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  1. #1
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    I enjoy going into "the 41" and reading about frames breaking

    Sometimes i wander into "the 41" (road forum). I seem to notice quite a bit of talk about frames cracking and breaking, as if it's a common thing.

    Don't get me wrong, if i could afford it, I'd love to own some crabon. But having a stable of 20yo bikes with frames that are mechanically not much different from the day they left the factory, sometimes i can't help but giggle at spending thousands for what is essentially a disposable bike.

    I do wonder though.. how much of it is the carbon, and how often would you read about people destroying steel/aluminum/whatever if it were also as popular? I suspect the average C&Ver doesnt push their bikes quite as hard here in C&V, though I'm sure that's not true for everyone
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  2. #2
    iab
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    Senior Member iab's Avatar
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    So I went to "the 41" and did a title search on the word "frame".

    http://www.bikeforums.net/search.php?searchid=6938731

    At the time of my search, in the first 100 threads, 4 were about frame damage. 3 were carbon, 1 was aluminum. Of the 3 carbon, 1 was bought with damage (kind of like buying a rusty steel frame), one was crashed and I didn't bother with the other.

    But by all means. Let's bash carbon. I hear it assplodes.

    carryon.

  3. #3
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by iab View Post
    But by all means. Let's bash carbon. I hear it assplodes.

    carryon.


    what inspired this thread was a post by a gentleman who said he "broke" his $1800 Trek after 4 years and 20,000 miles. I don't ride nearly that much, so hats off to him, but I would be upset if I spent that kind of money on a bike and it broke. It was replaced with a better model under warranty, but still...
    Last edited by frantik; 01-16-13 at 06:44 AM.
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    Senior Member RubberLegs's Avatar
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    But STEAL is REAL!!!! Real heavy....but it's REAL! ;-) When you are pushing limits on WHATEVER material, you will reach breaking points. The better, high end Steal frames are susceptible to bending and cracking...finding that sweet spot between weight and strength is tricky, and when you use it hard, you find the line. I do NOT push my bikes very hard....aside from asking them to carry my bulk (175 lbs) but if I were to push a lightweight bike, the limits might be met rather quickly...wheels fail, frames fail, bars fail...I have only broken spokes and worn out tires...

  5. #5
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubberLegs View Post
    if I were to push a lightweight bike, the limits might be met rather quickly...wheels fail, frames fail, bars fail...I have only broken spokes and worn out tires...
    yeah after riding fat tire bikes for a long time, riding ANY road bike makes me feel like i'm gonna break something
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    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iab View Post
    . . . . But by all means. Let's bash carbon. I hear it assplodes.

    carryon.
    +1

    "I would own one if I could afford it. But, as I do not have one I will find joy in reading about the misfortune of those who do."
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  7. #7
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
    "I would own one if I could afford it. But, as I do not have one I will find joy in reading about the misfortune of those who do."
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    Senior Member Gallo's Avatar
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    I rode mountain bikes in the early eighties and several of my friends broke steel frames. Steel is not indestructible. I think all of the modern materials are good. My carbon road bike is smooth and responsive and built for speed. My steel road bike glides and swoops into turns, a nice ride. My aluminum mountain bike is sturdy and reliable and takes me where ever I want off trail. My old steel mountain bike now lives with my cousin and I visit my old friend now and again

    They are all good
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    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Back when I was selling bikes it amazed me that so many people expected bikes to last a lifetime. It was a joke, people would bring in old rusty worn out frames with a crack and want them replaced under warranty.
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  10. #10
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallo View Post
    I rode mountain bikes in the early eighties and several of my friends broke steel frames. Steel is not indestructible.
    yeah i've heard about modern steel 29ers being broken too. i even made it clear in my first post that i wouldn't be surprised if it were simply because carbon is more popular for road bikes that you read about it in the road forum. it's less about the material than the money to me.. just can't imagine spending that much money for something brand new and have it fail completely after such a short time.

    I do feel like it's much more common in the road forum than in this forum to hear about people breaking frames, regardless of the material. They are pushing their bikes a lot more, and in here we're more likely to fix em up than break em or even, god forbid, actual ride them!
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  11. #11
    Get off the lawn! Velognome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iab View Post



    But by all means. Let's bash carbon. I hear it assplodes.

    carryon.
    Carryon?....certianly you ment " Carrion"

