• 01-01-2011
    frehgv
    How easy does Carbon frame break due to crashing
    Hi,

    I was just wondering how easy a carbon mountain bike frame would brake if you fell off on concrete and mud.

    Your sincerely
    Wayne
  • 01-01-2011
    gumbymark
    to break a cf frame you really have to smack the frame hard.

    Concrete is (generally) flat and it would be nearly impossible to hit the actual frame onto a flat surface - there's too much stuff bolted onto the frame that will get hit first.

    Mud is soft and squishy - unlikely to break anything.

    Those two surfaces would be some of the 'easiest' on the bike to crash onto (although concrete and squishy humans don't go together that well).

    Breaking a cf frame isn't as easy as some people make out
  • 01-01-2011
    mitzikatzi
    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Y_O9PLorYPA?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Y_O9PLorYPA?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

    But carbon frames can and do break.
  • 01-01-2011
    frehgv
    Many thanks!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by gumbymark
    to break a cf frame you really have to smack the frame hard.

    Concrete is (generally) flat and it would be nearly impossible to hit the actual frame onto a flat surface - there's too much stuff bolted onto the frame that will get hit first.

    Mud is soft and squishy - unlikely to break anything.

    Those two surfaces would be some of the 'easiest' on the bike to crash onto (although concrete and squishy humans don't go together that well).

    Breaking a cf frame isn't as easy as some people make out

    Thank you for the reply just some people say its really week for crashing.
    I was unsure due to the bike being a mountain bike they get thrown around and get a lot of abuse.

    Do i only really need to worry about clipping sharp objects like corners of brick walls and rocks?

    Thanks for Explaining Info

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Wayne
  • 01-01-2011
    Berkley
    Are you riding into the corners of brick walls on a regular basis?
  • 01-01-2011
    frehgv
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Berkley
    Are you riding into the corners of brick walls on a regular basis?

    No I was just using as an example I just meant in the event of a crash I just need to avoid sharp objects from clipping the frame and not worry about the normal impact from the crash.

    Wayne
  • 01-01-2011
    mimi1885
    They are the same as any other metals. Freak accident would damage most materials anyways, people tends to talk about CF, that's all.
  • 01-02-2011
    kingbozo
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mitzikatzi

    But carbon frames can and do break.

    As do aluminum, steel, and Ti.
  • 01-02-2011
    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".
  • 01-02-2011
    mtnbikej
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by frehgv
    No I was just using as an example I just meant in the event of a crash I just need to avoid sharp objects from clipping the frame and not worry about the normal impact from the crash.

    Wayne



    If that is the kind of riding you are doing.....you don't need a carbon bike. :thumbsup:
  • 01-02-2011
    mimi1885
    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".

    That's the same problems that alu, steel, and ti has when the chainstay or headtube fail there's no warning either.
  • 01-02-2011
    frehgv
    Thanks everyone!
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mimi1885
    That's the same problems that alu, steel, and ti has when the chainstay or headtube fail there's no warning either.

    Cheers everyone I was just wondering because I heard loads of people say it breaks easy.
    But I should not worry because manufacturers would not make a bike frame that will break when you fall off.

    I just have to be careful not to scrape it or clip it against anything sharp I guess.

    Even if it does fail not the end of the world i can just save up for a new frame!

    No pain No gain!

    Wayne.
  • 01-02-2011
    aerius
    Having cracked a few aluminum and steel frames in the past and having seen countless damaged frames from when I worked at the bike shop and also from my riding partners, I can say that nearly every failure on a steel or Al came with a warning. Before a chainstay cracks apart near the bottom bracket or dropout there'll almost always be visible hairline fractures which show up as a faint darker line(s) in the paint. Once you see those telltale lines in the paint you know the tube's going to come apart soon. Same thing at the headtube and the seat cluster.

    Or let's suppose you crash your bike in the rocks. With a metal frame it'll get scratched up and possibly dented, depending on the size and location of the dent it's either a non-issue or a ticking timebomb. Let's say it's a smaller dent that looks fairly harmless, we keep an eye on it anyway but notice that after a couple months that small hairline fractures are starting to form on the edges of the dent. We now know that the frame is toast and needs to be replaced. With carbon you will not get that warning, you'll see a paint chip and some scratches and that's it. Watch it all you want, you won't get any warning signs before it fails, if it fails, you just do not know.

