Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Member hipster_doofus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    My Bikes
    Trek 1500, Giant Rincon, GT Timberline
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Old Carbon Fiber .. death trap?

    I thought I got a good deal on a road bike, but now I'm afraid to ride it. It's a Specialized Allez "Epic" and from what I've read on the Internet it was probably made in 1989 or so. It's light and rides nice but I didn't know the whole "CARBON FIBER BLOWS UP AND KILLS YOU" thing when I got it. Now I guess it's an "Epic" failure on my part.

    I'm thinking I should just take the 105 hardware and put it on a old metal frame.

    It's a 60cm and I weigh probably 225lbs or so.

    Tell me it's going to break in half and impale me in the street, and you'll save my life.

  2. #2
    cab horn
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    1987 Bianchi Campione
    Posts
    28,295
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nobody can tell you that without at the very least inspecting the frame for themselves.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  3. #3
    messenger
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    WLA
    My Bikes
    pinarellos and a colnago
    Posts
    599
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    its going to break in half--- you are going to kill yourself.... whew

  4. #4
    sch
    sch is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Birmingham. AL
    Posts
    2,607
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Inspection of the frame should pick up any major problems. Frames in
    that era were glued together tubes on lugs and problems include
    failure of the glue line at lugs. The coatings on the CF can deteriorate
    and make the surface look crappy. A friend had an early '90s similar
    frame that came loose at the BB and he simply regued it with more
    modern epoxy and rode it for a year or two before replacing. It was
    used and about 12yrs old when he got it. Tapping the tubes should
    produce a slightly musical note and not a thud. Significant cracks
    will almost always telegraph through to the surface. A good exam
    should be enough to start.

  5. #5
    Member hipster_doofus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    My Bikes
    Trek 1500, Giant Rincon, GT Timberline
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by G piny parnas View Post
    its going to break in half--- you are going to kill yourself.... whew
    Thanks guys! I knew I could count on the Internet for sagely advice. There's some surface scars on the frame but nothing major. I'm still pretty afraid of it so I think I'll sell the frame on CL with enough warning the clear my conscious.

    .. anyone want a used road bike frame?


    Quote Originally Posted by sch View Post
    lots of info
    Thank you for that bit of information too. I might take it riding this weekend while I'm shopping for another frame.
    Last edited by hipster_doofus; 09-05-08 at 07:42 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Iowegian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colo
    Posts
    1,734
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't blame you. A guy at work had a /new/ carbon bike snap on him. Luckily he wasn't hurt and he got a replacement frame for free. He rides the new frame but if it was me, I think I'd switch... I'm sure the major danger of carbon bikes is being hit by a car, etc but I still feel more confident on steel.

  7. #7
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    My Bikes
    Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
    Posts
    7,126
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If you like sleeping at night, then I suppose that you don't want to know about the failure modes of aluminium bicycle frames.


    To put this in perspective, have you heard of an overwhelming number of liability claims putting bicycle manufacturers out of business. Probably not. There are stories of carbon frame failures out there. Some of them are actually true. There are also stories of aluminium or steel frame failures and some of them are also true. The internet, while a great source of information, is also one of the worlds best sources of misinformation.

    Do the same thing with your bike that you would do with any other, inspect it (or if you don't know what to look for have it inspected) every now and then, maintain it, repair it as necessary and ride it.

    Now the disclaimer. At 225lb riding weight, inspect your bike more often, even your non carbon one. Weigh carefully your options for some equipment (pun intended) and pay attention to manufacturers limits. There are weight limits for some components used on bicycles because that's the nature of compromise when producing performance at a given weight. One of the best examples of this is titanium axles for pedals.
    Last edited by maddmaxx; 09-06-08 at 03:14 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    415
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    it is true that carbon will not yield like steel will so you will not get a warning before failure. HOWEVER carbon is extremely strong material. the tensile strength is typically over 100ksi. you may need to worry about fatigue failure, however the carbon will get less stiff as it fatigues. you can probably feel it get mushy long before it will break, at least you can in rowing. I've never ridden a carbon frame to failure before.

  9. #9
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In Ebritated
    Posts
    6,557
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm riding an almost 20 yo aluminum frame with bonded joints. I tip the scales at about 240#. Am I scared of imminent failure? No.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    My Bikes
    Basso, Tommaso, Ibex, Schwinn, SWOBO, Trek
    Posts
    1,930
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Carbon Fiber failure is catospheric if it happens. It does not go into flex, stress, or bend mode prior to failure. It goes directly to severe strain break. A micro-second time span. It is not a malluable material which gives slightly like metals.

    I have a full carbon fiber road bike and a 50/50 one (main tri is Aluminum, rest CF) and I check my seat tube on a regular basis.

  11. #11
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Quahog, RI
    My Bikes
    Giant TCR Comps, Cdale R5000, Klein Q-Pro, Litespeed Siena, Piasano 105, Redline Conquest Pro, Voodoo Bizango, Fuji Aloha
    Posts
    1,509
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Those older CF frames are lugged. Sometimes with age the tubes become unglued from the aluminum lug. If all is tight ride on.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Oldpeddaller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Maidstone, Kent, England
    My Bikes
    1970 Holdsworth Mistral, Vitus 979, Colnago Primavera, Corratec Hydracarbon, Massi MegaTeam, 1935 Claud Butler Super Velo, Carrera Virtuoso, Viner, 1953 Claud Butler Silver Jubilee, 1954 Holdsworth Typhoon, 1966 Claud Butler Olympic Road, 1982 Claud
    Posts
    2,471
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "I'm riding an almost 20 yo aluminum frame with bonded joints. I tip the scales at about 240#. Am I scared of imminent failure? No."

    Me too. Is yours a Vitus or Alan?

    My Vitus 979 (Silver Wedding Anniversary present from my wife - it's slver coloured - bless her!)

    - Is the lightest thing I've ever ridden - 16lbs dead, including pedals, bottle & cage and computer - with a full Chorus 9 speed gruppo, SLK carbon saddle and Arayo clincher rims - what a machine!

  13. #13
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Austin (near TX)
    My Bikes
    rkwaki's porn collection
    Posts
    26,112
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by capwater View Post
    Those older CF frames are lugged. Sometimes with age the tubes become unglued from the aluminum lug. If all is tight ride on.
    Yep, the failure will be at the lugs.

Posting Permissions

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