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  1. #1
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    When is carbon worth it?

    How much more are you willing to pay for carbon and what do you see as the main benefits? Weight savings, stiffness, etc?

    For me, I don't see it as that much. I'd rather use the savings and put it into a decent set of wheels. If I was doing epic trips like Ride the Divide I'd feel differently but I do the typical 2 hour mountain bike rides where I'm not racing a clock.

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure but I'm looking at AM full suspension 29ers with about 500mm of reach and the alloy bikes in that category are pretty heavy.

  3. #3
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    If you have a choice between carbon and aluminum (with the same frame, say a Santa Cruz Nomad), your wallet is probably the biggest decision maker. For me personally, the weight is not too much of a big factor or the ride quality (I rode steel and aluminum for 20+ years before going carbon and still love the feel of a good steel hardtail). There are some carbon bikes out there that are at the same price point as aluminum (YT Industries for example) however, so the decision is even more muddled.

  4. #4
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    When it's free.
    Bikes belong in Wilderness areas.

  5. #5
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    It's like any other component, carbon is worth it to some but not for others. Very subjective.


    Benefits of carbon- lighter, more "tuneable", won't rust, and unlike steel or aluminum will never fatigue.

    Benefits of steel/aluminum- more impact resistant, cheaper.
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  6. #6
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    When youíre wallet permits it 😀. If you can afford it.... no reason not to get it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    How much more are you willing to pay for carbon and what do you see as the main benefits? Weight savings, stiffness, etc?

    For me, I don't see it as that much.
    well there you go.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  8. #8
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    I was recently considering the 2017 Bronson 27.5. The weight difference between carbon c and alloy, for the same build (s build) was about a pound, and a $1000. I'll take the $1000.

  9. #9
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    Carbon vs aluminum is down on the list when choosing a bike. Geo, suspension design, travel, durability come first. If, after all those items are checked, and its between aluminum or carbon, I'd likely go carbon as its lighter and likely has better resale.

  10. #10
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    Never...only Ti for me....have seen, and myself, broke too many frames....

  11. #11
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    Usually the difference in weight for the same bike in AL of CF is about a half pound to a pound. The difference in price is usually about a 1k. I would say it depends on what you're trying to get out of it. That said, I would not recommend going with a used CF bike as there is no warranty if sheeit hits the fan.

  12. #12
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    Never even considered carbon and I've ridden for 25+ years. It's not even close to being worth the extra $$ to me for a pound or so difference from the aluminum version.
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  13. #13
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    The weight savings depends on what bike you're talking about. The difference between the aluminum and carbon S builds on the Nomad is a bit more than 2 lbs. However, on the Bronson it's only 1 lbs. It also matters what you're using the bike for. I don't think there's a black and white answer.

  14. #14
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    If you get a full bike sometime itís unavoidable. Most manufacturers donít offer higher end parts on an aluminum frame.
    For example, look at the Santa Cruz Tallboy. The top end aluminum trim costs $3300 and includes a NX shifter and derauiller. If you want to have GX you have to jump up to a carbon model for $4800.
    Now if there is just one or two components you can buy it separately. But if there are multiple components you want upgraded you wonít save much, of anything at all.

    For me the cost difference wasnít worth it. The components on the aluminium bike I bought were fine.

  15. #15
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    I've broken countless AL frames. Never a CF.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Carbon vs aluminum is down on the list when choosing a bike. Geo, suspension design, travel, durability come first. If, after all those items are checked, and its between aluminum or carbon, I'd likely go carbon as its lighter and likely has better resale.
    CF resale value is like a sore D*** you cant beat it!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    When it's free.
    This. Actually, I'd take it a step further and say when you're getting PAID TO RIDE IT.

    Carbon fiber offers basically no benefit for the overwhelming majority of bicycle riders. If the frame was free, I'd consider it.

    My first bike was aluminum. My second bike was carbon fiber. All the ones after that have been steel. If I thought there was some advantage to lighter bikes, I'd have one or more. I don't anymore. Steel bikes are just more enjoyable to me.

