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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Is it worth forking out an extra 300-500 dollars for a frame with Carbon seat stays? Please note I have a lower back problem.

The bike I am looking at is the Gitane 1800 with Carbon fork only (shimano 105 equipped). it is for around AUD1500.
My other option is a FELT F75 or a Giant OCR 1 which both have composite seat stays and carbon stems. (around 1900-2000 dollars).
The seat stem is easy to swap. But will it make a noticeable difference in the ride?
and will the extra money be worthe the upgrade to get frame with carbon seat stays, and will i feel the difference?
Thanks all
 

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orange_julius said:
I would spend the money on getting a thorough bike fit first. Whether carbon stays help with comfort or not is debatable: it depends on how it's implemented.

I think a better way to state it is that a proper fit will help your back much better than a bike dripping in carbon fiber.
 

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filtersweep said:
I think a better way to state it is that a proper fit will help your back much better than a bike dripping in carbon fiber.
and even another way to put it...

My most comfortable long distance ride is an aluminum Vitus 979. The most uncomfortable bike I've owned is an aluminum Cannondale 2.8....

Frame material isn't as important as how the bike is designed and how it fits...
 

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fouadaswad said:
Hi

Is it worth forking out an extra 300-500 dollars for a frame with Carbon seat stays? Please note I have a lower back problem.

The bike I am looking at is the Gitane 1800 with Carbon fork only (shimano 105 equipped). it is for around AUD1500.
My other option is a FELT F75 or a Giant OCR 1 which both have composite seat stays and carbon stems. (around 1900-2000 dollars).
The seat stem is easy to swap. But will it make a noticeable difference in the ride?
and will the extra money be worthe the upgrade to get frame with carbon seat stays, and will i feel the difference?
Thanks all

hey man, where in ozzie are you?

fyi, there is no good reason why a felt F75 should cost that much... a fair price for the better F70 is around $1600, 2k should get the ultegra equipped F60... dunno about the other bikes.. if they feel nice and the price is right, go for it...

short answer to your question about carbon seat stays and seat posts making a difference? - no.

fwiw, I know you can't see it, but all of those bikes would have an alloy steerer on their "CF" forks. Also, carbon posts can be annoying, since they need to be tightened real hard to prevent them from slipping... Mine is ok now, but i had a hell of a time sratching the hell outta my post as it slipped while i was riding along... Everytime you tighten it enuff to prevent this, you're one false move from writing the post off and shattering it. To top it off, my CF post isn't even that light. If i had to do it again, il'd go alloy.
 

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fouadaswad said:
Hi

Is it worth forking out an extra 300-500 dollars for a frame with Carbon seat stays? Please note I have a lower back problem.

The bike I am looking at is the Gitane 1800 with Carbon fork only (shimano 105 equipped). it is for around AUD1500.
My other option is a FELT F75 or a Giant OCR 1 which both have composite seat stays and carbon stems. (around 1900-2000 dollars).
The seat stem is easy to swap. But will it make a noticeable difference in the ride?
and will the extra money be worthe the upgrade to get frame with carbon seat stays, and will i feel the difference?
Thanks all
But for carbon forks,i not much of a beliver that a little carbon here and there helps. Full Steel frame,Full Carbon or Full Ti. Geometery and fit,then material. Hell om 05 Roubaix was only $2800 so wait and save or end of the year deal like i did.
 

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fouadaswad said:
Hi

Is it worth forking out an extra 300-500 dollars for a frame with Carbon seat stays? Please note I have a lower back problem.

The bike I am looking at is the Gitane 1800 with Carbon fork only (shimano 105 equipped). it is for around AUD1500.
My other option is a FELT F75 or a Giant OCR 1 which both have composite seat stays and carbon stems. (around 1900-2000 dollars).
The seat stem is easy to swap. But will it make a noticeable difference in the ride?
and will the extra money be worthe the upgrade to get frame with carbon seat stays, and will i feel the difference?
Thanks all

Proper fit, the choice of frame geo., wheels/tire selection and tire pressure can make the biggest difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
About Frame Geometry

rocco said:
Proper fit, the choice of frame geo., wheels/tire selection and tire pressure can make the biggest difference.
thanks for all the advice. sounds great. I will make sure i get the best possible fit. and probably invest in good wheels and a good saddle instead of carbon stays.

