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Discussion Starter #1
I've been in contact with an overseas company who might be able to make a run of full carbon 29ers. These aren't going to be custom, so what're your opinions on geometry? Also, does anyone feel that carbon has inherent weaknesses that should/need to be addressed? Thanks.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Buy an Orbea

Yunkie said:
I've been in contact with an overseas company who might be able to make a run of full carbon 29ers. These aren't going to be custom, so what're your opinions on geometry? Also, does anyone feel that carbon has inherent weaknesses that should/need to be addressed? Thanks.
Orbea is coming out with an Alma 29"er this spring. Unless your contact is going to be a great price point product, I'd probably go with the Orbea.

Carbon fiber mountain bike frames have always been eyed with suspicion. Many feel that these types of frames are to be avoided. However; the material has been used to great success by several different manufacturers. Trek, Giant, Specialized, and a host of other smaller manufacturers still use the material to this day. If it were not a good idea, then it would have been abandoned as a viable frame material by now.

So, the naysayers will post, I'm sure of that, but the truth is all frame materials suffer from failures of one sort or another depending on the circumstances. Carbon fiber is no different. However, it is a good material to make a mountain bike frame from.

I would want to know who it is that these frames are coming from, their experience in building with carbon fiber, and who they might have manufactured for now or in the past before I'd say that I'd buy one. That and what warranty was available. That's why I'd probably buy a frame of this type from an Orbea, or Trek, if they'd ante up and make one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I understand. I'm probably going to go through with it anyway. I'm not deterred by naysayers as most of the time they just spend their lives wallowing through the mud while others are actually accomplishing things. I found a very reliable maker of carbon frames, and other various parts. They've had a good bit of success in the UK from what I understand. Also, there's no way I'm going to buy an Orbea unless they offer their bike as a frame. Who the heck is going to buy a complete bike and spend an extra 2500 on parts they already have - that's freakin' stupid. I think Orbea is a really cool company, and this is by no means a knock on them. I just figured I'd offer everyone a chance to contribute their 2 cents before I proceed.
 

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So the advantages of a CF 29er would be.......? The only things I can think of offhand would be weight (maybe,) stiffness (maybe) and the ability to appeal to the large CF worshiping market. I didn't mention compliance because I really don't think that's an issue with the bigger wheeled platform. Heck, that's why so many run their 29s rigid. The sacrifice that one would give up in durability (don't scratch that CF weave) and price would seem to outstrip the advantages for a 29 frame IMO. Sorry, does this make me a naysayer? :eek:
 

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Axis II said:
So the advantages of a CF 29er would be.......? The only things I can think of offhand would be weight (maybe,) stiffness (maybe) and the ability to appeal to the large CF worshiping market. I didn't mention compliance because I really don't think that's an issue with the bigger wheeled platform. Heck, that's why so many run their 29s rigid. The sacrifice that one would give up in durability (don't scratch that CF weave) and price would seem to outstrip the advantages for a 29 frame IMO. Sorry, does this make me a naysayer? :eek:

The only way I would be interested in a carbon frame was if it was cheaper than titanium, lighter than aluminum, had a ride that was less jarring than aluminum, and was as durable as either titanium or steel. other than that, I'll pass. Bottom line is the ride, the durability and lightness. I can get past the $$$ aspect if it has those three.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The issue is simple, really. It's evolution. That's why 29ers exist in the first place. Thankfully, gary fisher et al pursued a different idea - one that we've obviously benefited from. Seems the new Pace 29" fork is selling like hotcakes, no? If durability were of paramount concern for carbon, then it would be ludacris to build a fork from it. If it were such a bad idea for a frame, then surely the folks at Orbea have gone mad. The fact is, carbon is a fantastic material for mountain bikes. Every material has its strengths and weaknesses. I think a 3lb carbon frame under or around $800 would be great for the 29er cause, as well as many riders who already enjoy the big wheels. I'm not a "devotee" of any particular material, as every bike regardless of what it's made of, will ride differently. BTW my definition of a naysayer is someone who speaks out against an idea on a largely emotional basis, and/or someone who is generally afraid of change. If you have an intelligent, informed opinion please come forth with it.
 

