Carbon Frames and drops
So this has probably been discussed in the past, but I havent been able to find anything. Carbon front and rear triangle; 100mm travel. I am worried about doing drops. I am fairly confident that the 3-5ft range will be ok, but I would rather not trash a brand new frame due to very aggressive trail riding. Most of the riding will be XC, with some all mountain. I am 6 ft, 185lbs. Teh bike is a 2012 Felt Edict Pro. Input?
XC and very aggressive trail riding don't mix, not that it can't be done but you'd need more bike than the XC racing felt. It's not about the drop but the landing. You can do that all day if you land softly but if you miss your bike would pay for it. I guess right tool for the right job.
Last edited by mimi1885; 09-14-2013 at 01:40 PM.
There's a reason why warranties come with fine print, as manufacturers design frames to be strong to a certain standard, typically aiming to have them hold up well to their internal testing. Not sure if hard landings from drops, which bottom out the susp, is one of Felt's tests for XC *race* bikes. Also a 3-5 ft drop to flat or incline is far different from a 3-5 ft drop to a downslope. Stick to the drops that go to downslopes or ones that you can smoothly roll out of without much of a jolt on that bike. Hucks to flat can fall under abuse, and a mfg prob wouldn't be surprised to see a cracked frame after being put through such.
Carbon fiber is only strong against impacts from certain directions, and must be laid up accordingly to withstand stresses that the designers expect the frame to see. Alloys used in frames, on the other hand, are isotropic. The epoxy resin they use in the thermosetting process can stiffen it up, but the epoxy resin tends to be brittle; the resin can be the weakest link in a frame design that isn't all that well thought out, causing irreversible damage if it yields. Hopefully you aren't like the ones making broad generalizations about the strength of carbon after seeing things like Santa Cruz's downtube to concrete block test, as there are specific explanations to that and that other carbon frames likely wouldn't fare as well.
I would say that felt isn't really designed for that riding with your weight, you'll start breaking parts and eventually the frame in short order. As the above poster said it's not the material (carbon can be extremely strong and durable), it's picking the properly designed bike for the user and intended terrain. A slightly beefier bike with a little more travel would be better albeit a small weight penalty, but it's better than making a very $$$ mistake with an underbuilt bike.
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