Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 32
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    311

    how long do you expect your CF frame to last?

    to those who own a carbon fiber mtn bike: what is your lifespan expectation for the frame of your mtn bike? you paid a premium for your bike to have reduced weight, and i assume enhanced stiffness. do you intend to change bikes in a couple years, or did you buy a dream machine with expectations of many years of ownership, replacing parts as needed, and thinking the frame will still be going strong?

    i posted this same question on the Santa Cruz forum, specifically about SC bikes, and not one person responded. so i'm guessing this is a question that SC owners never think about or even consider in the purchase decision. interesting.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,547
    The oldest carbon frame I still have is
    a 08. I plan on keeping it for a long time.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    735
    Interesting question. I kinda wondered how carbon wears. Whats funny is aluminum has a horrible fatigue life for a metals. If the design isnt reinforced in the rite spots it gets shot. My db mission cracked rite at the shock mount on the downtube. And i never hucked the bike out if fear of breaking it. And then it goes and breaks anyway. Allthough i did love to plow it through chunder. But isnt that what 6inches of supension is for? Rode it hard for one year. Go figure. I would warrentied but i got it used without a scratch on it. I really think im the only one to ride it hard and fast. Thank u so much db for a hunk of ****. Craftmanship. Although i will admit the suspension design invite you to go very.fast downhill. Blows my cdale rz140 away in confidence downhill.
    Last edited by akiracornell; 11-16-2012 at 10:24 PM.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    498
    I saw your post in the SC forum but never got around to responding to it.

    I've been biking for 23 years and have gone through a lot of bikes. I've been working as a mechanic at a LBS for the last four years. One of the perks of that job is buying an EP bike and then flipping it after a year. My last bike was a 26" FSR SJ Pro (carbon). It was ok, nothing special. I started looking @ 29ers, took a Tallboy AL demo out for a week, and the speed (up & down) of that bike and how much fun it was to ride blew my mind.
    Sold my SJ as soon as possible and acquired a Tallboy LTc. I've had it for a month and i plan on never selling it.

    The frame is quite evolved. Light, strong and the build quality is impressive. 142x12 rear axle, the pivots, with oversized axles, combined with the locking collet hardware and angular contact bearings are the best in the business IMO. I see myself swapping out parts as needed, upgrading suspension down the line, and keeping the frame for the rest of my life..(I'm 43 FWIW).

    I know that people throw the phrase "most fun/best bike I've ever had" around quite a bit. but in my case it's absolutely the truth.
    2014 Tallboy 2

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    735
    I think your missing what the op is asking. How does the resin in carbon fiber age? Berring seats, stress points and such. How long can u abuse it till the resin starts to break down. Does it get brittle? Does is start to weaken and flex? I do know that uv rays or prolonged sun exposure ages most resins. Then whamo it snaps!!
    Last edited by akiracornell; 11-16-2012 at 10:53 PM.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    498
    Quote: " do you intend to change bikes in a couple years, or did you buy a dream machine with expectations of many years of ownership, replacing parts as needed, and thinking the frame will still be going strong?"

    This is the question that I responded to.

    Here are the reasons, as stated by Santa Cruz ,as to why I believe the frame will last me for the next 20 to 30 years (knock on wood):

    1) One piece lay-up and curing.
    By laying up and curing the front triangle all at the same time, and not assembling together pieces, we're able to decrease the amount of material used by eliminating overlapping joints that have to be bonded or wrapped with carbon. Less material means fewer grams. This method is extremely expensive to do, since each size has to have a lot of dedicated tooling, nothing is shared between each size.

    2) Continuing fibers around tube junctions.
    The one-piece lay-up of the front triangle allows continuous fibers to be used that wrap between tubes, allowing the structure to distribute loads better, and absorb impact energy. We also are able to truly integrate the shock mounts, pivot mounts, dropouts and disc brake tabs into the structure, using all uni-directional carbon plies. The shock mount isn't merely riveted or bonded on after curing, but an integrated part of the fiber lay-up. This makes our carbon frames incredibly strong and able to absorb impact better than any other frames we've tested.

