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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all,

I am an avid mountain biker (mostly XC riding) an am looking at getting into road biking. My LBS has a used 2005 Madone 5.9 for $1800 (CDN) is this a good deal for this bike? Would the Madone be a good starting bike? My cap for my first road bike is $2000 CDN so I am looking at various models, but this Madone seems to be a very good deal.

Is there anything to be concerned about buying a 3 year old carbon road bike, anything I should look for in terms of wear?

The only other issue is that I am 6'4 and the bike is a 58, I would think I would lend myself more to a 60 or even a 62 possibly. I sat on the bike yesterday and had about 3 inches between myself and the top tube while standing, is this to much? I am going back for a test ride/borrow the bike for a nice long road ride (good friends with the owner). If it helps I have a 34 inch inseam.

Would I be further ahead to purchase a 2008 Madone 4.5 for a little more? Has the technology improved greatly in the last 3 years?

Thanks all
 

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Before getting into whether the bike is a good deal or not, let me first say that the bike is almost certainly too small for you. I am 6'3" and bought a 58cm Trek last year. I just sold it as it was too small. I replaced it with a 60cm which is fine. I was able to be fit without any crazy stem length. I am sure I could have gone with a 62cm.

My current bike is a 2004 Trek 5900 Project 1. (You can see it if you click on my screen name and look at my public profile). I got the bike off E-Bay and it was a great deal. It serves my purposes well and I have no desire to modernize. Your $2,000 budget should get you a 2005-2006 Madone 5.9 without a problem. You just want to make sure there is no damage to the frame where the carbon has been gouged.

There is much discussion about the brittle nature of carbon fiber. What scares people is that it tends to snap and not bend if damaged. For that reason Trek has a frame replacement program for carbon frames that have been "crashed". The question is, what constitutes a crash? The previous owner listed my bike as having been "crashed". Well, it may have barely been layed down. It has a few very minor chips in the clear coat of the paint on the fork. I have riden it 3,000 + miles with no issues and I am a bit of a clyde at 200lbs. A riding buddy has a 14 year old carbon frame Kestrel that has 50,000+ miles that he has "crashed" twice. It is still going strong. What's my point? Well carbon is tougher than many make it out to be. However, when considering a used carbon frame I would make sure there are no gouges in the carbon and I would avoid a repainted frame. (what damage is being hidden).

I would not trade my 4 year old 5900 for a 2008 4.7 Madone. I prefer my wheels, group set and have no problem with an older designed OCLV 110 frame compared to the TCT.
 

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I came from a mountain bike background as well and just picked up a madone 4.5. I'm also 6'5" with a 35" pant inseam and went with the 62cm frame, which seems to fit perfectly after swapping to a 110mm stem. I'd say it's almost a sure thing that the 58 would be too small for you as I test rode a 58cm 4.5 and it was far too small for me.

With that said I love the 4.5, coming from mountain bikes I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of comfort on a road bike but this bike seems to work out perfectly for me. The geometry isn't too aggressive, but at the same time it isn't too laid back either.

I'd say go with the 4.5 or another bike but don't go with the 58cm madone. You'd probably end up selling it since it'll be too small.
 

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99trek5200 said:
What's my point? Well carbon is tougher than many make it out to be. However, when considering a used carbon frame I would make sure there are no gouges in the carbon and I would avoid a repainted frame. (what damage is being hidden).
+1

Although carbon is very brittle, as long as the frame is well designed and put together then it should be very tough. The reason for the crash program is probably because of the weakest point of carbon fiber: off axis hits. Because it doesn't bend like metal, it can snap in the same way you snap a stick (before putting in the fire!) because it is being layed and molded for a specific set of forces and happens to be fragile for other directions.

I think when you consider a used bike that has been crashed it is extremely important to know how the crash happened. Laying down the bike and it sliding shouldn't do much damage to the cf. However, smacking the frame down on something or hitting something could have easily weakened it.



As a side note, Formula 1 cars use a carbon fiber moncoque (sp?) frame for their cars with carbon fiber suspensions (I believe they are fully carbon fiber these days). Remember that these cars, although not heavy by any standards take a beating and handle a ton of side to side as well as front to rear and up / down movement. Carbon fiber is a wonderful thing, until it snaps. If you want to get a good scare about how carbon fiber does break, look at some of the recent F1 crashes on youtube.
 

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jsedlak said:
+1

Although carbon is very brittle, as long as the frame is well designed and put together then it should be very tough. The reason for the crash program is probably because of the weakest point of carbon fiber: off axis hits. Because it doesn't bend like metal, it can snap in the same way you snap a stick (before putting in the fire!) because it is being layed and molded for a specific set of forces and happens to be fragile for other directions.

I think when you consider a used bike that has been crashed it is extremely important to know how the crash happened. Laying down the bike and it sliding shouldn't do much damage to the cf. However, smacking the frame down on something or hitting something could have easily weakened it.



As a side note, Formula 1 cars use a carbon fiber moncoque (sp?) frame for their cars with carbon fiber suspensions (I believe they are fully carbon fiber these days). Remember that these cars, although not heavy by any standards take a beating and handle a ton of side to side as well as front to rear and up / down movement. Carbon fiber is a wonderful thing, until it snaps. If you want to get a good scare about how carbon fiber does break, look at some of the recent F1 crashes on youtube.
Please dont even go to the carbon/F1 comparison. The only thing the 2 have in common is the spelling of carbon. Carbon use in F1 is so much more specific and specialized than in biking that you can't compare the 2 at all. I'd venture to safely guess that an F1 team, any major mfr, spends more money in one season developing and manufacturing carbon components for its cars than any bike co you can think of has spent on R&D for carbon in its enitre corporate history.
Please understand that I am NOT slamming carbon for use in biking. Biking is a great application for carbon and is anything but brittle when manufactured properly. Its extraordinarily strong, but like any frame material, is subject to failure for various reasons - mfring defects, abuse, crashes etc... I believe that if properly cared for, carbon can and will last a lifetime for the average biker.
 

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08Madone5.2 said:
Please dont even go to the carbon/F1 comparison. The only thing the 2 have in common is the spelling of carbon. Carbon use in F1 is so much more specific and specialized than in biking that you can't compare the 2 at all. I'd venture to safely guess that an F1 team, any major mfr, spends more money in one season developing and manufacturing carbon components for its cars than any bike co you can think of has spent on R&D for carbon in its enitre corporate history.
Please understand that I am NOT slamming carbon for use in biking. Biking is a great application for carbon and is anything but brittle when manufactured properly. Its extraordinarily strong, but like any frame material, is subject to failure for various reasons - mfring defects, abuse, crashes etc... I believe that if properly cared for, carbon can and will last a lifetime for the average biker.
Yeah... what? I wasn't trying to make the comparison, I was simply talking it up.
 
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