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  1. #1
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    Help a carbon newbie

    I've never had a carbon mountain bike. WHAT do I need to apply to the frame to protect it from rocks/chain slap and WHERE do I need to put the protective material? Please be specific so I know what to get and where to put it. PICTURES WOULD BE NICE! Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Something to protect the driveside chainstay from chainslaps (an old tube, a dedicated protector neoprene-like Lizard Skin). You can put some clear stick-on protective under the downtube... Depends on the bike too, some modern carbon bike use a tougher carbon for that area so you don't absolutely have to, the new Cannondales are built like that.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  3. #3
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    The bike is the 2011 Flash 29er Carbon. I have read that some clear "stickers" are included with the bike for chainstay and downtube areas. I guess I'll just follow the owners manual.

    Does anyone think the Cannondale "Ballistec" is an improvement from past carbon? Is it true that the High Modulus carbon may be a little more fragile than the Ballistec?

    How much abuse can carbon take from trail debris that is kicked up by tires? Anything else I should know about carbon in a mountain bike application?

  4. #4
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    Ballistec is supposedly more impact resistant than other carbon types. High-Modulus is light but more britle. But know that Cannondale carbon frames never use just one type of carbon. If I remember right, for exemple, the SuperSix frame has about 5-6 different carbon types. And both the Hi-Mod models and the non-Hi-Mod use High Modulus carbon and lower modulus carbon but the Hi-Mod models use more of the lighter carbon... The idea is to save weight in places that are not subjected to much forces but use more carbon and tougher types where more strength, stiffness and impact resistance is needed. The underside of the downtubes is an area where they use the tougher carbon (a mix of specific fibers but also a high-impact resistance resin). So combining different carbon types, fiber orientation and shaping, they can achieve very light frames that are strong, stiff in areas that need stiffness but still give a bit of vertical compliance for comfort...

    Even the standard carbon is able to deal with the debris your front tires will kick up... But for 2011, every Cannondale carbon mountain bike frames and the cyclocross frames use Ballistec. I don't think you should worry. Carbon frames have never been tougher than now and if you ever damage it, know that you would probably have wrecked an alloy frame doing the same thing. Also, carbon has a much longer fatigue life than most metals, it could last longer than most alloy frames. You can put the clear stick-on protector for peace of mind but even without, I would ride the bike the same way I would with a metal made frame.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the response. I never knew they used different types of carbon, but that logic makes perfect sense. I will apply the "protectors," but will just go ahead and ride it. The Cannondale rep said the same thing about breaking carbon and aluminum...the force that breaks the new carbon would also mess up aluminum. I think my decision to go carbon will pay off. If it doesn't...oh well. I at least wanted to give it a try. I think a warranty from Cannondale (or crash replacement) will help me sleep at night.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by historeeteacher
    I've never had a carbon mountain bike. WHAT do I need to apply to the frame to protect it from rocks/chain slap and WHERE do I need to put the protective material? Please be specific so I know what to get and where to put it. PICTURES WOULD BE NICE! Thanks.
    I went to my local auto detailer and bought 2 sq ft of clear bra and applied it on the frame where ever there appeared to be any kind of rub. After a few rides I'd inspect and apply a 2nd or 3rd coat in areas that appeared to have excessive wear just to be extra safe.

    Cost for the 2sq ft was around $20 and I have tons left over. Clear bra is really easy to work with and really durable.

    I wrapped my drive side chainstay with gorilla tape. Some people use old tubes.

    HTH

  7. #7
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    What is gorilla tape and where can I find it?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by historeeteacher
    What is gorilla tape and where can I find it?
    Really strong durable tape...available at Home Depot or Lowes...and many other hardware stores I'm sure...comes in one inch wide rolls which is easy to work with...you can use it as rim tape as well if you go ghetto tubeless...

    http://www.gorillaglue.com/tapes.aspx

  9. #9
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    I used something called 3M clear bra on certain sections for my Carbon Rush. I found it fairly cheap on eBay

  10. #10
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    Google carbon fiber repair and you will see that the frames are repairable for a reasonable price. Calfee just fixed one of mine I smashed on a rock and it is doing very well. An aluminum frame would have been toast. Carbon fiber frames are very tough. I got to hit one with a 5 lb hammer a few times and it took a very solid hit to damage it.

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