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  1. #1
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    Trek's OCLV Carbon

    How is it? Being a Trek fan I have always liked to pretend that it is better than most other companies but after watching a video of the guys at santa cruz trying to destroy one of their carbon frames I want to be sure that Trek has the good shet too.

    Anyone ever have any problems with their OCLV parts? Unexpected cracks appearing on their own or from small accidents? How is the longevity? Anyone notice their OCLV parts wearing over time more so than alloy?

    Yes I have seen the Trek 50lb anvil test or whatever it was called. Asking for first hand experience with OCLV.

  2. #2
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    From my experience, working in a Trek shop, OCLV is not any better than anyone else's carbon. This is not to say it isn't good, but it is not leaps and bounds ahead of other carbon manufactures like Trek claims. It is just a marketing gimmick

  3. #3
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    Figured about as much.

    It would be fun to have someone (rich) do a video comparison of the destructibility of several brands' carbon frames.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSracer View Post
    From my experience, working in a Trek shop, OCLV is not any better than anyone else's carbon. This is not to say it isn't good, but it is not leaps and bounds ahead of other carbon manufactures like Trek claims. It is just a marketing gimmick
    Is that how you sell it to customers too? Really convincing.

  5. #5
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    I have owned and own a few Trek carbon bikes.
    Never had any problems with them.
    Most of Trek's bikes have a lifetime warranty. So if something does happen. I am not worried
    Too Many .

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh8 View Post
    Is that how you sell it to customers too? Really convincing.
    Lol

  7. #7
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    I have owned two of Trek's OCLV framed bikes. The first was a 2012 Superfly 100. After one full season (about 2500 miles) it developed a de-lamination at the top of the seat tube, at the expansion seam. Trek replaced the front triangle under warranty in less than a week. That same bike also developed a crack on the chainstay just behind the crank the second season (about 5000 miles). It was also replaced under warranty in less than a week. I now have a 2016 Fuel EX 9.9. So far, nothing to report (about 2000 miles). From my experience, I would say Trek will stand by their products.

    That said, you are riding a "plastic" bike! Things can happen. Carbon is less fatigue-prone than most metals (Ti possessing the best anti-fatigue properties). Carbon has incredible inherent properties that make it a perfect material for mountain bike frames. Wait until you ride one for 1000's of miles and you will see.

    These days, almost all major bike manufacturers use very high quality carbon fiber (different types in specific areas to 'tune' the chassis), special resins for bonding the materials, and hi-quality production techniques to mold these frames.

    For me, buy a bike for the kind of riding you do the most. Buy a bike made by one of the major bike makers. Do your research and get a bike with the least known problems. MTBR has a thread on all of them! Buy that bike from the shop you like the most--the LBS with the best reputation in your town. We are living in the Golden Age of mountain biking; you really can't go wrong!

  8. #8
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    In addition to the above, buy from a LBS that you've built a relationship with as well. They are who you'll be dealing with for any warranty issues.

  9. #9
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    I've got an amazing LBS so not worried there!

    Riding a brand new alloy FS right now but thinking for next year that I may finally move into carbon (wife and wallet pending).

    Asking about OCLV now though because I am considering a pair of carbon bonty rims as the next toy for my current bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    I've got an amazing LBS so not worried there!

    Riding a brand new alloy FS right now but thinking for next year that I may finally move into carbon (wife and wallet pending).

    Asking about OCLV now though because I am considering a pair of carbon bonty rims as the next toy for my current bike.
    Check out NOX Composites. I have been on their stuff for several seasons without any fuss (+ they have a killer warranty!).
    Last edited by beastmaster; 04-21-2017 at 07:05 AM.

  11. #11
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    Worked in a bike shop, which was also a Trek dealer, for some years and rarely had to replace Trek frames, something that could not be said about some other brands we sold (mostly cheaper German brands ).

  12. #12
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    Trek markets/sells it's OCLV as being superior because it's "made in the USA", personally, I don't think there's any better work being done by people in a US factory compared to an Asian one, in fact I'd wager you're getting better product out of Asia than the US, where people actually really have to work for their $$, it's all BS. The big problem with overseas production is QC and having someone on site making sure things are done right, that's it.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Trek markets/sells it's OCLV as being superior because it's "made in the USA", personally, I don't think there's any better work being done by people in a US factory compared to an Asian one, in fact I'd wager you're getting better product out of Asia than the US, where people actually really have to work for their $$, it's all BS. The big problem with overseas production is QC and having someone on site making sure things are done right, that's it.
    I don't think they still market it this way. They try to keep it quiet, but all their carbon frames are now built in Taiwan with exception of Session and top-of-the-line Madone, Emonda, and Speed Concept. Not completely sure, but it looks like they build in Waterloo only frames that utilize 700 series carbon. Project One is only painted in Waterloo. Bontrager carbon rims are usually either built by Zipp (clinchers), or in Waterloo ( tubulars).
    All molds are made in Warerloo though.
    IMHO, OCLV is now just a marketing gimmick similar to Bontrager's Profila.

  14. #14
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    OCLV is fine

    and Trek warranty is bombproof

    if the frame break from normal use like a crack in the BB or anywhere else,
    or glue separates...Trek replaces with equal or higher.

    but....Giant makes better and cheaper composite frames nowadays. I say better in that
    for a mass produced frame, they have the best source material and best machinery to do it. also the sheer numbers in the testing and destruction goes beyond anyone else budget could stand.

    Giant is the only manufacturer that produces their carbon fiber from scratch giving them excellent quality control throughout the process

    nothing wrong with OCLV though.

    But Giant hands down can crank out composite frames that rock the house and are sweet riding. they also make the frames for many big bike brands...like some alu frames for trek and whatnot

    they have the most advanced and efficient manufacturing facilities in the bicycle industry.

    in terms of size, Giant is #1 and Trek is #2 in overall bike sales. but no one can beat Giants Carbon/composite manufacturing, no way no how. they lead the industry on innovation in material science and mass production of that....they got the facilities and loot to get 'er done.

    I've owned a ton of high end bikes over the last 30 years, and when I put my legs over my new Giant carbon bikes I got in 2015 I knew right then and there Giant has this dicked. they ride amazingly well and are tough as nails (so far)

    my Trek OCLV's were great, rode them for years and years..but Giant is..somehow better.

  15. #15
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    The quality of Trek's OCLV ranks right up there with Time, Giant and Easton composites. Just take a peek inside the smooth tubes....

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  16. #16
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    I have broken every single frame I have ever owned, except my OLDEST two Treks.
    A 5500 road, and my '96 Y33.
    The Y bike was absolutely THRASHED and abused.

    Both of those frames were USA made (5500 and Y).

    All of my "non-USA" frames have broken within 3 months.

    I am hard on bikes apparently, and I will still run Trek carbon. One of those failures was not a Trek, and was catastrophic.



    I think the "OCLV" was initially a valid sales notation. Carbon WAS very new in it's cycling development when Trek monikered it's carbon as "OCLV". The OCLV was honestly VERY important for proper carbon manufacturing. Lots of "V" in the carbon is a failure going to happen.

    I can safely say however, I am disappointed that an $8000 bicycle, or a $5000 frame is made in Taiwan. It's actually one reason why I put up a little more money for my Madone 7, because it was USA made, not Taiwan made like the Madone 6 was.
    "Go soothingly in the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by drdocta View Post
    I've got an amazing LBS so not worried there!

    Riding a brand new alloy FS right now but thinking for next year that I may finally move into carbon (wife and wallet pending).

    Asking about OCLV now though because I am considering a pair of carbon bonty rims as the next toy for my current bike.
    The price + dealer support can't be beat with the new Bontrager carbon MTB wheelsets. Yes, you can get Chinese carbon rims cheaper, but not much, but you can't drop by their local dealer for support, can you?

    I have 1,300 hard miles on a set of Line Pro 29+ wheels, and the rims are flawless.

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