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  1. #1
    The Next 100 Miler
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    Carbon durability in AZ chunk?

    Wondering how well carbon frames hold up to the rock and chunk we spend so much time in? After 5 months my SC Solo aluminum frame is showing more paint chips than I would expect. It even has a small dent in the down tube and I'm not and over aggressive rider.

    I've thought about going to a more XC carbon bike (Pivot 429), but wondering about durability?

  2. #2
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    I'm curious as well. Obviously carbon takes impact really well and most impact likely areas are reinforced (ie, downtube), but I think it all depends on the force, and how "pointy" the object is that strikes it. When i had some conversations with an LBS on a carbon frame I was considering, he said that the warranty did not cover crash damage and that he had seen some of those here in Phx.
    I love the idea of dropping about a pound off my frame, but I currently ride a Ti frame and it takes abuse pretty well. Hate to drop a load on a carbon machine only to crack it!
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
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  3. #3
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    I crashed my Tallboy a lot when I was first starting out. Still hanging tough. It's more than two years old now.

    As well, I have a friend who is very aggressive on some Chinese carbon rims and those have taken some amazing hits that would have dented an aluminum rim.

  4. #4
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    Some have a kevlar patch on a downtube.

  5. #5
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    whatever you do, don't demo a carbon bike... you'll end up buying one like me...

    Much more comfortable ride than my thin walled aluminum frame. Thicker walled aluminum frames (and steel frames) absorb the bumps really well too, they are just heavier than carbon... I ride hardtails, so I really notice what my frame is made of...

    I lost about 1.5 lbs off my bike by going carbon but its more than just the weight, its the ride too... And my used Scott carbon was the same price I paid for my thin walled aluminum bike...
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    whatever you do, don't demo a carbon bike... you'll end up buying one like me...

    Much more comfortable ride than my thin walled aluminum frame. Thicker walled aluminum frames (and steel frames) absorb the bumps really well too, they are just heavier than carbon... I ride hardtails, so I really notice what my frame is made of...

    I lost about 1.5 lbs off my bike by going carbon but its more than just the weight, its the ride too... And my used Scott carbon was the same price I paid for my thin walled aluminum bike...
    Yeah in general, stay away from demo's if you don't already plan on buying a new bike.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  7. #7
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    I should also mention, perhaps more importantly - I ride a carbon fork out here. It's adorned with Randy's No Shox stickers which protects it with an otherworldly aura of coolness and exclusivity, but it's held up so far.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    whatever you do, don't demo a carbon bike... you'll end up buying one like me...

    Much more comfortable ride than my thin walled aluminum frame. Thicker walled aluminum frames (and steel frames) absorb the bumps really well too, they are just heavier than carbon... I ride hardtails, so I really notice what my frame is made of...

    I lost about 1.5 lbs off my bike by going carbon but its more than just the weight, its the ride too... And my used Scott carbon was the same price I paid for my thin walled aluminum bike...
    Everything is more comfortable than aluminum. I loved the speed and responsiveness of my Cannondale 1FG back in the day - but comfortable it was not.

    I've since gone with titanium and am quite pleased with the ride, weight, and durability.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    Everything is more comfortable than aluminum. I loved the speed and responsiveness of my Cannondale 1FG back in the day - but comfortable it was not.

    I've since gone with titanium and am quite pleased with the ride, weight, and durability.
    I've come to learn firsthand that material selection is but one of the important factors regarding the feel of a frame. My new aluminum road bike rides so much nicer than the Ti road bike I replaced. I was completely shocked by this. I even rode the new AL bike with the exact same wheels and tires from the Ti bike, and the difference was immediate and huge.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  10. #10
    Give it a crank
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    Some of the hits from rocks my aluminum and steel bikes have taken would have destroyed a carbon frame. They only way I'd ride carbon out here is with a decent shield on the down tube like metalaficionado suggested. I know riders who sold their carbon bikes after a only few months because they though they would never hold up to our trails.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    whatever you do, don't demo a carbon bike... you'll end up buying one like me...

    Much more comfortable ride than my thin walled aluminum frame. Thicker walled aluminum frames (and steel frames) absorb the bumps really well too, they are just heavier than carbon... I ride hardtails, so I really notice what my frame is made of...