    3) Net shape lay-up and fiber compaction.
    Our lay-up process allow us to control the outside shape, inside shape, and to compact the fiber layers during the lay-up. This eliminates gaps between layers, and keeps resin from migrating to the inside of the tubes, or allowing delamination during the molding process. You can't see this without getting inside the frame, but we're more proud of how the inside of these frames look than the outside. No gaps, no filler or mystery material. No resin pools, or glued together sections. It's a frame you wouldn't be embarrassed to bring home to mom. No skeletons in the closet, and no rider weight limits either.

    As far as UV rays are concerned, It has a pretty thick layer of yellow paint covering the carbon.
    2014 Tallboy 2

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    735
    Sounds impressive. I hope this kind of quality control persists. Because thats the only chance a resin fiber will age well with the kind of serious, prolonged abuse of many years of hard riding.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: IP_Ale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    142
    According to this post, CF frame = 3 years. Ouch.

    Do components have an expiration date?

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    498
    Consider the source...

    Hey John Kuhl, your bike should have imploded by now!
    2014 Tallboy 2

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kubikeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    547
    I'm pretty sure Boeing expects their planes to last longer than my bicycle (Santa Cruz BTW).

    "The result is an airframe comprising nearly half carbon fiber reinforced plastic and other composites."

    Taken from a webpage on the Boeing 787 here:AERO - Boeing 787 from the Ground Up

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,613
    My CF frame is 17 years old, but it's a hard tail. Full squish life cycles tend to be shorter because better suspension designs come out or you can no longer get rebuild parts. I don't think frame material has a whole lot to do with how long you keep/ride a frame unless you are going with ultralight racing frames, which will likely have a shorter life no matter what they are made of.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    311
    thanks for your input guys. here's what's behind my post: i'm 45 and probably as fit as i'll ever be, hopefully some further skill development, but not much, i'm a solid intermediate and won't ever be an 'expert'. i kinda want off the bicycle roulette, and i want a super bike. one bike to rule them all, and done for the rest of my riding years. personally, (maybe i'm mad) i think that other than evolution of components mtn bikes are plateauing, and where SC is with CF frames is unlikely to be eclipsed in the next 15 yrs. i honestly believe that. i don't see a new future material that will make for a comparable bike that weights less than what's available now. am i crazy?

    in terms of CF itself, and the resins used, i'm quite confident that they will last a long time in tact (baring a big crash), much longer than my lifetime. i have a good knowledge of resins and composites from the paddling industry so i'm confident in the base materials. i do wonder about the complex shapes and the nuts and bolts, all the fittings, and how they may wear over time. that's why i ask, to see if others a) think of one of these super bikes as a lifetime purchase (ie, are they old enough to consider getting married to one bike for their remaining riding life) and b) if they do, do they expect the bike to make it that long. it's a legitimate question. and yes, at 6'5" and a current 29er rider/lover, it's the Tallboy LTC that is in my sights. it's a long term research project before i even think about pulling the trigger considering the price tag. and i need full demo time on an XL and XXL if they are making one. i'm considering a 2 week vacation to outer bike in Moab to go test these bikes as i am never, ever buying a bike undemo'd again, i don't care how tall i am....

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    11
    If there are these life span concerns, why not stick with Titanium?

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Betarad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    478
    I fully expect my current dream bike Mojo HD to last for many years, but I don't expect it to be around forever. I'm 6' 4" and 50 yrs old. For similar reasons you stated, I built up my HD last year. Except weight reduction wasn't my primary goal, high strength was. I had just cracked the (aluminum) frame on my 2 yr old El Guapo, so after researching it, I was pretty sure carbon fiber was the next logical step.

    Although it's difficult to imagine exactly where improvements will occur, I disagree that we will not see any in the bike industry in the coming years. Which is another reason I don't expect the HD to be my last bike.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    332
    I ride a SC Nomadc and fatigue life was the biggest consideration in choosing carbon over aluminum. Reading the info on carbon on the ibis site helped sway me towards carbon. I hope to ride my nomadc for 5+ years.

    All About Carbon | Technical Articles | Support | Ibis Cycles US

  16. #16
    think
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    831
    I have a Nomad-C.

