• 01-02-2011
    BunnV
    1 Attachment(s)
    Don't fear carbon
    Three years old....countless crashes, plenty of rock strikes and one submersion...
    still waiting for my "catastrophic failure" :skep:
  • 01-15-2011
    3fast3furious
    This guy's right on the money
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aerius
    The problem with carbon fiber isn't that it's easier to break, it's that you don't know and have no way of knowing if it's broken until it suffers catastrophic failure. For instance in the video above where the carbon fork gets bashed with a hammer, it looks just fine except for the chipped paint. Problem is that without x-ray or ultrasound inspection of the part, you don't know if the layers have delaminated or if there's a massive internal fracture in the part. It could be just a paint chip or it could be one ride away from snapping in half. With a metal part, you can see the dents and go "hmmm...that doesn't look good, I better replace the thing before it breaks".


    A lot of you are trying to prove how strong carbon is with its impact resistance. That video from Niner was about the most useless demonstration ever. He even said that they don't recommend that you ride it after that kind of damage. The point it that carbon doesn't usually fail upon impact. But it does develop hairline stress cracks that will eventually give out without warning. If you think that you can't break carbon on flat pavement you're wrong. I know a guy that broke his Madone while riding on a stationary trainer. The other thing is that carbon is very strong in it construction. But a bike frame is not made from one strong piece. It is made in sections that are bonded together. I broke my Top Fuel last year because the bond separated near the bottom bracket. It wasn't catastrophic, but it does happen a lot. I personally know at least 6 people that had broken carbon frames just last summer. I'm not even talking about the guys I know from prior years.

    That's why I switched to Ti and I'm not going back
  • 01-15-2011
    shiggy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by frehgv
    Thank you for the reply just some people say its really week for crashing.

    Wayne

    Maybe it will be better next week, or even next month.
  • 01-15-2011
    bycyclist
    Last summer a good friend of mine had a "light" crash and got thrown off his Spec. Stumpjumper Carbon 29er (beautiful, great riding bike, btw). He was already off his bike when the bike (with no weight on it) landed on a small rock, on the seatstay. One of those "freak" accidents, but the seatstay 'shattered'. It was a long walk back to the car. The force applied to the seatstay would have appeared to be similar to if you had just let go of the bike and it fell sideways to the ground.

    Anyway, Calfee did a superb job of repairing the frame for $400. But my friend got pretty spooked and ended up selling the frame.

    Based on that one incident, I don't know if I'd say I'd never get a carbon frame (I'm looking at the new On-One Lurcher 29er), but its definitely buyer beware. Sure, the odds of something catastrophic is very small, but the chance is definitely there, and IMO higher than the other materials.

    Seeing that crash - I'm pretty sure that seatstay wouldn't have shattered if it was alu, steel or ti.
  • 01-15-2011
    Tim-H
    I'm surprised nobody mentioned this but not all carbon fiber is the same. There are different types and quality of weave and the manufacturing process also has a lot to do with the strength. Even more so than other materials; you get what you pay for.
  • 01-15-2011
    mimi1885
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tim-H
    I'm surprised nobody mentioned this but not all carbon fiber is the same. There are different types and quality of weave and the manufacturing process also has a lot to do with the strength. Even more so than other materials; you get what you pay for.

    First of all, do you think that it would make a difference, people who oppose will still oppose to the comment. Those who knows how it made won't make any comment either to them and you it's almost automatic:thumbsup:

    Other material fail the same fashion without warning, sure in some cases. There's no warning sometimes when the bb weld or head tube would give. Top tube, down tube, seat tube those are easy.

    I have 4 carbon bikes sure I'm cautious but I don't inspect every inch of the frame before every ride, every once in a while just like I do with other bikes, seriously if it fails it fails I'll except that.:thumbsup:
  • 01-15-2011
    3fast3furious
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mimi1885
    First of all, do you think that it would make a difference, people who oppose will still oppose to the comment. Those who knows how it made won't make any comment either to them and you it's almost automatic:thumbsup:

    Other material fail the same fashion without warning, sure in some cases. There's no warning sometimes when the bb weld or head tube would give. Top tube, down tube, seat tube those are easy.