    Last edited by Velognome; 01-16-13 at 08:04 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantik View Post
    i even made it clear in my first post that i wouldn't be surprised if it were simply because carbon is more popular for road bikes that you read about it in the road forum
    Its inherent to the material. For most intents and purposes carbon doesnt bend (there's exceptions)...there's no in between. Its either structuraly sound or broken/cracked.
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  13. #13
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Its inherent to the material. For most intents and purposes carbon doesnt bend (there's exceptions)...there's no in between. Its either structuraly sound or broken/cracked.
    that makes sense.. i suppose if you can afford it you accept the risks inherent in the material, just like people who use weight weenie tires and tubes expect to flat more often
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  14. #14
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  15. #15
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    ^ damn.. hella asploded
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar ~ 1989 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp
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    Gouge Away kaliayev's Avatar
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    Anything can break and I seriously doubt a modern quality carbon frame is inherently more prone to fail than steel or any other quality frame of any of the popular materials. I do prefer the ride that steel gives and there is also the fact it is still hard to find cf frames that can take wider tires and have braze ons for fenders and racks. If I raced I'd probably ride cf. The two problems that are inherent with cf is that they hide damage well and when they do fail it is often catastrophic. Ride whatever floats your boat and gets you in the saddle.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member triumph.1's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I have two expensive carbon frames and one of them has a cracked seat stay from the RD climbing through the back end, waiting to send it out for repair. I think it is humorous to read carbon bashing threads when a lot of the bashers haven't had a carbon anything. I truly love my old bikes and the aesthetics of old steel, but as a preferance I'll ride my carbon before the steel any day except winter because god forbid if I fall on the ice and crack another frame, well and maybe a hip. To me it's a matter of affording what I want and knowing the consequences of owning it. If I break it I may not be happy, but I will replace it, simple. OK, on with the bashing.............
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  18. #18
    self propelled lifer peter_d's Avatar
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    Carbon is extremely strong and durable as long as it isn't abused, It doesn't take well to being dropped, banged or stressed in odd directions. As most of us on this forum know, people don't always treat their bikes well, we routinely see beautiful old bikes that look like they've been dragged behind a truck. Imagine whats going to happen when older used carbon frames start being bought for cheap by people who may not treat them too gently, I'm afraid we're going to see an outbreak of serious injuries caused by total failure of these carbon frames.

  19. #19
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter_d View Post
    I'm afraid we're going to see an outbreak of serious injuries caused by total failure of these carbon frames.
    in 20 years instead of "forks bent" it will be "frame's asploded"
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  20. #20
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    Not so Amazing...

    Considering that Raleigh and other manufacturers were offering conditional "Lifetime" warranties on steel frames in the 70's and 80's . The expectation of customers of original 70's vintage stuff was and still is very high.

    To think that you could buy a quality frame for under a grand and then ride it for a lifetime...Amazing!!!!! Ride safe...ride steel...

  21. #21
    car guy, recovering aixaix's Avatar
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    Forty years ago, during the golden age of steel frames, it was unusual to have a decent frame fail in normal (on-road) use. Even racers rarely broke frames. Most manufacturers guaranteed their frames for life. Because I am a dinosaur, I don't know whether the failure rate of carbon frames is higher than steel, but I suspect that it is because stress from falling, collision and other shocks is borne differently by the two materials. What will dent a steel tube will either bounce off or crack a CF tube. A crack in CF is usually fatal- at least it must be repaired before the component can be trusted. A dent in a steel tube is rarely enough to make it fail. Whether hard riding without collisions leads to CF failing more often than steel I have no idea. As far as wear is concerned, I doubt if either frame will show any effect from big miles as long as the material's elastic limit is not exceeded.
    A machinist/ bike racer friend showed me a CF frame that was ridden into by another bike. The right chain stay had a gouge in it which he felt weakened the frame enough to make it untrustworthy. A similar collision would have damaged the paint on a steel frame, and maybe left an insignificant dent.
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  22. #22
    one life on two wheels cobrabyte's Avatar
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    I don't understand the hate...CF bikes are racing bikes. They're not designed to last a lifetime. They're designed to last a couple seasons of hard racing...until you replace it with whatever newer technology comes along.

    Steel frames are still available, even by major manufacturers...but if you're serious about racing you're going to most likely get a CF bike, because that's what they're made for.

    Should we still be racing on the slack-angled fixed geared bikes of the early 1900's?

    Classic steel road bikes still have a place in the biking world, just not racing. And there's nothing wrong with that.

  23. #23
    Senior Member cbresciani's Avatar
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    Granted this is a MTB but you get the idea.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member Miyata110's Avatar
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    I don't know, I don't think I have ever seen a "bent fork" comment on the 41. Yet there is one in nearly every thread here.

  25. #25
    a77impala a77impala's Avatar
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    My son has Cf frame Bike that suffered a cracked seat stay, manufacturer denied warranty. Said not their fault, I repaired
    by filling seat stay with epoxy above and below damage two inches. He has ridden it for several months and no problems.
    I am not suggesting anyone use this method but it seems to be working for us.
    I would not buy a Carbon bike unless I had disposable income enough so I could afford to replace on my own.
    My LeMond is half steel half carbon but I prefer to ride one of my lugged steel Treks.
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