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Frame Materials and comfort.

bluedog99bluedog99 Posts: 223
edited May 2015 in Road general
Could anybody tell me, how Carbon framed bikes compare to Steel framed bikes. I have an 853 team pro bike, and have been wondering how a carbon framed one would compare in ride quality or feeling. I am considering another bike, as my 20 year old Dawes Galaxey is close to being pensioned off.
Cheers.
Rourke 853 Team Pro Custom.

Posts

  • Simon MastersonSimon Masterson Posts: 2,740
    The geometry of the frame (including things like fork rake) matters so much more than what it's made of. But there are new steels coming out that are converting people from carbon - I would not be surprised if the renaissance continues; modern manufacturing techniques and metal (e.g. being able to draw the tubes in different shapes) produce something rather different to your standard lugged 531 frame.
  • JoostGJoostG Posts: 189
    I believe that tyres (and pressure) play a bigger role in comfort than frame material.
  • bluedog99bluedog99 Posts: 223
    Thanks for the replies. I suppose I should have put, that all things being equal regarding everything but the frame. Just to get an idea of how Carbon compares to steel whilst riding the bike.
    Cheers.
    Rourke 853 Team Pro Custom.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    bluedog99 wrote:
    Could anybody tell me, how Carbon framed bikes compare to Steel framed bikes. I have an 853 team pro bike, and have been wondering how a carbon framed one would compare in ride quality or feeling. I am considering another bike, as my 20 year old Dawes Galaxey is close to being pensioned off.
    Cheers.
    I have a steel Dawes Audax and a carbon Cube Agree bike. The main difference is the weight, the carbon bike being over 3kg lighter. Your Galaxy is probably at least 2 kg heavier than my Audax so you will notice a big difference with a light carbon bike.

    If you get a good carbon sportive type bike it will be comfortable, however if your Galaxy is in good condition and well maintained, I would think it would be just as comfortable over long distances.
  • bluedog99bluedog99 Posts: 223
    Thanks for the reply. The problem with my Galaxy, is that virtually everything needs replacing due to the amount of use it has had. That is except the frame and bars, although they feel to narrow now!! I am thinkin,g is it worth paying a fair amount on new parts. ie; rear wheel, groupset cables etc. or to spend some more on a decent used carbon bike. Having never riden a carbon bike I am just trying to find how comfortable the y are .
    Cheers.
    Rourke 853 Team Pro Custom.
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,652
    Some carbon bikes are harsh and unforgiving, some are as comfortable as a bike could be. So, you can't generalise. If you want a comfortable carbon bike you will be able to find one that is extremely comfortable, there are so many to choose from.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    bluedog99 wrote:
    Thanks for the reply. The problem with my Galaxy, is that virtually everything needs replacing due to the amount of use it has had. That is except the frame and bars, although they feel to narrow now!! I am thinkin,g is it worth paying a fair amount on new parts. ie; rear wheel, groupset cables etc. or to spend some more on a decent used carbon bike. Having never riden a carbon bike I am just trying to find how comfortable the y are .
    Cheers.
    If your Galaxy frame is in good condition, it may be worth getting the parts, otherwise you could probably sell the frame to go towards the cost of a new bike. However I would try and get a new carbon bike if possible rather than a used one.

    It's generally a different sort of ride than your Galaxy - faster for a start. If your Galaxy is in a poor state like you say, then I am sure you will find a new carbon bike more comfortable and better to ride.
  • bluedog99bluedog99 Posts: 223
    Thanks once gain, much appreciated.
    Cheers.
    Rourke 853 Team Pro Custom.
  • Simon MastersonSimon Masterson Posts: 2,740
    If your Dawes' frame is in good condition, I think it would be a crime not to keep it going, and not just because I like old bikes. They're lovely to have around, but also very useful, and cheap to run. Some other vintage fans don't like me for this, but there are lots of modestly priced upgrades that are well worth doing if it's for riding rather than museum, and can help it last again as long as it already has, and then some. E.g. respraying, better BB and headset, respacing to 130mm and using a modern/more up-to-date rear hub and cassette (particularly easy if you're using friction shifters). It also doesn't cost much to update the frame for allen key brakes, and even a new steerer column isn't that expensive if you wanted to use a threadless stem...
  • DebeliDebeli Posts: 637
    The Galaxy is a most excellent machine, but will be entirely different in character, weight and handling to any modern lightweight bicycle you compare it to.

