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I have like 5 project bikes right now but I'm in search of a *new* road bike and would like information on carbon fiber frames. I spoke with an LBS who said they are a really comfortable ride. This particular LBS carries Kestral and Aegis.

Any experience/thoughts on carbon fiber?
 

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The carbon will be a smoother, easier, more comfy ride. You will however get more flex while cranking hard. If you're a small rider, you're likely not to notice it. Larger folks, like myself at 250 pounds, may experience issues with derailer rubbing in a hard uphill crank. Possibly even shifting between gears from the amount of flex. That's actually the biggest reason I'm trying to go back to aluminum on my mountain bike from the carbon frame I have.
 

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I am a big fan of steel and not so much of carbon fiber. The only possible reason that I can think of to get a carbon bike over a steel one is for racing. Obviously, carbon fiber bikes are lighter. I love the way steel bikes feel and ride. I guess that's why I have 5 of them.:)
 

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Personally I am just a carbon fiber kind of guy. I like the way they ride but IMO you need to be a bit more careful with them.
 

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I have the best of both worlds: Bianchi Veloce, Reynolds 631 frame and a carbon fiber fork.:)
 

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I'm curious if they would snap off at flat angles like that (more dangerous) or if the fibers would have to literally be pulled/twisted/cut in order for the pieces to be separated when snapped?
 

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I ride carbon for the comfort and weight (I'm not sure in which order).

Since we seem to be headed that way yes, carbon fails. So does steel, aluminum or Titanium.

I wouldn't base my buying decision on a supposition that what I'm about to buy will break if I look at it too hard. That simply isn't the case with carbon.

It can also be made as stiff, or stiffer than any other material out there. It all depends on how the frame is designed and built. Most often carbon is built to maximize its strength to weight ratio so it is uber light. This max be flexy for bigger guys. There are carbon frames out that that won't be.

I'd suggest that you take one for a ride. There's really no other way to decide if it's the material for you.
 

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Have rode and owned steel, alum, carbon, love the carbon, more forgiving but then you have to be ready for a change with carbon, meaning, with carbon your geometry will be different and thus the handling will change, will take a bit to get used to it, I have a kestrel, only the seat post and handle bar isn't carbon, frame, fork, and crank, love it.
 

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Don't think about the morbid aspects of what it would look like after the crash, that's like getting preoccupied with what your leg will look like after tumbling and sliding 150 on asphalt and broken glass... back to the subject. I went from a steel wonder bike, a real Italian Stallion from the late 80s, an OLMO Squadra Corsa... very nice ride... to a lighter and faster aluminum Italian, a Rossini Evolution.. stiff, harsh but fast!... to a velvety smooth and thoroughly enjoyable French carbon LOOK KG451 which is trouble free and fun as the dickens and now my winter project is building up a former Credit Agricole team bike, another LOOK, this time a KG381... I'm sold on carbon fiber. It has a crispness which steel doesn't have and the smoothness is incredible. BTW carbon fiber skis have the same kind of crisp feeling compared to alu or fiberglass.
 

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The carbon will be a smoother, easier, more comfy ride. You will however get more flex while cranking hard. If you're a small rider, you're likely not to notice it. Larger folks, like myself at 250 pounds, may experience issues with derailer rubbing in a hard uphill crank. Possibly even shifting between gears from the amount of flex. That's actually the biggest reason I'm trying to go back to aluminum on my mountain bike from the carbon frame I have.
Let's not post misinformation. Frames all flex to some extent, regardless of material. Just because it's constructed from carbon fiber, that doesn't automatically mean that it will flex. By aligning the fibers, it's possible to create a frame with lateral stiffness, yet still still offer a smooth and compliant ride. That, and the ability to create unusual shapes are the main advantages of carbon over other materials.

For the record, steel and aluminum both fail after a certain amount of stress cycles. The difference is that aluminum generally fails suddenly, to catastrophic effect, while steel cracks and then breaks, generally less dramatically.

I don't recall if titanium doesn't fail from repeated stress, or that the amount of cycles is so high as to be inconsequential. I do know that while it's light, it doesn't usually feel as stiff as other materials.

Personally, I would like to see some OS titanium. Even if it weighed the same as an aluminum frame, it would probably offer a better ride.
 
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