    For me this is a huge issue, for others, it might not be. We all have different riding styles and ideas on what a bike should be and what it should do. I'm a grouch who rides a 15 year old steel bike and thinks aluminum is a dirty word, though unfortunately a necessary evil, but that's another story... :p
  • 01-02-2011
    customfab
    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".

    that isn't true. You can do a very reliable acoustic test with a ruler or a quarter. Tap your blunt metal object around and through the suspected failure and if the tone changes dramatically you know that enough of the layers are broken to decided if it's rideable or not. This method is used, taught and condoned by many carbon frame and component manufactures.
  • 01-02-2011
    aerius
    The tap test can catch delamination but it's not that great for finding internal fractures. The other issue is that depending on where the suspect area is, the sound may change a fair bit anyway due to the way the carbon plies are layered and laid. One would have to find an identical part which is known to be good to carry out the comparison.
  • 01-02-2011
    frehgv
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aerius
    The tap test can catch delamination but it's not that great for finding internal fractures. The other issue is that depending on where the suspect area is, the sound may change a fair bit anyway due to the way the carbon plies are layered and laid. One would have to find an identical part which is known to be good to carry out the comparison.

    Cheers everyone I know now though its going to have to take a really big hit or something sharp to cut through it to brake a frame!

    So I should not worry to much and just get out there!

    Wayne
  • 01-02-2011
    mimi1885
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aerius
    Having cracked a few aluminum and steel frames in the past and having seen countless damaged frames from when I worked at the bike shop and also from my riding partners, I can say that nearly every failure on a steel or Al came with a warning. Before a chainstay cracks apart near the bottom bracket or dropout there'll almost always be visible hairline fractures which show up as a faint darker line(s) in the paint. Once you see those telltale lines in the paint you know the tube's going to come apart soon. Same thing at the headtube and the seat cluster.

    Or let's suppose you crash your bike in the rocks. With a metal frame it'll get scratched up and possibly dented, depending on the size and location of the dent it's either a non-issue or a ticking timebomb. Let's say it's a smaller dent that looks fairly harmless, we keep an eye on it anyway but notice that after a couple months that small hairline fractures are starting to form on the edges of the dent. We now know that the frame is toast and needs to be replaced. With carbon you will not get that warning, you'll see a paint chip and some scratches and that's it. Watch it all you want, you won't get any warning signs before it fails, if it fails, you just do not know.

    For me this is a huge issue, for others, it might not be. We all have different riding styles and ideas on what a bike should be and what it should do. I'm a grouch who rides a 15 year old steel bike and thinks aluminum is a dirty word, though unfortunately a necessary evil, but that's another story... :p

    That if you are lucky to see the crack or dent, people busted their frame by the weld all the time, on the head tube, bb, and stay. it's just as bad.

    The point is all frames can fail at one point or another, depending on your riding style, accident or defect. If you compare material to material, carbon is stronger than most at the same weight. Ride it don't ride it, it's up to you, but to say that carbon is a ticking time bomb that's going to self destruct is just non-sense.

    The way I see it, Money talks, if carbon is so fragile as many claim there would be lawsuits after lawsuits, we don't see that. Of course there are many components failure, for example handle bars, but mostly due to user installation. If you overtightened the stem that can happen, but install properly I hardly doubt it.

    Good example from my experience would be, the XO rear derailleur, I made an identical mistake on 2 different cage both result in the rebuilt of the rear wheel. I accidentally cross chain, the der went into the wheel. First one longcage alu, busted bend and can not be used anymore, the second time mid cage carbon, has some chip on the surface but spring back to it's original shape. Still using that one today, aside from cosmetic it function the same.

    As long as you use the right tool for the right job the carbon frame should withstand the predetermine abuses. Just don't use your XC carbon frame to do FR/DH riding you should be fine. If you want to do that get heavy duty carbon frame check out SC V10C, or GT furyC:thumbsup:
  • 01-02-2011
    frehgv
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mimi1885
    That if you are lucky to see the crack or dent, people busted their frame by the weld all the time, on the head tube, bb, and stay. it's just as bad.

    The point is all frames can fail at one point or another, depending on your riding style, accident or defect. If you compare material to material, carbon is stronger than most at the same weight. Ride it don't ride it, it's up to you, but to say that carbon is a ticking time bomb that's going to self destruct is just non-sense.

    The way I see it, Money talks, if carbon is so fragile as many claim there would be lawsuits after lawsuits, we don't see that. Of course there are many components failure, for example handle bars, but mostly due to user installation. If you overtightened the stem that can happen, but install properly I hardly doubt it.

