Carbon Fiber Components?



Swoop

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Feb 13, 2004
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I have recently got a job in a bike shop. I am going to be buying my first carbon fiber road bike. A 2006 Fuji RC. I have ridden carbon fiber frames before, as test rides so to speak. I know carbon fiber is pretty good at dampening the road vibration. However, the bike comes with alloy (ritchey Pro) post, bars, and stem. With a carbon Fiber frame am I going to get all the benefits of vibration dampening with alloy post and such...or should I trade it out? I am not concerned with the weight difference as the bike is still quite light by my standards with the alloy. If I don't get other carbon fiber goodies I can afford a better computer and other such things....anyways..What do you think?
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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Swoop said:
I have recently got a job in a bike shop. I am going to be buying my first carbon fiber road bike. A 2006 Fuji RC. I have ridden carbon fiber frames before, as test rides so to speak. I know carbon fiber is pretty good at dampening the road vibration. However, the bike comes with alloy (ritchey Pro) post, bars, and stem. With a carbon Fiber frame am I going to get all the benefits of vibration dampening with alloy post and such...or should I trade it out? I am not concerned with the weight difference as the bike is still quite light by my standards with the alloy. If I don't get other carbon fiber goodies I can afford a better computer and other such things....anyways..What do you think?

You can't attribute any "properties" of CF to a frame. How a frame behaves is a function of its design, proper use of materials, etc. Any, CF's tendency to damp anything tends to happen at high or very high frequencies. But that can vary, based on fiber orientation and spatial frequency in the mat, based on the type of epoxy, based on the volume of epoxy compared to fiber, and based on inclusions in the epoxy (impurities, air bubbles, and the like). That said, most vibe reduction doesn't happen in the frame: it happens in the attached bits. The biggest reduction at attached bits happens at the tires. Whether SP's damp anything is always fun to argue about. If a seatpost damps anything, it seems a lot of people never feel it.

My advice? By the Al bits and get the computer and whatever else you want. My Ritchey WCS OS stem is dead wonderful. My bars, Reynolds Ouzo Pro Anatomic CF bars, are also waynar, but I have a history of arm injuries that make me pretty sensitive to vibes....and they help a bit. Still, I got the bars mostly 'cuz of their shape. My SP is a Ti Moots post. Does it help w/ vibes? To be honest, I dunno. Iffin' I'm gonna go on stretch of road that's particularly bothersome, I'll drop the pressure in me tires a bit.
 

fish156

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Mar 26, 2005
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Swoop said:
I have recently got a job in a bike shop. I am going to be buying my first carbon fiber road bike. A 2006 Fuji RC. I have ridden carbon fiber frames before, as test rides so to speak. I know carbon fiber is pretty good at dampening the road vibration. However, the bike comes with alloy (ritchey Pro) post, bars, and stem. With a carbon Fiber frame am I going to get all the benefits of vibration dampening with alloy post and such...or should I trade it out? I am not concerned with the weight difference as the bike is still quite light by my standards with the alloy. If I don't get other carbon fiber goodies I can afford a better computer and other such things....anyways..What do you think?
This is personal opinion. I think CF bars make a big difference. I'm not crazy about CF stems, as that component is very critical and can be subjected to enourmous stress when you are out of the saddle. Forged aluminum is the way to go here and the weight penalty is insignificant. I really don't know about the seat posts, except that you can save some weight there. I'd say that the choice of saddle is a lot more critcal/noticeable, as far as feeling transmitted vibrations. The best thing you can do - if you are not racing competitively - is to go to a larger tire size and a little less tire pressure. That makes a huge difference. No more 23's for me. I ride 28's now and love them. Plus, the number of flats drops dramatically, as well.
 

fish156

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Mar 26, 2005
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alienator said:
My advice? By the Al bits and get the computer and whatever else you want. My Ritchey WCS OS stem is dead wonderful. My bars, Reynolds Ouzo Pro Anatomic CF bars, are also waynar,.
WTF is waynar??? I don't believe I have seen that term. Just curious.
 

Fradbut

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Feb 26, 2004
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I've got a carbon frame, Wilier Imperiale, carbon cranks make a difference but stem, bars & seatpost make no difference. Don't get fixed on lightweight as I saw a guy on a £3500 cannondale, ultralight, but he weighed 18stone !
 