    I lost about 1.5 lbs off my bike by going carbon but its more than just the weight, its the ride too... And my used Scott carbon was the same price I paid for my thin walled aluminum bike...
    I don't know. I demoed Pivot LES in McDowell on the Long Loop few weeks back and was not impressed. I still prefer my cheap and noodly chinese ti frame (motobecane). It wasn't just some random demo, I researched the LES for months - everything looked great on paper - geo, weight, quality etc. The components on it were XTR...

    I just don't get carbon hype, maybe I am just spoiled by my titanium frame/seatpost and its lively but complaint ride.

    and the weight difference is just not worth the price, 400-500 grams? 200-300 grams off the wheel/tire combo makes a bigger difference for a lot less.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    I don't know. I demoed Pivot LES in McDowell on the Long Loop few weeks back and was not impressed. I still prefer my cheap and noodly chinese ti frame (motobecane). It wasn't just some random demo, I researched the LES for months - everything looked great on paper - geo, weight, quality etc. The components on it were XTR...

    I just don't get carbon hype, maybe I am just spoiled by my titanium frame/seatpost and its lively but complaint ride.

    and the weight difference is just not worth the price, 400-500 grams? 200-300 grams off the wheel/tire combo makes a bigger difference for a lot less.
    Thats interesting... was that demo for a FS ? I demo'ed a $5000 hardtail carbon Niner in Sedona and I was blown away... My Scott (that I just bought) isn't as nice as the Niner but still much more comfortable thatn my thin walled aluminum stumpjumper...

    I never rode titanium so I can't have an opinion on it... Ill take your word for it however... Maybe that is the next demo I should avoid... titanium
    fat old man ... fueled by Mexican pastries....

  13. #13
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    Still waiting to hear from someone on the board that has actually chipped/cracked/broken a carbon frame from kicking up a rock...

  14. #14
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    I switched to carbon in 2008. Wouldn't even consider changing until technology changes something. The feel, the lateral stiffness is unreal. For my B-day my wifey bought me a 2013 Roubaix S-Works road bike 14.6# with speed-play pedals. The difference between it and my Litespeed Ti road bike is bigger than day and night.

    The new 14' World Cups will change the rigid bike xc racing world forever.

    I suppose I have bought into the "S" carbon Kool-Aid but they have proven to me that, Specialized transfers more rotational energy into forward movement than other brands. Other carbon bikes included. Their business practices are theirs, I'm a cyclist.
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  15. #15
    The Next 100 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    Thats interesting... was that demo for a FS ?
    The Pivot Les is a hard tail.

    Is anyone building a ti full suspension XC bike?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkP View Post
    The Pivot Les is a hard tail.

    Is anyone building a ti full suspension XC bike?
    moots and titus

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipolopolo View Post
    I switched to carbon in 2008. Wouldn't even consider changing until technology changes something. The feel, the lateral stiffness is unreal. For my B-day my wifey bought me a 2013 Roubaix S-Works road bike 14.6# with speed-play pedals. The difference between it and my Litespeed Ti road bike is bigger than day and night.

    The new 14' World Cups will change the rigid bike xc racing world forever.

    I suppose I have bought into the "S" carbon Kool-Aid but they have proven to me that, Specialized transfers more rotational energy into forward movement than other brands. Other carbon bikes included. Their business practices are theirs, I'm a cyclist.


    Are you prepared to speak more on this, because I'd love to see the data behind this:

    "Specialized transfers more rotational energy into forward movement than other brands."

    I'm sure those bikes are great, stiff yet compliant yadda yadda yadda. But why would you think that the new S-Works you have is more efficient at moving you forward than any one of the other many great options available is freaking beyond me. Let's just pick two popular ones for starters, the similar Cannondale Synapse, and maybe the BH SuperLite. How exactly do you rationalize that your Roubaix transfers more of your effort into forward motion?
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Are you prepared to speak more on this, because I'd love to see the data behind this:

    "Specialized transfers more rotational energy into forward movement than other brands."

    I'm sure those bikes are great, stiff yet compliant yadda yadda yadda. But why would you think that the new S-Works you have is more efficient at moving you forward than any one of the other many great options available is freaking beyond me. Let's just pick two popular ones for starters, the similar Cannondale Synapse, and maybe the BH SuperLite. How exactly do you rationalize that your Roubaix transfers more of your effort into forward motion?

