I purchased a steel 456 last spring so that I wouldn't be launching off stuff with my expensive custom XC steel HT (strong frame, but not built for that. Oh, and made by Strong). The 456 has satisfied my needs, plus it is just an overall fun bike to ride. The only thing is that, as I would expect, it is rougher on my rocky trails than my XC HT (I use either on some of the same trails).
So, would the carbon provide a noticeably "smoother" ride than the steel? I do not expect a smooth ride of course, but maybe a little less rough? I have searched this and other forums, and it seems like it may, but nothing is all that definitive. Seems a lot of the comparision is weight, which is not what I am keying on.
Oh, and the reason I am considering the carbon is that they are on sale.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: 456 Carbon to replace 456 Steel?