Carbon fiber mountain bike frames, whay aren't they around much anymore?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Willy, Mar 24, 2003.

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  1. Willy

    Willy Guest

    I have 2 carbon fiber bikes a Jamis Diablo pro and a Schwinn homegrown both full sus. I have had the
    Jamis for a year and just bought the Schwinn . I love the Jamis and have beat the crud out of it
    with no problems. But I have noticed that carbon fiber bikes seem to have taken a downturn in the
    last few years? Does anyone Know why? Willy
     
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  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    [email protected] (Willy) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > But I have noticed that carbon fiber bikes seem to have taken a downturn in the last few years?
    > Does anyone Know why?

    Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.
     
  3. Ken wrote:
    >
    > Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    > expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.

    Then why does Trek's top of the line Fuel use an OCLV carbon front triangle? <G>

    Barry
     
  4. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <"keep it in the newsgroup "@thankyou.com> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:
    >> Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    >> expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.
    >
    > Then why does Trek's top of the line Fuel use an OCLV carbon front triangle? <G>

    Because "top of the line" means "don't care about price". Sometimes it also means "add fancy
    non-functional features just for fun".
     
  5. Ken wrote:
    >
    > "B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <"keep it in the newsgroup "@thankyou.com> wrote in
    > news:[email protected]:
    > >> Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    > >> expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.
    > >
    > > Then why does Trek's top of the line Fuel use an OCLV carbon front triangle? <G>
    >
    > Because "top of the line" means "don't care about price".

    Bingo!

    > Sometimes it also means "add fancy non-functional features just for fun".

    Not so true in this case, try one out and you'll see.

    Barry
     
  6. Zilla

    Zilla Guest

    For the weight weenies. I guess if you race, you may worry about the extra weight loss with carbon.

    --
    - Zilla (Remove XSPAM)

    "B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <"keep it in the newsgroup "@thankyou.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ken wrote:
    > >
    > > Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    > > expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.
    >
    >
    > Then why does Trek's top of the line Fuel use an OCLV carbon front triangle? <G>
    >
    > Barry
     
  7. Willy

    Willy Guest

    "Zilla" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > For the weight weenies. I guess if you race, you may worry about the extra weight loss
    > with carbon.
    >
    > --
    > - Zilla (Remove XSPAM)
    >
    >
    > "B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <"keep it in the newsgroup "@thankyou.com> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Ken wrote:
    > > >
    > > > Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    > > > expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.
    > >
    > >
    > > Then why does Trek's top of the line Fuel use an OCLV carbon front triangle? <G>
    > >
    > > Barry

    So basically its a cost thing not a quality thing, correct? They aren't as popular just because the
    cost for the carbon isn't cost effective compared to performance? Willy
     
  8. Zilla wrote:
    >
    > For the weight weenies. I guess if you race, you may worry about the extra weight loss
    > with carbon.
    >

    But weight loss _is_ a benefit to weight weenies. Personally, I'd pass, but I wanted to make the
    point that there area carbon full bounce bikes out there.

    Barry
     
  9. Willy wrote:
    >
    >
    > So basically its a cost thing not a quality thing, correct? They aren't as popular just because
    > the cost for the carbon isn't cost effective compared to performance? Willy

    Right. For weight weenie racers with the proper billfold, it's out there.

    Barry
     
  10. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <"keep it in the newsgroup "@thankyou.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Willy wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > So basically its a cost thing not a quality thing,
    correct?
    > > They aren't as popular just because the cost for the
    carbon isn't cost
    > > effective compared to performance? Willy
    >
    > Right. For weight weenie racers with the proper billfold,
    it's out
    > there.

    AFAIK, Trek still makes its OCLV hardtails, and they're just as light and expensive as ever -- maybe
    the lightest frame out there.

    It's true, though, that most people spending that much these days are buying dual suspension. So the
    market for expensive hardtails has shrunk.

    Also, mid-range hardtails are really good these days. And I think people are discovering that --
    they don't need to spend thousands to get a good bike.

    Carbon frames need not be really expensive when produced in volume, but an aluminum frame is still
    cheaper, and practically as light.

    Matt O.
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Guest

    "Ken" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Willy) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > > But I have noticed that carbon fiber bikes seem to have taken a downturn in the last few years?
    > > Does anyone Know why?
    >
    > Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    > expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.

    What about the alleged "infinite fatigue life" (RaceFace's words, not mine) of carbon fiber? Since
    aluminum frames - especially very lightweight XC-racing types in the same vein as the Fuel 100 being
    discussed in this thread - are weak and easily cracked, isn't a carbon frame of the same weight
    stronger and longer lasting? And, is it not true that damaged carbon can be reapired, whereas
    damaged aluminum is trash?

    Don't think I'm taking any particular stance here, i.e. arguing for carbon...just wondering what any
    frame builders/carbon experts could add to the discussion.

    Chris
     
  12. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Chris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Ken" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > [email protected] (Willy) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > > > But I have noticed that carbon fiber bikes seem to have taken a downturn in the last few
    > > > years? Does anyone Know why?
    > >
    > > Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    > > expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.

