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Carbon bike in bad weather, building a bad weather bike.

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Carbon bike in bad weather, building a bad weather bike.

Old 12-05-10, 11:48 AM
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Dancing Skeleton
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Carbon bike in bad weather, building a bad weather bike.

I have a new Madone 4.7, which I love. I'm still riding in December, here just north of Boston. Last week I was out in the rain, and I'm wondering if I'm going to damage my bike by continuing to ride in not so great weather.
I'm thinking of building a bad weather bike by using the following:
Buying a Nashbar aluminum road frame & carbon fork, the 105 5700's (triple) & Bontrager Race wheels from my current bike (could I use wider all-weather tires on these rims?), then buying an Ultegra group (compact) & Bontrager Race-Lite wheels for my Madone. I'd have to buy some tools, but I think that I'd end up with two nice bikes, and I wouldn't kill my new Trek. I could do the whole deal for ~$1500, with some used wheels off CL or eBay.
I'd love to build a bike anyway, and I think that the Ultegra group & Race Lite wheels would be improvements to my Madone.

Does this like a good Idea?
Is it good to have a bad weather bike?
Will I hurt my new bike on New England roads in the winter & in the rain?

Thanks,

Peter

Last edited by Dancing Skeleton; 12-05-10 at 11:56 AM. Reason: forgot something
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Old 12-05-10, 11:54 AM
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Your Madone should be fine, you would just need to clean/lube all the components more often. You could look at the Nashbar alu cross frame; it would give you more clearance for wider tires/fenders/etc.
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Old 12-05-10, 12:02 PM
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Your bike will be fine if you keep it cleaned an lubricated, but having two bikes is nice. I would just look past bontrager wheels. I think you would be better off with some eastons, mavics, fulcrums, or a set from one of the forum wheel builders.
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Old 12-05-10, 12:16 PM
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If your going to spend 1500 or so, you might as well buy a trek 2.3. Same specs as your bike but in aluminum.
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Old 12-05-10, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Adrianinkc View Post
If your going to spend 1500 or so, you might as well buy a trek 2.3. Same specs as your bike but in aluminum.
I would rather have a carbon bike with ultegra and an aluminum bike with 105 than a carbon and aluminum bike with 105.
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Old 12-05-10, 02:53 PM
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All I know is that the drivetrain picks up a ton of grit even in just one storm. I'm working the kinks out of an old mountain bike right now to use in the bad weather. I'd really be looking for something cheap and sort of disposable myself. $1500 for a bad weather bike is expensive to my wallet, especially with all the good buys you can find used.
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Old 12-05-10, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
All I know is that the drivetrain picks up a ton of grit even in just one storm. I'm working the kinks out of an old mountain bike right now to use in the bad weather. I'd really be looking for something cheap and sort of disposable myself. $1500 for a bad weather bike is expensive to my wallet, especially with all the good buys you can find used.
I know that it's not the most economical thing to do, but I'd really like to try building a bike, and I know that Ultegra will be an upgrade on my current bike.
jamesdak, I see that you have a 2011 Trek 5.9. I was thinking of buying one of those instead of doing anything. I haven't seen one in person, it sure looks nice in pics, how do you like it?
Peter
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Old 12-05-10, 03:42 PM
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there is no such thing as an "all weather" tire for road bikes. There is only puncture protection and rubber compound softness to consider.
Generally you'll want something like conti GP4000, michelin krylion carbon or schwalbe durano.
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Old 12-05-10, 05:03 PM
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Winter riding in NE can be totally unpredictable.
I think there are much better options for your $1500:
a.) buy a set of really nice rollers, eMotions from www.insideride.com come to mind (not that I'm a shill or anything)
Or a Kurt Kenetic stationary trainer.
b.) $500-$700 ebay or CL for a POS winter bike
or c.) just ride the Madone as is and spend an hour or more cleaning the crap off it after each ride - for me keeping the chain and cassette is the biggest PITA, I hate the sound of sand grinding in my chain and cogs.
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Old 12-05-10, 05:44 PM
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One thing to note about using a carbon bike as a "rain bike" is carbon's absorption of water. Any exposed carbon, chips in laminate, will suck up water like a desert plain.
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Old 12-05-10, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kvangundy View Post
One thing to note about using a carbon bike as a "rain bike" is carbon's absorption of water. Any exposed carbon, chips in laminate, will suck up water like a desert plain.
Where did you pick up this nugget of information?
If this is true I'd be needing to replace the frame of my 07 TCR.
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Old 12-05-10, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Peter2 View Post
I know that it's not the most economical thing to do, but I'd really like to try building a bike, and I know that Ultegra will be an upgrade on my current bike.
jamesdak, I see that you have a 2011 Trek 5.9. I was thinking of buying one of those instead of doing anything. I haven't seen one in person, it sure looks nice in pics, how do you like it?
Peter
Well, the 5.9 is still at the LBS being built up. It's a replacement frame supplied by trek after my 4.5 Madone frame was damaged when the RD failed. I saw the bare frame itself and it was really light, internal cable runs and the body is built up "beefier" on the drive train side. I'm excited about the bike but I've been waiting since August for the warranty claim and it's getting a bit old.
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Old 12-05-10, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BarryJo View Post
Where did you pick up this nugget of information?
If this is true I'd be needing to replace the frame of my 07 TCR.

