I have components beleive me, 105 and Ultegra, boxes full. My question is the frame. I'm just getting back into cyclocross from many, many years being off. Like Tom Hanks trying to forget about Wilson in Cast Away, whenever I think about cyclocross I think about my bike that got stolen years ago. So my question is carbon for a frame or aluminum. Whenever you go to a bike shop and you mention carbon and cyclocross in the same sentance I get back, "You got a sponsor"? Who's gonna buy you a replacement after your first day. So who out there has carbon frame horror stories or are they ok? Budget minded responses please. Can't do Titanium Lynskey types. Or should I go good quality aluminum?
while carbon is more expensive than most aluminum, it typically offers some weight savings, and can be more durable to certain incidents (less likely to damage in situations that would dent an alum frame). if built right, it certainly should have a longer fatigue life than light alum or steel.
i've ridden all materials, including carbon hard tail mountain bikes. while there have been failures and horror stories of any material, the only bike i've broken from use has been steel, and my main mtb has been carbon and has been incredibly reliable and resilient.
we've ridden carbon cx bikes, and the "CXM staff" owns a few, and no issues so far. seen/heard more issues with carbon forks but I'd bet that's because there are far more carbon cx forks than carbon frames out there.
you're probably thinking this way already, but before choosing a material, choose something that will fit you well, then go by budget and material. that's our advice.
fyi, i know you're writing off lynskey, but there are some more affordable brands of titanium out there too, well within carbon's price range.
Alright I finally got the go ahead from the Sgt.,(wife) to go ahead and get a frame with a $1000 ceiling price tag. Like I said I've got plenty of components. I purchased a 2009 Redline Team Conquest in a 52 frame, for less than $600. California only has two left in that size to anyone interested. I purchased this, don't kill me on the advice of a roadie I work with. Who is no slack of a roadie. Once road with Floyd Landis, they were training partners here in Pa. back in the day, (has pictures to prove). He said that Scandium is the way to go if can't buy Titanium. But now that Redline's top frame has gone to 7046 in favor of weight than stiffness see if you get a left over. The main weight loss seems to be in the Sram vs. Shimano. Is Sram that superior over Shimano? Anyone? I also heard Scandium is going to eventually be an Itialian exclusive, U.S. needs it for the war? I just wanted to add that, no comment needed on that. But please inform me on the Sram. Am I missing out?
I rode SRAM for the first time last CX season. Force group. First ride of it was a race (Northampton) which goes against all the advice but it's a great way to test a gruppo. I loved it. SRAM shifting to me is intuitive although I will say that some people don't like it. Don't understand why. I raced the group all season only ever rinsing and lubing the chain. Never had to adjust it and in the mud of USGP Mercer Cup it shifted spot on. My road bike is Campy, I don't have trouble switching between the two but if I had the choice (read, $$) I would put SRAM on the road bike as well.
i ride a carbon cross bike - i've had no problems, though to be fair i weigh about 125-130 ibs....
ive ridden it at Catamount, Gloucester, in Ontario, and in races in Qc (which are basically more mtn bike then cross races...) no problems, knock on wood. i think you could probably get a decent carbon cross frame for a reasonable price... Empellas? I saw a carbon frame / fork combo for $800 or so on cyclocrossworld?