carbon or steel

Welcome to the Cycle Oregon Forum! We hope you enjoy it and look forward to your postings.

Thank you

Moderators: Cowboy, Jackson, chris@cycleoregon

Re: carbon or steel

Postby dougnlis » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:50 pm

"I do have experience riding a steel frame for 10 years and have it get soft on me."

Okay, I waited a week for someone else to ask: what does soft steel feel or look like? When church bells have been rung for a century or two, does the tone change? If John Henry swung his hammer a few years more, would the spike have refused to go down? Is there a place other than the tool steel alloy in bike frames that we can look to see the phenomenon of steel getting soft?
Steel is Real
dougnlis
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:56 pm
Location: Portland OR

Re: carbon or steel

Postby aktiv » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:32 pm

dougnlis wrote:Okay, I waited a week for someone else to ask: what does soft steel feel or look like? When church bells have been rung for a century or two, does the tone change? If John Henry swung his hammer a few years more, would the spike have refused to go down? Is there a place other than the tool steel alloy in bike frames that we can look to see the phenomenon of steel getting soft?

2 things - it lost the snap that it used to have, but more importantly, it would attempt to shift on me when I mash the pedals, particularly when I was in the big ring. It didn't do that in the first years.

One could debate the literal use of the word "soft", but the frame was definitely not as stiff as it was initially.

Cheers

Keith.
aktiv
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:19 am

Re: carbon or steel

Postby spokhand » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:13 am

I have been riding my Chris Pauley with Shimano (original components) for the last 26 years, still love the steel, but decided maybe was time to get a new bike. Rode the steel last year in CO. Bought a Madone 5.2Pro, have had it out 5x this spring, between snow episodes, love the feel and responsiveness. Going to a stand, feels almost weightless, very little to no flex in frame. Don't lose a lot of effort. I'm 58 and able to ride the 53/39:11-25 with not more effort than old 52/42. We'll see about the life of the bike, but right now, enjoying the ride of the Carbon. 8)
spokhand
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:11 pm

Re: carbon or steel

Postby dougnlis » Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:28 am

"We'll see about the life of the bike, but right now, enjoying the ride of the Carbon. "

I think fear about the life expectancy of carbon frames is overdone. If the material is damaged in a crash there is no repair and failure can come quickly. If you don't crash I don't know why you shouldn't get many years from a carbon frame. I rode a carbon Specialized (carbon tubes, aluminum joints) for about ten years and loved it right up until it was stolen.

If I had only one bike, it probably wouldn't be a carbon frame designed for the races. But once my transportation needs were met I might modify my motto to add, "Carbon is fun!"
Steel is Real
dougnlis
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:56 pm
Location: Portland OR

Re: carbon or steel

Postby Allyn Rice » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:50 pm

I worked for Northrop on the Stealth Bomber. I then moved to Boeing and worked on the 777. The wings on these are carbon. The stress they see is much worse than that seen on a bike. They have to fly for at least 25 years. I think carbon will last and stay rigid. Not like fiberglass that gets flexier (new word?) over time.
The world is not flat.
User avatar
Allyn Rice
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:09 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: carbon or steel

Postby wayneh » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:15 am

Because I enjoy building the bikes that I ride, I have frames of all types. My only all-carbon frame is a LOOK from the 1980's. I like it, but haven't ridden it that much. Seems a little loose in the front end, althought it's a bike Laurent Jalabert rode professionally when at ONCE. That's not why I bought it, though. It's yellow, that's why. My commuter rigs are steel, with carbon forks. I have a Giordana steel road rig that I ride on traditional full spoked Mavic Open Pros, great ride. Sweet, smooth road feel. I have aluminum frames too, a great Cannondale, and two bikes from Fondriest. Light and quick, not the best for a 7 day tour though but really nice rides for short one-dayers.

The main thing is, these bikes are all FUN to ride. I really don't have a predetermined preference, but then, based on the ride I'm considering, I also have choices, which I understand most riders will not. I just got carried away with building bikes, (and didn't have a wife telling me I couldn't spend my money that way!). About one half of my bikes are Shimano, the rest are Campagnolo. I like having the two to compare. My son hates Campy - I love it. But I'm done buying and upgrading. I'll enjoy and live to love what I have now. So if I were to buy just one bike now, with all of the technology out there, it would either be a really solid carbon frame, or something custom in steel. And, I haven't tried out the new SRAM stuff yet. Not in the future budget. But even Campy Centaur beats the heck out of Shimano 105 - just my opinion.
wayneh
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:54 pm
Location: Tigard, Oregon

Re: carbon or steel

Postby eljugador » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:41 pm

Titanium.
eljugador
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:17 pm

Re: carbon or steel

Postby Tender Chunks » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:06 pm

At the risk of making old CO riders roll their eyes heavenward (most are pretty close to going there, btw), I ride a cheapo steel bike, cost $399, 10 years ago. I love my bike, I love CO, I love Oregon, I love my wife and my flyrod. That said -spend $7500 on a bike if you like, but CO is about people, about places, about experiences. If all it is about for you is showing off your hot bike, or worrying about whether your bike buys you entre into some gearhead elite - well, have at it.

The smart people ride junkers, or even great bikes, but take their really valuable experiences from climbing steep hills thru ponderosa pines in the afternoon heat, and stopping to enjoy the view, looking at the eagles riding the thermals, and stopping at every lemonade stand staffed by 6 year olds, and chatting up nice old ladies who are lined up when you come into little towns, and asking them where the library or laundromat is.

