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I dont understand it. the whole thing about CF is that the fibres can be layed in such a way so that it rides better, and possibly more compliant over bumps, increasing traction.

so what's with the riders going aluminum in the roubaix? is there something i'm missing here? totally lost :confused:
 

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n00bsauce
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The material is only one component that determines ride comfort and compliance. The material a frame is made from is pretty far down the list of what determines comfort and compliance. Design comes first. It always amuses me when people talk about aluminum frames riding harsh, as if it's an inherant quality of aluminum. The first aluminum frames on the market were noodles, some of the whippiest frames ever constructed. The reason was they were building frames from aluminum tubes that were sized and shaped like the steel tubes of the day and the designs were the same as bikes made from steel. The builders simply substituted aluminum tubes for steel tubes. Cannondale popularized the big tube, stiff aluminum frame (they weren't the first to build such a bike, though). It was a solution to the problem of whippy and overly compliant aluminum frames.

Builders now know a lot more about building with different materials and incorporating their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses than they did when virtually all bikes were made from steel.

It's true that carbon fiber frames can be constructed to be very stiff or very compliant depending on how the layers are arranged. A builder has more control over the construction process with CF because he can manipulate the material and design to a greater degree. However there are many designs and techniques a builder can use with metal frames (steel alloy, alu, titanium) to accomplish 90% of what a CF builder can do.

One last thought. The likelyhood of crashing in Paris Roubaix is much greater than the majority of other races (weather, cobbles, narrowness, etc.) CF and crashes are not a good mix. Sometimes support vehicles can't reach a rider as quickly in PR as in other races. I think the teams value durability more in PR and choose frames and components that are less susceptible to damage.
 

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the following is from wikipedia (good ? btw).

"The bicycles of Paris-Roubaix

Andrea Tafi's special Paris-Roubaix bicycle, with dual set of brakes.Due to its challenging course, often compounded by poor weather conditions, Paris-Roubaix presents a difficult technical challenge to riders, team support personnel, and equipment alike. Special frames and wheels are often used specifically for Paris-Roubaix, in various configurations depending on the weather conditions.

Many of these modifications are borrowed from cyclocross, for example using wider tires, cantilever brakes, and dual brakes. Many teams also disperse additional support personnel throughout the parcours carrying spare wheels, equipment and even bicycles in case of equipment failure in locations that are not accessible to the team car.

Some of the top riders even receive special frames optimized for the harsh riding conditions of Paris-Roubaix to give more stability and comfort over the cobblestones. Different materials are also used to make the ride more comfortable for the riders. Tom Boonen, winner in 2005, used a TIME frame with longer wheelbase specially for him. In the same edition, George Hincapie was given a prototype frame featuring a small 2 mm elastomer at the top of the seat stays. The manufacturers claim that this elastomer took nearly all of the shock out of riding the cobbelstones.

The bad road conditions lead to frequent flat tires, and many riders in promising positions have been thrown back by this. In recent years, a neutral technical service on motorbikes closely follows groups of riders to provide new wheels to anyone in need, independent of their team association.

[edit]
Various comments on Paris-Roubaix
"Let me tell you, though - there’s a huge difference between Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. They’re not even close to the same. In one, the cobbles are used every day by the cars, and kept up, and stuff like that. The other one - it’s completely different . . . The best I could do would be to describe it like this - they plowed a dirt road, flew over it with a helicopter, and then just dropped a bunch of rocks out of the helicopter! That’s Paris-Roubaix. It’s that bad - it’s ridiculous." - Chris Horner [1]. "

Mel: Sean Kelly sure did kick some booty on his noodle! (vitus 979) my friend has one need to ride it one of these days.

Boonen won in 05 on a Time. Since Time only makes CF frames, it was probably CF (but ya never know).

there will probably be more CF frames in the future on Paris-Roubaix. also riders/teams may be a little more hesitant to embrace CF due to the nature of the course (seems like pile-ups aren't uncommon, etc).
 