    I don't expect to run any bike more than 4 years no matter what it's made out of. Even if the frame is still going strong it's usually become outdated in that time as technology marches on. If you think your bike is still bad ass 10, 12, 14 years down the line that's your deal. I have no desire to be riding the bike I owned even 8 years ago. I expect my frame to hold together that long baring catastrophe and thus had no reservations purchasing it.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    311
    here is my prediction: in 2025 a high quality, high end all mountain bike will weigh about 28 pounds and will be about the same cost in today's dollars.

  18. #18
    think
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    831
    I'd say that's a pretty safe prediction.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    498
    Another + in the SC column is that the angular contact bearings are pressed into the linkages, none are pressed into the frame itself.
    2014 Tallboy 2

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    401
    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    here is my prediction: in 2025 a high quality, high end all mountain bike will weigh about 28 pounds and will be about the same cost in today's dollars.
    A decade ago pretty much every all mountain bike was aluminum and had heavier components than todays bikes. Advances in materials science and engineering will create new materials that will be significantly lighter and stronger than anything we have today.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    311
    Quote Originally Posted by michael1 View Post
    A decade ago pretty much every all mountain bike was aluminum and had heavier components than todays bikes. Advances in materials science and engineering will create new materials that will be significantly lighter and stronger than anything we have today.
    i'd like to believe so, but totally disagree. composites will evolve but not eclipse current CF and resin technology.

  22. #22
    Clyde
    Reputation: LuckySomer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    248
    I have abused my 2007 ibis mojo c for 5 years. Not on purpose but because my lack of skill, the harsh Utah terrain and the fact I'm 6-4 240lbs. Oh have over dozen legitimate crashes. Most in the first couple years.

    The frame is quite solid still. Ibis has it down or I'm riding on borrowed time or both.
    09 Ibis Mojo - All Mountain Moab Edition

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    100
    Quote Originally Posted by IP_Ale View Post
    According to this post, CF frame = 3 years. Ouch.

    Do components have an expiration date?
    that post you link to is absolute nonsense, just some journo trying to make himself sound like a biking badass.

  24. #24
    Mulleticious
    Reputation: BigwheelsRbest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,554
    Just built up my dream bike - same one you want, and the same one mlx john has - a Tallboy LTc.

    The main reason for choosing this AM 29er was the CF technology that's gone into it. If any modern CF frame is going to last the distance, it will be this one. I can't see this technology advancing that rapidly from here, unless it's to cut fabrication costs, which shouldn't affect the frame life. So I agree in terms of the "plateau-ing out" of CF frame tech.

    I have had three other CF frame bikes. With one, a Stumpy FSR Pro carbon (2009), the main suspension pivot worked loose within the frame, and the frame had to be trashed after just 2 years. So even a reputable manufacturer like Specialized doesn't necessarily have CF MTB frames buttoned down yet.

    (Oh, and in terms of your prediction, I would arguably say we're there already - I am thinking of course about the Tallboy LTc - mine weighed 28.1 lbs before I took the big ring off... and it's a Large. It could be even lighter with Enve rims and 1x10.)

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CrozCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    681
    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    here is my prediction: in 2025 a high quality, high end all mountain bike will weigh about 28 pounds and will be about the same cost in today's dollars.
    I would bet against that. You can build a sub 28 pounds bike even today. Today's high end parts are tomorrows mid range. Santa Cruz just shaved 2 pounds from their carbon downhill frame in one design update. Many people expect weight gains in in every redesign of their carbon frames. Components are steadily getting lighter, high end materials are getting more common. 12 years is a lot of time.

    Having said that, the lighter things get the less gains there are in their future. So in 2025 the equivalent bikes will be lighter, but not by a huge margin as it was in previous years.

    Santa Cruz had their share of cracked carbon frames. Small share, but it does happen.
    They give 5 years warranty. So its pretty safe to say a Santa Cruz carbon frame can be ridden safely for 5 years I don't think my bike will get to that, I will probably replace it sooner.

    If you are biking a lot (like at least once a week on average) my prediction is that you will replaces your mountain bike before 2025

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •