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  1. #1
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    "Best" alu vs cheap carbon

    own Scott Scale alu frame for xc racing.
    but now thinking about carbon...
    Is it worth to replace Scale for let's say ebay carbon?
    I am ~140 lbs

    Who has experiense like that? Do U have better race results with new frame?

    thanks

  2. #2
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    No experience, but I can assure you better race results will not come from switching frames. Your Scott is a pretty nice frame. You may have more comfort or the carbon may be more responsive than an aluminum frame, but better race results are a factor of better training, focus, experience, etc. The Ebay frames are cheap enough to try one out, but if you did not like it, I suspect your resale value would be very low. Might be better off investing in lighter wheels and tires - -- depending upon your current ones. Or a training plan, H/R monitor, and some books on training.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  3. #3
    CB2
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    Do you like your Scott?
    If you're looking to loose a bunch of weight going with an ebay carbon frame you might be dissapointed; alloy and less than high zoot carbon are similar in weight.
    Like Manicmtbr, the first upgrade I look to is wheels and tires.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your reply CB2 and Manic
    I know that good fitness give more than a bit better equipment but...
    I do my best about training, HRMs, plans, books etc. I think about all training related things all the time
    So I search for improvements other than fitness
    The bike has XTR+DT4.2d wheels (1590g/pair) and Fox RL fork

    So U both think that cheap carbon gives nothing to race results? (ebay/Sette/PF etc)
    What about a bit more expensive frames? Merida, Fuji, Giant etc

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by malex001
    Thanks for your reply CB2 and Manic
    I know that good fitness give more than a bit better equipment but...
    I do my best about training, HRMs, plans, books etc. I think about all training related things all the time
    So I search for improvements other than fitness
    The bike has XTR+DT4.2d wheels (1590g/pair) and Fox RL fork

    So U both think that cheap carbon gives nothing to race results? (ebay/Sette/PF etc)
    What about a bit more expensive frames? Merida, Fuji, Giant etc

    Thanks
    Bike frame isn't going to make a damn worth of difference. Ride more.
    Trek/Gary Fisher Superfly
    Giant Anthem
    Trek Fuel Ex 8
    Lemond Buenos Aires
    Cervelo R3
    www.fasterthansome.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by malex001
    Thanks for your reply CB2 and Manic
    I know that good fitness give more than a bit better equipment but...
    I do my best about training, HRMs, plans, books etc. I think about all training related things all the time
    So I search for improvements other than fitness
    The bike has XTR+DT4.2d wheels (1590g/pair) and Fox RL fork

    So U both think that cheap carbon gives nothing to race results? (ebay/Sette/PF etc)
    What about a bit more expensive frames? Merida, Fuji, Giant etc

    Thanks
    I race a Surly Karate Monkey, so no, I don't think changing the frame will make any significant performance gains.

  7. #7
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    The Giant Anthem X just came out in a carbon version this year. It is over $1000 more expensive than the alloy version and weighs 200g (.44 lbs) less and is "comparably" stiff.

    An Industry Nine wheelset costs $1000. For me, that would be a more substantial upgrade.

  8. #8
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    P.S. I agree that working on the engine is the ultimate upgrade.

  9. #9
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    Anthem

    Anthem... no. Only hardtails!

    OK. Thanks all

  10. #10
    LMN
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    Not worth it.

    A good Carbon frame is amazing. Light, stiff, can actually take a crash without breaking, and crazy expensive.

    If you go with a cheap carbon frame you are giving up a lot, most importantly, crash durability. A half decent aluminium frame is far superior to a cheap carbon frame.

  11. #11
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    Not worth it.

  12. #12
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    Dont need carbon to have a light XC Racer. My Friend has been racing his first year on the UVM (University of Vermont) MTB Team and his Aluminum HT which is a 8 year old Gary Fisher MT Tam Frame weighs 22.5 pounds, and the frame cost him 25 bucks on ebay. Should be lighter soon he has all new wheels, tires, stem, handle, bar ordered and should hopefully be in before his Race at Catamount in Williston VT this weekend.
    Big Foot Blue KHS XC704r

  13. #13
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    I say like the others to "tune up the engine". If the cool factor is what's more important, than yeah, get it and enjoy. If your like a lot of us, the extra $$ just for carbon with a saving of just grams don't seem worth your hard earned $$ for. I say spend on new wheels and go tubeless will be money well spent. Besides, with a new frame we'll be like so careful not to get it scratch and ding up. With your old frame it battle tested.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by malex001
    own Scott Scale alu frame for xc racing.
    but now thinking about carbon...
    Is it worth to replace Scale for let's say ebay carbon?
    I am ~140 lbs

    Who has experiense like that? Do U have better race results with new frame?

    thanks
    The only way it would make any sense is if the geometry of the new (carbon) frame suited you much better than the geometry of the old (aluminum) frame.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  15. #15
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    thanks all
    At first I was impressed by carbon "wonder" properties (not the lightness)
    Good carbon frames are so expensive Cheaper option is "ebay" or used frame

    well as U all saying about wheels...
    They are 1590g now, XTR-965-CL + DT4.2d, not UST
    IMHO: The hubs are great. Rims and total weight are good
    What would be real improvement in wheels for me?
    I am thinking about Crossmax sl rear wheel and ZTR+XTR front

  16. #16
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    Man, sounds like you already have pretty nice wheels too. If it were me, I would probably just keep the wheels and invest in a tubeless rim strip option - - Stan's, or ghetto.
    Thanks to www.weavercycleworks.com for my awesome bike frames!

