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Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heres the background of my question. I ran into a Roadie and we talked about RBing. We exchanged info on each others bikes. He then told me that I shouldnt daily ride a carbon bike and I shouldnt use a carbon handlebar as a daily rider. He states they will crack from daily use. Im concerned as this is my only bike and I aint returning that Plasma handlebar lol. He suggests I get an aluminum or titanium bike for daily riding and save the carbon for weekends or races. He doesnt really like carbon bikes as they are too fragile in his opinion. Never really thought about this aspect of it as Im a big dude and have beaten my bike up pretty good so far and it doesnt seem to bat an eye.....Yet.

Do I have something to worry about or is this someones bias thinking.
 

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What I think

From your post (second hand info from the guy you are talking about) he has some urban myths and wifestales that he is repeating. If CF bikes are exploding and breaking apart like glass, do you think we would have heard about this by now? As for components, I am not fond of CF bars, cranks, and seatposts. Alu serves the same purpose, weight wise are very similar if not the same, and much cheaper to replace if they are damaged or fail as opposed to CF. another thing with CF bars and posts is the torque wrench factor spec, must be right or you can crush the component. He kinda has things backwards, ride the nice bike to train on and use the throw away bike to race. Where are you most likely to crash, on a training ride or a crit?
 

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Horse manure...

Snakebitten said:
Heres the background of my question. I ran into a Roadie and we talked about RBing. We exchanged info on each others bikes. He then told me that I shouldnt daily ride a carbon bike and I shouldnt use a carbon handlebar as a daily rider. He states they will crack from daily use. Im concerned as this is my only bike and I aint returning that Plasma handlebar lol. He suggests I get an aluminum or titanium bike for daily riding and save the carbon for weekends or races. He doesnt really like carbon bikes as they are too fragile in his opinion. Never really thought about this aspect of it as Im a big dude and have beaten my bike up pretty good so far and it doesnt seem to bat an eye.....Yet.

Do I have something to worry about or is this someones bias thinking.
...go look at what the best bike racers in the world are using for their "daily rides." 'Nuff said...
 

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Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The guy seemed like he was an ok dude but just didnt buy into what he was saying as I thought of all the people including racers that use em as Skiracer stated. I felt he was bias too although these NYC streets are brutal. Anyway Im glad I have nothing out of the ordinary to worry about. But I will get the torque specs rechecked this weekend on the bar and seatpost as I did those with the hexs.
 

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The issue with carbon is that often the failure is a catastrophic one. Typically with other frame and component materials (ti, steel) you get signs of wear and tear before a catastrophic failure. Cracks, bends, dents, etc. Carbon usually just breaks. Read the Carl Strong articles on the different frame materials. Very technical, but very interesting.

Also, the Pros ride carbon because it is light and stiff and the current "it" material, which helps the sponsors sell more high end bikes. They get their bikes for free, so why care about anything else.
 

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SkiRacer55 said:
...go look at what the best bike racers in the world are using for their "daily rides." 'Nuff said...
This isn't necessarily a valid point--the best racers in the world get all the bikes they want for free. Means nothing to them if a frame only lasts a short time.
I don't think carbon self-destruction is a serious problem, but I do have a possibly illuminating story: A neighbor of mine was an engineer for Bill Lear (also a neighbor at the time) when they were developing whichever Learjet it was that had carbon fiber flaps (the 40?). Part of the procedure involved fatigue testing to failure--essentially stress the thing until it blew up. I don't remember the numbers, but say a steel piece would go 500,000 cycles before it began to crack, then another few thousand before it failed. The same thing in carbon might go a million cycles, but on No. 1,000,001 it would 'splode into a jillion pieces. No warning at all.
 

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The one part of a road bike (even an aluminum one) that you'll have a hard time finding in any other material other than carbon is the fork, and the fork is one of the most failure critical parts of a bike- if the fork goes you end up on your face. No, there's no problem with CF.
 

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Too Old to Run...
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Cory said:
This isn't necessarily a valid point--the best racers in the world get all the bikes they want for free. Means nothing to them if a frame only lasts a short time.


The pro pleton may not care about price or the number of bikes they use but I am sure that safety is issue number one with them (as it is with all riders). If there were frames, bars, seatposts, etc failing (or a large probability of it happening) these riders and their peers, you'd see a big switch back to ti or al. How many test pilots die before everyone decides, "I'm not flying that thing!" ? Usually only one.

Regardless of the marketing and wishes of the manufacturers, I don't think there are riders willing to risk their careers or lives on a flawed product.

Having said that, the real story will evolve as the consumer has a CF bike that is 25-30 years old (not one that I'll have) then we'll see.
 

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I think that we should smack the guy around who made that comment about carbon.
 

