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  1. #1
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    Reputation: D-Town's Avatar
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    Carbon - The Good, The Bad, and The Failed

    I'm in between the '11 SJ Elite and the Expert for my next bike. Realizing the component differences; the carbon fiber has me intrigued but fearful of it being compromised when a rock hits the frame.

    Does anyone have any experience with the new Specialized carbon bikes and associated horror stories of the carbon failing?

    Any insight would be appreciated.
    Nothing but style!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Jacobus's Avatar
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    Not sure I will try this on my frame but it seams like carbon is pretty tough click

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by D-Town
    I'm in between the '11 SJ Elite and the Expert for my next bike. Realizing the component differences; the carbon fiber has me intrigued but fearful of it being compromised when a rock hits the frame.

    Does anyone have any experience with the new Specialized carbon bikes and associated horror stories of the carbon failing?

    Any insight would be appreciated.
    I had a 2008 S-Works Stumpjumper FSR and rode it for 3 seasons without any problems. I am 190 lbs and don't abuse my bikes, but I certainly don't baby them either. To add to that, I live in New England where the trails are very rocky and technical. I had such a good expirience with this bike that I recently sold it and bought a carbon Epic Expert Evo R 29er!

    Don't be afraid of carbon. If you crash bad enough to break a carbon frame, you would have broken an aluminum frame anyway. If the bike does not come with one of the clear vinyl strips on the down tube, I would advise getting one. This will protect from small rocks kicking up and chipping the carbon.

    J.
    Specialized BG FIT Master Technician

  4. #4
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    not bike related so much but carbon related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-zSiKbfx3o

  5. #5
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    Started off my MTB career with 2 fancy carbon bikes( Lapierre). While I've sold the second one as I did not like it in general,I have to ship the first one back to France to have the frame replaced ( granny wheel eating the carbon in the bb area).
    I can generally tell I'm pretty happy with my carbon experience except for this granny wheel thing wich is obviously a faulty assembling problem,but you do need to watch after it a lot more. Forget about opening the seat clamp,just lock the heck out of it with a torque wrench and forget about it. If it's a AM bike a dropseat is mandatory. Protect the frame aswell,cover it with plastic films and stuff all over the place. And inspect,inspect and inspect even more !! While the aluminum will tell you it's about to crack,carbon fiber will not,it will just crack !!

    Bottom line I kept the carbon XC bike and replace the trail/AM one with an aluminum one for piece of mind.
    '13 Stumpy fsr Elite 29 pimped
    '15 Tarmac Sworks

  6. #6
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    Maybe this is slightly unrelated, but I have been riding an Easton Carbon fiber handlebar (guarantied for life) for eleven years or so as a DH, Freeride, Jump and Enduro bar. It is not anymore like it is the first time in our lives we have seen a potato not knowing what it is or what it tastes like lying there in the dirt. People have tasted potatoes and are still alive. Potatoes + Carbon fiber = good stuff.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the insight and afirmation!

    I made a call to Specialized yesterday and they answered a couple questions I had regarding the carbon frame (aluminum rear triangle). The frame is warrantied for life against manufacture defects but not normal wear and tear. The rear triangle is warrantied for 5 years from purchase. Not bad in my opinion. The person I spoke with mentioned that carbon frames come with a clear protective adhesive on the down tube. Apparently it's similar to the protective adhesive used in helicopter blades. Devastazione alluded to this in his post and it makes the most sense to use protective coatings on the frame to stave off the small dings and scratches.
    Nothing but style!

  8. #8
    waiting for a piece (.45)
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    It's been my experience that carbon fibre is better able to handle regular off-road riding 'oopsies' than either aluminum or steel. Both of the latter will fail long before the CF. To whit: We took a cracked Tarmac road frame and chopped off the seatstays between the brake bridge and the dropout.... I volunteered to ride it through the woods until it broke or until our 1 hour lunch break was over. I figured that I would be getting a free lunch all week (that was the bet). Instead the "Chopped Tarmac" made it through a full lunch ride....

    I believe!

  9. #9
    The Other Dude
    Reputation: jut8's Avatar
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    I was in a 12 mile MTB time trial race and my top tube on my carbon sw stumpjumper cracked. I honestly have no clue where it happened during the race, but when i got the finish one of my friends pointed it out to me. I was shocked, the tube did not break in half, but a crack had formed. I was pushing hard (for my capabilities) the entire time, and it held up to get me through the race. I am a believer in it. Like SpecialWarr did, i even took it out for a few trail rides while i was waiting to the warranty replacement and it never catastrophically failed, but it probably wasent the smartest thing i ever did.

    Shop called specialized warranty and the experience was great, I will be buying carbon again. I do wish they would put the lifetime warranty on the carbon rear triangle though, or any rear triangle for that matter.
    Sponsors: Specialized, Honey Stinger, The Hive, Twenty6, 661, Elka Suspension, www.Chainsmokeracing.net

  10. #10
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    Meh, I still can't bring myself to by a carbon frame yet. I'm looking to buy a new ride this year and will still choose the aluminum frame. I do know of a guy that bought an S-WORKS EPIC and a rock jumped up and hit just above his BB on the DT and gouged it pretty good. Specialized replaced it under warranty....but I've taken many a hits like that here in the Southwest and my frame is still good to go (2003 EPIC) maybe some paint chips here and there, but that's it.

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