Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Steel vs Carbon vs Squishy

Carbon . . . so many to choose from.
Is it time for a change? 
Seems the internet, especially Bike Rumor, has been saturated with new carbon 29'er hardtails.  Are the interweb Gwads trying to tell me to switch from my favourite metal (steel) to man-made lightness?  If I can't get below my Jebus pre-described/pre-determined weight maybe I need to drop the weight other places?!? 

Or . . . .

Maybe I accept my manly girth and look to make the ride that much smoother (you know, so all the fat don't jiggle so much) and go to full squishy. 

If I was to leave the world of rigid, hardtail single speed bikes what should I ride? 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go Squishy and you die Lard ASS!

Anonymous said...

When you consider large body frames like ours frame weight reductions will net very little in terms of performance. What you need to consider is frame/BB stiffness.

I can't understand how you've lived with a steel frame all these years. Sure they offer a smooth ride but they also ride like the wheels are an extra couple hundred grams each (ie: lack of response).

You could get a carbon frame but surprisingly not all are designed to be stiff enough in the BB to blow you away (new Ellsworth Enlightenment carbon for example). Many makes use different carbon material between the $7K pro version and $3K realistic version - both look the same but read the specs and you see different carbon/resin/techniques are used (ie: Specilialized, Cannondale, Scott). Also, there's the whole issue of nicking your $2K on a rock. Sure it will still be rideable, but you'll be pissed.

IMO buy yourself a stiff al frame with large tire clearance and you’ll be not only gaining some weight reduction (baah!), but more importantly your who ride experience will change. Everything will be quicker and more responsive. You’ll feel like your hrs spinning indoors will be justified. Your bike will snap up climbs as if you're on weenie-only race wheels and in many places you'll be able to carry an extra cog or two.

Carbon frames I would consider that are relatively affordable AND stiff enough – Niner Air Nine Carbon ($1500 USD), Scott Scale HMX ($1800)

Aluminum frames that have good clearance and stiffness – Niner EMD, Scott Scale (2.25 rear tire max), Felt, Cannondale, Kona – or any other frame which you’ve read riders complain are too stiff. Odd are our weight will negate much of that AND these guys are often riding 30+ psi instead of the teens-low 20s.

The Gospel according to Fritz.

the original big ring said...

I hear you Fritz . . . my whole carbon spew is a segway for something to be revealed in good time.

Hey, were you calling me fat?!?

cheers

Kark said...

Hey, Luddite. Before you go lurching into the 21st century to be reborn perhaps you should acquaint yourself with a derailleur first. you know: baby steps.

and yeah, he definitely called you fat.

Scot said...

What about Ti?

CB2 said...

I'd like to know where Fritz can get an Air9 Carbon for $1500?

Your not fat, there's just more of you to love.

cornfed said...

26". It's the new singlespeed hardtail 29'er.

Anonymous said...

CB2, email me fmckellar at hotmail dot com. Brand new, full warranty from Michigan shop, includes shpping within US and your choise of BB. Crazy. $1819 if you want the tapered rigid fork.

Anonymous said...

go Ti!

I busted a carbon fiber road bike in a year!

carbon fiber has a lower fatigue limit than steel and Ti.
that's what counts.

I would never in a million years buy another dual suspension ride. They just suck. the bushings end up getting stuff inside them. Too much damn maintance.

I love my Ti ride. It sucks up everything. I love my steel rides as well.
I've busted at least 6 aluminum frames and 1 carbon fiber frames over the past 18 years or so...
I'm sticking to steal or Ti from here on in.

The marketing bs though is pretty influential.

steel is real and Ti won't die

Len said...

don't go carbon... you've seen me ride and if you buy carbon then I can't buy your used bike!

Lenny

the original big ring said...

Lenny, you still ride bikes???

Len said...

lol... no. but i might start again.