  18. #18
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    I went from a full carbon bike and bits down to handlebars and crank (only cuz I'm reusing). I don't think ill stop using carbon bars but pretty much everywhere else I'm not sold anymore...


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    Carbon fiber offers basically no benefit for the overwhelming majority of bicycle riders.
    Agreed, my next frame is going to be made of wood and filled with lead because lighter bikes have no advantages.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Agreed, my next frame is going to be made of wood and filled with lead because lighter bikes have no advantages.
    While your sarcasm is at least somewhat amusing, I can honestly respond that the focus on the weight of bicycles is completely overblown, way beyond its relevance. People spend thousands to remove a few ounces of weight from a bicycle, when even removing ten pounds of weight would not produce a demonstrable performance improvement. Those people should take a good hard dump before they ride and save their money.

    It is only after many thousands of miles enjoying steel bicycles that are 30+ pounds with high spoke count wheels and such that I've realized just how pointless all that weight crap is. My carbon bike just hangs in the shop; its tires will probably dry rot before they wear out.

    The default response to posts like this should just become "weight does not matter."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I can honestly respond that the focus on the weight of bicycles is completely overblown, way beyond its relevance.
    I agree. I just watched Nate Hills do a bike check - https://youtu.be/9N0mxNRDLi8 and he says he doesn't even bother weighing his bike. He's a sponsored, professional 150 pound bad-ass racer for those who haven't heard of him.

    For me, it's all about fitness and confidence. If I'm riding a ton and railing stuff, my 32 lb bike will feel like my 22 lb carbon SS. If I'm not riding a lot and not in great bike shape, my 22 lb carbon SS will feel sluggish and heavy.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    While your sarcasm is at least somewhat amusing, I can honestly respond that the focus on the weight of bicycles is completely overblown, way beyond its relevance. People spend thousands to remove a few ounces of weight from a bicycle, when even removing ten pounds of weight would not produce a demonstrable performance improvement. Those people should take a good hard dump before they ride and save their money.

    Dang, you take ten pound dumps? Impressive! Try hanging a 10# rock from your frame and then climb a 1000 ft. 10% hill and then try it again without it and see if there is any demonstrable performance difference. Use a timer.

    I do agree that weight is overblown and a few oz's or even a few pounds one way or the other won't effect the average rider significantly and lot's of times the extra weight is worth it, assuming it's not dead weight that is.

    Carbon is good because it allows designers to build a that is both better performing and lighter than alloy (no dead weight) Like any component there are drawbacks (e.g. $$$) so as always it comes down to the individual and what they want out of their equipment.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I agree. I just watched Nate Hills do a bike check - https://youtu.be/9N0mxNRDLi8 and he says he doesn't even bother weighing his bike. He's a sponsored, professional 150 pound bad-ass racer for those who haven't heard of him.
    He's riding a carbon bike with top tier components.
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  24. #24
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    I have notice, that my bigger friends seem to go down hill faster....because of more weight. I have to suck wheel to stay with them....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    While your sarcasm is at least somewhat amusing, I can honestly respond that the focus on the weight of bicycles is completely overblown, way beyond its relevance. People spend thousands to remove a few ounces of weight from a bicycle, when even removing ten pounds of weight would not produce a demonstrable performance improvement. Those people should take a good hard dump before they ride and save their money.

    It is only after many thousands of miles enjoying steel bicycles that are 30+ pounds with high spoke count wheels and such that I've realized just how pointless all that weight crap is. My carbon bike just hangs in the shop; its tires will probably dry rot before they wear out.

    The default response to posts like this should just become "weight does not matter."
    You are missing the body weight ratio issue. Bikes don't get much lighter with size because the components all weigh the same and you can't get 'light duty' parts specifically designed for light riders. A couple of pounds might not be a big deal to a 200lb person but its certainly noticeable for a 100lb person as it's a much higher percentage of their body weight that they'll be pushing up hill. Different people have different priorities. Personally I'll take the weight savings when I consider it's worth the money and I can save a significant amount of weight (frame, wheels, handlebars), but ti bolts are going a bit too far. Also, some bikes only come in carbon... you're not going to have much luck finding an aluminium Ibis. I do enjoy steel though... my steel fixie is a joy to ride on tarmac.