    Good example from my experience would be, the XO rear derailleur, I made an identical mistake on 2 different cage both result in the rebuilt of the rear wheel. I accidentally cross chain, the der went into the wheel. First one longcage alu, busted bend and can not be used anymore, the second time mid cage carbon, has some chip on the surface but spring back to it's original shape. Still using that one today, aside from cosmetic it function the same.

    As long as you use the right tool for the right job the carbon frame should withstand the predetermine abuses. Just don't use your XC carbon frame to do FR/DH riding you should be fine. If you want to do that get heavy duty carbon frame check out SC V10C, or GT furyC:thumbsup:

    Great info.

    I just want to use mine for all terrain cycling at a really fast pace and a few small jumps about 2 feet max not even that! I will just go out there see how well it copes if I do have an accident and it brakes I will just buy a new one I might have an accident and it wont do any harm to the frame at all!

    I think I underestimate the strength of carbon and it has got to take a hell of a smack to wreck it.

    Most of the time people worry and the things we worry about never happen!

    Cheers everyone

    Wayne.
  • 01-02-2011
    customfab
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aerius
    The tap test can catch delamination but it's not that great for finding internal fractures. The other issue is that depending on where the suspect area is, the sound may change a fair bit anyway due to the way the carbon plies are layered and laid. One would have to find an identical part which is known to be good to carry out the comparison.

    I don't know if you've ever done the 'tap test' but it is blatantly different to even a tone deaf person when you hit on a spot that is bad. The only exception would be around a cable stop or a dropout that is bonded in.

    What would let you find an internal defect? And since it's internal how are you going to know where to look for it? Furthermore most composite structures for bicycles are so thin that if you have a broken part it's going to be broken all the way through not just through half of it.
  • 01-02-2011
    aerius
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mimi1885
    That if you are lucky to see the crack or dent, people busted their frame by the weld all the time, on the head tube, bb, and stay. it's just as bad.

    No doubt about that, many people won't catch things in time before the big failure regardless of the material in question.

    Quote:

    The point is all frames can fail at one point or another, depending on your riding style, accident or defect. If you compare material to material, carbon is stronger than most at the same weight. Ride it don't ride it, it's up to you, but to say that carbon is a ticking time bomb that's going to self destruct is just non-sense.
    Once again I'm not disputing that, nor did I imply that carbon is a ticking time bomb. All I'm saying is that carbon is harder to inspect and judge for soundness or potential failures after a crash. When the bike is crashed there's more uncertainty as to its soundness than with a metal bike.

    Quote:

    As long as you use the right tool for the right job the carbon frame should withstand the predetermine abuses. Just don't use your XC carbon frame to do FR/DH riding you should be fine. If you want to do that get heavy duty carbon frame check out SC V10C, or GT furyC:thumbsup:
    I'll be the first to say that I tend to do stupid stuff on my XC bike from time to time which would not be covered under the warranty. I could probably use another bike for doing stupid stuff but the thing is I never know when I'm going to do warranty voiding things in the first place so chances are I'll be on the wrong bike. A typical ride for me is "I'm gonna hit the trails and get a nice XC cardio workout", then halfway through the ride I'm going "this sucks, I'm hitting the log drop and dirt jumps".

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by customfab
    I don't know if you've ever done the 'tap test' but it is blatantly different to even a tone deaf person when you hit on a spot that is bad. The only exception would be around a cable stop or a dropout that is bonded in.

    I've done it, but as I said and you confirmed, it doesn't work in all areas.

    Quote:

    What would let you find an internal defect? And since it's internal how are you going to know where to look for it? Furthermore most composite structures for bicycles are so thin that if you have a broken part it's going to be broken all the way through not just through half of it.
    Nothing at home can find an internal fracture, that requires x-rays or ultrasound inspection machines. And yes, quite a few bike parts (seatposts, xc handlebars, etc.) would fracture all the way through in one shot on the initial impact. Cranks, frame junctions, stems, and suspension forks however would be candidates for partial failures.



    For the majority of people, carbon bikes & parts are perfectly fine and will last long enough with no problems that they'll be onto their next bikes well before the parts fail. You're not going to hit a curb and have the bike explode to pieces. They're perfectly good bikes and parts, you just need to be aware that they're not the same as their metal counterparts.
  • 01-02-2011
    frehgv
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aerius
    No doubt about that, many people won't catch things in time before the big failure regardless of the material in question.



    Once again I'm not disputing that, nor did I imply that carbon is a ticking time bomb. All I'm saying is that carbon is harder to inspect and judge for soundness or potential failures after a crash. When the bike is crashed there's more uncertainty as to its soundness than with a metal bike.



