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Improvement from carbon??

scotia100scotia100 Posts: 4
edited September 2008 in Road beginners
Hello all,

I'm looking for some pretty basic advice. I've been road cycling for about 2 years - 2 days a week in summer/3 days a month in winter, about 20-30 miles per session at 17mph on average.

I'm on a Claud Butler Milano which was a good value bike when purchased for around £450 with carbon forks and Campag Xenon gears. It does have a steel frame and that leads me to my question.

Would I benefit from a full carbon frame upgrade?

I know it's lighter but I'm not exactly a lean machine so is that the big advantage cancelled out?

If I was going to get appreciably faster from the same effort then I would do it immediately.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance....

Scotia

Posts

  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Carbon frames are not the be all and end all, unless you are spending big.

    There are however some good "cheap" carbon frames out there like the pedalforce range. Changing to carbon frame wouldn't necessarily make you go faster - there's quite a few variables , wheels, stiffness of the frame, does the frame fit etc.

    What sort of budget would you be looking at? Full bike or just a frame?
    I like bikes...

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  • Hi Reddraggon,

    I take your point. I was thinking about £2,000 or so for the the full bike.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Yes for £2000 you could get a very nice bike, and you'll easily notice the difference.

    Here's some to look at:

    Specialized Tarmac
    Willer Izoard
    Scott Addict R4 <- my favourite at that price range
    Focus Cayo range - £1000 -> £1800, very good value range

    Probably plenty of others, but a good start.....
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  • save a fortune and buy last years
  • ascurrellascurrell Posts: 1,739
    Hi Scotia100,
    have you ever thought of titanium, i suffer from back problems and opted for a ti frame and what a difference it makes.
    I only paid £700 for a hardlyused for full Ultegra bike [inc wheels], good finishing kit and even spare set of mavic aksiums [hardly used & for sale on ebay]
    For the sort of money you've got burning a hole just think what you could get,
    Don't forget titanium lasts forever,
    just a thought,
    Scurry
  • Thanks for you advice guys, much appreciated. I'll look into the bikes you suggest Reddraggon.

    Titanium ,eh? I'll check it out Scurry, thanks.
  • Tarmac a good choice, what about the Roubaix? More upright and more comfortable.

    Still +1 on the Ti (Have a look at Sunday Bikes)
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  • e999same999sam Posts: 426
    I built a Kuota Kebel carbon frame with full Dura ace for £2100.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    scotia100 wrote:
    Would I benefit from a full carbon frame upgrade?

    I know it's lighter but I'm not exactly a lean machine so is that the big advantage cancelled out?

    If I was going to get appreciably faster from the same effort then I would do it immediately.

    Scotia

    By "benefit" I assume you mean faster? To this the basic answer is no. No one out there knows if you will go faster or not. In my life I have seen lots and lots of people by lots and lots of high end "go faster" bikes. Did it make them faster? Well, they sure looked faster.

    A lighter frame is not what I would term a "big advantage". A lighter and stronger you,
    is a "big advantage".

    As for "appreciably faster" I tell you the story of my Hed 3 spoke wheel. This is a wheel
    that has been billed as "the fastest spoked wheel in the world". How with hype like that
    wouldn't you expect at least a 4-5 MPH gain? Well, we all know "ain't gonna happen" and
    sure enough it didn't. I only say this because there is plenty of hype out there and most
    of it is just that, hype. I any case nothing wrong with a carbon or steel or titanium or
    aluminum frame or combinations of any of these.

    As for your desire for a carbon frame. If you want one go get one. Get the one you like and not what other people like. Nothing like a new bike. Thinking about it myself. Just
    have to convince the wife that the "old" one is falling apart and dangerous. Or I suppose
    I could "accidently" run over it with my car.

    Dennis Noward

    Dennis Noward
  • johnnyc71johnnyc71 Posts: 178
    I have to agree with Dennis - a carbon bike may not make you faster.

    However

    You should be able to accelerate quicker.

    and

    Maybe be a little faster climbing hills.

    You may benefit by also putting more effort in on a new carbon bike - maybe to justify the purchase :wink:

    I have a hybrid 35lb and a road bike 18lb. Once your up to speed - both go well.
  • FSR_XCFSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    I have to agree with Dennis. By all means go out & buy a better bike and spend what you feel is right for you, but it won't necessarily be any faster than an alloy framed bike.

    I did a Sprint Triathlon in August. In the bike leg, after they had broken down the transition times etc, I found I was 10th fastest (over 170 competitors). Now I bought my road bike in May. It is a 2007 model Specialized Allez Elite (costing £700). An alloy framed bike with 105 components and Mavic wheels.
    Could I have done it faster on a carbon framed bike???
    Did I need to go faster? (I would make more time up learning to swim and run quicker!)

    As salsarider79 said - what about a Roubaix? They are a more 'comfortable' frame, which might be the improvement you are looking for.

    Alternatively, what about the following carbon bikes?
    Ribble Dedacciai Scuro HCR
    Ribble Dedacciai Nero Corsa
    Both excellent value and built to the spec you want.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50

    http://www.visiontrack.com
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    Just for the record, my Cayo Expert is maybe 1mph on average faster than my alloy Trek 1200. But it's SO MUCH more fun to ride.
  • ascurrellascurrell Posts: 1,739
    Comfort should also come into the equation [i still say look at titanium].
    it's difficult to say how much faster various bikes will make you go.
    However if like myself you are not exactly lean you may find you can not only go a bit faster on a lighter [but comfortable] bike but also maintain that average speed for longer distances.
    Consequently burning off more excess, making yourself lighter into the bargain and then getting more benefit from a 'better' bike.
  • penugentpenugent Posts: 913
    FSR_XC wrote:
    I have to agree with Dennis. By all means go out & buy a better bike and spend what you feel is right for you, but it won't necessarily be any faster than an alloy framed bike.

    So true. I have both types - same make, geometry etc. The carbon is lighter, faster on hills and produces less 'road buzz'. However, the alloy gives a more engaging ride and I can match the average speeds of the carbon over a 40-50mile ride, even with inferior wheels!

    I think how you 'feel' on a bike means more than what the bike is made of.
  • volvinevolvine Posts: 409
    i have just traded in my aliminum Bianchi for a carbon Trek it has made me go faster (BUT) this is only due to feeling like a kid with a new toy and going out riding it more often thus getting a little fitter.

    if you want a new bike and can afford one you treat yourself we would all love a tour specked bike but a lot of people including myself have to make doo. :lol::lol::lol:
  • Do consider Titanium if you have a £2000 budget - I have just taken delivery of a Sunday September and am REALLY impressed with it (compared to an aluminium framed bike with a carbon/alloy fork).

    There is a lot of feel from the road surface - you certainly won't feel isolated from it - but it does feel like the local council have resurfaced the roads, as there is none of the previous jarring over rough surface. For the first time in the 3½ years cycling I haven't had my fingers go numb!

    Admittedly I don't know how much of this is down to the titanium frame and how much down to the all carbon fork/steerer!

    Enjoy making your choice and orf course riding your new bike. :D
  • floosyfloosy Posts: 270
    I also think Viner make their titanium frames as made to measure.... ( well I know they do.... :) I am lusting after one..... as nobody makes a carbon frame in my size.... ( 45cm (horizontal equivalent))
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