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I didn't specifically state that the Giant in my opinion was made from cheap carbon, only some people refer to their bikes as such. Personally, I have no idea what it's made from. I do know however there are different grades of carbon fiber with varying strengths and weaknesses, i.e., characteristics.

As stated previously I've tried the Giant TCR carbon (size L) myself and found it to be quite flexible, others have experienced the same, and standardized testing by a Dutch magazine backs up these assumptions (standardized as in they test all their frames using the same methodology to allow direct comparison of their own results). I was also told by quite an experienced cyclist that the older Giant MCR carbon frame, which I believe is about 550 grams heavier, is much stiffer.

Regarding Colnago, their C-40 is considerably stiffer than the Giant (150g heavier though), according to tests about 23% torsionally stiffer.
 

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BTW, I haven't checked the prices in the US but the Giant TCR carbon isn't a "cheap" frame in Europe. It lists for about $2500 USD.
 

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Yes good value, but...

Bananaman said:
How do you define 'cheap carbon'? I have a Giant composite frame and it is one of the lightest and 'torsionally' stiff carbon frames on the market. Torsional stiffness of a bicycle frame is related to a) geometrical properties e.g. diameter and thickness of section for a tube and b) the strength of its joints. The joints on all giant composite monocoque frames are fully integrated and provide as stiff a frame as you can achieve in this material. Torsional stiffness relies on a lesser extent on quality of carbon as most carbon composites used on reputable brands are of similar quality these days. Just because Giant frames represent incredibly good value for money doesnt mean they are any inferior to say Colnago or Fondriest.....I'd recommend one anyday!!
Giant's for the most part are a good value. My problem with them is first: lack of sizing (they aren't the only brand) and Second: they only have a 5 year warranty on the frameset. Most(not all) companies offer lifetime warranties on their frames. Especially with carbon frames. I personally won't own a giant.
 

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Compact Frames

bugleboy said:
Giant's for the most part are a good value. My problem with them is first: lack of sizing (they aren't the only brand) and Second: they only have a 5 year warranty on the frameset. Most(not all) companies offer lifetime warranties on their frames. Especially with carbon frames. I personally won't own a giant.
A good bike shop selling Giant 'compact' frames will present you with three sizes (s,m,l) This is good for the factory as it means it's easier to manufacture only 3 sizes. The shop should then fit you out with one of seven seat post sizes and five stem lengths to make sure you have a good fit. Based on this combination there is a correct size of bike for everyone!
 

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I disagree, but I'm allowed

Bananaman said:
A good bike shop selling Giant 'compact' frames will present you with three sizes (s,m,l) This is good for the factory as it means it's easier to manufacture only 3 sizes. The shop should then fit you out with one of seven seat post sizes and five stem lengths to make sure you have a good fit. Based on this combination there is a correct size of bike for everyone!
It's good for the factory not because it's easier, it's cheaper. Like I said this is a personal opinion. But I really can't stand the way that giant sizes their bikes. Even with a "qualifed" staff to fit me, I won't own one. My biggest complaint isn't really even the fit. like I said there are other companies that do it that way. But the lack of backing from the company with only a 5 year warranty is bogus, you really can't deny that.
 

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Not sure a 5 year warranty is bogus...almost all Italian bike companies only give 2 years in Europe. From what I gathered a bike usually brakes quite early in its life when there's a manufacturing defect. As time passes it's not really considered a defect anymore but simply wear and tear.
 

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My experience

I had an OCLV, it broke after two years, and I sold it after receiving the warranty frame. I now have a Look KG361 that I picked up at Jenson for $649 and I am very happy with it. After riding aluminum the OCLV felt slow and not very stiff. The Look feels fine but I haven't really ridden it too much. The thing I liked about the OCLV was that it soaked bumps really well. Maybe it also soaks your energy to the pedals a little, I don't know.

There are quite a few deals out there for last year's Look frames since they have revamped just about their whole catalog.

Maybe the OCLV I got was a lemon but it left a bad taste in my mouth. As the others have said, fit is very important. After too many years fitting myself the way I thought was right, I went right back to the Lemond fit method and could not be happier. Don't complicate fit too much, go with what Lemond says in his book and you will be fine.

I am in between sizes in the Giant lineup but if I fit on it I might be interested. Other than what I just read here about it being tested on machines and not being stiff, I have read and heard from other people that it is stiff and that it soaks shocks real well. Of course that's also what they say about the OCLV and I didn't like it. If you can, ride it before buying. Another thing to consider is that according to an article in Cycle Sport, I think, the Giant geometry is going to be changed, especifically it's supposed to get longer chainstays.
 

