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People w/ experience on all-alum & carbon stays...

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

People w/ experience on all-alum & carbon stays...

Old 04-07-09, 07:25 PM
  #1  
Humongous
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People w/ experience on all-alum & carbon stays...

Do the carbon seat stays make a noticeable difference with the ride quality? Seems like some newer frames dropped the carbon stays or have gone from carbon seat & chain stays to just the seat stays. Not sure if that's due to pure cost cutting or what.
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Old 04-07-09, 07:28 PM
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I have just carbon seat stays and fork, coming from a all alum. bike and it seems to take up a lot of vibration from the road.
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Old 04-07-09, 07:30 PM
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I have a Trek 2.1 (aluminum frame, carbon fork and stays) and I'm not convinced that it makes a significant difference. There are enough other factors that affect ride that carbon stays wouldn't be a reason I'd pick one bike over another
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Old 04-07-09, 07:53 PM
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All aluminum S-Works E5 with CF fork vs. aluminum Masi Gran Criterium with Blackbox rear (CF seat and chain stays) and CF fork. Different bikes with different geometries. Nevertheless, the E5 wears me out over 3.5 to 4 hours and I am comfortable on the Masi over 5 hours.
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Old 04-07-09, 08:16 PM
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Humongous
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Originally Posted by zatopek View Post
All aluminum S-Works E5 with CF fork vs. aluminum Masi Gran Criterium with Blackbox rear (CF seat and chain stays) and CF fork. Different bikes with different geometries. Nevertheless, the E5 wears me out over 3.5 to 4 hours and I am comfortable on the Masi over 5 hours.
which one has the more aggressive geometry?
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Old 04-07-09, 08:42 PM
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I think your best bet in getting an idea of whether carbon stays make a difference is to ride a Trek 2.1 and 1.5 back to back. The frames are the same, with the exception of carbon stays, and they have the same wheels, but different tires and different groups (Tiagra/105 vs. Sora/Tiagra).
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Old 04-07-09, 08:46 PM
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my 2.1 does a great job with the carbon stays and fork..
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Old 04-07-09, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mysta316 View Post
i have just carbon seat stays and fork, coming from a all alum. Bike and it seems to take up a lot of vibration from the road.
+1
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Old 04-07-09, 08:49 PM
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Difference = no.
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Old 04-07-09, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Humongous View Post
Do the carbon seat stays make a noticeable difference with the ride quality? Seems like some newer frames dropped the carbon stays or have gone from carbon seat & chain stays to just the seat stays. Not sure if that's due to pure cost cutting or what.
Maybe to some laboratory measuring equipment, but not to my ass.
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Old 04-07-09, 08:55 PM
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Coming from all aluminum to alum with carbon stays, my experience is the difference is noticeable but not significant, very little change.
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Old 04-07-09, 09:16 PM
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Specialized Allez Elite, carbon seat stays...

When purchasing my bike, I tried out an aluminum Giant, the Specialized, and a half aluminum/half carbon Giant. The carbon seat stays made more of a difference on the rear than half the bike being carbon. The seat stay take a lot of the road "chatter" out of the ride. It rides real smooth in almost any terrain. Other riders tell me they can actually see the seat post and carbon stays flex when I am riding. I don't really believe it, but then again, I am at 230lbs. so it could be possible.
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Old 04-07-09, 10:55 PM
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I have an alu bike with carbon stays but since I don't have the same bike without the carbon stays I can't say if it makes a difference or if it's for other reasons. It's more comfortable than my old full alu bike but it's a cross bike so all bets are off.
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Old 04-07-09, 11:26 PM
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Having ridden comparable models from the same manufacturer (Lemond), one with the carbon stays, one without, I found that it did improve ride quality. I should add that the bike with the carbon stays also had a carbon seat post (Bontrager), and was one year newer. Everything else was the same except the shifters (9sp 105 instead of 9sp Ultegra).
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Old 04-07-09, 11:46 PM
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this isn't what you asked but i can tell you that going from a chromoly fork to a carbon fork made what felt like a world of difference riding in the street. i suspect the dampening in the rear will be comparable with a carbon post as with carbon stays.
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Old 04-07-09, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Humongous View Post
Do the carbon seat stays make a noticeable difference with the ride quality?
It depends on what you mean by noticeable. It think what is noticed is informed by expectations, e.g. someone test rides a bike with carbon stays, expects it to ride better and if they claim it does, it's because of the carbon, of course.

Originally Posted by Humongous View Post
Seems like some newer frames dropped the carbon stays or have gone from carbon seat & chain stays to just the seat stays. Not sure if that's due to pure cost cutting or what.
My suspicion is that that composite being incorporated into an otherwise aluminum frames is just less novel than in years past, doesn't impress the customer was well ("look, it's got carbon seat stays") as in the past and therefore is more often being dispensed with.
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Old 04-07-09, 11:50 PM
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I bought a stem off a guy who was sitting on a C40 HP and his chain stays were awesome like this:



He said his bike absorbed a ridiculous amount of road bumpiness.
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