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Sweep the leg!
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I'd buy one if it had an EBB.
 

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Yunkie said:
BTW my definition of a naysayer is someone who speaks out against an idea on a largely emotional basis, and/or someone who is generally afraid of change. If you have an intelligent, informed opinion please come forth with it.

you're a little touchy aren't ya. Well I guess I can be touchy too then. I take it that my desired attributes for a carbon frame are not intelligent or informed. I ain't pissed or anything here, I just thought I would let you know where I am coming from.

It is not like you are a major brand with instant credibility or anything.

Regardless of who you are, or who is making the frame for you potentially, my statement of what it would take for me to be interested stands.

$800 seems pretty cheap to me. No problem there.

I have never riden a carbon frame offroad. So when I state what I would want in a carbon frame it is with reference to frames i have ridden, Steel, Ti, and Aluminum. I don't like aluminum frames. I like steel and ti. SO if you come forth with a carbon frame that rides more like steel or ti, I am interested. Is that not intelligent or credible...?

The durability issue is directly linked to your manufacturer's credibility of which I know nothing about. So forgive me for not giving you the same sort of benefit of doubt I give to Easton, FSA, Trek, USE, and others who's carbon parts I have owned or presently own. I have lots of carbon parts on my bikes.

There have been reports that some manufacturers in Asia have been tossing in a little fiberglass into their carbon mix. So I believe I have a right to question the durability of an unknown entity's carbon offering.

If you have any intelligent or informed infomation that can enlighten me, that would be great. I am not a carbon hater or anti-evolutionary, nor are most here in the 29er forum. But your generalities are not getting many too excited because we have no idea what this product will look like, what it will ride like, or its durability/dependability.

Maybe if you let us what products this company has produced or can give us some access to some no-biased reviews of their products that would help. I would be very interested. I am excited about Carbon frames, the orbea included. You just need to come up with more info to avoid folks like me that are skeptical of new companies offerings until proven. I have been burned before by new products. I don't like wasting my money.
 

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CF can be a great material for frames.

Its strength is that is can be shaped and tuned to give the ride qualities you want at a reasonable, and possibly, very light, weight.

Its weakness is it can take an engineer, many prototypes, and lots of time and money to achieve the above and be sure the frames are not going to fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Law said:
you're a little touchy aren't ya. Well I guess I can be touchy too then. I take it that my desired attributes for a carbon frame are not intelligent or informed. I ain't pissed or anything here, I just thought I would let you know where I am coming from.

It is not like you are a major brand with instant credibility or anything.

Regardless of who you are, or who is making the frame for you potentially, my statement of what it would take for me to be interested stands.

$800 seems pretty cheap to me. No problem there.

I have never riden a carbon frame offroad. So when I state what I would want in a carbon frame it is with reference to frames i have ridden, Steel, Ti, and Aluminum. I don't like aluminum frames. I like steel and ti. SO if you come forth with a carbon frame that rides more like steel or ti, I am interested. Is that not intelligent or credible...?

The durability issue is directly linked to your manufacturer's credibility of which I know nothing about. So forgive me for not giving you the same sort of benefit of doubt I give to Easton, FSA, Trek, USE, and others who's carbon parts I have owned or presently own. I have lots of carbon parts on my bikes.

There have been reports that some manufacturers in Asia have been tossing in a little fiberglass into their carbon mix. So I believe I have a right to question the durability of an unknown entity's carbon offering.

If you have any intelligent or informed infomation that can enlighten me, that would be great. I am not a carbon hater or anti-evolutionary, nor are most here in the 29er forum. But your generalities are not getting many too excited because we have no idea what this product will look like, what it will ride like, or its durability/dependability.