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Last year's Looks.

I have a KG96 - aluminmum lugged carbon fiber. I like it. It jumps pretty good when I stand up to hammer, and slides smoothly across rough roads. It's neither ultra-light, nor ultra-costly and a successor product is still on the market. I much prefer it to a Trek and a Kestre that I test road.

Look changes colors and graphics rather a lot and the old colors cost less. Good for buyin, bad for resale. In any case a fun and affordable road ride.
 

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I would HIGHLY suggest riding a '06 Cannondale Six13 before you buy anything else.

They make a model w/ Ultegra and maybe even a less expensive one -

I like mine considerabally better than Giant TCR, Trek Madone, Scott CR1, Lemond Tet de Course, and a LS Tuscany (ti bike of course)
 

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Calfee Luna for "mid-priced" frame

http://www.calfeedesign.com/luna.shtml

Tetra is an excellent bike but for $900 less you get a bike with a similar ride (according to Craig Calfee). I've got a 5 year old Tetra that I love.



zooog said:
Recently received my Calfee Tetra. Nice bike. Check out their web page for specs. Can get a fully custom if that is what you need. Have not put alot of miles on the Calfee yet but what I have I am very happy with.

GOOD LUCK
 

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Lbs

I recently bought a Specialized CF bike. Why? Because it is the brand that my LBS sold.

I looked at all the popular high volume brands, Giant, Trek and Specialized. I don't think they are that much different, at least as far as this layman could tell.

When I was buying this bike I had three different friends across the country that were also looking at getting a CF bike. We all bought different bikes, 2 different Trek models, a Giant and a Specialized. Of course we alI swore that ours was the best one! It seems our main priority was being different then the other guy.

I settled on the Specialized to give the deal to the local LBS that sets up rides and promotes bicycle awareness in the area.
 

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It's true about the Merckx...

I own one (in the largest size) and find it very flexy in the front end. The most of any bike I've ever ridden. Not nearly as stiff in that area as my Merckx Team SC. I have however, had it to near 50mph on a downhill and it was OK. And, the rear end stiffness seems good. Perhaps a smaller size wouldn't flop around as much. I don't think they are bringing them back next year and I'm not surprised. I do believe that the magazine puts a super high priority on stiffness, but I think they are primarily testing for racing suitability.
 

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bugleboy said:
thanks for the info. What is the name of the magaizine and is there a website?
Here is link to description of their tests (in German)
http://www.tour-magazin.de/to/show.php3?id=30&nodeid=30&ps_lo=0&subnav=21
Here article with test results (as well in German) - but it is not free! You will be asked for 2 euri :(
http://www.tour-magazin.de/to/tour_artikel/show.php3?id=1477&nodeid=27&subnav=21

This is not very typical for them - normally they put article in 2-3 moths after publication in free access. but guess this one were to much in demand.
 

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3 great carbon bikes to consider

from what I have ridden and seen, there are 3 bikes you should consider. So far, from what I have seen and ridden, the best bikes out there are the specialized tarmac, the ridley damocles, and possibly the cervelo soloist. These bikes are all ridden by top teams, who have all done extremely well on them this year. (CSC, Gerolsteiner, Davitamon lotto) they are all great, stiff, monocoque frames which are expensive but not ultra expensive, and they all look and ride terrificially. the trek and giant are ugly, and probably not as good from what I have heard, although the giant is certainly a good bike. I am not a huge orbea fan, but it could easily be included in the list. the time VXRS is nice too, but overpriced. (tom boonen likes his, evidently) The scott cr1 is needlessly fragile. IF you can stand the tcr advanced, go ahead.....but the damocles is so sweet.....in every way. if you need 5 grams less, go for the s works tarmac or the soloist carbon...
 

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Outdated

Guys, this post is more than one year old, do you think the OP is still looking for an answer?

PUT IT DOWN AND STEP AWAY FROM THE THREAD
 

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RemingtonShowdown said:
Generaly there are only a few companies that actually make their own carbon fiber bikes. Trek makes their lugs and purchases the tubes elsewhere, Giant fabricates their (and other companies) bikes at their mega-factory in Taiwain. I've been on both Trek and Giant carbon, and IMO the Giant is far superior... Keep in mind that this is your first carbon bike and will most likely lead to the purchase of another one (they're addictive) You might want to check out the Trek 5200/5500 on e-bay but most of all; get a proper fitting by your LBS otherwise the bike, be it carbon or titanium is worthless... good luck and let us know what you settle on!
Trek makes the tubes for the Madone. - TF
 
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