Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is there a limitation on how long carbon lasts? i've heard five years as a rough estimate time and again but is there any truth to that? will it become softer over time, the carbon material in general and as it pertains to cycling?

thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
318 Posts
I've wondered that myself. I'm still riding a 24 year old steel frame and recently sold a Litespeed that I'd ridden for 14 seasons. I bought an Orbea Opal last year and quite frankly if it doesn't last me 10 years with no issues my next frame I'll be going back to steel.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i like how this guy desribed it but i'm not sure i believe him when it comes to a definate no way of the gradual weakening of cf. i was hoping for some scientific proof perhaps or hear from someone who has owned a cf bike and ridden it on centuries and raced and use the same bike for years and years and what their thoughts and findings are.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A carbon bike does not become weaker over time..... no worries.

IMO there is one concern with carbon bikes and it is small, but real. If you put a good deep scratch into certain of a carbon bike it can lead to failure over time. Not "WILL" but "can". Once some fibers are broken or compromised this can lead to the adjacent fibers doing more work and carrying more than their intended load which can lead to failure of those which in turn leads to more and so it goes.

This is pretty rare frankly. If you are the kind of guy who puts your bike in the trunk of your car and then piles lumber on top of that you might want to stay away from carbon. If you are the kind of person who knows the status of your bike and keeps an eye out for damage and take reasonable care of a bike I think a well built carbon bike can last longer than you need it to.

dave
 

·
Formosan Cyclocross
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
"Forever + 32 weeks" and then some... it's freakin' carbon. It will be in a landfill forever.

Your concern should be the resins holding it in place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
My dad rides an early-90's Trek carbon bike with an aluminum rear triangle and it's still going fine after 18 or so years. You have much better things to worry about.
 

·
Impulse Athletic Coaching
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
He is right. Carbon does not become weaker over time. It is chemically bonded and has a softening point of some 250 degrees Celsius. I've seen plenty of 10+ year old carbon frames...old OCLV and Cadex.

But, like any frame, manufactured defects can reduce the life. This is equally apparent in steel and aluminum, or any welded material.

Carbon production has come a LONG way in the last decade and a long way in even the last few years. You really have nothing to worry about as long as you ride within the realm of any material.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,636 Posts
Some numbers

king kong said:
is there a limitation on how long carbon lasts? i've heard five years as a rough estimate time and again but is there any truth to that? will it become softer over time, the carbon material in general and as it pertains to cycling?
Coal is essentially carbon, and it is around 300 million years old :)

If you were asking about carbon fiber reinforced plastic parts, then the answer is all about a combination of the design, the quality of fabrication, and the use conditions. A superlight frame made of anything is not likely to be very durable, especially under a heavy rider who doesn't pay attention to the road in front of them.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,134 Posts
Kerry Irons said:
........ A superlight frame made of anything is not likely to be very durable, especially under a heavy rider who doesn't pay attention to the road in front of them.....

Excellent to note that carbon fiber was not something invented last year [1963] and the initial use was to replace materials [incl metals] for added strength and not just for lightness. I was reading this website here and seeing that almost all stress/flex related areas of aero-space designs are moving to the carbon mode. It's safe to say that if a bicycle company uses the correct molding process that carbon will outlast any metal frame. How would you know if the process was not molded correctly ...the company would be out of business in a blink is the answer.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the realm of the material is getting it's ass kicked slowly but surely. i get the bike regardless of what it's made of, that's not it.

i was just wondering. this bike is for possibly as long as it takes to get tired of it and then it's on to something much more advanced and that material is what i am worried about but if all goes as planned suspect it'll be the newer tarmac sl2. learning ans quickly with the this thing i have, upgrade the components, get entire new complete and then move on.

it's just that i started with the carbon road bike as my first but not riding as a whole so that is and was and where i was and am coming from. comprende?

well that and the beginner's forum. :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i can quite easily see myself living two be two hundred years old if that's the case.

next. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
My brother's airplane is made of carbon fiber. A carbon fiber bike is a non issue as far as longevity is concerned. As long as you don't try to drive into the garage with it still on the bike rack on top of your car.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
RJohn said:
My brother's airplane is made of carbon fiber. A carbon fiber bike is a non issue as far as longevity is concerned. As long as you don't try to drive into the garage with it still on the bike rack on top of your car.
http://www.geocities.com/vpkelly.geo/index.html

http://www.carbon-fiber.com/JEC/index.html

i gotcha and good to know so a better question/worry, any problems with the adhesive held in place drop outs? that's always been a concern and i do ride 'aggressivley all over the place' at the moment.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
btw, i'm still not satisfied with the lack of a definative answer.

i can just imagine that a mold such as is a design specific bicycle frame , key term being 'mold'. that a life expectancy is expected to last forever.

it just doesn't feel right by mechanical and logical theory as some have attempted to give .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I used to work for one of the major bicycle manufacturers and was lightly involved in fatigue testing of carbon fiber frames and handlebars. As I recall, if a carbon frame or component did not fail *immediately*, within a few hundred fatigue cycles(this being the result of manufacturing defects), it was good for millions upon millions of cycles and the fatigue testing would be concluded without failure. That sort of fatigue life greatly exceded any of the other materials we tested and was considered to be well beyond a reasonable expectation of frame life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Carbon based lifeforms have been around for millions of years. Oh wait, I think I misread the question.
 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top