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carbon seat stays?

Old 09-24-10, 07:52 AM
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carbon seat stays?

Never ridden one and not actually shopping for a new frame, but I'm curious to know if carbon stays on an aluminum frame effect the ride significantly or if it's just a way for a company to add one more price tier to it's line up. Anyone who has or had one ever have an issue with the carbon/aluminum bond failing?

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Old 09-24-10, 08:00 AM
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It's a gimmick and makes no difference. I'm not sure if any 2010 bikes are made that way now.
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Old 09-24-10, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73
Never road one and not actually shopping for a new frame, but I'm curious to know if carbon stays on an aluminum frame effect the ride significantly or if it's just a way for a company to add one more price tier to it's line up. Anyone who has or had one ever have an issue with the carbon/aluminum bond failing?
Haven't had that issue.
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Old 09-24-10, 08:55 AM
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I had a Ridley, a lower end model, I think it wasn't manufactured by Ridley but by Dedacciai. It was aluminum with carbon fork and stays. I can't comment on it compared with an all aluminum frame. But my next frameset after the Ridley is the Cervelo RS. Those seat stays are very thin and the ride is very nice, better than the Ridley. What broke on the Ridley was the steerer tube. It cracked.
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Old 09-24-10, 09:10 AM
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It's a fad. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing special either.

As for carbon and aluminum losing their bonds, that problem was solved back in the late 80's when they made carbon frames with aluminum lugs.
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Old 09-24-10, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
It's a gimmick and makes no difference. I'm not sure if any 2010 bikes are made that way now.
Fuji Roubaix
Specialized Sectuer
Felt F series

Just to name a few off the top of my head.
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Old 09-24-10, 09:43 AM
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I think they are more of a compromise than a fad. People have preconceived notions of how an alu frame rides and feels. When these first came out full CF frames were expensive. CF seatstays were meant to add the comfort of CF while keeping the price down in the alu range.

Do they make a difference? I think so but it depends on what you want. They add weight and flex to the frame in ways that most performance oriented riders don't like.
Is it a big difference? No.
Is it better? That's up to you.
Are they reliable? Yes.
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Old 09-24-10, 09:48 AM
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Jamis too. My wife has a Jamis AL with Carbon Stays. She likes that bike a lot and she told me she could not tell if the stays did anything in terms of comfort. No issues with the bonding.
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Old 09-24-10, 09:51 AM
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Of course it affects comfort. There is no need to use such a framebuilding technique, but a bike with carbon stays will feel different than one with aluminum stays. I went from an all aluminum frame to one with carbon stays and the ride was far more forgiving. As other posters have said though, you can accomplish similar results by adjusting the size and shape of the stays on an all aluminum frame.
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Old 09-24-10, 10:48 AM
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I have a carbon fork and seat stays on my Alu Fuji and the ride is quite nice. Though I only have my 1993 Trek MTB (cromoly?) and 1980's Schwinn all aluminum bike for comparison. The Fuji has the nicest ride even over the fat tires and suspension of the Trek. Somehow the trek is squishy and harsh all at the same time.

I would say the Fuji is crisp but not harsh. I can feel no flex whatsoever during standing or hard pedaling efforts or any other stress. It seems to just slightly dampen small rapid vibrations. Other than that it is stiff as hell. It is a real solid bike.

I think it is a nice compromise for those of us who don't ride steel but don't care to pay for all carbon either.
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Old 09-24-10, 10:54 AM
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I have a Felt F75 with full carbon fork and seat stays. No issues with bonding here. The ride is surprisingly smooth and forgiving for a race type bike. Whether that is due to the carbon seat stays? Who knows....most say that it is not the case.
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Old 09-24-10, 03:01 PM
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I did 13,000 miles on my Lemond before the alum frame snapped. The replacement is the Lemond spine design, stays, seat tube and toptube are all carbon and the bottom downtube and chainstays are alum (Lemond spine design). I now have 11,500 miles on the new frame and I can't tell a difference in the ride. Is the partial carbon better, I'll let you know once I get past 13,000.

