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  1. #1
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    Mech Engineers: Carbon and Heat?

    Noticed my carbon frame is very warm to the touch during summer rides. Aluminum always felt cool. What is this about? And does it affect long term durability of carbon?

  2. #2
    Hi.
    Reputation: jtmartino's Avatar
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    Assuming both frames are the same color, metal has a higher thermal conductivity than plastic so when it absorbs energy from sunlight, the heat is distributed across more of the frame. Plastic is an insulator so it holds onto heat longer.

    This does not affect long term durability of carbon. The UV exposure may have a yellowing effect on the clear coat, but multiple sources online indicate that UV exposure won't degrade the integrity of the carbon frame.

    I'm not a mech engineer, but I did have some tasty oatmeal this morning.

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