    I'll be the first to say that I tend to do stupid stuff on my XC bike from time to time which would not be covered under the warranty. I could probably use another bike for doing stupid stuff but the thing is I never know when I'm going to do warranty voiding things in the first place so chances are I'll be on the wrong bike. A typical ride for me is "I'm gonna hit the trails and get a nice XC cardio workout", then halfway through the ride I'm going "this sucks, I'm hitting the log drop and dirt jumps".



    I've done it, but as I said and you confirmed, it doesn't work in all areas.



    Nothing at home can find an internal fracture, that requires x-rays or ultrasound inspection machines. And yes, quite a few bike parts (seatposts, xc handlebars, etc.) would fracture all the way through in one shot on the initial impact. Cranks, frame junctions, stems, and suspension forks however would be candidates for partial failures.



    For the majority of people, carbon bikes & parts are perfectly fine and will last long enough with no problems that they'll be onto their next bikes well before the parts fail. You're not going to hit a curb and have the bike explode to pieces. They're perfectly good bikes and parts, you just need to be aware that they're not the same as their metal counterparts.

    I know it can hit a curb and that is a lot of force on the frame, but can it handle being hit on the side of the frame is what I wanted to know like if I fly off at 20mph.
    I think it's something i should worry about when it happens really
  • 01-02-2011
    mimi1885
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aerius

    I'll be the first to say that I tend to do stupid stuff on my XC bike from time to time which would not be covered under the warranty. I could probably use another bike for doing stupid stuff but the thing is I never know when I'm going to do warranty voiding things in the first place so chances are I'll be on the wrong bike. A typical ride for me is "I'm gonna hit the trails and get a nice XC cardio workout", then halfway through the ride I'm going "this sucks, I'm hitting the log drop and dirt jumps".

    Thanks for the clarification, we all do that but not to your example of the extreme end. Going from XC to DJ on the same bike:D unless of course you are on the DJ bike to begin with:p .
  • 01-02-2011
    aerius
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by frehgv
    I know it can hit a curb and that is a lot of force on the frame, but can it handle being hit on the side of the frame is what I wanted to know like if I fly off at 20mph.
    I think it's something i should worry about when it happens really

    The vast majority of the time the bike will be perfectly fine. Despite all I've said it's not something that one should be losing sleep over.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mimi1885
    Thanks for the clarification, we all do that but not to your example of the extreme end. Going from XC to DJ on the same bike:D unless of course you are on the DJ bike to begin with:p .

    I built a heavier duty bike for stunts once, then half the time when I went to do jumps or urban stunt rides I'd end up crashing hard or something and go "screw this, I'm hitting the XC trails". Then I realize the bike is too heavy and I'm not in good enough shape to get it up the hills, and that's not fun. So I stick with an XC bike and accept that I'm taking a few years off its life with my stupid stuff.
  • 01-02-2011
    frehgv
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aerius
    The vast majority of the time the bike will be perfectly fine. Despite all I've said it's not something that one should be losing sleep over.



    I built a heavier duty bike for stunts once, then half the time when I went to do jumps or urban stunt rides I'd end up crashing hard or something and go "screw this, I'm hitting the XC trails". Then I realize the bike is too heavy and I'm not in good enough shape to get it up the hills, and that's not fun. So I stick with an XC bike and accept that I'm taking a few years off its life with my stupid stuff.

    Cheers Aerius!

    My best bet is just to stop worrying and get out there!!!.
    Everyone comes of sooner or later and when they do sometimes the bike does not even get a chip or a scratch on the bike.

    Maybe I am over worrying due to all the rubbish I have heard people say about how weak it is!

    I don't know why I worry a lot I think it's due to carbon being so much money to replace and I've got a lot of free time on my hands which can cause you to worry about all the little things!

    But if you worry about it I suppose it means you're not getting your moneys worth out of it! so I'll stop worrying and wait till the times comes when it fails big time!

    I think carbon is a lot more stronger than I really think!

    you guys have shown me that it's really tough and it will have to take a real big hit to really be able to do some damage!!
    Bike mechanics always say that you can hit it with a hammer and it wont damage it and a hammer is quite a lot of force in one little area so I'm sure it can with stand some nasty bike crashes!

    Thanks guys
  • 01-02-2011
    b-kul
    youd have better luck riding a bike made of egg shells and bubble gum than a carbon fiber frame.
  • 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.