One more question though regarding frame geometry, I have visited almost all the LBSs around me and only one happened to be as helpful as i I was hoping. He let me test ride. I went for 20 minutes and didnt feel any discomfort. This guy then recommended i shop around and test ride more before i came back to him. the others were more like shopkeepers trying to sell their stuff. and would not even let me test ride a bike.

However the major problem with this LBS is that he only stocks Gitane bikes at the level i am looking at. he also stocks higher end bikes that i cant afford (Look models). I am confident i will get a great fitting at his store. However, does the fact that he only stocks one bike model mean that I might be compromised in relation to frame geometry?

I still have one option, which is to visit another LBS which is bit far from me, but who stocks other models (FELT i was told), and who also happens to be a decent guy. Please let me know what you think... Thanks again for all the helpful advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Frame Geometry

thanks for all the advice. sounds great. I will make sure i get the best possible fit. and probably invest in good wheels and a good saddle instead of carbon stays.

One more question though regarding frame geometry, I have visited almost all the LBSs around me and only one happened to be as helpful as i I was hoping. He let me test ride. I went for 20 minutes and didnt feel any discomfort. This guy then recommended i shop around and test ride more before i came back to him. the others were more like shopkeepers trying to sell their stuff. and would not even let me test ride a bike.

However the major problem with this LBS is that he only stocks Gitane bikes at the level i am looking at. he also stocks higher end bikes that i cant afford (Look models). I am confident i will get a great fitting at his store. However, does the fact that he only stocks one bike model mean that I might be compromised in relation to frame geometry?

I still have one option, which is to visit another LBS which is bit far from me, but who stocks other models (FELT i was told), and who also happens to be a decent guy. Please let me know what you think... Thanks again for all the helpful advice.
 

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Best way for a guaranteed smoother ride

.......is to make sure that the bike has room for 25 & 28mm tires. Run at less than max pressure.

I second the fit comments already made, especially given a bad back.
 

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fouadaswad said:
thanks for all the advice. sounds great. I will make sure i get the best possible fit. and probably invest in good wheels and a good saddle instead of carbon stays.

One more question though regarding frame geometry, I have visited almost all the LBSs around me and only one happened to be as helpful as i I was hoping. He let me test ride. I went for 20 minutes and didnt feel any discomfort. This guy then recommended i shop around and test ride more before i came back to him. the others were more like shopkeepers trying to sell their stuff. and would not even let me test ride a bike.

However the major problem with this LBS is that he only stocks Gitane bikes at the level i am looking at. he also stocks higher end bikes that i cant afford (Look models). I am confident i will get a great fitting at his store. However, does the fact that he only stocks one bike model mean that I might be compromised in relation to frame geometry?

I still have one option, which is to visit another LBS which is bit far from me, but who stocks other models (FELT i was told), and who also happens to be a decent guy. Please let me know what you think... Thanks again for all the helpful advice.
I don't know what kind of riding you plan on doing, anything about your build or about your cycling experience so it's hard to know what or how much to tell you. I don't know the source or nature of your lower back problem either. Regardless though, money spent on good wheels, tires and saddle instead of carbon stays and etc. is a very good idea. Sound choices regarding tire inflation (100 to 120 psi) will help a lot also.

It sounds like that guy with Gitane bikes is cool to deal with but if he doesn't have what you want then you should keep shopping just he encourged you to do. IMHO 20 minute test rides are way too short to have much value.

Speaking from much experience, I don't think many LBSs can be counted on to do a good job of fitting you. It's a complex process and it can take years to find the golden setup. It's best if you have good body measurements and at least a basic understanding of what your own fit needs are so you can at least be an informed participant in the process. I've found the fit info. and calculator at http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO to be excellent and I'd encourage you to take advantage of it. Finally different brands can state the vital dims. for their frames in different ways. It's important to understand the difference between measurments that are center to center/CtoC vs.center to top/CtoT. Be aware of virtual measuments on things like top tube lengths on frames with sloping or compact geo.
It's complicated but if you gather as much info. as you can about your own body dims. and the dims. for the bikes you're looking at there are several people here who can help you quite a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
wheels and frame geometry

so as far as wheels are concerned, i gather that it is size and inflation, and not brand? is that correct?

as for measurments, i have seenthis online fit system before. ill measure myself tonight and post the results tomorrow in the hope that you pros can further enlighten me...

