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IronmanFoz

Life of a bike (Carbon frame)

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Anyone have any thoughts on the lifespan of a Carbon frame.

My current bike has done 10 Ironmans since 2012. And yesterday I was going down through Bobbin Head.

If anyone knows that road they will know its not that smoothest road out there. Was thinking at the sime is there ever a chance the frame can give no more and simply crack at speed under pressure.

Anyone have thoughts or experience?

Edited by IronmanFoz

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Have had the same thought in the same place, very hard to ignore the creaking once you’re mind goes there.

Don’t know the answer to the carbon question but it did make me lean towards Ti for the next roadie. 

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I tell my wife 3 years, then to dangerous to ride as could fail.😀

No real idea but would be more worried about the steerer tube and bars than the frame. Like everything depends on the build quality and design. My MTB is a 2013 frame and frame is going well, they take allot more hit's stress, but also allot heavier.

The amount of Duct tape on your bike it is time to upgrade😉

 

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Only time a carbon frame is going to crack is when poor construction or design is involved. I reversed over my carbon bike with my 2.5 ton 4WD and it wasn’t in as bad shape as you would imagine!

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19 minutes ago, zed said:

Only time a carbon frame is going to crack is when poor construction or design is involved. I reversed over my carbon bike with my 2.5 ton 4WD and it wasn’t in as bad shape as you would imagine!

Good to know.

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46 minutes ago, more said:

How many times have you heard of carbon frames self destructing?

Thats why I asked the question. There is always that first time.... and I reckon these bikes under go a fair bit of stress down a decent like BH. Lots of bumps and hollows to navigate as you would know.

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1 hour ago, IronmanFoz said:

Anyone have any thoughts on the lifespan of a Carbon frame.

My current bike has done 10 Ironmans since 2012. And yesterday I was going down through Bobbin Head.

If anyone knows that road they will know its not that smoothest road out there. Was thinking at the sime is there ever a chance the frame can give no more and simply crack at speed under pressure.

Anyone have thoughts or experience?

it sounds like you are trying to convince your missus that you need a new bike, so i will play,

yes, its very dangerous and could crack at any time.  

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13 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

Thats why I asked the question. There is always that first time.... and I reckon these bikes under go a fair bit of stress down a decent like BH. Lots of bumps and hollows to navigate as you would know.

Yeah but there a millions and millions of bikes being ridden every single day in all sorts or gnarly conditions-if there was a risk we would know it. I think the real risk is if it has been damaged or in a crash-if there is a underlying weakness as a result. Otherwise should be all good.

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17 minutes ago, Prince said:

it sounds like you are trying to convince your missus that you need a new bike, so i will play,

yes, its very dangerous and could crack at any time.  

Nope, bought a new bike last night so all good there.

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10 minutes ago, zed said:

Very nice!

Hopefully faster than the Polygon with the dodgy seat post. Hold on ...... it the engine room that makes these things goes fast right! 

AB739AAC-AAF7-4288-84F7-3C9D53B9420A.jpeg

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I have asked the same question recently, and apparently it takes years and years and years. The main area that could need checking is the joins to where the wheels are etc because that is where any weakness could be.

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2 minutes ago, Slowman said:

Send your enquiry to Airbus 😀

I work for Airbus, and my job involves designing repairs which sometimes includes composites. The only aircraft I work on though only has some really simple composite parts. The parts don't have a "throw away" date or anything

In theory composites have no fatigue life, i.e. they wont develop, or grow, a crack due to repeated loads below the limit loads they were designed for. Of course in practice you get a lot of damage from impacts etc, and quite often they are hidden within the plies. 

Anyways that means crap all I guess for the question at hand. The question of "how long do carbon bikes last" (in the general sense, not an individual bike or particular model) would probably be determined by real world usage. Considering carbon frames have been around for a long time now, I think it's safe to say that they will last as long as you keep treating them right.

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28 minutes ago, toolex said:

I work for Airbus, and my job involves designing repairs which sometimes includes composites. The only aircraft I work on though only has some really simple composite parts. The parts don't have a "throw away" date or anything

In theory composites have no fatigue life, i.e. they wont develop, or grow, a crack due to repeated loads below the limit loads they were designed for. Of course in practice you get a lot of damage from impacts etc, and quite often they are hidden within the plies. 

Anyways that means crap all I guess for the question at hand. The question of "how long do carbon bikes last" (in the general sense, not an individual bike or particular model) would probably be determined by real world usage. Considering carbon frames have been around for a long time now, I think it's safe to say that they will last as long as you keep treating them right.

Was that an Airbus that crashed in New York where the carbon fibre tail fin snapped off?? Or parts of the fin were carbon fibre?

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One of the engineers at Kestrel used to be very good answering all kinds of questions like that. So long ago I can't remember.

Anyway, I have had a number of MTBs with CF frames and they withstand far more abuse. I have not heard of anyone with a frame breakage for any reason, crash or otherwise. Long ago (20yrs?) I had an old Trek 9800 I crashed that a lot in rock gardens around Red Hill, it only ever seemed to scratch the frame a bit. I've since improved and rarely crash these days but the frames still get a lot more stress because of the terrain. I've never heard any stresses or groans, not even any stress lines in the paint.

Edited by Slowman

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4 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

467B9294-65BA-41C7-B67C-966D6332EB67.jpeg

Likey, likey.

I'm probably going to be in the market for a new bike, if I hear back from the insurance company this week. Been looking on line and getting very disappointed with the prevalence for all black on the new frames (except for Trek ProjectOne). Sooooooo boring. But that P5 is lovely.

