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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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You won't notice any difference in ride quality between a carbon fiber or an alloy seatpost. Ditto the bars & stem. I can't comment about the carbon seat stays, because I've never ridden a bike with that configuration. Keep in mind that Carbon Fiber seems to be the "Holy Grail" of cycling right now. I've heard people, (the same people), say that carbon fiber is amazingly supple, then turn around and say that it's incredibly stiff. :confused: Well...make up your mind. To say that it's stiff, yet supple still sounds like an oxymoron to me.
 

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On the contrary...

Carbon is definately better at vibration dampening than Al. However, carbon is not a shock absorber and your back will benefit most from taking the time to setup your new bike to reduce stress and doing a little physical therapy, before you hurt yourself on a really long ride.
Back to your question:
A carbon post will help to alleviate road noise. You may find that your crotch/buttocks feels fresher after many miles or just be generally more comfortable while riding. Is it night and day? Not really, if you have an all Al bike you will notice more.
Carbon stays also help to dampen vibration and, do to their placement, allow for a slight flex, more than alumninum would allow. Is it a little gimmicky? Yes, but it does work to a small extent and somtimes every little bit helps.

Are these worth it? Depending on how far you plan to ride, what the surfaces are like, and if you'll actually notice a difference. I'd say you should look into it, test ride all three, but I'm of the opinion that carbon seatstays should not cost that much more than straight aluminum.

On a side note,
Carbon is not all the same. Based on the weave pattern and thickness you can get different attributes. Also resonance reduction and stiffness are not the same thing. Something can be stiff and also reduce the vibration it transfers or be stiff and tranfer vibration well.
 

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You'd get much more benefit from larger tires

In my experience, buying a frame and fork that have room for larger tires will do you much more good than fiddling with the components on a conventional frame. I have two bikes (Atlantis and Rambouillet) that will fit tires up to at least 37mm, and the difference in comfort between, say, 23s and 35s is almost unbelieveable. Fat tires at 75 psi are a little slower (not as much as I expected), but there's just no comparison in comfort and shock absorption. I tried a Thudbuster mountain bike seatpost on the Atlantis for a few days for comparison, and the tires contribute just about as much as the post.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
tyres

could you name some of the popular frames that can take larger wheels? say 25s 28s or 30s etc

Cory said:
In my experience, buying a frame and fork that have room for larger tires will do you much more good than fiddling with the components on a conventional frame. I have two bikes (Atlantis and Rambouillet) that will fit tires up to at least 37mm, and the difference in comfort between, say, 23s and 35s is almost unbelieveable. Fat tires at 75 psi are a little slower (not as much as I expected), but there's just no comparison in comfort and shock absorption. I tried a Thudbuster mountain bike seatpost on the Atlantis for a few days for comparison, and the tires contribute just about as much as the post.
 

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Cory said:
In my experience, buying a frame and fork that have room for larger tires will do you much more good than fiddling with the components on a conventional frame. I have two bikes (Atlantis and Rambouillet) that will fit tires up to at least 37mm, and the difference in comfort between, say, 23s and 35s is almost unbelieveable. Fat tires at 75 psi are a little slower (not as much as I expected), but there's just no comparison in comfort and shock absorption. I tried a Thudbuster mountain bike seatpost on the Atlantis for a few days for comparison, and the tires contribute just about as much as the post.

Cory really nailed it. Although there is some technical evidence that carbon assists in dampening certain kinds of princess-and-the-pea level high frequency vibration, it is no panacea and frankly, I doubt a blindfolded rider could really tell. Meanwhile, putting on, say, 700X28 or larger tires can add a touch more cush and on a much more perceptible level than high zoot components.
 

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Tires are the number 1 way to reduce road shock. I can really tell the difference when I throw on some 25's in my Gunnar. You have to be careful, not all frames will take a 25 or larger. Waterford's have a low brake bridge that keeps you from fitting anything larger than a 23. If you want to fit a 25, or even a 28, you really need to do your homework before buying.
 

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I ride a Felt F65 with carbon seatstays, and I'm convinced that they're nothing more than a marketing gimmick. I also recently switched from an aluminum seatpost (Thomson) to a carbon one (FSA K-Force) to get more setback, and I can't tell any difference in ride quality.

Cheers,
Ari
 

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that depends..

ari said:
I ride a Felt F65 with carbon seatstays, and I'm convinced that they're nothing more than a marketing gimmick. I also recently switched from an aluminum seatpost (Thomson) to a carbon one (FSA K-Force) to get more setback, and I can't tell any difference in ride quality.

Cheers,
Ari

on the bike geometry and tires, but I'd have to disagree. I just bought an F55 (sweet ride) with CF seatstays and the ride is much less harsh than my previous full Al frame. Again, there are other factors, but I test rode Scott's S10 and S20 models also and felt the same thing (only the dampening was a little better with the Scott). both tires were 23mm.
carbon seatposts are just silly, I agree with other posters.

your choices all depend on how much $$ you want to fork over. All Al frames are fine and every ride is going to take a toll on the body (your back in this instance). Full CF frames are quite dampening, but they cost more than most people can justify for a recreational bike. Make sure it fits properly (insist on it in the shop), is comfortable on tests rides, and soemthing you wont' regret when you take it home. There's nothing more you can do..
 

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my opinion..

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

I posted it already, but try Scott S20....105 10spd with carbon stays and fork. very smooth ride on my test a few weeks ago. prices on sale now locally for about 1550$.
just an alternative if the geometry fits you..
 
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