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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on a carbon mountain bike frame?

    Is it worth the price? I see the advantages for road bike riding, but what are your thoughts for mountain bike riding.

  2. #2
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    I don't ride carbon because I'm not a light guy, and I have been known to crash from time to time. The only carbon bikes I can afford are of questionable quality anyway. . .

    I once heard a quote "Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick Two."

  3. #3
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    Carbon is good for road bikes, not the greatess for mtb. JMO

  4. #4
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    I swore never to ride a carbon frame when I broke a carbon shaft golf club just by swinging it. Trusting a piece of carbon with my life.... no chance in hell
    2011 29" Specialized Hard Rock

  5. #5
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    Carbon frames are great. I've had 2 carbon mtn bike frames. But I would never go back. They do serve a purpose for being super light and good looking. But unless you are a pro racer, stay away. The reason I say that is because they can and do break and they don't need a good reason to do so. I had one break and one of my skinny weight weenie friends made fun of me for being "too fat for carbon". A few races later his skinny butt cracked his brand new bike. Now, if you're a pro racer....no big deal. You get a new one the next day. The rest of us have to wait for a warranty claim to go through which can take months. Lets face it, you're most likely to break your bike during the summer when everyone else is breaking their bikes. That cuts into your riding season which is why I would not get another carbon mtn bike. Also, my Ti frame has a MUCH better ride

  6. #6
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    Cannondale frames have a life time warranty and it takes like 30 days max to get a new one. Depending on the frame it is much more comfortable than aluminum. Carbon is a bit of a pain in the ass because you need to be very careful not to let the cables rub or the chain ext because it can create weak spots. My riding friend has a cannondale flash and its great best ht I have ever ridden and its so light. It feels like riding a fully as far as comfort and climbs so good and with the warranty why not.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chri View Post
    I swore never to ride a carbon frame when I broke a carbon shaft golf club just by swinging it. Trusting a piece of carbon with my life.... no chance in hell
    Right tool for the right job, is the club properly fitted to your swing speed and the type of swing you have. It's a bold statement to make that a carbon shaft would break just by swinging them. I snapped a steel shafted before not because it's not a good material but it's not a right stiffness for me(my wife's club)

    Carbon frames come in all types and sizes, if you are using an XC frame to do stunts you may get bad result. Choosing the right tool for the right job would be the key here.

    My Mojo HD would pretty much can take just about anything I have the courage to do and then some. I've done plenty of thing on my Mojo classic and crash plenty of time the and it still holds up well, I have no doubt that Carbon excel in Mtb application. If and when I'm getting myself into DH I'd definitely consider Carbon, V10 carbon or the GT.

    There are pros and cons of each material but more important there are a lot of misinformation and myths people exchange on the forum.

    *Carbon is not more expensive, they are just about the same price nowadays. If you are spending $1800+ on the frame a couple hundred more is not really a factor. Seriously.
    *When it come to choosing carbon think ; same strength=lighter weight, or same weight = stronger/stiffer/ more durable.
    *Riders break the frame all the time with all the material available but it seems like we are only hear about carbon breaking because it's a newer material. The same way we hear about plane crash.

    I admit the first few rides on my carbon frame I took it really easy not because I was afraid I'd break the bike but my heart skip a beat when I put scratches on the shinny frame


  8. #8
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    I hear carbon bikes (especially 26" hardtails) attract Red Hartebeest roaming the South African plains.

    But I don't ride anywhere near South Africa, so I would buy carbon if I could afford it. Aluminum and steel and titanium break too.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  9. #9
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    Any bike frame can break regardless of the material its made out of. A lightweight frame will be more likely to break than a heavier frame, regardless of frame material. A heavier frame will usually be stronger, regardless of frame material.

    Do you see a pattern forming here? Carbon's biggest weakness is the knowledge of the owner of the bike. Common sense goes a long way in all facets of life.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3fast3furious View Post
    .... Also, my Ti frame has a MUCH better ride
    That's cool for you.
    My $400 carbon frame has a much better ride than my $1500 Ti frame.

  11. #11
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    Ride feel debates strike me as being a little like the arguments about different kinds of cables for home sound systems. Take from that what you please. Between the different fork materials on my different road bikes, though, I don't think I could tell you which one was which and I think you could fool me by messing with my tire pressures.

    I'd say it depends on your goals in riding. I rode a Santa Cruz Highball several weeks ago and was very impressed. I rode an Ibis Mojo a few months ago and was not so impressed. I've also been on aluminum bikes that impressed me and aluminum bikes that didn't. I'd say that if a bike is in a class that's already light, having a frame that can knock off another few hundred grams might make a perceptible difference. Bear in mind that the weight's in a place where it's not that important, so if you're on a limited budget, it may not be the best place to spend money. If you get under 6.8 kg, it's just stupid. If you woke up tomorrow with the power of Julien Absalon, you'd have to duct tape silverware to your down tube to race him. Also, if you've got 5 extra pounds on your ass, worrying about a few hundred grams on the bike is maybe a misplaced concern. Although as someone else said - once you're spending on a really high-dollar bike anyway, why not. It may not do much for you, but it won't hurt you either.

    Frames in all materials suffer failures. So I think that's a matter of the design, quality control and intent of the person who made the frame. For every claim of carbon fiber suffering a failure without warning, there's a counterclaim that the paint starts cracking and flaking in a distinctive way if the frame is deformed enough to be critically damaged. My steel road bike comes from a brand with a reputation for driveside dropout failures. So there's really nothing magical about the material. (And there are carbon fiber bikes from the 80s still on the road.)

    When I get my first post-MS paycheck, I'm buying a carbon fiber 29er hardtail with lots of gears and a kickass fork. Unless I find myself doing most of my competition in another discipline, anyway.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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