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  26. #26
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    This question is always coming up. There are way too many variables for any one person to answer it accurately for another person. I can say that if everything else is equal, I'll take the lighter bike any day of the week. With bikes being in the high 20 pound range, a 5 pound difference in bike weight is VERY noticeable. You're kidding yourself if you say it isn't. But the issue is that all things are never equal.

    I have ridden two hardtail bikes back to back, one being carbon frame and one having an aluminum frame. The component spec was slightly in favor of the CF bike so there was some weight savings there too. But the ride was noticeably better on the CF bike and didn't seem to hurt as much. The AL bike just rode hard.

    But like others have said, there is no need to go full weight weenie, but having a 32 pound do it all bike is not nearly as fun as a 27 pounder.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    He's riding a carbon bike with top tier components.
    He mentions reliability being far more important than weight.

    Of course all pros are going to ride top tier stuff. Sponsors give their pros top of the line so more people think they need to spend $10k if they ever want to ride like Nate Hills or whoever else.

  28. #28
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    I raced on the road professionally in Europe for many years. To say a lighter bike offers no performance advantage is total nonsense. Try riding a 120 mile day with 10k feet of serious climbing in the alps and then tell me a heavier bike offers the same performance of a CF bike 10 lbs lighter. You could take a 30lb crap and you would still be at a severe disadvantage performance wise

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    He mentions reliability being far more important than weight.

    I guess that reinforces the fact that carbon is a great frame material because he seems to choose every component for maximum performance for his type of racing. Do you think the same bike would suit a world cup xc rider?
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALimon View Post
    I raced on the road professionally in Europe for many years. To say a lighter bike offers no performance advantage is total nonsense.
    The difference between a quality steel road frame and it's modern carbon equivalent is astounding on climbs, aside from being super light they're also incredibly stiff in the right ways. I was giggly the first ride on mine!
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  31. #31
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    i don't care how much I ride, my sub 20 pound SS will ALWAYS take less effort to move than my 27 pound trail bike. However, that doesn't make it the right tool for the job.

    But to answer the original question, was the 5 pound difference between my last AL trail bike and my current CF trail bike worth $2,000ish? I definitely think so. Do I "need" the CF vs AL, absolutely not. But I make it fit in the budget so why the hell not?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The difference between a quality steel road frame and it's modern carbon equivalent is astounding on climbs, aside from being super light they're also incredibly stiff in the right ways. I was giggly the first ride on mine!
    No doubt! I swapped bikes the other day with a guy who had a Trek Edmonda, 13lbs!
    Unbelievable bike. I thought I was going downhill on the climbs.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Dang, you take ten pound dumps? Impressive! Try hanging a 10# rock from your frame and then climb a 1000 ft. 10% hill and then try it again without it and see if there is any demonstrable performance difference. Use a timer.

    I do agree that weight is overblown and a few oz's or even a few pounds one way or the other won't effect the average rider significantly and lot's of times the extra weight is worth it, assuming it's not dead weight that is.

    Carbon is good because it allows designers to build a that is both better performing and lighter than alloy (no dead weight) Like any component there are drawbacks (e.g. $$$) so as always it comes down to the individual and what they want out of their equipment.
    If I could tie a ten pound rock to my frame without it being in the way, I would gladly do so and I bet the difference in a climb would be based on whether I did the "heavy" climb or the "light" climb first or whether I'd eaten my wheaties that day.

    I can tell you that I have done the same 1400+ foot, 15 mile climb on both my carbon and steel drop bar bikes and my fastest times are actually on my steel bike because I'm in better shape now that I've been riding more regularly and because it has lower gears for the toughest parts of that climb. There is a substantial difference in weight between the two, with the steel bike and its wheels being much, much heavier.

