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Tell me all about lower end carbon frames

Mike400Mike400 Posts: 226
edited August 2009 in Road beginners
Ok a couple of questions.

I read a comment on here in another topic which said that lower end carbon frames, such as the boardman / ribble etc are actually 20% carbon and the rest is fibreglass / other similar stuff.

Is this true? and if so what sort of lifespan would you expect from a cheaper carbon frame?

Also I know all frames are different but as a guideline what sort of weight-limit would we be looking at with a carbon frame? Im currently 15stone (at the minute - cycle commuting is shaving this down more and more every week :D aiming for around 13 - 14 stone) and wouldnt want something that would break when I rode it!!
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  • skinsonskinson Posts: 362
    What a load of bollox!!! Ribble frames come from an Italian manufacturer Dedacciai.

    http://www.dedacciai.com/

    There are some very stuck up people on here who having spent far to much on what they thought was a top frame, then proceed to knock every "cheaper" frame as censored . Visit their website and see for yourself. Don't be led by the so called experts on here.
    Dave
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    Im no expert but I would prob say this is rubbish. Its probably just rumors started by jealous people?

    Pretty much the whole Boardman range (road and mountain) have got great reviews.
    IMHO it doesn't really matter what the frame is made out of. So as long as the frame has the characteristics you're after then Im sure you can't go far wrong. Both companies are well regarded so should have taken the necessary steps to ensure the bike is durable for its intended use.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    WRT to materials there is very little to distinguish between the high end and lower end CFRP frames.

    Higher modulus fibres are not necessarily better as then the frame becomes more brittle.

    The main differences between the "top end" and "low end" frames is the design and method of contruction. The more expensive frames tend to be either lighter and/or more aero too.

    Still, I'd probably much rather a £500 alloy frame, than a £500 CFRP frame.
    I like bikes...

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  • skinsonskinson Posts: 362
    Still, I'd probably much rather a £500 alloy frame, than a £500 CFRP frame
    And I respect that as your choice!
    Your'e obviously not one of those I was talking about :)
    Dave
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    Still, I'd probably much rather a £500 alloy frame, than a £500 CFRP frame.

    Yes I'd prob agree with that too. Manufacturing with carbon fiber is more expensive than manufacturing with Alu. So for a fixed amount, more can be spent on R&D on the Alu frame than the CF. So at the lower end, the Alu might be better designed?

    Saying that, if you find a boardman or ribble bike that you like, then I wouldn't hesitate to buy it, what ever material it was made from.
  • Mike400Mike400 Posts: 226
    Well I wont be doing the tour or anything!!

    Started off wanting to spend around £600 through C2W, (see one of my many pointless threads!!)

    But you guys arent helping - you are all supporting the wee voice that says spend the whole £1k!!

    And the Boardman carbon seems such good value. I was just worried low end carbon would be a waste of £ over alloy at the same price point....

    Cheers guys :) ive plenty of time to research as we wont see c2w till the end of the year
    twitter @fat_cyclist
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    jairaj wrote:
    Still, I'd probably much rather a £500 alloy frame, than a £500 CFRP frame.

    Yes I'd prob agree with that too. Manufacturing with carbon fiber is more expensive than manufacturing with Alu. So for a fixed amount, more can be spent on R&D on the Alu frame than the CF. So at the lower end, the Alu might be better designed?

    Saying that, if you find a boardman or ribble bike that you like, then I wouldn't hesitate to buy it, what ever material it was made from.

    Probably for the majority of people a "cheap" CFRP frame will meet requirements, but I'm very specific about the geometry (and related stuff) as I normally take one of the smaller sizes. Lots of the cheap CFRP frames seem to be "Sportive" orientated - I like ~55cm top tubes with at most a 14cm headtube, but a lot of frames seem to have far long headtubes.

    The small P-X can only fit one bottle cage ~ I can't see why they couldn't put the cage mounts lower down, even if you can still only fit a 500ml bottle - a 500ml bottle is better than nothing.
    I like bikes...

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  • TommyEssTommyEss Posts: 1,855
    Mike400 wrote:
    But you guys arent helping - you are all supporting the wee voice that says spend the whole £1k!!

    Spend spend spend - you know you want to...! :twisted:

    Enjoy your new Boardman! :wink:
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • Mike400Mike400 Posts: 226
    TommyEss wrote:
    Mike400 wrote:
    But you guys arent helping - you are all supporting the wee voice that says spend the whole £1k!!

    Spend spend spend - you know you want to...! :twisted:

    Enjoy your new Boardman! :wink:

    STOP IT!! lol
    twitter @fat_cyclist
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    I'm with skinson on this, and I bought a Ribble back in May.
    Secondly, some of the bike mag reviews actually look into the guts of the frame & in some cases the only criticism is that it is not "neat & tidy" inside.
    At no point would a 20/80 carbon/fibreglass frame get through the review, and no I don't think they are paid to give good reviews.
    My knees hurt !
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,163
    Well , Pedal Force do a dirt cheap carbon frame for around £350 -£400 - a chap at our club has one, it looks great - and he's very happy with it. It has numerous reviews on the web - all favourable.

    I think low end carbon frames are fine - yes there are failures - but this probably happens with the high end stuff as well. Scuro is supposed to be high end carbon - Ribble do one - but its nearly always sold out.

    I would just buy the bike you like - after youve had it a couple of months - Im sure you will be pleased with it, and if youre not its more likley to be the fit or position - rather than carbon, alu, high end carbon.
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    Takis61 wrote:
    .., and no I don't think they are paid to give good reviews.
    If it's anything like the Hi-Fi mags were when I used to read them I'd avoid buying anything based solely on reviews. It was very clear how the major advertisers' products - the ones who took the premium ad pages front & rear every issue - always got the best reviews, even when it was abundantly clear on listening that the kit in question was nowhere near what the reviewers raved about. Course any criticism was always dismissed as 'subjective', which is exactly how opinions over bikes are able to be ignored - it's just one man's view isn't it?

