carbon XC HT

Horta
Horta Posts: 64
edited November 2009 in MTB buying advice
There's a possibility of a new frame coming my way, :D I've seen some fantastic carbon frames out there, from £1000 upwards, including a beautiful Specialized in white with rainbow bands, luverly. You can tell I'm an old roadie at heart!

Anyways, I've always thought carbon a bit "precious" to take off road. Obviously top racers and the minted can, as they can replace as it wears, but that won't be me. Oh no, my current steel beast, which is fine, is almost 15 years old and flies along nicely. But if I get a carbon bike am I going to have to baby it? I'm about 65kilos, not a jumper, too old for that. I'm into marathon stuff more than anything.

What do people reckon, stick with the metals, or go with glue and cloth?
better a has been, than a never was!

Comments

  • njee20
    njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Go for plastic, you'll be fine. I had a 2001 Trek OCLV hardtail that's still around somewhere!
  • bomberesque
    bomberesque Posts: 1,701
    I got an Ibis Tranny earlier in the year. For sure I feel a little more nervous of bashing it into a rock or tree than my previous alu frame but then it is a lot more expensive to replace. I suspect that any nervousness I have about durability is largely misplaced but I still think that a framekilling impact, especially from something sharp, is more likely on a carbon frame than an ally one.

    still, it's sooooooo much more comfy than my last ally frame, whilst at the same time being wonderfully laterally rigid and light with it so the only thing that could have come close I think is titanium

    On-one have recently announced a carbon frame, several of the tubes on which seem to ape the tranny sections. It'll certainly be cheaper though, I'd check that out.
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • Why not Scott Scale 10,20 or 30 most reviews I've read are really good.
    So Far!
  • For what you want carbon will not let you down, as long as you choose wisely from a manufacturer who has good experience with carbon. I have been enjoying life on my Scale 30, much tougher than I ever imagined. Like you I'm not into jumps or big hits, I enjoy going fast, and the weight benefits that carbon gives you can be breathtaking on climbs. However, I have discovered that the frame is well capable of small jumps and doesn't wimp out on tougher technical trails either.

    There are many manufacturers who produce carbon frames these days, but I would recommend you look no further than Scott or Cannondale - IMHO - Both have been working with carbon for many years and know exactly what they are doing. There are still some great deals to be had on 09 models if you are quick, and don't have some burning desire to have this years colour, in fact the 09 spec is generally better anyway, and quite a bit cheaper.
    Ridley Orion
  • Hi I have ai and carbon and recently tried to compare them - to summarise carbon is better if you go longer the damping saves your legs. For short XC races I can't see the difference. The carbon is the S Works HT I think you on about this is an awesome frame no doubt and when I took it to Afan the front end with 1/15 headset was truly fantastic.
    I have broke a carbon frames and this one has a repair and I know enought riders who have had probs with carbon so yes you do have to be careful.
    Saying all this my best mate is a roadie but was one of the original MTB racers in 80's and swear MTB is all about your wheels and forks and if you see Torq racers they all ride ai Kona's plus another mate who own a LBS equaly swears carbon frames for mtb is for pro's only I know that doesn't give you any clear idea but I will add that the longer I race MTBs and believe me I love carbon and think its an amazing material I doubt I will ever buy another carbon mtb frame. my advice would be get a decent ai frame and then spend the money on decent light wheels - for a grand you could get an on one scandal and get just riding along to build you some fast & light xc wheels.
    '..all the bad cats in the bad hats..'
  • let me assuage your fears!

    check this out!

    I'd go for a cannondale with a lefty, to satisfy the outrageous inside me!
  • the carbon frame wasn't in the vice like the ai frame and you could still ride that ai and what is the price comparison in terms of what advantage you get from carbon.
    When I repaired my s works I spoke to a carbon expert who operates outside the bike industry he had a lot of good things to say about it but he was still concerned about the impact value of carbon though he added that fames are going to get even better very soon because of the advances being made in resins which hold the fibres.
    My point is if you can afford to ride and risk breaking carbon then go for it, cf is an amazing property and what you can do with it in term of frame manifulation adds lots to the bike BUT if you can't and you are on a budget then I would advise most to ride ai there's nowt worst than crying into a cf frame trust me - and don't get me started on crash replacement or warranties
    '..all the bad cats in the bad hats..'
  • Horta
    Horta Posts: 64
    Well that was an impressive display! It was a lot tougher than I thought, but when it goes, boy it goes! And I suppose you have got to rely on the quality of the CF manufacturer, avoiding voidss in the layup etc.

    But as usual with this type of question, there is no definate answer. CF on the road I've ridden the old school Giants, lugged tubes and it was great. Like I say I'm gonna be riding events like the South Downs Way and Kielder 100. I can see the CF being a real benefit in the kind of event.

    But then again didn't someone mention titanium?

    Oh the possibilities, I'll carry on researching and wait to see what and if the money fairy brings :D
    better a has been, than a never was!
  • bomberesque
    bomberesque Posts: 1,701
    about titanium, I found on looking that the pricing structure meant I could get a high end carbon frame (Ibis, scott, cannondale etc) for the price of an OEM titanium frame (Van nicholas, Onone etc). A high end titanium frame required more beans

    I would have been sorely tempted by the On-one titanium (especially as it's made by Lynskey and that tweaked my niche-bone) but I was building a singlespeed and the on-ones (at the time at least) only came in SS 29er flavour, which I wasn't interested in.

    if you want some *really* nice looking titanium, hit up the De Kerf site
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • boneyjoe
    boneyjoe Posts: 369
    I bought a carbon HT in the spring and it has been fab. Did some pretty tough, bone-shaking races, with rocky descents, small jumps etc - no probs at all.

    However, if money isn't short, and you're looking to do Kielder etc, wouldn't a short-travel full sus be better for that sort of marathon event?
    Scott Scale 20 (for xc racing)
    Gary Fisher HKEK (for commuting)
  • toasty
    toasty Posts: 2,598
    My carbon Zaskar had a nice invisible crack and was broken on arrival. It took a full year to figure this out and I got my money back in the end.

    Curiously now I think I've just bought an Ibis Mojo frame, picking it up on Saturday with any luck.
  • i used to have a carbon HT frame, the same design as the £200 ones form ebay (taiwan/china), have to say, it was a cracking frame! Loved it!it took a lot of abuse too! and i'm a smidge heavier than you by a good 40kg's! :shock:
    unfortunately for me the framae gave up after 4rsing around on a small 1/2ft high jump, but with my best efforts at Launching off the top of it a good few times the alloy drop out gave in! not the frame! thats still fine! but the alloy collapsed!
    in fairness, i got the frame of ebay and i dont know how many owners it had prior to me! nor what it had been used for,
    but would i go for another carbon frame? Hell yeah! built up to an awsome bike and that wasnt using all the lightest compnants! so chuckable and nimble! awsome bike!!
    Timmo.
    After all, I am Cornish!
    http://cornwallmtb.kk5.org/
    Cotic Soul, The bike of Legends!:wink: Yes, I Am a bike tart!
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... 1#16297481
  • Horta
    Horta Posts: 64
    Thanks for the replys guys. So many variables to consider, full suspension doesn't realy figure, just not my cup of tea. I like a bike to look like a bike, sorry!

    Seems like a lot of people are throwing CF frames around without too many problems, maybe I was wrong in thinking that they're 1 season bikes, probably not got the same shelf life as a good steel or ti bike, but still not bad. And it seems like the ride and feel is worth it.....
    better a has been, than a never was!