Maybe if you let us what products this company has produced or can give us some access to some no-biased reviews of their products that would help. I would be very interested. I am excited about Carbon frames, the orbea included. You just need to come up with more info to avoid folks like me that are skeptical of new companies offerings until proven. I have been burned before by new products. I don't like wasting my money.
Which is exactly why I came to this board looking for input as to what would make a carbon frame great. I share your reservations, but they're not going to result in a really great revolutionary carbon frame. I guess I should specify yet more. I'm not looking for informed or educated reasons why I need to be cautious. I need informed and educated input on what would make for a great carbon frame. Thanks, and I'm sorry if I've offended anyone.
 

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Yunkie said:
Which is exactly why I came to this board looking for input as to what would make a carbon frame great. I share your reservations, but they're not going to result in a really great revolutionary carbon frame. I guess I should specify yet more. I'm not looking for informed or educated reasons why I need to be cautious. I need informed and educated input on what would make for a great carbon frame. Thanks, and I'm sorry if I've offended anyone.

As someone with a prior experience in investigating carbon fiber possiblities I would talk to domestic builders of the stuff. I would bug them for info if nothing else.

I won't go into why I was looking into building stuff with carbon fiber here, but I will give you names of a couple of companies that I dealt with about 7 years ago or so, and they are all still in business I think. You have to find their numbers on your own, but they are all located in Utah.

Advanced Composites (Salt Lake area)
Quality Composites (Salt Lake area)
Rocky Mountain composites. (Springville, Utah)

One of the above makes Wound Up stuff
Another made all of the the very early Trek OCLV stuff, especially the prototyping.

I would contact them if you are truly serious because you may find someone that can tell you better than folks here what the potential problems are. They may steer you toward reliable folks to produce as well. I would not rely on one overseas manufacturer to get all of your info on whether the stuff will be quality.

Also, as a future lawyer, beware of your ass. I would not want to be personally liable if I were you. Set up some sort of entity to protect yourself or your shop if you are going through a shop. Maybe you have this covered already. I am dead serious about this. Set up an LLC, or a Corporation to run this operation though. distance yourself personally from all personal liability. get insurance. Blah blah blah, this may be too obvious. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Maxrep said:
Yunkie,

CF 29er frames are surely on their way. Unfortunately, you will not be their ambassador.

This may sound unkind, but it is the plain truth. You do not have the brand recognition, knowledge or experience with the material, financial or distribution resources(my best guess).

I understand that the American dream is one that tells all they can accomplish anything. The odds are against you in a staggering fashion. If there is something you ALREADY have a substantial knowledge in, or skill in a trade, put your efforts there for financial reward. This will allow you to purchase a carbon Orbea frame many times over. This also qualifies as a successful American dream, and stands a much greater chance of reaching fruition.

Many will tell you that attempting to turn a hobby into a business can be a recipe for disaster while spoiling the enjoyment of the hobby in the first place.

You also have to ask yourself why you are more likely to succede in this endeavor than other candidates. When you come to the realization that you are indeed inadequately prepared, when standing toe to toe with the major brands that have already produced carbon mtb frames, like Giant, you can then focus on your own skills. You know, numchuck skillz, bowhunting skillz, computer hacking skillz.........Sorry, had to throw in a little Napolean Dynamite! :D

Bottom line, do something you are already good at!
Thanks for the advice. I already run two companies, I own two homes and I've already paid for my daughters college education. She's 2. I appreciate everyone's scepticism - it's well founded, and the competition is indeed fierce. I'm looking for ideas - not advice. Especially not business advice. If you know anything about carbon fiber frames, and you have informed opinions about frame design please let me know. If you need examples of specifically what I mean, I'll give some: Lugs? Mixing with other materials/metals? Varying tube diameters (where and why). Then there's the other stuff like head and seat tube angles, stay lengths, ht length, rake, trail etc... Thanks again. I love you all.
 

