carbon, aluminium or steel

Discuss the eternal "Which fork/bike/tyres should I buy?" questions.
pliptrot
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carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby pliptrot » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:50 pm

I am thinking of a new MTB. So far I've only ridden steel. My request for advice here is all about the alternative frame materials, and in particular carbon fibre. Are there any anecdotes you'd care to share about durability, care and so-on? Carbon fibre looks attractive, but how well does it stand up to off road use year round?

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The Rookie
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby The Rookie » Thu Dec 06, 2012 13:13 pm

Carbon is much more durable than aluminium, an alloy frame will dent a tube long before a carbon frame will be damaged.

A QUALITY steel frame is nice for the right bike, but generally these days you'd only use steel for a long travel aggresive HT, choice of carbon or ally then comes down to budget for other styles of frame.

So what style of riding and what budget?

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.blitz
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby .blitz » Thu Dec 06, 2012 13:35 pm

pliptrot wrote:Carbon fibre looks attractive, but how well does it stand up to off road use year round?

A chap in the Workshop forum has had some problems: viewtopic.php?f=10004&t=12862842

Not sure how typical that is though like everything else we only tend to hear about the ones that go wrong.

For my part I have a carbon-tubed Giant CFR2 road bike that has seen a few diggers in its time but it hasn't cracked or delaminated or anything like that

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cooldad
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby cooldad » Thu Dec 06, 2012 13:44 pm

Anecdotally, I've heard carbon dissolves in the rain.
It may, however, not be true.
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Thelonegroover
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby Thelonegroover » Thu Dec 06, 2012 14:01 pm

Polyester degrades in sun and rain, but they still make tents and waterproof out of it.
Genesis Core 30 green - the naughties
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snoopsmydogg
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby snoopsmydogg » Thu Dec 06, 2012 14:46 pm

Thelonegroover wrote:Polyester degrades in sun and rain, but they still make tents and waterproof out of it.


yes but if your tent leaks it isnt going to cause you to faceplant at 30mph though is it? :wink:

tbh OP the best thing to do is go out and ride them if possible. you can get good and bad of all frame materials

Uli
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby Uli » Thu Dec 06, 2012 15:37 pm

There is not many people bragging about cracked carbon frames. You got one or two topics but the same applies for alu or steel bikes. If geometry is right then why not...
The negatives are probably price and carbon may require more care and attention than metal.

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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby raceface gt » Thu Dec 06, 2012 15:44 pm

I like my carbon, however there seems to be a lot of carbon frames going down with issues.
I loved my Gt Zaskar however every ding I heard whilst peddling thought this would be the one to crack it.

Don't get me wrong carbon is strong and I'm looking into getting a Specialized Epic upgrade but weighing the difference up as the frame is second hand and warranty issues if it does go bad.

As for Alu they tend to break as well or have issues certain makes, all down to the op choice.

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Thelonegroover
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby Thelonegroover » Fri Dec 07, 2012 07:39 am

The Beginner wrote:Carbon is much more durable than aluminium, an alloy frame will dent a tube long before a carbon frame will be damaged.

A QUALITY steel frame is nice for the right bike, but generally these days you'd only use steel for a long travel aggresive HT, choice of carbon or ally then comes down to budget for other styles of frame.

So what style of riding and what budget?


Cotic Soul, Ragley Piglet, Pipedream Sirius or Scion, OnOne Inbred. None are particularly long travel or aggressive.
Genesis Core 30 green - the naughties
Giant Trance X2 - the teens
Genesis High Latitude 2x10 - the future (Until 650b came along!)

jairaj
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby jairaj » Fri Dec 07, 2012 09:03 am

All three materials can be built into good durable frames if designed correctly and built into terrible frames if designed incorrectly. The material is only part of the puzzle. Forget about the material and just choose the frame that meets your needs.

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njee20
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby njee20 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 09:39 am

The negatives are probably price and carbon may require more care and attention than metal.


There are cheap carbon frames, and expensive steel ones, and how does a material require more care? No difference IMO.

Don't get me wrong carbon is strong and I'm looking into getting a Specialized Epic upgrade but weighing the difference up as the frame is second hand and warranty issues if it does go bad.


You mean just like the aluminium one you have? More of their alu frames break than carbon.

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mrmonkfinger
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Re: carbon, aluminium or steel

Postby mrmonkfinger » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:19 am

pliptrot wrote:I am thinking of a new MTB. So far I've only ridden steel. My request for advice here is all about the alternative frame materials, and in particular carbon fibre. Are there any anecdotes you'd care to share about durability, care and so-on? Carbon fibre looks attractive, but how well does it stand up to off road use year round?


Buy a frame made out of whatever you want, as it is perfectly possible to make a nice frame out of any of those materials.


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