The biggest difference is in the geoometry and fit. While both feel equally nice, the biggest difference was going from an alum Cannondale geo and Trek alum geo to the Lemond geo IMO.
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Old 09-24-10, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
I did 13,000 miles on my Lemond before the alum frame snapped. The replacement is the Lemond spine design, stays, seat tube and toptube are all carbon and the bottom downtube and chainstays are alum (Lemond spine design). I now have 11,500 miles on the new frame and I can't tell a difference in the ride. Is the partial carbon better, I'll let you know once I get past 13,000.

The biggest difference is in the geoometry and fit. While both feel equally nice, the biggest difference was going from an alum Cannondale geo and Trek alum geo to the Lemond geo IMO.

Geometry is the biggest factor in ride comfort not the materials.
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Old 09-24-10, 03:40 PM
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no issues with my motobecane and I love the look it gives the bike.

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Old 09-24-10, 04:13 PM
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the only way to tell is to ride the same frame with aluminum stays and then carbon stays. everything else staying constant. any other opinion/comparison is just pissing in the wind.
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Old 09-24-10, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
I did 13,000 miles on my Lemond before the alum frame snapped. .......
What were the conditions that the frame snapped? Was it a bad factory weld? I have 30k on a Giant aluminum frame....
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Old 09-24-10, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Danielle
What were the conditions that the frame snapped? Was it a bad factory weld? I have 30k on a Giant aluminum frame....

Trek never said what the cause was, they just replaced with a free upgrade as specified by the warranty when I bought it new. Went from a frame of a $1100 (Tourmalet all alum) bike to that of a $2100 (Chambery partial carbon) bike plus the fork which is rarely replaced in a warranty claim. Heck, I didn't ask questions!

I was climbing a steep section of road when it snapped. It snapped from the back of the seat tube on aroud to the bottom of the bottom tube near the BB area. It does look like it might have snapped at the weld at the bottom of the seat tube but I'm not real sure. Maybe a bad weld or an undercut in the process of building? Could have just been my heavy arse!



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Old 09-24-10, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Yaniel
the only way to tell is to ride the same frame with aluminum stays and then carbon stays. everything else staying constant. any other opinion/comparison is just pissing in the wind.
+1 This is a lot of "bull puckey". You can't tell me that anyone has a butt sensitive enough to discern the differenc between aluminum or carbon seat stays. It's a great way to charge more for the bike however.
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Old 09-24-10, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WCG
+1 This is a lot of "bull puckey". You can't tell me that anyone has a butt sensitive enough to discern the differenc between aluminum or carbon seat stays. It's a great way to charge more for the bike however.
Well when the bike is a Motobecane, it doesn't cost a lot! Got my frame new for $150!
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Old 09-24-10, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cappuccino911
no issues with my motobecane and I love the look it gives the bike.

I like the look, too. It does seem like a reasonable compromise; a sort of logical progression.
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Old 09-24-10, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by slowandsteady
Geometry is the biggest factor in ride comfort not the materials.
Disagree. Wheels, tires and tire pressure make the biggest difference
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Old 09-24-10, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Menel
Fuji Roubaix
Specialized Sectuer
Felt F series

Just to name a few off the top of my head.
Except for Felt, you're talking $800 bikes. It's still a gimmick
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Old 09-24-10, 08:39 PM
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Had a Serotta Fierte Ti with carbon seat stays. Roughest ride I can remember. Crammed 28mm tires on it and still hated it.
It had a wheelbase uner 40". It was hell on chipNseal. Have had stiff steel Italian frames that rode better.
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Old 09-24-10, 09:10 PM
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We have exceptionally smooth roads. I tested full aluminium vs. carbon stays (over 100km test rides). Conclusion, Carbon stays - Cycling equivalent of the Emperor's new clothes.

On the bond, I am assured by people who (say they) know that most bonds are stronger than either carbon or aluminium.
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Old 09-25-10, 06:40 AM
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My wife's Lemond has carbon seat stays and chain stays, and I feel it is very smooth. But its all relative from bike to bike. There are smooth full aluminum and harsh full aluminum. The only real way to know is the exact same frame with the carbon and without, and there were very few of those.

So end result, you have to ride and judge each bike for itself regardless of its material.
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