    Steel is an alloy. If you're referring to aluminum as "alloy," I don't ride aluminum bikes at all, so you'll have to be the expert on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mahgnillig View Post
    You are missing the body weight ratio issue. Bikes don't get much lighter with size because the components all weigh the same and you can't get 'light duty' parts specifically designed for light riders. A couple of pounds might not be a big deal to a 200lb person but its certainly noticeable for a 100lb person as it's a much higher percentage of their body weight that they'll be pushing up hill. Different people have different priorities. Personally I'll take the weight savings when I consider it's worth the money and I can save a significant amount of weight (frame, wheels, handlebars), but ti bolts are going a bit too far. Also, some bikes only come in carbon... you're not going to have much luck finding an aluminium Ibis. I do enjoy steel though... my steel fixie is a joy to ride on tarmac.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The difference between a quality steel road frame and it's modern carbon equivalent is astounding on climbs, aside from being super light they're also incredibly stiff in the right ways. I was giggly the first ride on mine!
    While I could never prove to you conclusively that you're wrong, I do think that you probably are wrong. There is no real evidence that a stiffer frame is faster or transfers more power to the tire, either. At the power levels human beings produce, power transfer is probably not significant at all. Perhaps a pro could produce a slight, demonstrable difference, but the bulk of people will see no difference.

    Carbon probably offers a slight advantage at the extreme margins which is far outweighed by it being delicate, especially when transporting it, and its difficulty to repair in crashes.

    People want to defend their purchases, so that has to be a consideration in this discussion. But I also own and can afford to ride either and I find myself on my steel bikes while my carbon one stays home.

  34. #34
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    Movement is energy. Moving 20 pounds will always require less energy than moving 30 pounds. Riding a lighter bike will require less energy and will drain the ďmotorĒ of less fuel with every turn of the pedals. There is no denying that.

    What someone prefers, or how ďin shapeĒ they are is not scientific as itís not controlled. They are definitely major factors in what they find fun to ride though. While some will absolutely love riding their 32 pound trail bike, my daughters would absolutely hate it. So for them, itís carbon hardtails. The less it weighs, the longer they can ride which is a win for me.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALimon View Post
    I've broken countless AL frames. Never a CF.
    Ditto. Same for wheels.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    While I could never prove to you conclusively that you're wrong, I do think that you probably are wrong.

    Wrong? Do the math, the steeper the climb the more weight matters as far as speed goes. As far as stiffness I got no "proof" but it's plenty quantifiable to me and that's all I really care about, my carbon frame feels like a rocket ship on climbs compared to steel and the fact that the bb90 does not budge when I stand on a steep climb is a factor for sure.

    My 85 columbus slx race bike is a joy to ride, in some ways nicer than my carbon but the steel is noodly in comparison which makes it way cozier over cattle guards but not as optimal out of the saddle. I also have both steel and carbon available to ride and choose carbon because I'm a speed freak.

    So we're both right, you like steel and I like carbon. Both have benefits and drawbacks.


    also- carbon isn't as delicate as some make it out to be and it's actually very repairable even by an amateur.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    The difference between a quality steel road frame and it's modern carbon equivalent is astounding on climbs, aside from being super light they're also incredibly stiff in the right ways. I was giggly the first ride on mine!
    Agreed. I'd also add while being stiffer, more efficient, and responsive they are at the same time more comfortable and less fatiguing. Especially on big rides. Could add cornering precision as well. My buddies that are steel hold outs on nice serotta's and colnago's don't like hoping on my bike. Furthermore, I'd payed a fraction on it as they did on their steel builds as I bought a Madone when Lance came out of the closet for 1/7th sticker price.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Agreed. I'd also add while being stiffer, more efficient, and responsive they are at the same time more comfortable and less fatiguing. Especially on big rides. Could add cornering precision as well. My buddies that are steel hold outs on nice serotta's and colnago's don't like hoping on my bike. Furthermore, I'd payed a fraction on it as they did on their steel builds as I bought a Madone when Lance came out of the closet for 1/7th sticker price.
    Lance was my teammate for a year back in the day.... he never really came out of the closet

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Wrong? Do the math, the steeper the climb the more weight matters as far as speed goes. As far as stiffness I got no "proof" but it's plenty quantifiable to me and that's all I really care about, my carbon frame feels like a rocket ship on climbs compared to steel and the fact that the bb90 does not budge when I stand on a steep climb is a factor for sure.

