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Old 02-29-2012, 05:48 AM   #23146
Aurelius
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How important is weight...

... when selecting a mountain bike? I've test ridden two so far; one with a CF frame (Trek Superfly) and the other with an aluminum frame (also a Trek, but a different model). The AL framed one felt like it was made of lead by comparison (about 28 lb). It didn't feel 'heavy' when riding it, but it also wasn't as responsive as the CF bike - at least that was my impression at the time. I assume that when it comes to climbing over humps, fallen branches, and steep hills, the lighter the bike is, the easier it is to ride. Perhaps enough to justify the much higher price of CF. What do the experienced mountain bikers here think?




Here's a good video showing what Florida terrain looks like:

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Old 02-29-2012, 06:15 AM   #23147
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Weight is very important.

If price or durability aren't.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:17 AM   #23148
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I have not really found it to be that dramatic, but I have never been able to do an apples to apples, it has always been comparing similar bikes from different companies.

My experience has been that they have similar response, but the CF is lighter. I am not that sensitive to weight on the trail, so I don't find it a justifiable cost. I put my money into light strong wheels and focus on mass centralization, makes them easier to throw around in the air.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:20 AM   #23149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Askel View Post
Weight is very important.

If price or durability aren't.
This isn't as true today as it has been in the past, except for the price part.....
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:24 AM   #23150
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Originally Posted by Askel View Post
Weight is very important.

If price or durability aren't.
Trek has a lifetime warranty on all their CF frames. If they break under 'normal use', they'll replace them for free. I assume they wouldn't have a warranty like that unless they've tested these frames under pretty severe conditions.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:30 AM   #23151
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Originally Posted by mud View Post
I have not really found it to be that dramatic, but I have never been able to do an apples to apples, it has always been comparing similar bikes from different companies.

My experience has been that they have similar response, but the CF is lighter. I am not that sensitive to weight on the trail, so I don't find it a justifiable cost. I put my money into light strong wheels and focus on mass centralization, makes them easier to throw around in the air.
I'd love to do a back to back test on the same model: one with a CF frame and the other with an AL frame, but they never seem to have both. The cost isn't that big a deal to me because if I buy a top of the line CF mountain bike, I'll probably never need to buy another one.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:34 AM   #23152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Trek has a lifetime warranty on all their CF frames. If they break under 'normal use', they'll replace them for free. I assume they wouldn't have a warranty like that unless they've tested these frames under pretty severe conditions.
That's because nobody would buy them if they didn't. Gary Fishers are notorious for cracking and breaking. And jumping through the warranty hoops can leave you without a bike for months.

Granted, this is on their aluminum bikes. Very few of my friends can swing the price for name brand carbon fiber.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:35 AM   #23153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
I'd love to do a back to back test on the same model: one with a CF frame and the other with an AL frame, but they never seem to have both. The cost isn't that big a deal to me because if I buy a top of the line CF mountain bike, I'll probably never need to buy another one.
I am VERY leery of "lifetime warranties" in corporate America. My feeling is the best warranty is the one you never need.

I hear what you are saying though.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:39 AM   #23154
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Originally Posted by Askel View Post
That's because nobody would buy them if they didn't. Gary Fishers are notorious for cracking and breaking. And jumping through the warranty hoops can leave you without a bike for months.

Granted, this is on their aluminum bikes. Very few of my friends can swing the price for name brand carbon fiber.
My friend that fixes carbon frames has fixed quite a few GF's.

BUT, the fact that Santa Cruz and Intense, to name a few, have come out with CF frames says quite a bit toward their potential durability.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:58 AM   #23155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
I'll probably never need to buy another one.
No such thing



The rabbit hole is VERY deep.

M
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:00 AM   #23156
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I am VERY leery of "lifetime warranties" in corporate America. My feeling is the best warranty is the one you never need.
True enough. Even the best warranty is one you'll never want to collect on. I don't like the disclaimer, 'under normal use'. Does that place a legal burden on me to prove that I wasn't doing anything abnormal with the bike when it broke? Short of having a video camera running at all times, how could anyone prove that?
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:20 AM   #23157
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Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
No such thing



The rabbit hole is VERY deep.

M
So true, so true.....
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:33 AM   #23158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
... when selecting a mountain bike? I've test ridden two so far; one with a CF frame (Trek Superfly) and the other with an aluminum frame (also a Trek, but a different model). The AL framed one felt like it was made of lead by comparison (about 28 lb). It didn't feel 'heavy' when riding it, but it also wasn't as responsive as the CF bike - at least that was my impression at the time. I assume that when it comes to climbing over humps, fallen branches, and steep hills, the lighter the bike is, the easier it is to ride. Perhaps enough to justify the much higher price of CF. What do the experienced mountain bikers here think?
Are you looking at a FS or HT Superfly (what component level)? And, what exactly is the other bike?