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Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah its the shattering that I was worried about as I did read about that elsewhere. Im 240lb and 6'6" so Im hard on a bike naturally even if Im not at Cat whatever or Pro Peloton level. So far I dont have any component or frame issues and I check after every ride. And I ride some of the worst streets in America here in Brooklyn/NYC. Im not gonna worry about it to the point it will stop me riding or make me get a different frame material after hearing all of your responces. Thanks for the replies...:thumbsup:
 

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You didn't get the big warning sticker on your carbon bike???? I had carbon back in the late 90's when the paranoia was even worse. Ride it like you stole it, look out for cars, they are 100x more dangerous than carbon.
 

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Snakebitten said:
Heres the background of my question. I ran into a Roadie and we talked about RBing. We exchanged info on each others bikes. He then told me that I shouldnt daily ride a carbon bike and I shouldnt use a carbon handlebar as a daily rider. He states they will crack from daily use. Im concerned as this is my only bike and I aint returning that Plasma handlebar lol. He suggests I get an aluminum or titanium bike for daily riding and save the carbon for weekends or races. He doesnt really like carbon bikes as they are too fragile in his opinion. Never really thought about this aspect of it as Im a big dude and have beaten my bike up pretty good so far and it doesnt seem to bat an eye.....Yet.

Do I have something to worry about or is this someones bias thinking.

I think the things to watch out for are:

a) Any sudden, sharp impact to the CF frame parts. It'd take a pretty good whack I think before cracking and failing (like a really bad crash)

b) Same thing goes for the CF handlebars. Just because of where they are on the bike, you'd want to make certain that you don't drop the bike and crack off your handlebars.

c) Your wheels. I have had more issues with my wheels than any CF frame part. Cracks at the point where the nipples meet the rim or bearing issues.

Go ride and enjoy your CF bike. Give it reasonable care and you'll be fine. Every day if you want to!
 

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What he said...

ColoradoVeloDude said:
I think the things to watch out for are:

a) Any sudden, sharp impact to the CF frame parts. It'd take a pretty good whack I think before cracking and failing (like a really bad crash)

b) Same thing goes for the CF handlebars. Just because of where they are on the bike, you'd want to make certain that you don't drop the bike and crack off your handlebars.

c) Your wheels. I have had more issues with my wheels than any CF frame part. Cracks at the point where the nipples meet the rim or bearing issues.

Go ride and enjoy your CF bike. Give it reasonable care and you'll be fine. Every day if you want to!
...the rain could fall up, too, but it's not something I'm going to worry about...
 

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I must agree with most that replied here. I had a carbon bar on my mountain bike and it survived about 2 dozen crashes over a couple thousand miles of singletrack without any issues. I wont ride a carbon frame however and that is because I just dont like the feel. They seem dead to me like they dont have a soul. I know it may sound odd but a bike should be your friend and I have a hard time bonding with plastic. My bars, seatstays, fork, post and shoes however are different : )
 

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B15serv said:
I must agree with most that replied here. I had a carbon bar on my mountain bike and it survived about 2 dozen crashes over a couple thousand miles of singletrack without any issues. I wont ride a carbon frame however and that is because I just dont like the feel. They seem dead to me like they dont have a soul. I know it may sound odd but a bike should be your friend and I have a hard time bonding with plastic. My bars, seatstays, fork, post and shoes however are different : )
Lol... you aren't bonding with your bike, you are bonding with the road. The #1 reason to ride carbon is you don't feel every wrinkle in the road.
 

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When I lived in BK I thought the roads were pretty decent, with the notable exception of Red Hook and that little neighborhood north of DUMBO. Those streets can be pretty bad. That said, the fun rides out of the city normally are pretty nicely paved. I'd be more concerned with wheel failures due to bad roads. That might just be me though (130lbs).
 

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Cory said:
.. Part of the procedure involved fatigue testing to failure--essentially stress the thing until it blew up. I don't remember the numbers, but say a steel piece would go 500,000 cycles before it began to crack, then another few thousand before it failed. The same thing in carbon might go a million cycles, but on No. 1,000,001 it would 'splode into a jillion pieces. No warning at all.
I am skeptical of this ... composites are increasingly used on the newer passeneger jets.

Wouldn't be too good for Boeing or Airbus jets to have 'wings fall off' with 'no warning at all'.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/04185p05.xml [April 2005 ]
Airbus Researchers Are Bullish On Composite Application
... for the 2010/2012-generation aircraft, Airbus is planning not only all-composite wings, but also an all-composite fuselage....

... For the A350, composites could make up as much as 50% of the aircraft ...

... In terms of the A380, CFRP are being used for primary structures, such as the horizontal tail plane (HTP), vertical tail plane and rudder and fuselage sections. ...

my note: the A380 "super-jumbo" plane has been certified and flying for over a year. Boeing has been even more aggressive than Airbus, in deploying composites.
 

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olapequena said:
When I lived in BK I thought the roads were pretty decent, with the notable exception of Red Hook and that little neighborhood north of DUMBO. Those streets can be pretty bad. That said, the fun rides out of the city normally are pretty nicely paved. I'd be more concerned with wheel failures due to bad roads. That might just be me though (130lbs).
At 130 lbs. you may never play linebacker, but can probably ride the lightest carbon ZIPPs on cobblestones without any problems :D
 
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