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After talking to a CSC mechainic I learned that Cervelo purchased a batch of Taiwaneese made steel frames for the past Paris-Roubiax, and uses no name aluminum frames for some of the other Classics where there are cobbled sections. The reasaon? The teams normal carbon bikes were so unforgiving that nothing the mechainics could do would stop the headsets from rattling loose after the first section of cobbles.
 

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Lab Worker said:
After talking to a CSC mechainic I learned that Cervelo purchased a batch of Taiwaneese made steel frames for the past Paris-Roubiax, and uses no name aluminum frames for some of the other Classics where there are cobbled sections.
I don't know who you're talking to, but Gerard Vrooman has written about how they still have steel Super Prodigies and Rennaisance frames at their headquarters that they can't sell even at a loss. It's hard to reconcile buying Taiwanese frames with that. But even so, Cervelo frames are distinctive enough that it's pretty easy to see if a rider is on one or not, and I haven't seen any pictures where CSC isn't using a Soloist or R2.5.
 

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Lab Worker said:
No, threadless. With carbon steerer forks they apparently couldn't get bite needed to hold everything tight.
So they buy all new frames rather than switch to forks with metal steerer tubes? Does that really make sense to you?
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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Friction_Shifter said:
the following is from wikipedia (good ? btw).

"The bicycles of Paris-Roubaix

Andrea Tafi's special Paris-Roubaix bicycle, with dual set of brakes.Due to its challenging course, often compounded by poor weather conditions, Paris-Roubaix presents a difficult technical challenge to riders, team support personnel, and equipment alike. Special frames and wheels are often used specifically for Paris-Roubaix, in various configurations depending on the weather conditions.

Many of these modifications are borrowed from cyclocross, for example using wider tires, cantilever brakes, and dual brakes. Many teams also disperse additional support personnel throughout the parcours carrying spare wheels, equipment and even bicycles in case of equipment failure in locations that are not accessible to the team car.

Some of the top riders even receive special frames optimized for the harsh riding conditions of Paris-Roubaix to give more stability and comfort over the cobblestones. Different materials are also used to make the ride more comfortable for the riders. Tom Boonen, winner in 2005, used a TIME frame with longer wheelbase specially for him. In the same edition, George Hincapie was given a prototype frame featuring a small 2 mm elastomer at the top of the seat stays. The manufacturers claim that this elastomer took nearly all of the shock out of riding the cobbelstones.

The bad road conditions lead to frequent flat tires, and many riders in promising positions have been thrown back by this. In recent years, a neutral technical service on motorbikes closely follows groups of riders to provide new wheels to anyone in need, independent of their team association.

[edit]
Various comments on Paris-Roubaix
"Let me tell you, though - there’s a huge difference between Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. They’re not even close to the same. In one, the cobbles are used every day by the cars, and kept up, and stuff like that. The other one - it’s completely different . . . The best I could do would be to describe it like this - they plowed a dirt road, flew over it with a helicopter, and then just dropped a bunch of rocks out of the helicopter! That’s Paris-Roubaix. It’s that bad - it’s ridiculous." - Chris Horner [1]. "

Mel: Sean Kelly sure did kick some booty on his noodle! (vitus 979) my friend has one need to ride it one of these days.

Boonen won in 05 on a Time. Since Time only makes CF frames, it was probably CF (but ya never know).

there will probably be more CF frames in the future on Paris-Roubaix. also riders/teams may be a little more hesitant to embrace CF due to the nature of the course (seems like pile-ups aren't uncommon, etc).
Tafi's was titanium and I believe he continued using it though the season.

What are "dual brakes"?

TF
 

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Mel Erickson said:
CF and crashes are not a good mix.
This statement can only be accurate when properly qualified. The qualities of carbon fiber composites <u>cannot</u> be generalized. While one company's carbon fiber may prove to be brittle and susceptible to shattering when struck, another company's carbon fiber could easily be far more resistant to crash-related damage than comparable metals.
 

