though, one of my teammates had a higher end Allez (aluminium with carbon stays) and after he destroyed it in a race crash, he borrowed my TCR and said it was a harsher ride.
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Old 10-22-08, 08:02 PM
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Man all this talk about riding! I'm going to go hop on my bike real quick!! DAMNIT I told myself I wouldn't ride tonight haha
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Old 10-22-08, 08:35 PM
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Butt-orgasmic is one way to describe it
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Old 10-22-08, 08:38 PM
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Good question... I too am on my first bike (aluminum), and have never so much as SAT on a carbon bike. I've had upgraditis from the start, but carbon was / is out of the budget.
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Old 10-22-08, 09:14 PM
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Like I grew wings...
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Old 10-22-08, 09:19 PM
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It felt like I was riding a wet noodle, but that was in '94 when Trek's OCLV left a lot to be desired.
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Old 10-22-08, 10:12 PM
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My experience is now 5 days and about 100 miles into it. I switched from an E5 Allez, which was in turn my first new bike in about 15 years.

From steel to aluminum, the change was so radical because I went from downtube to STI shifters and 6 speed to 9 speed. Also, carbon crank, etc. At first I didn't even notice the ride quality other than the Allez was stiff, which I liked.

Over the past 4 years though, I began noticing that it was really stiff. Like butt-jarring, teeth-loosening, jackhammer-riding stiff. We have way too many chip-seal roads here and it is just about torture going 5 miles on that surface.

My new CF bike is very smooth. Not noodly, but smooth. And the frame sort of buzzes in a strange way. I described it like a lower level version of the sound my electric razor makes. I'm just getting used to it. Chip-seal is never going to be as smooth as new asphalt, but it seems bearable with the new bike.
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Old 10-22-08, 10:58 PM
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Nice Just wanted to see the concensus that it was a huge improvement I can't wait
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Old 10-22-08, 11:01 PM
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It still felt slow. I've since began changing my joints in my legs to CF...it's not working either.
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Old 10-22-08, 11:36 PM
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I started riding road in 1984, and have ridden/raced steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon. The bike I'll be racing cross at Nationals this December is steel. The frame I'm having built to race cross the next four seasons here, and hopefully some in Europe will be steel. The best road bike I have EVER ridden was steel.

IMO, a high quality steel frame is by far the best choice for 90% of riders, and applications; the other 10% being tri-geeks, and who cares what they ride anyway.

That said... I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from your new bike.
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Old 10-24-08, 08:36 PM
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Thanks sfcrossrider

I hear amazing things about steel--it however seems like something I'd learn to appreciate after many years in the hobby. For now I definitely want to explore the possibilities w/ CF =D for now all I can do is live vicariously through other's experiences until I save up enough money!!
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Old 10-24-08, 09:46 PM
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I felt the difference on my 2nd ride, when I hit a really rough road and discovered the frame was absorbing the bumps (same wheels/tires/pressure on both bikes). Other than that, I can't tell. (coming from steel)
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Old 10-24-08, 10:10 PM
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I really thought one of those older Madones, similar to the one Waterrockets has, rode kinda lame. Just sort of dull. The best riding bike I have ever throw a leg over was a Scott Addict.
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Old 10-24-08, 10:11 PM
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I came from an aluminum bike and went to a full carbon last year and a half....I will never look back. Its a whole lot lighter and I am not as fatigued as I was in alum bike....


I will alway go carbon but might experiment with Titanium. Bikes for reference are a Spez Tarmac Expert and Cervelo SLC. Remember that carbon framesets can differ like night and day.....thats the beauty of carbon...you can go as stiff as Hugh Hefner with 20 Viagras or as compliant as Demi Moores' Botox shots...not all all created equal.....choose your poison.
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Old 10-24-08, 10:14 PM
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I rode an entry level aluminum bike for 6 months, probably around 1200 miles. Kansas has lots of chip and seal roads. I road my aluminum bike for my first century last year - it was painful - mile 93, going from smooth paved road back onto a few miles of chip and seal was a butt memorable experience. I told my wife I needed a carbon bike

Last November, I bought my Look. I tested at least 5 or 6 carbon bikes before I ended up with my Look. Even amongst carbon bikes, you will find different rides. Some are soft and cushy (think Cadillac) and some ride stiffer (BMW), but all will ride more comfortably than most aluminum bikes. Apart from comfort, the biggest difference I find is the efficiency - each pedal appears to go further (although that may be the upgraded wheels too). Much lighter, and feels faster going up hills. Easiest way to notice is to test ride a carbon bike on your usual route.

Then I surfed around here, and fell in love with lugged steel, so about 1/2 year ago, I bought a NOS 1991 Miyata 914 off Ebay. Steel is heavier than carbon (duh) but it feels very solid, springy, and definitely better than aluminum. To classify my bikes according to cars, I would say the steel bike is an older M3, the Look is a modern BMW, and the aluminum...sold it to fund my steel cyclocross. That tells you how much I liked my Giant OCR2.

Note: even among aluminum bikes, they have very different ride qualities. My Giant OCR2 had the shakes going down hills at around 35-38 mph. I went on vacation and road a Cervelo Soloist for a few days - much, much, much better feel than my bike; stable, more efficient, not as jarring. So...that's bike materials according to me.
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Old 10-24-08, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Cdy291 View Post
I really thought one of those older Madones, similar to the one Waterrockets has, rode kinda lame. Just sort of dull. The best riding bike I have ever throw a leg over was a Scott Addict.
Hmm. Dull. I guess I can see that. So what are you looking for in a ride? I don't want a bike overreacting to my inputs. I want one that disappears beneath me, and is an extension of my thoughts. A frame that makes its presence known when diving into a corner does not interest me.

FWIW, I've only raced this bike once so far, but I won. The course has tight chicanes and fast sweepers. The bike's responsiveness was perfect, just like my steel Ritchey (which I also won with on this course).
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Old 10-24-08, 10:35 PM
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Carbon is for losers.
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Old 10-24-08, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by permanentjaun View Post
Carbon is for losers.
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Old 10-24-08, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dennis_said View Post
Seriously
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Old 10-24-08, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dennis_said View Post
Nice Just wanted to see the concensus that it was a huge improvement I can't wait
A big improvement indeed. I rode my Trek 1500 about 3,300 miles until I bought my CF Giant, which now has 3,400 miles on her. The aluminum ride transmitted much more road noise to my hands and back, while the CF has a dampened feel, almost smooth. The bottom bracket on the CF is much stiffer that the alum as well. I feel like the Giant is an extension of myself when I ride, if that makes sense. Stiff, yet more forgiving on the bumps, which makes a difference with my bad low back. The CF, she rides nice!
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