    I doubt if the world of publishing has changed much.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Takis61 wrote:
    .., and no I don't think they are paid to give good reviews.
    If it's anything like the Hi-Fi mags were when I used to read them I'd avoid buying anything based solely on reviews. It was very clear how the major advertisers' products - the ones who took the premium ad pages front & rear every issue - always got the best reviews, even when it was abundantly clear on listening that the kit in question was nowhere near what the reviewers raved about. Course any criticism was always dismissed as 'subjective', which is exactly how opinions over bikes are able to be ignored - it's just one man's view isn't it?

    I doubt if the world of publishing has changed much.
    So you're saying that they are corrupt then?
  • robrauyrobrauy Posts: 252
    bompington wrote:
    Takis61 wrote:
    .., and no I don't think they are paid to give good reviews.
    If it's anything like the Hi-Fi mags were when I used to read them I'd avoid buying anything based solely on reviews. It was very clear how the major advertisers' products - the ones who took the premium ad pages front & rear every issue - always got the best reviews, even when it was abundantly clear on listening that the kit in question was nowhere near what the reviewers raved about. Course any criticism was always dismissed as 'subjective', which is exactly how opinions over bikes are able to be ignored - it's just one man's view isn't it?

    I doubt if the world of publishing has changed much.
    So you're saying that they are corrupt then?

    Not really corrupt - but it would be naive to assume that all magazine reviews are unbiased whether you're talking bikes, HiFi ore any other specialist subject. Magazines survive on advertising, not the cover price, so there is an obvious conflict of interest...
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Hmmm, Hifi reviews are mostly utter garbage IMO.

    The most they should say is basically "Did you enjoy listening to it?"

    With a one word answer...

    Hifi is so subjective yet you should read some of the utter tripe spouted in the reviews. If you think laterally stiff yet vertically compliant is an overused phrase then you should hear the censored spouted about 'depth of soundstage' and 'Inky blacks' etc etc

    :shock:

    The hifi I own I listened to myself. I then ended up reading gushing reviews of the CD player and the Speakers I owned in a magazing called 'HI Fi choice - The Collection'.

    It was confirmed, utter b0ll0cks!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Back to the original topic: Most frames come from a handful of factories in Taiwan - variations in price are more easily explained by the routes to market, distribution and marketing costs rather than using cheaper materials and construction methods - price is no indication of quality. According to one review, one of the 'worst' constructed frames is a Scott Addict.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • sturmeysturmey Posts: 964
    And the Boardman carbon seems such good value.

    No offence but I can't believe how many people are so mesmerised by the Boardman carbon bikes.

    I can't see that Halford's £999 offering is any better than,say, the Focus Cayo,the Dolan Mythos,the Ribble Sportive or the Planet x sl carbon, all for similar money and usually screwed together better.

    And more to the point ,even if you wanted one how the hell do you actually get your hands on a Boardman carbon?.
    They've never got any in stock.Anywhere.

    I would be interested to know how many people who wanted one of these bikes DIDN'T get one in the end because Halfords couldn't supply one. These forums seem to suggest the number is quite high.
  • EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
    sturmey wrote:
    And the Boardman carbon seems such good value.

    No offence but I can't believe how many people are so mesmerised by the Boardman carbon bikes.

    I can't see that Halford's £999 offering is any better than,say, the Focus Cayo,the Dolan Mythos,the Ribble Sportive or the Planet x sl carbon, all for similar money and usually screwed together better.

    And more to the point ,even if you wanted one how the hell do you actually get your hands on a Boardman carbon?.
    They've never got any in stock.Anywhere.

    I would be interested to know how many people who wanted one of these bikes DIDN'T get one in the end because Halfords couldn't supply one. These forums seem to suggest the number is quite high.

    That's an interesting one. I was actually thinking the same myself about Focus, Cube and Corratec bikes as they offer astounding value for money.

    On Wiggle they're selling a Focus Cayo Expert with SRAM Red for £1799. That's an amazing price considering Red is an expensive group set. Compare the RRP of £2300 with the equivalent from other manufacturers and you're looking at Shimano Ultegra which is a lot cheaper. The same goes with Cube and Corratec. Well reviewed and respected bikes but crazy value for money.

    I've no doubt that German bikes are top notch but am wondering how come they are so cheap. Is there some sort of catch somewhere ?
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,163
    sturmey wrote:
    And the Boardman carbon seems such good value.

    No offence but I can't believe how many people are so mesmerised by the Boardman carbon bikes.

    I can't see that Halford's £999 offering is any better than,say, the Focus Cayo,the Dolan Mythos,the Ribble Sportive or the Planet x sl carbon, all for similar money and usually screwed together better.

    And more to the point ,even if you wanted one how the hell do you actually get your hands on a Boardman carbon?.
    They've never got any in stock.Anywhere.

    I would be interested to know how many people who wanted one of these bikes DIDN'T get one in the end because Halfords couldn't supply one. These forums seem to suggest the number is quite high.


    I think its the team carbon for £1499 , which is the one they are clamoring after. But as you say there are other bikes which represent better value IMO. My Kuota Kharma with ultegra sl was £1590. The reported weight of the boardman is lighter though. Planet X \Ribble look the best deals. IMO
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    I agree, I went Ribble after looking at Boardman for months, no regrets.
    I've seen a few Planet X's & if I could have got their website to work I might have got one.
    Would use Ribble again no question, though there are lots of forum posts about poor service.
    My knees hurt !
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