9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby Jondalar » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:23 pm

Hi,

Looking for thoughts about whether it's hugely risky buying a 9yo full carbon Trek as a starter road bike? I believe the clear coat has lifted in some spots but the frame is described as in great condition...



Cheers,
Karl
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by BNA » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:30 pm

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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby MichaelB » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:30 pm

Ummm, depends, how long is a piece of string ?

Need much more info to pass on any form of judgement
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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby Jondalar » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:34 pm

I guess the question is whether there are inherent problems in an aged carbon frame, it's a Trek 5500 OCLV, has Ultegra 2x9 and decent wheels. Starting price is good.
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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby MichaelB » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:09 pm

Jondalar wrote:I guess the question is whether there are inherent problems in an aged carbon frame, it's a Trek 5500 OCLV, has Ultegra 2x9 and decent wheels. Starting price is good.


As I said before, how long is a piece of string ?

Hoe many km has the bike done ?
Has it been regularly serviced ?
Where was it stored ?
Why is it being sold ?
What does it look like (actual condition, not sellers view of it) ?
How much is he asking ?
Does it need any work to get it in top shape ?
Is it even the right size ?
Do you know the person ?
etc
etc

Given the very brief description, I'd say a few hundred, but that is if it is in top condition.
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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby Nobody » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:47 pm

How heavy was the previous rider?
Was it crashed at any time?
Unfortunately if it's on eBay, my experience of about 190 trades says expect lies. I don't buy bike stuff on eBay anymore.

If I was a serious buyer I would inspect it myself and disassemble the fork to look at the steerer. But then I wouldn't buy a secondhand Trek carbon bike as their warranty doesn't transfer to the next owner and carbon is just too fragile.
Last edited by Nobody on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby QuangVuong » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:01 pm

Lifting clearcoat is a result of UV damage to the resin holding the CF together. Its alright if its only penetrated the surface. If its gotten into the CF itself, then high chances of the frame snapping in that area. Since its a full CF frame there wont be too many problems with lugged joints, but do look for cracks around the BB, seat stays, and rear dropouts and forks. ANy cracking is a big no no.

9 years is relatively new to me. Im grabbing myself a CF frame which dates back to 88 or 89. As well as an early 90s Giant frame. These, I have not had a look in person, but from the pics, and word from the seller(member here) I believe itll be fine. The older frame has a peeling coat as well, but Im quite confident in being able to redo that coat.
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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby boyracer » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:19 pm

^^Lifting clear coat CAN allow penetration of UV to the CF/resin. Clear is usually there to protect the carbon/resin.
Seen a few CF frames sanded to matte carbon (as is the fashion) finish recently with no ill effects....yet.

Seen a few similar vintage LOOK bikes with the same problem. They have spent 99.99 % of their life inside, away from UV, on the wall, after being used for about 3 weeks.
My 7 year old raw carbon LOOK is fit as. And has spent hundreds/thousands of hours in the sun. Would be great buying. If i was selling.

If you don't know enough to make a value decision, have someone/ LBS look at it for you. It is almost certainly worth less than asking price.
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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby jimh » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:59 pm

There's only 1 Trek 5500 on ebay atm. The top tube cable guide looks like it might be damaged ......

I had a Trek 5.2 of similar age which i found to be a bit flexy you really should take it for a ride though.

And those Treks back then did use lugs...
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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby QuangVuong » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:16 pm

If it is that Trek with the Zipps, tehn I would advise against it. That aint slightly peeling. Thats galvanic attack from the two different materials(CF and aluminium). Sure the bidon screws arent so important, but its very bad at the chain stay and near the headset.

For the price Id say its a little bit dear. If youre going for the group set and wheels, then moving those to some other frame itll be alright.
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Re: 9yo full carbon roadie, good or bad?

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:26 pm

Aside from the condition after use and age, a 9 year old carbon frame is an earlier generation frame and even if the original retail price was high, it doesn't mean that by todays standards it is better than an entry level carbon fibre bike. Carbon Fibre has really come a long way in the last decade.

This is where steel bikes beat Carbon Fibre, a quality steel frame in this age will better hold its value over carbon fibre (collectors and limited edition models excluded).
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