  17. #17
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    Yes, tubeless, and save your money for an I-9 ultralight wheelset.

  18. #18
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    no frame material or bike design

    is a substitute for a 300 W threshold. But from my own experience, I do believe good carbon handle bars can increase your comfort level relative to aluminum. You may not go any faster, but your hands/wrists won't be as sore at the end of the race. You might also want to check out the new carbon seat post on the cannondale 'flash'. It is supposed to have some significant give under high load (big hit).

  19. #19
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    Call me crazy, but big cushy tires do more than any frame material.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 rex
    Call me crazy, but big cushy tires do more than any frame material.
    Totally true. Tires and tire pressure have way more of an effect on ride than the frame material. Not even close.
    Trek/Gary Fisher Superfly
    Giant Anthem
    Trek Fuel Ex 8
    Lemond Buenos Aires
    Cervelo R3
    www.fasterthansome.blogspot.com

  21. #21
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    It is supposed to have some significant give under high load (big hit).
    And a significant boom when it snaps in half. I've seen three broken carbon posts this season, and no broken aluminum. I really fail to see the point. If you want 'give' from a post, get a thudbuster. Otherwise, don't be in the saddle on a big hit.

    Anyhoo, I don't think carbon is a great mtb material. Especially cheap carbon. But that's just me.
    read KNOBBY MEATS or be sadly ignorant of the mediocrity that is allowed to exist in the interwebs

  22. #22
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    dang

    you guys are tough. Carbon composite damping characteristics are well known (see attached image). You can do a lot to engineer carbon composite damping qualities (see below)...so everything else being equal (tiere pressure etc) carbon composite will be a better damper of trail to body forces than Al. But from what I am hearing here is that it is not enough to make a difference in rider fatigue at race pace over the race duration. And, even if it does, to heck with that cause I want to feel the sting?




    Vibration Damping of Interleaved Carbon Fiber-Epoxy Composite Beams
    Fu-Sen Liao

    New Materials Research & Development, China Steel Corporation, PO. Box 47-29, Hsiao Kang, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 81233, R.0.C.

    An-Chung Su

    Tzu-Chien J. Hsu

    Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 80424, R.O.C.

    Vibration-damping behavior of unidirectional and symmetric angle-ply carbon fiber-epoxy laminates as well as their interleaved counterparts with a layer of poly(ethylene-co-acrylic acid) (PEAA) at the mid-plane was examined. The introduction of the PEAA layer significantly improved the damping capability. The effectiveness of interleaving increased with the flexural modulus of the outer layers. In the case of unidirectional laminates, calculations based on a sandwich structure of isotropic layers quantitatively reproduced this trend. In the case of angle-ply laminates, however, the model predicted only part of the improvement experimentally observed. This was explained in terms of the bending of the angle-ply laminates in the transverse direction which would induce additional deformations in the interleaf layer and was not accounted for by the present model.

  23. #23
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevemtu
    you guys are tough. Carbon composite damping characteristics are well known (see attached image). You can do a lot to engineer carbon composite damping qualities (see below)...so everything else being equal (tiere pressure etc) carbon composite will be a better damper of trail to body forces than Al. But from what I am hearing here is that it is not enough to make a difference in rider fatigue at race pace over the race duration. And, even if it does, to heck with that cause I want to feel the sting?
    I agree that they are a tough crowd here, but that's why I enjoy this forum. They won't take it easy, baby, or hold your hand. It is true that a carbon frame can dampen the bumps, but so can steel and ti. Steel frames can now be purchased at 3 pounds. Lets not go down that road, but it's true you shouldn't have your butt on a seat during a large impact. If you're that tired then you probably shouldn't have entered this race or trained a lot harder. Also like they said a properly inflated and correct sized tire makes the ride quality much nicer than any frame material. A large and small tire makes a significant difference on my bike. With a small tire I can feel the seat bouncing into me and causing pain in my lower back. You need more pressure with a 2.0 tire. I switched to a 2.25 and lower pressure and the problem was solved and it's a much nicer ride. I have been considering carbon bars and I wanted to get them off the prize table at my last race, but someone else beat me to them. I could see a difference in that item, but not the seatpost.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  24. #24
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by the munts
    And a significant boom when it snaps in half. I've seen three broken carbon posts this season, and no broken aluminum. I really fail to see the point. If you want 'give' from a post, get a thudbuster. Otherwise, don't be in the saddle on a big hit.

    Anyhoo, I don't think carbon is a great mtb material. Especially cheap carbon. But that's just me.
    To be fair. I have never seen a broken Carbon seat post, but have personally broke two aluminum seat post.

    Give in the seat post makes a big difference. Unfortunately a lot of manufactures are moving towards oversize seatpost that don't have a lot of flex.

    I have broken one carbon bar and one aluminum bar. I broke the carbon one in a crash and the breaking of the aluminum one caused a crash (a small but rather significant difference). In both cases I was using equipment that I had previously damaged and should have replace but I was young, stupid and broke.

    But I don't use cheap carbon parts. If it is carbon and it is going on my bike, it is time proven and is usually expensive.


    My experience with Carbon on a MTB is very positive. Between my wife and myself we have probably logged 30 000km on Carbon framed MTBs and only had one problem. Catharine had a lugged Carbon frame come un-glued on her. It wasn't the Carbon that failed it was the glue.

  25. #25
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    As many guys here said about tubeless... Do U see your race RESULTS(!) better when go tubeless?
    I tried tubeless. It's nice but I did not see that I race better with TL

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