My back condition by the way is possibility of level 1 Anterolysthesis at L5/S1. ie my lowest vertebrae could slip resulyimg in bulge in disk regularly perform excercises recommeded by my physio to keep my back and abs strong... it is manageable. I am expecting her advice tonight on whether cycling would aggrevate this condition...
 

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fouadaswad said:
so as far as wheels are concerned, i gather that it is size and inflation, and not brand? is that correct?

as for measurments, i have seenthis online fit system before. ill measure myself tonight and post the results tomorrow in the hope that you pros can further enlighten me...

My back condition by the way is possibility of level 1 Anterolysthesis at L5/S1. ie my lowest vertebrae could slip resulyimg in bulge in disk regularly perform excercises recommeded by my physio to keep my back and abs strong... it is manageable. I am expecting her advice tonight on whether cycling would aggrevate this condition...

Don't confuse wheels with tires. You want a high quality, supple clincher or what many call an open tubular tire. FYI these guys rock on prices and service for tires: http://www.biketiresdirect.com/default.asp?tnum=28377&c=37814

Take your time on the measurments and get a willing assistant if you can. It's easy to get the measurements wrong so it's best to do them at least three times and calculate the average.

Regarding the back... Of course you should follow your physio's advise. Core strength and lots of stretching are important even if your back is fine. I bet if you work on those things in a dedicated fashion the cycling will actually help. At least it'll help you regulate your weight which of course is a positive for your back.
 

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Like everyone has said...

fouadaswad said:
Hi

Is it worth forking out an extra 300-500 dollars for a frame with Carbon seat stays? Please note I have a lower back problem.

The bike I am looking at is the Gitane 1800 with Carbon fork only (shimano 105 equipped). it is for around AUD1500.
My other option is a FELT F75 or a Giant OCR 1 which both have composite seat stays and carbon stems. (around 1900-2000 dollars).
The seat stem is easy to swap. But will it make a noticeable difference in the ride?
and will the extra money be worthe the upgrade to get frame with carbon seat stays, and will i feel the difference?
Thanks all
Go for fit and a quality wheelset. At this price point the carbon stays may be a novalty, but like the Orbea Mitis might actually provide some additional comfort. If possible take a test ride with the same wheelset/tire combo to verify. Also, carbon stems rarely weigh less and add any value other than looks to a bicycle IMHO.
 

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Giant is a more compact frame and the Felt has a compact crank. I like the felt setup better and it looks better.
 

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Your going to get alot...

fouadaswad said:
Can you let me know which wheelsets to consider?
of opinions on this one. For comfort a low/mid profile rim with 28-32 spokes provides a nice ride. The more trendy but stiffer tall profile rims can sometimes be harsh but look so nice. With a custom build you can probably get the best of both worlds, if your looking for off the rack, I can recommned Campagnolo's Protons. They are solid, reasonably light, attractive, comfortable, and look great on just about any bike. Just my 2 cents...
 

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Worry about the bike first. If you want a better wheelset,get a better bike that has some.
 

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rocco said:
Don't confuse wheels with tires. You want a high quality, supple clincher or what many call an open tubular tire. FYI these guys rock on prices and service for tires: http://www.biketiresdirect.com/default.asp?tnum=28377&c=37814

Take your time on the measurments and get a willing assistant if you can. It's easy to get the measurements wrong so it's best to do them at least three times and calculate the average.

Regarding the back... Of course you should follow your physio's advise. Core strength and lots of stretching are important even if your back is fine. I bet if you work on those things in a dedicated fashion the cycling will actually help. At least it'll help you regulate your weight which of course is a positive for your back.
Cycling should help your back as long as you keep up with your core strength work and stretching. I've got a bulging disk issue, myself, which is being treated through a chiropractor . I also do the core strength work and stretching which has helped immensely. Riding has never really posed a problem for me and from what it actually helps. Being aerobically active supposedly stimulates the fluid around the disks in your back and helps keep things healthy. Basically if you do strain your back then the aerobic activity helps you recover quicker and you deal with less pain overall. I can attest to that since when my back does go it doesn't take very long to get me functioning again.

Rich
 
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