Buy the hot bike, ride in a pace line and get into camp at 1pm; but you will be the poorer for missing the real experience - walking out into the old wagon ruts, riding out to the round barn, taking 45 minutes to buy 2 - 1965 era postcards from the talkative old guy at the remote country store, having breakfast in the local hash joint and hearing about the local hay harvest and the state of local elk and deer and game birds, while your fellow CO homies fly by. I'll take the latter, and slurp a couple of leisurely cups of crappy coffee anyday.

My regular life is all about rush and money and hurly burly and development and construction and permits and cap rates and investments. I go to CO to reconnect with humanity, with slowness, with slow food (eaten at local restaurants, or made by locals at the CO food lines), to experience days that seem to last 10 times as much as my typical day doing email and phone calls and meetings. Buy whatever bike pleases you, but don't mistake that for having almost anything to do with the deepest CO experience. You can fraternize with gearheads any time - but you only get to experience this wonderful state once a year, in this way. Don't blow it. 8)
Tender Chunks
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:08 pm
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Re: carbon or steel

Postby mytrot » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:56 pm

TC

Bravo!

ET
mytrot
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:40 pm
Location: Albany, OR

Re: carbon or steel

Postby markhappyguy » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:10 pm

I'm getting a Renovo bamboo touring/road bike soon. Renovo is a local bike company (facilities in SE Portland). The owner/designer, Ken Wheeler, use to make airplanes. He also makes hardwood bikes.

I am looking forward in riding this at the Cycle Oregon Weekend ride and doing Tour de Cure 100 mile ride the following weekend.

Check it out (Google Renovo) and visit Ken. He's a nice guy and you can get to try out the bikes.

Mark
markhappyguy
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:14 pm

Re: carbon or steel

Postby wayneh » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:40 am

I saw these Renovo bikes on display up in Seattle at the Bike Expo in February. They are beautifully crafted of different types of exotic woods, and I thought the finishing work was superb. Please share your comments back to the forum after you have ridden your new bamboo frame.
wayneh
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:54 pm
Location: Tigard, Oregon

Re: carbon or steel

Postby ken f » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:06 am

A friend of mine will be riding her Renovo on the week ride this year. She loves it.
ken f
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:17 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: carbon or steel

Postby Force 5 Robert » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:59 am

Amen TC!
http://rosecityrecumbentcycles.com/
User avatar
Force 5 Robert
 
Posts: 532
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:46 pm
Location: PDX

Re: carbon or steel

Postby Alex from Eugene » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:18 pm

I have had a steel frame go "soft" (well, creaky) on me. My first nice touring bike was a 1981 Reynolds 531 Trek and is now my commute bike. Still has the original 1981 Phil Wood sealed hubs although they are getting loose. I noticed a creaking sound with hard pedalling in 1995 or so, took off the packing tape wrapped around the the down tube to hold the generator wire and found that the down tube had completely cracked and was in 2 pieces. There had been a minor (for me) crash on the Portland to Eugene ride in 1993 or so.... I took it to a local bike shop, owner called Trek, who said the tube shouldn't break, crash or no. We stripped the parts off, shipped to Trek who brazed in a new down tube and repainted the frame - and now it's the commuter. So much for steel frames "not breaking" but hooray for Trek.

So I got a Trek 2100 lugged carbon tube bike for CO X in 1996, also rode it in 2 more COs in (I think?) 1998 and 99. On one of them I got carried away jumping cattle crossings and taco'd the rear wheel (I am not a lightweight), limped back into Myrtle Creek with the rear brake disabled. Absolutely no problems with the frame despite that abuse, now my wife rides it. Standing and cranking on that bike with the double chainring on CO 2001 tweaked a patellar tendon so then I got a Trek 5000 OCLV with XTR derailleur and cogset so I can ride up the 19% grade to my house and keep my knees.

The 2100 is now 14 years old and stood up to a lot of abuse, so I'm not convinced that carbon fiber frames are particularly fragile or ephemeral. I find they are the best for comfort in standard geometry and that is getting increasingly important to me as age takes its toll...

My $0.02 and then some

Oh yeah, and +1 what Gordon said about taking time to smell the roses....but I still like to go fast on the flats
Alex from Eugene
"work to eat, eat to live, live to ride, ride to work"
User avatar
Alex from Eugene
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:25 pm
Location: Skinner's Mudhole

Re: carbon or steel

Postby dougnlis » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:13 am

"I have had a steel frame go "soft" (well, creaky) on me. My first nice touring bike was a 1981 Reynolds 531 Trek and is now my commute bike. Still has the original 1981 Phil Wood sealed hubs although they are getting loose. I noticed a creaking sound with hard pedalling in 1995 or so, took off the packing tape wrapped around the the down tube to hold the generator wire and found that the down tube had completely cracked and was in 2 pieces."

Man alive! That wasn't steel "going soft", that was breakage! I don't know anyone saying steel frames can't or don't break or fail. I trust them to fail more gradually, as you experienced. Cracks tend to grow slowly so they can be detected before disaster strikes, while aluminum and carbon reportedly go bad abruptly. Before TIG welding, your experience of a steel tube being replaced and brazed back into the same lugs was pretty typical as well, a unique feature of steel frames.

You have a steel frame that is going on thirty years of use. Can you detect any change in ride character in that time? The charge of steel somehow softening is usually thought of as more flex in the frame, and I have never understood how such a thing was possible.
Steel is Real
dougnlis
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:56 pm
Location: Portland OR

PreviousNext

Return to Cycle Oregon

cron