    Right. It's harder to make all of the fiddly small parts out of carbon, or bond them to carbon, so
    they just weld the whole thing up out of aluminum, which is dirt cheap.

    > What about the alleged "infinite fatigue life" (RaceFace's words, not
    mine)
    > of carbon fiber?

    Wow. Infinity is a very long time....

    > Since aluminum frames - especially very lightweight XC-racing types in the same vein as the Fuel
    > 100 being discussed in this thread - are weak and easily cracked, isn't a carbon frame of the same
    > weight stronger and longer lasting?

    Hmm. That's funny. I have a 3lb Klein Attitude hardtail. When was the last time you heard of a Klein
    failing? It's pretty rare. Engineering, my friend, not materials.

    > And, is it not true that damaged carbon can be reapired, whereas damaged aluminum is trash?

    Both can be repaired. Neither of them is likely to be pretty when repaired. Want easy repairs? Go
    with lugged steel. Replacing bent or dented tubes is quite easy, and looks like new after it is
    repainted.

    > Don't think I'm taking any particular stance here, i.e. arguing for carbon...just wondering what
    > any frame builders/carbon experts could add
    to
    > the discussion.

    Carbon could be (or perhaps, is) the ultimate frame material. It can be engineered to provide very
    finely adjusted ride characteristics more than any other material. It is, however, fairly labor
    intensive. TiG welded aluminum is easy to tool-up, and produces "good enough" results that seem to
    satisfy demand.

    I'm sure we'll go through the aluminum phase, and you'll start to see carbon frames make a comeback
    again. Already we're seeing more carbon parts added to aluminum frames.

    -Barry
     
  13. Ajames54™

    Ajames54™ Guest

    On Wed, 26 Mar 2003 01:46:37 GMT, "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"B a r r y B u r k e J r ." <"keep it in the newsgroup "@thankyou.com> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >
    >> Willy wrote:
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > So basically its a cost thing not a quality thing,
    >correct?
    >> > They aren't as popular just because the cost for the
    >carbon isn't cost
    >> > effective compared to performance? Willy
    >>
    >> Right. For weight weenie racers with the proper billfold,
    >it's out
    >> there.
    >
    >AFAIK, Trek still makes its OCLV hardtails, and they're just as light and expensive as ever --
    >maybe the lightest frame out there.
    SNIP
    >
    >Carbon frames need not be really expensive when produced in volume, but an aluminum frame is still
    >cheaper, and practically as light.
    >
    >Matt O.
    >

    The expense of producing the jigs, fixtures, mandrels and such for a CF frame are significantly more
    expensive than any other type.. which is why monocoq CF has virtually disappeared from the MTB
    market. When any minor change in frame style/size/geometry involves major expense to the builder you
    want your final product to have a design life significantly longer than the one or two years they
    would get now...
     
  14. Willy

    Willy Guest

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Chris" <chrismccrearyKILLSPAM[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > "Ken" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > > [email protected] (Willy) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    > > > > But I have noticed that carbon fiber bikes seem to have taken a downturn in the last few
    > > > > years? Does anyone Know why?
    > > >
    > > > Everyone is buying dual suspension mountain bikes these days. Compared to aluminum, carbon is
    > > > expensive and that cost doesn't have any benefit on a dual suspension bike.
    >
    > Right. It's harder to make all of the fiddly small parts out of carbon, or bond them to carbon, so
    > they just weld the whole thing up out of aluminum, which is dirt cheap.
    >
    > > What about the alleged "infinite fatigue life" (RaceFace's words, not
    > mine)
    > > of carbon fiber?
    >
    > Wow. Infinity is a very long time....
    >
    > > Since aluminum frames - especially very lightweight XC-racing types in the same vein as the Fuel
    > > 100 being discussed in this thread - are weak and easily cracked, isn't a carbon frame of the
    > > same weight stronger and longer lasting?
    >
    > Hmm. That's funny. I have a 3lb Klein Attitude hardtail. When was the last time you heard of a
    > Klein failing? It's pretty rare. Engineering, my friend, not materials.
    >
    > > And, is it not true that damaged carbon can be reapired, whereas damaged aluminum is trash?
    >
    > Both can be repaired. Neither of them is likely to be pretty when repaired. Want easy repairs? Go
    > with lugged steel. Replacing bent or dented tubes is quite easy, and looks like new after it is
    > repainted.
    >
    > > Don't think I'm taking any particular stance here, i.e. arguing for carbon...just wondering what
    > > any frame builders/carbon experts could add
    > to
    > > the discussion.
    >
    > Carbon could be (or perhaps, is) the ultimate frame material. It can be engineered to provide very
    > finely adjusted ride characteristics more than any other material. It is, however, fairly labor
    > intensive. TiG welded aluminum is easy to tool-up, and produces "good enough" results that seem to
    > satisfy demand.
    >
    > I'm sure we'll go through the aluminum phase, and you'll start to see carbon frames make a
    > comeback again. Already we're seeing more carbon parts added to aluminum frames.
    >
    > -Barry

    So basically manufacturing is going the cheap way out, yet again! Both my full sus. bikes are carbon
    fiber with alluminum swing arm and I have beat the crud out of them and no problems yet!
     
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