Carbon frames

ChrisPAmbulance

Senior Member
Location
Stafford
This is going to sound very much like a newbie question but so what, here goes

As a rider of some 50 odd years, I have always been fairly old school and have pottered/zoomed around on various forms of steel framed bikes.

Now, having just returned from the NEC bike show, I am all starry eyed and thinking maybe it is time to look at getting a new bike.

However, and here's the rub, I have always had the impression that carbon frames are somewhat brittle and would snap the moment I rode over one of the more impressive pot-holes that we have these days. Try as I might, I cannot shake this impression off, they just seem too light to have any real strength.

Am I completely wrong in this (I hope so) and are carbon frames/forks much tougher than I have previously believed?

Advice please.
 

Heigue'r

Über Member
Location
Upminster
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
They can be susceptible to impact in planes for which they were never designed to accept forces - I'd love to see the above test video repeated by folding the frame sideways instead!

Nevertheless, treated correctly they're very strong and long lived. If you're used to treating a metal framed bike with moderate care so as not to unduly damage the paintwork then you won't have a problem with CF.

There are, however, other considerations. I've recently discovered first hand that top end aluminium frames ride nicer than low end carbon ones for a similar price, but that's my own fault for snapping up a half price bargain without doing my due diligence. Go find one you like riding, treat it with moderate respect, and just enjoy it.
 

roubaixtuesday

Über Member
This is going to sound very much like a newbie question but so what, here goes

As a rider of some 50 odd years, I have always been fairly old school and have pottered/zoomed around on various forms of steel framed bikes.

Now, having just returned from the NEC bike show, I am all starry eyed and thinking maybe it is time to look at getting a new bike.

However, and here's the rub, I have always had the impression that carbon frames are somewhat brittle and would snap the moment I rode over one of the more impressive pot-holes that we have these days. Try as I might, I cannot shake this impression off, they just seem too light to have any real strength.

Am I completely wrong in this (I hope so) and are carbon frames/forks much tougher than I have previously believed?

Advice please.
You are completely wrong!

As an 85kg rider very fond of rapid descents, cobblestones, commutes on pothole infested roads and who has taken the roofrack off a car by driving into a height restricted carpark :whistle: without the CF bike taking the direct impact suffering any damage whatever, I can attest to their excellent properties. My CF steed is 10+ years old and whilst it has numerous surface imperfections, continues to perform indistinguishably from when it was purchased.

I predict wheels will be the weak point of your bike.
 

tom73

Über Member
Location
Yorkshire
I've done cobbles , hit potholes and been known to fall off :shy: without issue.
Like @Drago says if you know how to look after a bike and not going to do anything other than ride them just like any other then you will be fine.
it's carbon fibre not plastic even at a basic chemistry level Carbon is a clever old element.
Really don't worry if you want a CF go for it , test a few and get one that makes you smile.
 

AuroraSaab

Well-Known Member
I have just come back to cycling and bought a used carbon bike, which I love. Having not ridden a bike for 30 years I was amazed how light it was. However, having spent a few evenings in Evans Cycles trying to persuade OH to get a new bike, I can now see that top end steel frames are also incredibly light.

If I was buying new (or used probably) again I wouldn't get too hung up on carbon being any better and concentrate on how comfy the bike was and if it fit me.
 
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Good afternoon,

As far as I am aware this frame was driven oven by a team car. A steel or aluminium frame would not had separated but would have bent to the point of unusability.

Geraint Thomas crashed into his team mate in front of him and he got up and rode on, it was the team mates bike driven over, but that is not great anti carbon news.

I too am an older bloke, I have a used full(ish) carbon Jamis, frame, forks, steerer, seat pin and I love it, I use it as a reward for hard work on the steel bike.

Quite a few years ago Halfords started selling Carbon Fibre bikes, their volume of sales along with other retailers of carbon fibre bikes over the last decade plus would surely have see massive recalls and complaints if the material really was that bad.

There have been recalls some quite recently but I had a Reynolds 501 frame fail at the head tube, down tube joint to the extent that I could pull the front forks forward and see the gap.

As far as I can find there are no web sites showing systemic failure of carbon fibre frames.

Just before posting this I flicked the front forks on my carbon jobbie with my finger and yes it really does sound cheap and plasticy, but I also remember when I was young and guy left the army and set himself up as a frame builder.

Bye

Ian
 
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