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When weight doesn't matter, is carbon still better than steel?

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When weight doesn't matter, is carbon still better than steel?

Old 07-10-05, 06:26 PM
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MrCjolsen
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When weight doesn't matter, is carbon still better than steel?

Just dreaming about building a bike. I'd like to put some good components on an old steel frame.

Worth the trouble?
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Old 07-10-05, 06:38 PM
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That's a very personal opinion.. some people love steel over every other material.. Personaly I love my CF bike it is light.. absorbs vibration and is alot stiffer then steel..
Basicaly it's up to you, if you really like you're steel frame build it up.
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Old 07-10-05, 07:51 PM
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I still think that the real virtues of CF have yet to be largely realised. While too many people focus on the weight or rather lake thereof, CF's biggest advantage is its ability to be tuned at a materials level and also use it to form complex shaped that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible to do with other materials.
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Old 07-10-05, 07:55 PM
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Better for what?
I have both...

Carbon is a heck lot easier to pick up... hahaha
They both have really good road damping qualities; almost no difference...
My carbon bike is obviously stiffer than a 10-yr old steel...
I'm always paranoid about my CF bike, whereas with my steel... I run that frame through hell with no fear - granted I paid big bucks for the CF and like none for my steel

I wouldn't put new components on my old steel... just running that thing into the ground now... but your frame might be better than mine... I dunno

-Peter
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Old 07-10-05, 08:14 PM
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i have a beautiful 80's basso frame and fork that's hanging on a wall right now. it needs paint bad but it's beautifully lugged. i'm considering getting it repainted and putting a mix of campy veloce and centaur stuff. i figure if it breaks or i don't like it i can always go with a new frame. i think there's something very satisfying about making something old new again. i'll probably have the downtube bosses removed and braze ons done for ergo cable routing.
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Old 07-10-05, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Surferbruce
i'll probably have the downtube bosses removed and braze ons done for ergo cable routing.
Why? They make downtube mount cablestops. Personally, I think they look better than brazed on cablestops.

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Old 07-10-05, 08:38 PM
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If you do nothing but pedal on flatlands, steel would be good. But then the better steel bikes today have a carbon fork, so you might find it difficult to get away from carbon.

If you go up mountains, you need carbon, aluminum or titanium, but the aluminum and titanium frames have carbon forks and seat stays. If you go up mountains and you can't stand noise and you hate vibrations, you should probably get all carbon.

Then again, if you ride with people who are about 100 years old and who start every sentence with I remember when, you should probably get steel.
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Old 07-10-05, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by trayer350
If you do nothing but pedal on flatlands, steel would be good. But then the better steel bikes today have a carbon fork, so you might find it difficult to get away from carbon.

If you go up mountains, you need carbon, aluminum or titanium, but the aluminum and titanium frames have carbon forks and seat stays. If you go up mountains and you can't stand noise and you hate vibrations, you should probably get all carbon.

Then again, if you ride with people who are about 100 years old and who start every sentence with I remember when, you should probably get steel.
Well he did say if weight didn't matter...
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Old 07-10-05, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by trayer350
If you do nothing but pedal on flatlands, steel would be good. But then the better steel bikes today have a carbon fork, so you might find it difficult to get away from carbon.

If you go up mountains, you need carbon, aluminum or titanium, but the aluminum and titanium frames have carbon forks and seat stays. If you go up mountains and you can't stand noise and you hate vibrations, you should probably get all carbon.

Then again, if you ride with people who are about 100 years old and who start every sentence with I remember when, you should probably get steel.
That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and I won't even bother to explain why.

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Old 07-10-05, 09:02 PM
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The bast answer is: It depends...
What do you look for in a bike?
- Comfort?
- Stiffness?
- Cost?
- Looks?
- etc...

I chose a steel bike because I like the feel of steel. I like the durability of steel, and the fact that it is a known quantity. Carbon Technology is still evolving with new innovations every day. New weave, new resin, different construction, new manufacturing processes, etc.

In my case steel was a better choice. For you it may be CF...
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Old 07-11-05, 11:07 AM
  #11  
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How a bike rides is less about the material than how it was engineered. Give me the finest material in the world to design and build a bike with and the one from the department store would still be better.
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Old 07-11-05, 03:00 PM
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Carbon isn't better than steel it's just different. I've ridden really good steel frames and some crappy ones. My Serrotta and my Tomisssini were two of the best frames I've ever owned and both were steel. I love my LOOK's which are both carbon, while I wasn't in love with my Orbea Orca (also carbon). You can make a really crummy bike out of any material.
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Old 07-11-05, 03:04 PM
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Why decide?
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Old 07-11-05, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by hypersnazz
Nah. This is better :

No steel frame is more advanced than the Spirit Carbon. It is aerospace technology hand crafted in Spain. We have combined the two best riding materials known to man—triple butted, air hardened Columbus Spirit steel and the brawny Columbus Muscle carbon fiber composite seatstays. Light, lively and responsive, Spirit Carbon is the most refined, comfortable example of the legendary Orbea handling.