    My 85 columbus slx race bike is a joy to ride, in some ways nicer than my carbon but the steel is noodly in comparison which makes it way cozier over cattle guards but not as optimal out of the saddle. I also have both steel and carbon available to ride and choose carbon because I'm a speed freak.

    So we're both right, you like steel and I like carbon. Both have benefits and drawbacks.


    also- carbon isn't as delicate as some make it out to be and it's actually very repairable even by an amateur.
    You're moving the goalpost. Before it was about stiffness (where I quoted), but now you're talking about weight. Weight does have a minor, but probably completely insignificant for most riders and rides, effect. Frame stiffness probably has no empirically demonstrable effect for any rider save the strongest professionals. Hardly anyone in a bike shop can tell a difference in power output to the tire based on frame material.

    Your carbon frame would probably feel "noodley" if you took a few psi of tire pressure out. Your subjective experience riding is almost completely based on the vibration you feel or perhaps some minor geometry differences.

    And you're right, having both, I strongly prefer steel. If there's even a speed tradeoff, it's far outweighed by durability and ease of repair for me. If I had a time machine to go to 5 years ago and tell myself I'd be typing this, I really wouldn't believe it, but I've come around to this position.

    A lot of innovations on bicycles really are innovations and based on competition in the marketplace which is flooded with many good brand names of bicycles, with nearly every niche and nuance covered by somebody. I'm not a retrogrouch in the sense that changes that improve performance in a significant way should be welcomed. That said, I remain unpersuaded that carbon fiber is one of those "innovations" that offers the mtb consumer anything, with the possible exception of racing as I don't race. When I'm at a dead stop and I pick up my 17 pound drop bar bike, it feels like it ought to be a rocket ship compared to a 30 pound bike. It's only getting on Strava and seeing the data that show that I'm really not any faster on it.

    I'd also add that while I'm not fast on anything, it's slower riders who actually have more to gain, since we spend more time climbing the same mountain.

    I remain convinced that a good hard dump can be the difference between the fancy carbon and the lesser expensive, similar frame, and that none of us mere mortals can tell the difference.

  40. #40
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    I actually did ride the divide and chose cheaper steel over lighter carbon. Mostly due to the cost of the frame but also the drivetrain I was just going to wear out in 45 days.
    I also ride a full carbon full suspension bike 99% of the time and would be hard pressed to go back to Aluminum.
    Just comes down to where you want to spend your money. A company that can make quality carbon fiber say Pivot can also make the same bike in aluminum with similar stiffness and ride properties for about $1000 less that weighs half a pound more.

  41. #41
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    For me the weight becomes noticeable maneuvering the bike more so than pedaling efficiency. Hopping logs, rhythm style jumps, punch up rocks...basically anytime I'm doing some type of lift or rotational movement.

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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post

    I remain convinced that a good hard dump can be the difference between the fancy carbon and the lesser expensive, similar frame, and that none of us mere mortals can tell the difference.

    I believe that you can't tell a difference between them and that's fine. I'm a performance oriented rider and I can easily feel the difference, if you don't believe me that's fine too, doesn't matter. I get that you prefer steel but this thread isn't about preferences.

    btw strava does say I'm a little faster on carbon compared to my old steel bike.
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    If you can afford it it's worth it, If you have to skimp on components or especially the suspension then it's not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    How much more are you willing to pay for carbon and what do you see as the main benefits? Weight savings, stiffness, etc?

    For me, I don't see it as that much. I'd rather use the savings and put it into a decent set of wheels. If I was doing epic trips like Ride the Divide I'd feel differently but I do the typical 2 hour mountain bike rides where I'm not racing a clock.
    OP - I'm actually not sure what you're saying? Carbon frame and/or Carbon wheels????

    Are you saying you prefer to save money and get an alloy frame, but put the money on carbon wheels?

    Money wise - you pay around the same premium ~$1000 for carbon frame or wheels. So it is a wash.