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I think the title of your initial post is throwing people off. I think people here would be glad to tell you what they think you should do geometry wise, disc vs. V bosses or both, etc. If you're looking for that kind of opinion, I think you'll be able to get more than you can handle. But they don't want to feel like they're committing to a frame without knowing a lot of background. People are leery of carbon unless it comes from a known source because its touchier than other stuff, and easier to disguise poor workmanship.
I would buy a pair of rip off euro shades to wear to pick up the ladies :) from a street vendor on the streets but I wouldn't buy riding shades from him.
I would buy a steel frame from basically any small builder, heck, a friend of mine brazed an EBB into my frame. And while it I don't trust that brazing as much as I would trust a weld from Jeff Jones, I ride the bike. Brazing steel is relatively simple. Plus, I watched my friend do it.
Carbon is not simple and while most Asian quality control is really good, some of it isn't. I won't buy carbon bikes unless they come from a major supplier who's been in the game for a long time.

Personally, I'm not in the market. I've got a RIG, and if I "upgrade" it will probably be to custom steel. But there are lots of weight weenies out there.

YO MAMA
 

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Yunkie said:
...If you know anything about carbon fiber frames, and you have informed opinions about frame design please let me know. If you need examples of specifically what I mean, I'll give some: Lugs? Mixing with other materials/metals? Varying tube diameters (where and why). Then there's the other stuff like head and seat tube angles, stay lengths, ht length, rake, trail etc... Thanks again. I love you all.
This is where you need (at least) a materials engineer and they are going to expect to be paid.
 

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I am officially done with this thread. Let us know when you have something solid to show. You are kind of a jerk. You come at us with no history, no information and then bag on us for giving advice....good job. That being said, if you come up with something sweet, I might be interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Maxrep said:
Uh huh.....and you're here on this forum soliciting ideas for a new angle on carbon fiber frames?

The lack of input you're receiving comes in part from the fact that we are not material science majors, nor are you, and may not recognize a more prudent use of CF if it bit us in the buttocks.

First off, none of this forum banter will get you anywhere until you understand the "lay up" process and current fabrication methods used in todays CF frames. Once you have aquired some working knowledge in this subject, you will have a "filter" with which you can pass ideas through for feasability.

To some, your approach here seems a bit backward and ill fated. Its hard to generate much enthusiasm in this scenario.
At last - an honest answer. Your right, I don't know anything about carbon, which is exactly why I was coming to you all. If you too don't know anything about carbon then that's fine, but don't criticize me for asking! Do you think the guy who runs Daimler Chrysler knows how to rebuild a hemi? Of course not, he/she is an effective manager, and a business person. If my faith in everyone's knowledge was misplaced, then you're right - I'm clearly barking up the wrong tree, and I'll look elsewhere. But again, that's not a reason to cap on me. And Law - I'm not a jerk, I'm just reacting to a bunch of people effectively telling that I'm an idiot. Usually people on this board have tons of really detailed input on comlicated subjects. I had no reason to think it would be any different with c/f. I've experienced nothing but people telling me why I should be discouraged, and then they don't even believe me when I explain my qualifications. If you don't understand me or what I'm trying to accomplish that's fine - but it's not a reason to be insulting. Maxrep - if anyone's a jerk here it's you. You approach me like I'm a freakin' 12 year old. Who the f are you? How dare you doubt my qualifications. You don't know me, and you're bent on trashing me, so I'd appreciate you just staying off fo this thread unless you have something constructive to add.
 

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Yunkie said:
Maxrep - if anyone's a jerk here it's you. You approach me like I'm a freakin' 12 year old. Who the f are you? How dare you doubt my qualifications. You don't know me, and you're bent on trashing me, so I'd appreciate you just staying off fo this thread unless you have something constructive to add.
Oh lord.
 

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Have y'all sitten down on a broken carbon seatpost? Lighten up!
I'm closing this thread the first time someone is unfriendly again. Try to be nice and helpful (not saying please).
It's a forum, not a crusifixion (sp)!
 
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