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Special build

Mel Erickson said:
The material is only one component that determines ride comfort and compliance. The material a frame is made from is pretty far down the list of what determines comfort and compliance. Design comes first.
And to that point, it is quite easy for a builder to specify a different tube set for a metal frame bike, and then weld up a frame just for rough road riding. Given all that goes into producing a CF frame, that kind of change is not so easy to do. So if you're sponsoring a team and want to deliver something tailored to an event like PR, you can do this pretty easily with metal frames, and it's VERY hard (aka expensive) to do with CF frames.
 

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in trying to relocate time's website I came across the following which gives a basic rundown of cromoly steel, titanium, and carbon fiber for frame materials. I used to ride with glenn and he is a stud. He turned part of his house into a bike store and builds (used to at least)frames out of various materials. it was written 10 years ago but the basics remain true.

http://www.mse.cornell.edu/courses/engri111/bicycle.htm
 

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You guys can try to wrap it in ribbon if you want but the simple fact is that PR destroys bike. A cheapie, Taiwan made alu frame is cheaper to produce than any carbon or steel frame. At the end of the race, the mechs pull of the good parts and either A) throw the frames away or B)give them to a junior prgram somewhere in Europe. The frames are disposable.

I had a steel Look (AC353) that was made for Credit Agricole's use in the 02 spring campaign. They built approximately 100 of these frames. The ones that weren't used were sold off. I got mine from BoyerSports (yes, that Boyer) with a HSC3 fork for $550.
It rode well, but you could tell the build quality just wasn't there.
 

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n00bsauce
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True, but bicycle designers are not building CF frames to withstand crashes. As Kerry Irons said below, you could build a one off CF frame for Paris Roubaix but it would be very expensive if it's a monocoque design. Less expensive with lugged tubes but design options are more limited and it's still pretty costly for a one day race. Problems like Armstrong experienced when his CF chainstay was stepped on and cracked in the TdF are much more likely in PR.
 

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100% torqued
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Which teams pick alu here? Oh well, PR brings out fat tires and cyclocross parts. Most guys will be on traditional 32 hole wheels. Other than that you see suspension bits here and there, posts, Hincapes frame, Rock Shox Ruby in the past.

Material doesn't mean much on its own anymore. Aluminum bikes can be made stiff as heck or designed into something as forgiving as Castellano's soft tail with flexible aluminum chainstays. Carbon fiber is not necessarily brittle since it is used to build the tubs the drivers of INDY and F1 cars sit in. They are designed to survive crazy forces. Steel builds hammers and the frame I saw the head tube ripped cleanly from a few years back in a head on digger that didn't even taco the front wheel. Any appropriate material can be designed into tubes and utilize its properties to build a bike that functions a certain way.
 

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asgelle said:
I don't know who you're talking to, but Gerard Vrooman has written about how they still have steel Super Prodigies and Rennaisance frames at their headquarters that they can't sell even at a loss. It's hard to reconcile buying Taiwanese frames with that. But even so, Cervelo frames are distinctive enough that it's pretty easy to see if a rider is on one or not, and I haven't seen any pictures where CSC isn't using a Soloist or R2.5.
I had a quick search but could not find any photos of CSC bikes at this years PR. You may have better luck than me. No one expects to see the 'normal' team bikes ridden at PR, this is why the media have a field-day every year covering all the interesting things that the mechanics do so their riders make it to the end of the race. Think Wesemann's Giant with canti brakes and a hole drilled though the Newton stem.

Who was I talking to? I already answered this: one of the CSC mechanics, or I should say ex-mechanics, he has now moved on to another team. I attended a talk he hosted and I talked to him durring the intermission about PR and other spring classics.

I don't know much about the older Cervelos (ie: the Super Prodigies and Rennaisance's that you speak of), prehaps they do not have the mud clearance? At PR this year CSC were running 28c tubulars, I'd imagine they would still require a large amount of mud clearance.

Why didn't they just switch to aluminium steer forks and crank the stem bolts up? I don't know, but they didn't. Maybe this tyre clearance issue came into play, maybe steel frames are just more comfortable over the cobbles (probably some varient of a touring frame with long stays and slack angles)
 
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