    Weight wise it depends - you'll likely shed more weight off the frame, but carbon wheels shed rotational mass.

  46. #46
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    Most of my trail bikes have been carbon frames & I rode on carbon wheels (broke several heavy duty "CH-Enves" and then had Enve M70s with no breakage) for the past couple years - IMO carbon is worth it for the frame but not worth it for the wheels - yes carbon wheels are lighter, faster and accelerate better, but IMO have 2 potential big disadvantages (in addition to cost) on a trail or DH bike -

    1. they are so stiff that they feel more "harsh" - it feel like you have less suspension - this is probably even more true for Enves

    2. they are so stiff that it can be almost impossible to mount / remove certain tires - at 1st I thought it was my lack of mechanical skills, but my mechanic, who is widely considered among the best in N. CA, could not get a tire off the M70 rim and we had to cut it off - imagine you tear a sidewall out on the trail - that could make for a long day! - again, I think Enve is the biggest offender b/c they are so stiff and so deep

    Regarding weight, look at the difference between a carbon rim made for real trail riding and a higher end DT AL rime - almost no difference

  47. #47
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    Carbon/aluminum is a small performance thing compared to getting suspension tuned proper, good geo, and the right tire set up. As such, i go with whatever seems the most economical with regards to warranty vs expected durability. Money no object-- carbon... but i don't need a ferrari when a 911 will do.

    Every time i run OE tune 'trail' rear suspension i'm disappointed and hours of fussing never overcomes the inherent incompetence. Maybe that's just rockshox and fox. Alu/carbon... i can tell in the parking lot, but not on the trail.

    That goes for the various linkages too. I never notice a specific linkage unless the implementation totally sucks or the shock tune is crap.

    Give me a reliable single pivot aluminum frame and a custom shock and i'm happier with that than whatever pinkbike is reviewing.




    If steel is an option that's what i want.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Carbon/aluminum is a small performance thing compared to getting suspension tuned proper, good geo, and the right tire set up. As such, i go with whatever seems the most economical with regards to warranty vs expected durability. Money no object-- carbon... but i don't need a ferrari when a 911 will do.

    Every time i run OE tune 'trail' rear suspension i'm disappointed and hours of fussing never overcomes the inherent incompetence. Maybe that's just rockshox and fox....

    Yep

  49. #49
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    I'll ride carbon if it's the more durable choice. But price, performance & durability is what I'm really interested in.

    I've got a Mojo hd and a Kona process 153. They overlap in a lot of attributes but the Ibis climbs better, not because it's carbon. Because of its design, it's coiled front and rear and weighs a pound more than the air shocked process.

    The Process 153 on the other hand is slightly more enjoyable on the descents. Its shorter seat tube and more modern geometry and design are the reason. No dropper as of right now though that stinks.

  50. #50
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    You have to balance a componentís weight with its usefulness and/or durability. Iíd save a ton of weight by going to a rigid seatpost from dropper, but obviously that is not worth the weight savings. I like a light bike as much as anyone, but if I replace a heavier component with a lighter one and it breaks it wasnít worth it.

  51. #51
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    For a long travel enduro bike I'd never go back to alloy. Carbon feels so affirmative and stiff compared to the dead weight of alloy. It doesn't resonate to the same extent so is less tiring to ride. Carbon all the way.

  52. #52
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    Mate broke his 1-day old Enve DH riser bar today with his (gloved) hands. Had a slow motion OTB and his paw wedged under the brake lever. Snap... one dead crabon bar. He didn't break his fingers, so I guess it's good the bar cracked. Never seen a bar break without even hitting the ground.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Mate broke his 1-day old Enve DH riser bar today with his (gloved) hands. Had a slow motion OTB and his paw wedged under the brake lever. Snap... one dead crabon bar. He didn't break his fingers, so I guess it's good the bar cracked. Never seen a bar break without even hitting the ground.
    Over tightened the lever clamp?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Over tightened the lever clamp?