I ask those questions because weight is not just in the frame. It's, also, in the components (primarily wheelset and tires) and wheel sizes. There's, also, perceived weight in geometry. You could be on two bikes that have identical components, but, frames can have totally different feeling through steeper headtube angle, fork offset, trail, chainstay length, and BB height. You gotta' be sure you're comparing like bikes, even if you have to go to another shop to do it. I don't think I'd scour the geometry charts of a bike, looking at all the little nuances. If the one bike feels the best of all that you've ridden, then, go with that one.

I, also, look at one's self. I'm no 3% body fat, stud. Before I go scrutinizing every ounce of a bicycle, I need to first work on myself. However, there's definitely a difference in the weight one feels from a bike. I went from a 3.5" travel, 26" XC bike to a 5.5" travel, 29er trail bike. I truly miss the light and compact feeling of my XC bike.

I've ridden nearly all the trails at Santos, from just outside Dunnellon to ~8 miles east of HWY 441. That's a really nice trail system. The week I was there, they had XC races, at the course by the Santos TH. Looked like all the fast guys were on a 29er HT.

Santos Bike Shop, on 441 (around the corner from Santos TH), has Giants for rent or demo. Greenway Bicycles, right across the street from Santos TH (SE 80th Street), has Niner bikes for rent or demo. If you're looking at a 29er, I'd highly encourage you to try a Niner. Greenway is a really cool shop, too. I went in there to buy a different seat. They openly welcomed me, offered me use of their tools, offered me a beer, offered me a demo on their Niners (I was on my new Specialized 29er). They were like a bunch of guys just hanging out in the garage.....in flip-flops, no less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Trek has a lifetime warranty on all their CF frames. If they break under 'normal use', they'll replace them for free. I assume they wouldn't have a warranty like that unless they've tested these frames under pretty severe conditions.
My buddy broke his Gary Fisher's CF swingarm. Trek warrantied it, with no hassle. They gave him a '12 Fuel EX 9 frame, which is a much nicer/better frame than his HiMod Pro. Unfortunately, he was on the hook to get the fork setup to the new frame.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:49 AM   #23159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurelius View Post
Trek has a lifetime warranty on all their CF frames. If they break under 'normal use', they'll replace them for free. I assume they wouldn't have a warranty like that unless they've tested these frames under pretty severe conditions.
When did they go back to a lifetime warranty? Back in 1996 when I was working at a Trek dealer, they reduced their lifetime warranty to 5 years on carbon and suspension products.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:00 AM   #23160
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Originally Posted by ducnut View Post
Are you looking at a FS or HT Superfly (what component level)? And, what exactly is the other bike?
I'm still undecided as to whether I actually need a FS. Riders around here tell me a HT will do just fine for the terrain we have here in Florida. The only reason I test rode the FS Superfly is because it was the store's demo model. The other bike was also a Trek, but I don't recall the model name. It was a HT, and didn't impress me at all. The Superfly also had really fat tires, which I think would work better in Florida sugar sand. I'm not sold on the Trek brand, by the way - it's just that this particular dealership (David's World Cycle) happens to specialize in Trek.

Quote:
I ask those questions because weight is not just in the frame. It's, also, in the components (primarily wheelset and tires) and wheel sizes. There's, also, perceived weight in geometry. You could be on two bikes that have identical components, but, frames can have totally different feeling through steeper headtube angle, fork offset, trail, chainstay length, and BB height. You gotta' be sure you're comparing like bikes, even if you have to go to another shop to do it. I don't think I'd scour the geometry charts of a bike, looking at all the little nuances. If the one bike feels the best of all that you've ridden, then, go with that one.

I, also, look at one's self. I'm no 3% body fat, stud. Before I go scrutinizing every ounce of a bicycle, I need to first work on myself. However, there's definitely a difference in the weight one feels from a bike. I went from a 3.5" travel, 26" XC bike to a 5.5" travel, 29er trail bike. I truly miss the light and compact feeling of my XC bike.

I've ridden nearly all the trails at Santos, from just outside Dunnellon to ~8 miles east of HWY 441. That's a really nice trail system. The week I was there, they had XC races, at the course by the Santos TH. Looked like all the fast guys were on a 29er HT.

Santos Bike Shop, on 441 (around the corner from Santos TH), has Giants for rent or demo. Greenway Bicycles, right across the street from Santos TH (SE 80th Street), has Niner bikes for rent or demo. If you're looking at a 29er, I'd highly encourage you to try a Niner. Greenway is a really cool shop, too. I went in there to buy a different seat. They openly welcomed me, offered me use of their tools, offered me a beer, offered me a demo on their Niners (I was on my new Specialized 29er). They were like a bunch of guys just hanging out in the garage.....in flip-flops, no less.
I'll check out those shops on a weekend. I definitely need to do some test riding. I know practically nothing about mountain bikes, and I've only ridden through Ocala on a motorcycle, which wasn't fun at all.
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