JTE83

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Jan 28, 2004
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I got an all aluminum Cervelo Soloist Team and an all carbon fiber Kestrel Talon, and I don't notice much difference in the ride between the two. So much hype for the carbon fiber ride and I don't notice it!

My Cervelo is lighter than my Kestrel - 17.4 vs 19.03 lbs.
 

chrispopovic

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Feb 28, 2004
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Dude, you work in a shop. Why the Fuji? All CF is not created equal. If you're worried about soft ride, you may want to look at Ti. I ride a Ghisallo and have a carbon post (very comfy) and recently added Zipp bars and stem. They attach to a Look all-CF fork. The ride was already very comfy but the Zipp stem added a whole new dimension to the softness of the ride.

I would wait out employment at the shop and get to know your reps. Put the word out on what you're looking for and the universe may provide you with something awesome.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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fish156 said:
WTF is waynar??? I don't believe I have seen that term. Just curious.

Dude, it's like snowboarder speak:

Way+gnarly=waynar
Way+totally+gnarly=tonar

Or so I have learned.
 

alienator

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JTE83 said:
I got an all aluminum Cervelo Soloist Team and an all carbon fiber Kestrel Talon, and I don't notice much difference in the ride between the two. So much hype for the carbon fiber ride and I don't notice it!

My Cervelo is lighter than my Kestrel - 17.4 vs 19.03 lbs.

Again, it's not the material but the design and implementation of the material.

There are no magical traits of Ti, Al, steel, or CF.....or I guess Mg, too. All can be built to ride like a tank just like all of 'em can be built to give a nice supple ride. Don't, however, say this to the "Steel is Real" crowd: they have difficulty with this subject, especially as it casts a cloud over their steel mythology. Truth and empiricism do that.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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fish156 said:
I'm not crazy about CF stems, as that component is very critical and can be subjected to enourmous stress when you are out of the saddle.

How do you figure? It's the design. There are some great, robust CF designs in the bicycle world. And there are some **** ones. Equally, you'd be surprised at just how fragile some aluminum stuff is. It just so happens that there is, at my work, in storage, a mirror that was built as the primary for a space-borne telescope. It's a mirror, roughly 2mm thick, and it sits on a CF cell (support structure). This CF structure is launch qualified (i.e., it is designed to take greater loading than most any CF bike part will see) and built to handle the thermal stresses of Earth orbit (talk about huge temperature changes) while maintaining its shape to an uber anally high degree of precision. The point is, again, that it's the design and implementation. CF cranks? It just so happens that the THM Clavicula CF integrated CF cranks are one of the lightest cranks (under 500g) AND one of the stiffest cranks you can buy.

There is no way to make blanket statements about any product made of any material, until you know something about the design or you've tested the product quantitatively.
 

fish156

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Mar 26, 2005
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alienator said:
Dude, it's like snowboarder speak:

Way+gnarly=waynar
Way+totally+gnarly=tonar

Or so I have learned.
That's so funny. My nick - "fish156" - is one of my snowboards ;-) Haven't heard that one here in N.E. It's a big world.
 

fish156

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Mar 26, 2005
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alienator said:
There is no way to make blanket statements about any product made of any material, until you know something about the design or you've tested the product quantitatively.
I would have thought the words "I'm not crazy about ....", and the preface "It is my opinion", would have made it clear that it was just my opinion. I, personally, would not be comfortable with a CF stem. Unlike a handlebar, a seatpost, or a fork, a stem has to have several fasteners threaded into, or through, it, and that makes it different from most other CF components . I did not make any blanket statement. I personally use lots of CF bits - just not stems.
 

tfstrum

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Sep 16, 2003
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I have an AL bike (Fondreist) w/CF forks and seat stays. I may be mental but the CF seat post seems to be a slightly smoother ride than the AL one I had for a bit. Same for the Kestrel bars, but the AL ones I had on the previous bike were cheap. I haven't ridden with better AL bars, so can't compare. I went with a Stella Azzurra AL stem (4 bolt) because it just seemed safer to me for some reason.

Since you work at a shop wait for people to come in that want to get of parts they don't like. You should be able to get some good deals on slightly used parts no matter what it's made of.
 

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