    I'm guessing it must have been something like that because I've crashed with my Enve bars about a dozen times and only managed to break myself.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I'm guessing it must have been something like that because I've crashed with my Enve bars about a dozen times and only managed to break myself.
    Same story here except mine are Easton. Yesterday when I read some more of this thread I'd shuddered at the thought of the bar coming apart and causing me injury. You know, from previous damage done in any one of many times the bar has hit trees, rocks, ground, other bars. I guess for me MTB is a contact sport.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Never seen a bar break without even hitting the ground.
    Why would you assume that is what causes it to fail?

    Most stuff on mountain bikes doesn't fail due to overload (catastrophic failure at the time of impact), it usually fails due to a localized overload, either due to a flaw or over-stressing some part of a structure that is the "weak link", then with cycles, the crack/decontamination progresses until one day it can no longer stand the stresses of normal riding and it catastrophically fails.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  57. #57
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    When is carbon worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Over tightened the lever clamp?
    Nope, heís not a muppet.
    The bike is a 2018 Slash 9.9 so we were surmising that maybe the bar came to a hard stop at the kockblock which produced sufficient leverage at the lever, but thereís no sign of damage to the kockblock. Just a sore hand and a crushed Enve bar.

  58. #58
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    All else equal, I'd pay a couple hundred bucks extra for it. It really depends what my financial situation was at the time though.

    Realistically though, anything over $200 extra would usually go farther for me being put into a better shock, fork, custom tune, or wheels.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  59. #59
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    I like carbon bars and if 29er, carbon wheels. Although my bikes are somewhat blingy, I donít see a huge advantage anywhere else. Except, mud clearance, which carbon frames seem to be much better when comparing apples to apples.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  60. #60
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    Light is fast, fun and engaging. Heavy is slow and boring. I must keep my rides
    fun to ride or I wontít and then I die. So after buying my last hardtail in 1988 (Trek 8900) I needed a new one for this season. Hardest choice ever between Ti and Cf. Because I am not ever buying another ht, this has to be long term keeper. Went for the Lynskey 29 Pro, mostly so I do not break it during transport or crash. Carbon is light, strong in all the right places (if built properly, and can take any shape. But an ahole can walk by my bike and kick it, I am walking. So Ti for me and I added DI2 XT 2x11 to keep it fresh. Have SRAM Red eTap on another ride but Di works better for mountain. Safe Travels all.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emdexpress View Post
    Carbon is light, strong in all the right places (if built properly, and can take any shape. But an ahole can walk by my bike and kick it, I am walking.
    Mine's taken a beating and endured several crashed and I've never walked. Strangely though my old heavy steel mtb fell over and hit a rock just right (wrong) and ko'd the top tube.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  62. #62
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    Yes I understand many ride and some beat their carbon and have no issues. But I have seen folks have disagreements with the builder and they hold most of the cards. Everything can break and carbon is a wonderful material to make bikes with. But I also know that at times, my bikes are neglected in ways that may trash the cf. also, no paint to scratch on the Ti. Everything in life is a compromise so all make our choices. Safe Travels all.

  63. #63
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    Yes I understand many ride and some beat their carbon and have no issues. But I have seen folks have disagreements with the builder and they hold most of the cards. Everything can break and carbon is a wonderful material to make bikes with. But I also know that at times, my bikes are neglected in ways that may trash the cf. also, no paint to scratch on the Ti. Everything in life is a compromise so all make our choices. Safe Travels all.

  64. #64
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    Its worth it when I can switch frames to a carbon one, put a 11-6 in it and still save over 1.5lbs from the air shocked alloy bike I was on.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I remain convinced that a good hard dump can be the difference between the fancy carbon and the lesser expensive, similar frame.
    Are you suggesting the soft-stooled among us should stick with CF?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  66. #66
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    carbon was worth it to me because that was the only way to get a 2017 Trek Slash

  67. #67
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    You are so right. I have never met one that did not just rave and rave about how much fun they are. I wanted one but just a bit porky for me. About 28 pounds? I just ordered a Ti Hardtail which I hope for 23 and change.

  68. #68
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    For me itís not about weight savings so much as stiffness and comfort. You get most of the price gap back when you sell so if youíre fine having those funds tied up in the mean time just go for it.