    Hi Randy,

    First off, no, I can't engineering wise back it up. I'm a cyclist, not an engineer. I can feel it, on the climbs, Bartlett lake road, cornering faster and harder than ever. The carbon cranks , the entire bike is designed to be a unit, unchanged from the "S" labs. Torsional rigidity, vertical compliance with Zertz. Comfort from the cobble gobbler post.

    It all adds something. Even if it only adds 10 feet of added performance in a 125 mile stage, I'll take it, rather than give it up.

    I was always a boutique brand guy. I have a Pro-cyclocross friend in Boulder who convinced me to give "S" a try. I bought a 2008 S-Works Epic, then a 2010 Stumpy 29er HT S-Works, then A 2013 Epic S-Works 29er. Then, my wife bought me the Roubaix. You couldn't pry me off Specialized.

    As far as business practice's go, I'm not a politician. I'm a cyclist. Like a surfer, looking for the perfect wave….looking for endless, seamless perfection in a human powered machine.

    Not here to argue, an open exchange of idea's. If you don't like Specialized, I get it. many don't. They represent "The Man" cyclist tend to be counter culture, anti establishment types, I get that too.

    I have found My perfect machine not yours.

    Regards,

    Steve
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    moots and titus
    And I believe lynsky does too.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipolopolo View Post
    Hi Randy,

    First off, no, I can't engineering wise back it up. I'm a cyclist, not an engineer. I can feel it, on the climbs, Bartlett lake road, cornering faster and harder than ever. The carbon cranks , the entire bike is designed to be a unit, unchanged from the "S" labs. Torsional rigidity, vertical compliance with Zertz. Comfort from the cobble gobbler post.

    It all adds something. Even if it only adds 10 feet of added performance in a 125 mile stage, I'll take it, rather than give it up.

    I was always a boutique brand guy. I have a Pro-cyclocross friend in Boulder who convinced me to give "S" a try. I bought a 2008 S-Works Epic, then a 2010 Stumpy 29er HT S-Works, then A 2013 Epic S-Works 29er. Then, my wife bought me the Roubaix. You couldn't pry me off Specialized.

    As far as business practice's go, I'm not a politician. I'm a cyclist. Like a surfer, looking for the perfect wave….looking for endless, seamless perfection in a human powered machine.

    Not here to argue, an open exchange of idea's. If you don't like Specialized, I get it. many don't. They represent "The Man" cyclist tend to be counter culture, anti establishment types, I get that too.

    I have found My perfect machine not yours.

    Regards,

    Steve
    So in other words, you love your new bike but were totally blowing a line that you have no data on to back up, right?

    I get it, enthusiastic and you love the ride, just don't think it's somehow magically transferring more of your power output into forward motion than any one of a number of other great bikes because it doesn't.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  21. #21
    Over the Hill
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    AZ is not they only place that has chunk. If there was a big problem the internet would be full of pictures. In my experience if you use a protector used on helicopter blades on the down tube a rock kicked up by the front tire will do nothing.

    Shelter Impact Absorption Tape | Mountain Bike Review

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    So in other words, you love your new bike but were totally blowing a line that you have no data on to back up, right?

    I get it, enthusiastic and you love the ride, just don't think it's somehow magically transferring more of your power output into forward motion than any one of a number of other great bikes because it doesn't.
    Call it what you want. Seems you just want a pissing contest. I stated…"they have proven to me" I didn't call it fact and wasn't "blowing a line". It's an opinion. Guess mine isn't as important as yours or I need data to support an opinion?


    I was enthusiastic about Yeti, Litespeed, Seven, Dean. I am a believer in engineering.
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  23. #23
    The Next 100 Miler
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    Thanks all. Ooops, scheduled a carbon demo ride!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkP View Post
    Thanks all. Ooops, scheduled a carbon demo ride!
    Sorry man, shoulda started a different thread I guess. Good luck on you demo.
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  25. #25
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    I have witnessed 2 carbon frame "failures". One a guy laid the Gary Fisher down on a tree stump on BCT. The other was a guy going OTB on his Intense and the rear triangle impacted a rock and cracked it.

    That said...I own a carbon bike anyway and just have protection on the down tube.

    Jeff

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