Carbon Frames - yay or nay?

What do you think? I’ve been thinking very hard about a carbon MTB for next year. I don’t ride overly aggressive, and I plan on keeping my Norco Shinobi for a while yet.

What are your experiences? Would you ride a carbon mountain bike or any carbon bike?

I had an early (2000) cf seatpost shatter on me during an urban ride. No injuries but it was sudden and without warning…

I think the newer cf mountain bikes are safe as they are not as much concerned with ultra lightness… just look at the punishment the world cup dh and xc riders put on their bikes. That said, a crash with a cf bike would make me a bit nervous for the integrity of the frame going forward.

I’ve owned a carbon road bike in 2005, no problems there at all. Would I own a carbon mtn bike (if i could afford one? no probably not. I’d get alum framed version and put money into wheels i think)

That was my first thought for sure because carbon doesn’t dent. Even rocks flying up from the trail could do some critical damage. Putting protectors in the most common areas for impacts helps.

You can get away with some damage to an aluminum frame, depending on the location and size, dents don’t necessarily compromise the frame to the point of replacement. Bicycle downtubes for example are in tension, so damage there is not as critical.

I guess whether you go carbon or not depends on your riding, how long you want your investment to last and your income. If you change bikes every couple of years or so then the durability isn’t as much of an issue I guess. For me I want stuff to last a long time…I’m still riding a steel hardtail from the early 90’s and have never thought twice about the integrity of the frame. I also ride a carbon bike from the late 90’s but am shocked it hasn’t failed by now. That being said I’ve always been pretty light on the bike and rarely break stuff before it’s too worn to function properly.

They aren’t shelling out $$$$ for their bikes though. For the pros a frame only has to last for one race to be good enough for them . I’m sure those frames are gone over with a magnifying glass by the team mechanics after each and every race and replaced if any minute defect is found.

+1 on bignose. For the money saved by purchasing the aluminum framed version, you could upgrade lots of other components. If you really want carbon, I think manufacturers now have it down so durability is not as much of an issue as before, but carbon is still carbon so any major crashes could compromise the integrity of the frame.

I wouldn’t buy a used cf bike… I would think they would be hard to unload if you were the type to move through bikes every couple of years.

ask your self why you would want a carbon frame mike, and be honest. then think of the beer you could buy with the money you saved by not buying carbon. and remember an aluminium bike can be recycled into beer cans.

Beer is definitely a factor… you make good points darkmyth.