  69. #69
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    Selling a used carbon frame means it has no warrentee. Without that, value of used carbon is lower. Same is true with all warrentee of any material. So it is a chance you take.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emdexpress View Post
    Selling a used carbon frame means it has no warrentee. Without that, value of used carbon is lower. Same is true with all warrentee of any material. So it is a chance you take.
    Used bikes almost never have warranty so it wouldn't be worth less than the equivalently equipped aluminum framed bike. Bikes typically go for a percentage of what they cost new, just like cars. I just meant that two bikes with the exact same build, the carbon framed one will sell for more. Example, you buy a $3k alu bike vs. the same build on a $4k carbon bike, you might sell the alu bike a year later for $2k whereas you might sell the carbon bike a year later for $3k. In which case you're not really spending an extra $1k, you're just having an extra $1k tied up for the life of the bike meaning that your only true increased cost is the opportunity cost of investing that $1k in the mean time.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Carbon vs aluminum is down on the list when choosing a bike. Geo, suspension design, travel, durability come first. If, after all those items are checked, and its between aluminum or carbon, I'd likely go carbon as its lighter and likely has better resale.
    Since frames are not warrented past the original i would not pay much for a used carbon bike. I see 20 year old titanium frames sell for 1,000 USD

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    How much more are you willing to pay for carbon and what do you see as the main benefits? Weight savings, stiffness, etc?
    I'll buy a carbon bike if?

    1. the bike I want is only available in carbon. [ie. Evil, Ibis, etc...]
    2. the weight savings is dramatic. [ie. Transition Sentinel AL vs. carbon = ~2lbs]

    If there are AL and carbon bikes with the same kinematics and geo and minor weight savings I'll take AL.

    There is no problem making a sufficiently stiff and light bike in AL for my weight [~200lbs ready to ride] so I don't need carbon. So I am not paying $1000+ for carbon just to save a few grams.

    I've noticed no ride quality differences between AL and carbon FS bikes.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    There is no problem making a sufficiently stiff and light bike in AL for my weight [~200lbs ready to ride] so I don't need carbon. So I am not paying $1000+ for carbon just to save a few grams.

    I've noticed no ride quality differences between AL and carbon FS bikes.
    Absolutely, I'd take a well made alloy frame (eg Knolly or Nicolai) over a cheapo carbon one any day. The alloy Knolly Fugitive is 3.25kg frame only, the Transition Smuggler is 2.95kg in carbon and 3.99kg in alloy.

    Not all carbon frames are made equally, and the same goes for alloy.

  74. #74
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    I'm not keen on used carbon frames, not because I trust them less but because they cost more than a used alu frame and both come with no warranty, so it's a greater financial risk.

    One of the problems I see with new bikes is how most brands do not offer the same build specs in both alu and cf. Then there are brands that want almost as much for a cf frameset as they do as the lowest spec cf complete build. Clearly cf frames cost them a whole lot less to make than they'd like to admit - it would be intriguing to see the numbers and whether with some designs the cf frames actually work out cheaper than alu.

    I'm pretty happy on my alu frame for a trail/AM rig (~30lbs isn't too bad for a sturdy build 150mm trail bike built to a budget IMO), but can't deny I'd be keen on cf for a dedicated XC bike.

  75. #75
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    I got a Yeti SB5. I was going to get the steel or aluminum frame version but.....

  76. #76
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    I smile every time I get on my bike...I smile more because my bike is carbon.
    But since my bike (HD3) only came in carbon, the choice was made for me.

    Unless you are racing for money (Strava doesn't pay by the way) the technical value discussions are all moot. Do you want carbon and can you afford it, if yes than it is worth it. I have never heard anyone say they wished they had not gotten carbon, but I have heard the opposite (except for hoops). And I have never heard anyone say carbon slower!

    PS - Im glad my bike only came in carbon....hence it is all in my head and so it is even that much more satisfying.

  77. #77
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    For me it's not about the weight, carbon frames ride way smoother over chunky stuff due to carbons better vibration dampening properties.

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