    I have 4 carbon bikes sure I'm cautious but I don't inspect every inch of the frame before every ride, every once in a while just like I do with other bikes, seriously if it fails it fails I'll except that.:thumbsup:


    Yes I think we can all agree that there is no failproof material out there. Of course steel, aluminum and carbon will all fail at some point. But I think the argument is more so that catastrophic failure happens more often with carbon than with other material. I know dozens of people that have broken bike frames. Most of them are carbon. I have friends that have broken steel and aluminum bikes. Those were mostly due to long years of service. Every metal has a fatigue life and will eventually give up. Carbon is different in that it is unpredictable. The people on this thread praising carbon have not had this happen yet. I used to praise it too before I had a frame break.
  • 01-15-2011
    mimi1885
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 3fast3furious
    Yes I think we can all agree that there is no failproof material out there. Of course steel, aluminum and carbon will all fail at some point. But I think the argument is more so that catastrophic failure happens more often with carbon than with other material. I know dozens of people that have broken bike frames. Most of them are carbon. I have friends that have broken steel and aluminum bikes. Those were mostly due to long years of service. Every metal has a fatigue life and will eventually give up. Carbon is different in that it is unpredictable. The people on this thread praising carbon have not had this happen yet. I used to praise it too before I had a frame break.

    The argument is that Carbon is the newest material "Black Art", so people talk about it more, not because it happen more. There's more alu, and steel frames that fail each year than carbon. We don't hear about it because it's been around for a long time. Same argument was made when Alu was introduced btw. Because alu is more brittle than steel. Same way people talks about plane crashes, but not the car accidents.

    According to you over 50% of frame failure happen on carbon alone, I'm in Socal I know a lot of good lawyers, who doesn't, lemme know. Come on, we are in a law suit happy country, you think if carbon has that kind of track record it would not be a lawyer's wet dream? Manufactures would just go with something else to avoid the issues period. I have not seen such lawsuit, plus a lawyer do not need the truth, they just need to win, still I don't see it.


    What kind of people you hang out with to know at least 6 carbon frames failed last year alone, more account the year before. I hope they are not from here:D I broke my alu bikes but that's does not mean I'm done with Alu. Same thing would happen when I break my carbon frame. It just breaks, I'd blame it on my aggressive riding, not the material.

    I'm sure feel bad that other people's bike break, no matter what material, but it happened we are riding mountain bike, we put loads on the frame and parts. If it's a defect then take it up with the Manufacture.

    One of my friend's Hope brake fail and just lock sending him OTB, as a result he had to be helicopter lifted to the hospital, due to multiple fractures. Hope was very sorry send him another set of brake. After recovery, he mounted right up and keep on riding, he didn't go back to V-brakes. If he follow your theory, then he'd be back using Vs.
  • 01-16-2011
    Berkeley Mike
    An interesting discussion
    I am reminded of of early discussions about aluminum, its alloys, and steel, then titanium. Contributors largely make the same noises; for instances, claims, counterclaims.

    I think if I go back in the mid-90s when carbon started to be introduced as frames or bars the term ”catastrophic failure” was often heard. It was as if the material would explode like gunpowder if touched the wrong way. At such a time carbon fiber was a very hard sell. It has come along way since then as not only has the quality of carbon fiber changed, but the way that is woven and the way it's applied to places that need strength.

    What is really lacking in this entire discussion is a really good data for comparing what happens when this or that is done to this or that material. The rest is just "for instance" and as they say in statistics, "for instance is not proof." All I can contribute is this. In 15 years of running bike clubs, training high school racers, running cycling programs, leading rides for local councils, and probably have direct repeated experience with 300 to 500 bikes; that's just a guess. In all that time I have only seen two frames break. One was an aluminum track frame that broke at the head tube. The other was an aluminum swingarm on a Wild Hare.Having said that, my guess is that carbon fiber represented only about 10 to 15% of the total number of frames. Yet those frames would have been used under heavy race conditions and heavy training.

    I am knocking on wood as I write this.:thumbsup:
  • 03-07-2013
    longtang
    So, let's ask this question: Should I be very very wary buying a used carbon bike? I would like to buy somehing like a 2011 S-works Epic carbon that weigh about 22.5 lbs. Am I out of my league? Will a mechanic be able to inspect the thing and let me know if I am going to fracture all my body bones?

    Thx.