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Old 07-11-05, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
Just dreaming about building a bike. I'd like to put some good components on an old steel frame.

Worth the trouble?
I think that "steel vs. carbon" is the wrong issue. To me the real isue is how much, if any, modification is the old steel frame going to require? If you are delighted with the frame fit and the geometry and you don't have to deform the stays to make modern wheels fit what's the big deal?
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Old 07-11-05, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Wurm
Nah. This is better :

No steel frame is more advanced than the Spirit Carbon.
The thing is, I'm not all that convinced that combined materials necessarily make for a better bike than a single ****genous material bike. If done smartly and correctly, it can but I don't think it's always going to be the a case of "two great tastes that taste great together".
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Old 07-11-05, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
The thing is, I'm not all that convinced that combined materials necessarily make for a better bike than a single ****genous material bike. If done smartly and correctly, it can but I don't think it's always going to be the a case of "two great tastes that taste great together".
Me either, but judging from what I know of the older Raleigh Team (Columbus Airplane & Carve seatstays), it can be done right. With the Orbea Spirit's geom and materials, I'd give it a good chance to equal or best the Team.
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Old 07-11-05, 06:06 PM
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Personally, (note: Personally) I think steel is better than carbon if weight is unimportant. Steel is easily repaired, painted, and welded, not to mention it'll survive a crash pretty well (assuming the steel isn't super-thin butted stuff, but if it's old, it's probably not). Carbon does none of these easily or well, if at all.
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Old 07-11-05, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by kandnhome
Personally, (note: Personally) I think steel is better than carbon if weight is unimportant. Steel is easily repaired, painted, and welded, not to mention it'll survive a crash pretty well (assuming the steel isn't super-thin butted stuff, but if it's old, it's probably not). Carbon does none of these easily or well, if at all.
Carbon can survive a crash pretty well. I've had my CF bikes go through plenty of crashes... most notably my MTB. They've all been thoroughly inspected and are fine. Steel is however more easily repaired. Most CF frames can't really be repaired at all. Lugged frames may be taken apart and tubes replaced depending on the bonding method used. However, by and large, if you crack a tube then you pretty much have to replace the frame. Some bikes (very very very few) however are made of thermoplastics and those can actually be repaired. It's still not for the feint of heart and you really need to know what you're doing. They can either be repaired using a patch (not a real structural repair) or repaired by reforming (takes a bit of specialised apparatus).
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Old 07-11-05, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
Just dreaming about building a bike. I'd like to put some good components on an old steel frame.

Worth the trouble?
Some 'old' steel' is just junk, but some is worth hanging almost anything on.
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Old 07-11-05, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kev
.......... my CF bike it is light.. absorbs vibration and is alot stiffer then steel..
That's not always a given.
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Old 07-11-05, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by trayer350
If you do nothing but pedal on flatlands, steel would be good. But then the better steel bikes today have a carbon fork, so you might find it difficult to get away from carbon.

If you go up mountains, you need carbon, aluminum or titanium, but the aluminum and titanium frames have carbon forks and seat stays. If you go up mountains and you can't stand noise and you hate vibrations, you should probably get all carbon.
What a load of rubbish and nonsense.
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Old 07-11-05, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
I think that "steel vs. carbon" is the wrong issue. To me the real isue is how much, if any, modification is the old steel frame going to require? If you are delighted with the frame fit and the geometry and you don't have to deform the stays to make modern wheels fit what's the big deal?
130 hub in 126 dropouts is no big deal and does not even require permanent setting. 120 to 130 if fairly commonly done with old steel.
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Old 07-11-05, 08:22 PM
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Guys guys guys...it's all in the design/geometry.

If weight is of no concern, then design/geometry is all that matters.

Like for me I love my aluminum frame...I would sy even over steel and CF....reason? It's perfect for my needs....stiff, tough, yet still reasonably light. I have no idea why it's so tough, but the thing is a trooper, I'll give it that
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Old 07-11-05, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
Just dreaming about building a bike. I'd like to put some good components on an old steel frame.

Worth the trouble?
It really depends on the steel frame. If it's really nice, go for it.

If weight were not an issue most steel frame would be better than most CF frames, IMO.

But weight is an issue; why I have two CF bikes and one steel.

Al
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