No-name carbon, safety.....last?

ellbiddy

Active Member
So after cracking my first homemade carbon frame in half, I started laying out the second one and doing all sorts of cooky designs and what not. After some of the posts in here about belt drives, I thought it might be cool to try it and started googling around for some more "inspiration."

During which I stumbled across a lot of asian name no-name carbon frames for really cheap 300-500 depending which you get. Now there's no good, easy, or effective way to just "look" at carbon and judge the quality of such a frame you'd needs lots of testing and x-ray machines and what not. All of which would cost you roughly...30 million dollars. Given that, that sum is quite a bit more than 350 dollars my trust in these frames is lacking. I tried to find someone who built one up but only found some dude on mtbr who ended put bianchi stickers all over it :rolleyes: Now I think I trust myself more than some company in China only because I don't really worry about weight, it's just the process that makes it fun, but when you start skimping on some weight with some lower grade material, it could end poorly, especially with the way that carbon fails. Given the cost what I really want to do is once I finish my second frame, do a side by side comparison of the "Biddy" frame vs the "Asian" frame in the name of science. In the mean time however I've very tempted to buy one just to beat it up and see how long / if it will fail.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=476298 <= Bianchi sticker mess

http://cgi.ebay.com/Brand-New-Full-...ameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting <= ebay mess

The ebay frame is the same as the "bianchi" frame just without the v-brake bosses in.

It's interesting to see them go for so cheap, I've had some really cool ideas for mine that involved carbon-kevelar hybrids for the outer layer for some colour "pizaz" but in the end the raw material costs is very small. (On the order of what the ebay guys charge), but safety, both in manufacturing and riding is super sketchy via both methods.

After more tireless beer-driven research I found that Pedalforce looks to be taking these frames, slapping on an (from what I can see) untested 5 year warranty and selling these frames for 500-700$

http://pedalforce.com/online/produc...=4702&osCsid=ff723a559b9fc61e20030077e54ef9fc

They look to be the same frame with the stops epoxy'd on the top of the TT and the stops on the seat stays are also flipped in terms of placement. So then the question comes up that if some website can offer a 5 year warranty of these frames (assuming the warranty is legit) then maybe they aren't going to break in half off the bat.

So I tried to dig into this pedal force stuff and I just did a quick whois on the domain and surprise surprise, it's not registered to a pedalforce LLC as the "trustwave" security seal would have you think but rather:

Registrant:
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
DomainsByProxy.com
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States

So they register through a proxy service instead of filing their company name address, which is fine, I sometimes wish I hadn't registered my domains with all my real info but it makes it that much shadier as it starts to look that they're just playing a middle-man game which a huge rate hike as opposed to the guys shipping straight from hong kong.

http://www.importgenius.com/importers/pedal-force-llc.html Shows that they import their stuff from Hong Kong which is, from the ebay ads, the same place those other frames (as well as countless of big name frames) are shipped from. The only good thing to note is that from that shipping slip is that you can see where they are based from as opposed to their website which doesn't mention it. In the end I reckon these guys are selling the same frames as the joes on ebay are for a bumped up price. They posted some review on their site:
http://pedalforce.com/online/File/Pedalforce_cplus.pdf

But I'd take that along with everything I said with a grain of salt seeing as the only frame I've ever made broke in half. It's just interesting to see how cheap one could acquire a frame that others are backing up with some so-so warranties. In the end I'd recommend buying your reliable carbon from a LBS (I got my fisher from Cyclecraft) that way the years of time and millions of dollars that get thrown around as well as lifetime warranties or a the very least crash replacement program can serve to aid you :)

I'm still going to order one once I finish my latest build and compare, we'll see who comes out on top, I vote me!

Edit:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&r...ANY TURNPIKE Canton&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl
According to google there is no pedal force at this address, however there is a USPS office which given the format of that address on that shipping info might be a PO-Box-like setup...who knows. But if I were to buy a potentially fatal piece of biking equipment I'd rather do it from the source for 200+ dollars cheaper

Double Edit: According to their Warranty cards and Dealer Referals they're also listed in Norwalk CT as well as that Canton address, I still think they're just playing the middle-man mark up game though, but that's just me.
 
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soundz

The Hat
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I just did a brief search through MTBR and seem like a bunch of people are jumping on the Pedal Force deal. Didn't see a negative review yet, but I guess time will tell. I guess if these frames are indeed coming from one of the 5 or so factories that do all the carbon work, it stands to reason the quality should be somewhat decent. At any rate, I'd be interested in seeing your comparison if/when you go in that direction.

If I was to try an experiment like this frame, I think I would go with the eBay deal as well.
 

warcricket

Like a Jerk
i wanna see those integrated carbon fiber fenders you were talking about! btw, what does your jig look like? are you using the same one as your last frame or making a new one?
 

ellbiddy

Active Member
New jig, going to be a nice open frame design. I'm really digging the integrated rear fender idea. I think it's going to look sharp :) Hopefully it holds up well compared to the generic carbon frame :)
 
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