    Should you go for carbon, steel, aluminium or titanium for the replacement, you will find almost anything more skittish and responsive than the Galaxy.

    The Galaxy is essentially a sedate tourer and can handle oodles of luggage. Many modern carbon (and similar) bikes are not and cannot. They are about getting from A to B quickly, which the Galaxy is not.

    The OP strikes me as similar to someone asking about the differences between an old and trusted Volvo estate and the Lotus which might replace it. The differences will be manifold and comfort will not be chief among them.

    I'd recommend that the OP tries and tests a few combinations of frame, fork and wheels in terms of materials, strength, weight and so on.

    You don't have to follow the crowd and there is more out there in terms of choice than just Volvos and Lotus.

    Have fun choosing.
  • bluedog99bluedog99 Posts: 223
    Thanks for the replies,
    In my original post. I was asking, how the Carbon framed bikes would compare to my 853 team pro framed bike. I mentioned the Galaxy as this will be the bike to go.
    Cheers.
    Rourke 853 Team Pro Custom.
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,218
    From my limited experience, steel frames, generally, tend to use smaller diameter tubes. This adds a bit more whip to the frame and smooths out the bumps. When Aluminium started to be used, they soon went over to using larger diameter tubes which strengthens the frame for the thinner material (to save weight) - this generally makes the frames more rigid any why aluminium is said to be harsh to ride compared to steel.

    For carbon, they can shape the frame and wall thickness for a specific function - together with the types and layups of carbon. so a carbon frame can be build to handle differently. Saying that, carbon does tend to feel very direct and rigid but with a bit of give 'at the edges' so not to feel harsh.
  • bluedog99bluedog99 Posts: 223
    g00se wrote:
    From my limited experience, steel frames, generally, tend to use smaller diameter tubes. This adds a bit more whip to the frame and smooths out the bumps. When Aluminium started to be used, they soon went over to using larger diameter tubes which strengthens the frame for the thinner material (to save weight) - this generally makes the frames more rigid any why aluminium is said to be harsh to ride compared to steel.

    For carbon, they can shape the frame and wall thickness for a specific function - together with the types and layups of carbon. so a carbon frame can be build to handle differently. Saying that, carbon does tend to feel very direct and rigid but with a bit of give 'at the edges' so not to feel harsh.
    Thanks for the reply, just what I was after. Much appreciated .
    Cheers.
    Rourke 853 Team Pro Custom.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    One of the most uncompromisingly stiff and harsh bikes I've ridden was an oversize steel frame with skinny tyres - if you want comfort it comes more down to geometry and, tyre and wheel choice. I have frames made from steel, carbon and titanium - I prefer titanium for all-day riding duties, but I'm 60kg and tend to ride on small, less smoother roads. OP doesn't state height / weight and the type of riding they're doing either but simple answer would be to test ride a few.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    Regarding your 853 bike -
    Pretty much any medium or high-end carbon bike will weigh less than your 853 - it might not be much if the 853 has tubular tires. Also a new bike will have more gears, shifting on the brake hoods, etc.

    You can get whatever 'ride quality' you want in a carbon frame - from very stiff bone shaking, to very comfortable. It all depends on the design of the frame and the components.

    Regarding the Dawes, I'd just watch your local advertisements for used bikes - around me there are many nice bikes that were bought in the 70's and 80's that were ridden a few times and are now finally being sold as people retire and move from their homes.

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • bluedog99bluedog99 Posts: 223
    Thanks once again for the replies. I will do my homework and have a good luck around, if I retire the Dawes then one will have to be my winter bike. Quite a lot ponder, it should be fun though.
    Thanks once again.
    Rourke 853 Team Pro Custom.
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