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18 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

Hopefully faster than the Polygon with the dodgy seat post. Hold on ...... it the engine room that makes these things goes fast right! 

AB739AAC-AAF7-4288-84F7-3C9D53B9420A.jpeg

No, it's not.  You buy speed.  Training is for numpties or those who can't afford the best.

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I have a carbon fork on my Litespeed that's 21 years old and has nearly 100K km on it. Some of those klicks were pretty rough. Just did a race followed by an extended bike tour with it. No worries.

Edited by steve

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The only real issues I've seen over the years has been with the "new tech" stuff as the technology was being developed. 

Like when bikes used alloy dropouts bonded to carbon tubes, these used to come loose occasionally. 

Or with a few of the various bottom bracket iterations, but most like above were bonding issues not failures as such. 

Even the heavily criticised Chinese knock offs don't seem to have had failure issues despite the hysteria. 

Most, if not all the issues that I've seen or heard of from frames have been from an impact at some time. 

 

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1 hour ago, roxii said:

The only real issues I've seen over the years has been with the "new tech" stuff as the technology was being developed. 

Like when bikes used alloy dropouts bonded to carbon tubes, these used to come loose occasionally. 

Or with a few of the various bottom bracket iterations, but most like above were bonding issues not failures as such. 

Even the heavily criticised Chinese knock offs don't seem to have had failure issues despite the hysteria. 

Most, if not all the issues that I've seen or heard of from frames have been from an impact at some time. 

 

Yep I remember a Pinarello being completely torn apart in a crash in one year's Tour. Same one I think where that guy got torn up going over a barbed wire fence...  yeesshh

Some of the early Trek 5xxx frames (early 90s) had some cracking issues around the down tube seat tube BB junction but they were fixed up quick smart and only know of one guy that had that happen to him and Trek replaced the frame right away.

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All good news and info from all. My mind is at ease, as I will mostly ride my older bike in training. 

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10 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

All good news and info from all. My mind is at ease, as I will mostly ride my older bike in training. 

Is that the one you crashed into the back of me 3 weeks ago? I still have the bruise on my thigh. Be good to see the new one with you staying upright.

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2 minutes ago, Mr Flower said:

Is that the one you crashed into the back of me 3 weeks ago? I still have the bruise on my thigh. Be good to see the new one with you staying upright.

I have a sneaky suspicion I won’t be living this one down, despite not being my fault. :)

Edited by IronmanFoz

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I've had 3 failures of carbon frames. All on the rear stay. All were fancy nano tube frames. The shitty Alu Reid Falco I bought for 800 bucks has outlasted them all. 

Edited by Mike Honcho

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I've heard of a few carbon bikes developing cracks in or around the chain stays (and being replaced under warranty) - Treks and Bianchis mostly  -  but I have never heard of a frame failing catastrophically whilst being ridden and causing a crash.  However, with recent experience I can confirm that carbon frames can and do fail catastrophically AFTER a crash.... :)

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3 hours ago, Bored@work said:

My last Carbon frame lasted 3 months...................

 

Because you retired?

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6 hours ago, Bored@work said:

It’s in the shop now trying to asses the damage 

Details son....details

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Crit racing is brutal. 

Left hand side rear stay is out of whack & the wheel won’t sit square in the frame. 

They are stripping it down now why I decide what to do. There’s a 5 week wait to get the same frame. 

So I’m trying to decide if I upgrade the frame or just wait the 5 weeks & get the same.

Either way I’m going to be in the shit when my wife checks the bank account. It’s just the level of trouble I want to be in. 

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4 minutes ago, Mike Honcho said:

Sounds like time for a new bike. 

I’m getting a new bike. The only decision is which one. 

I thought this was going to happen. So I got my wife the new MacBook Pro, Bose headphones, hand bag & heap of lululemon gear during the Black Friday sales.

On purpose I didn’t buy anything. 

This old dog knows how to play the game. 

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13 minutes ago, Bored@work said:

I’m getting a new bike. The only decision is which one. 

I thought this was going to happen. So I got my wife the new MacBook Pro, Bose headphones, hand bag & heap of lululemon gear during the Black Friday sales.

On purpose I didn’t buy anything. 

This old dog knows how to play the game. 

Smart man

I got home and said Chapter2 had 30% off frames, she assumed i had brought one and went off the deep end. Let her go so she had to back pedal fast.

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40 minutes ago, Bored@work said:

Either way I’m going to be in the shit when my wife checks the bank account. It’s just the level of trouble I want to be in. 

No problem! 25% from the Visa, 25% from the MC, 25% from EFTPOS savings - and the rest in the cash you've been skimming off the  household budget for the last 6 months. 

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1 hour ago, Pete said:

No problem! 25% from the Visa, 25% from the MC, 25% from EFTPOS savings - and the rest in the cash you've been skimming off the  household budget for the last 6 months. 

My wife works at the bank. She now works in the credit assesment team & has access to evey account etc.. I doubt I could even apply for a credit card without her knowning.

TBH it's probably a good thing with my spending habits. 

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34 minutes ago, Bored@work said:

My wife works at the bank. She now works in the credit assesment team & has access to evey account etc.. I doubt I could even apply for a credit card without her knowning.

TBH it's probably a good thing with my spending habits. 

How did she assess you.......a bad investment.......when it comes to bikes .lol

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55 minutes ago, IronmanFoz said:

How did she assess you.......a bad investment.......when it comes to bikes .lol

I never get denied ;)

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