https://thecycleway.com/?p=111

The last paragraph is a qualifier for my statement, I learned it in Organic Chemistry earlier this quarter while talking to a doctoral candidate who's also a cyclist. Take my comment with a grain of salt, I cannot solidly substantiate my claim. I'll do more research and get back to you, I'll see if I can track that TA down and get a more comprehensive chemical explanation.

https://www.scientific.net/KEM.297-300.2727

here's a paper on the subject, but they only let you read an abstract so it's less that illuminating.
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Old 12-05-10, 09:05 PM
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Appreciated..
The chainstays on my bike took some major dings when I broke a spoke earlier this year.
A local Giant shop I don't usually do business with told me it was merely cosmetic, but they could've sent the bike to Giant for evaluation.
Now I'm wondering if that's not what I should do, especially considering how bad I sweat on my bike when riding the rollers this time of year.

Edit: the Cycleway article doesn't site any studies or empiricle evidence that a Barely Visible Impact Damage (BVID) will absorb water in any way. They state it as fact with no proof to back up their claim.
Fishy

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Old 12-06-10, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by kvangundy View Post
https://thecycleway.com/?p=111

The last paragraph is a qualifier for my statement, I learned it in Organic Chemistry earlier this quarter while talking to a doctoral candidate who's also a cyclist. Take my comment with a grain of salt, I cannot solidly substantiate my claim. I'll do more research and get back to you, I'll see if I can track that TA down and get a more comprehensive chemical explanation.

https://www.scientific.net/KEM.297-300.2727

here's a paper on the subject, but they only let you read an abstract so it's less that illuminating.
You might be right. I know a concern with boats that have chips in the gelcoat is water gets absorbed between layers of fiber and resin and it delaminates
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Old 12-06-10, 10:07 AM
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I think building a second winter/rain bike is a great idea.

You're looking for a reason to buy a second bike and sound excited about the idea. An added benefit will be tools & some wrenching. Do it.
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Old 12-06-10, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
You might be right. I know a concern with boats that have chips in the gelcoat is water gets absorbed between layers of fiber and resin and it delaminates
I think the fact that carbon fibre is used for boats at all should remove any concern about a bit of rain and road spray on a bike frame.
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Old 12-06-10, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by scirocco View Post
I think the fact that carbon fibre is used for boats at all should remove any concern about a bit of rain and road spray on a bike frame.
Right. But the carbon is molded in a heavy paint type material called gelcoat. I've heard that chips and dings in the gelcoat that expose the fiber to water can cause lamination.
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Old 12-07-10, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Right. But the carbon is molded in a heavy paint type material called gelcoat. I've heard that chips and dings in the gelcoat that expose the fiber to water can cause lamination.
i race sailboats.

carbon race boats mostly do not have gelcoat.

it is heavy, and adds no strength.

most carbon boats are laid up with epoxy, and often have some type of thin epoxy or other 2-part paint on the outside.

often, on the inside of the boat, there is nothing substantial covering the carbon/epoxy lay up at all. sometimes just a clear coat, but sometimes nothing at all.

these boats tend to be very wet inside, and it is pretty common for the carbon to have little (and even not so little) nicks and dings down below. the environment is quite a bit tougher than anything a bike is put through in normal use. holes are drilled all the time, all over the place for mounting hardware, without much concern, unless the holes go through the inner sandwich core material. not all carbon pieces on the boat are of sandwich construction though - often just the hull, deck, bulkheads etc.

this sandwich is what can absorb water, and fail - it's the bonding between the carbon and the sandwich (nomex, or foam, or something light) that fails, not the carbon itself.

masts and booms are usually clear coated carbon/epoxy - there is no clear coat on the inside of the masts and booms, and they are constantly wet. they also have a lot of holes driled, and there is no concern about water...

so, it may be that "raw" carbon is hygroscopic, but i think once it is laid up with epoxy (often under vacuum for boat building), or made into some sort of prepreg, there will be no significant water absorbtion, and no loss of strength.
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Old 12-07-10, 10:31 AM
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Amazing.

I learned something.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:46 PM
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I say that sounds like a plan, but don't bother with the race lites unless you can get a deal (and usually you can't). Get some Fulcrum 3's or Psimet wheels and have fun doing the build and swapover.
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Old 12-07-10, 12:58 PM
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my good bike:



my winter bike:

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Old 12-07-10, 01:39 PM
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What is a good deal on lightly-used Bontrager Race-X-Lites?
Is $350 good?
Are Bontrager Race X Lites good for every day riding?
These will be for my good bike, and the Race wheels from my 4.7 will be on the winter bike, with different tires

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Old 12-07-10, 02:04 PM
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As Botto's winter bike's image shows: Fenders are key to winter/wet riding comfort. I ride an FX in whatever (as long as it's not frozen) and with fenders, no problem - I use the somewhat fuller coverage Planet Bike clip-ons. Takes about a minute or two to install and remove. They seem to keep a lot of road crud off the drivetrain.

One thing in wet weather I do without fail before riding - check the tires for stuff that has adhered to the tread and can, with time, work through the belts and puncture the tube.

If doing it again, I'd look for or order a set of these https://www.crudusa.com/product/27
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Old 12-07-10, 07:47 PM
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You guys need to stop putting Carbon on a freakin' pedestal
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