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Old 05-21-07, 11:24 PM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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Literally flying along in Carbon Fiber

OT Thread Alert!

In case anyone missed this story, Boeing is building a new super airliner, the 787, with a shell of carbon fiber.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=3192252

For those who fear riding carbon fiber bikes, it might cause them some anxiety to fly in a carbon fiber plane.
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Old 05-22-07, 12:18 AM   #2
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Fear carbon fiber bikes? Certainly not. For myself, I merely....dismiss them.

I got back into biking more seriously when, on a long, slow drive up the Hwy 120 grade into Yosemite on a hot summer day, I saw an elderly cyclist all burnt brown and sinewy as only an older athlete can be. He was riding a Bob Jackson almost as weathered as he was. Together they were climbing up toward the sun. They were a mixture of old sepia toned cycling photos and some timeless determination where the cyclist matters more than the cycle. I wanted to become part of that. I re-entered cycling the next day and haven't stopped.

One foot mired in sentiment, the other in practicality-- I'll happily ride my steel and others may ride whatever they wish. There is no issue here.
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Old 05-22-07, 12:31 AM   #3
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Carbon fiber has come a long way in a short time. It is a short time you know, 20 years, many,many commercial jets are 30 years old, 747s an average of well over 20. planes are older than we're led to believe. Surely most have had computerized controls retrofitted, the crafts by and large are quite old.
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Old 05-22-07, 12:35 AM   #4
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A friend of mine recently showed me a carbon fiber kayak paddle. It was incredibly light.
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Old 05-22-07, 05:32 AM   #5
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One of the reasons CF bikes are becoming more expensive is that there is increased industrial demand for it.
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Old 05-22-07, 07:54 AM   #6
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I am a big fairly strong guy and worried about a CF bike supporting that. Jppe and some other accomplished bikers assured me that a CF bike would work for me.
This has changed in the last 10 years. The top LBS in North Detroit area steered me to Aluminum because they said that would support me better. That was about 10 years ago.
I bought a Treck Madone and could not be more happy.
I am now looking to replace my steel trail bike, Treck Hybrid 7700, with a Cyclocross. Of course CF.
I am a happy CF user.
BTW, I looked hard at Ti bikes. The MTB racers I happen to know advised against it as being to squishy.
They had no ulterior motives other than share their experience which they had plenty of.
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Old 05-22-07, 08:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
OT Thread Alert!

In case anyone missed this story, Boeing is building a new super airliner, the 787, with a shell of carbon fiber.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=3192252

For those who fear riding carbon fiber bikes, it might cause them some anxiety to fly in a carbon fiber plane.
The last CF bike I rode (Orbea Orca) felt like I was riding down the road sitting on a wooden 2x4 with steel wheels on a rought chip and seal road.

Hope the 787 is a little smoother.
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Old 05-22-07, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
OT Thread Alert!

In case anyone missed this story, Boeing is building a new super airliner, the 787, with a shell of carbon fiber.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=3192252

For those who fear riding carbon fiber bikes, it might cause them some anxiety to fly in a carbon fiber plane.
I think I might buy one of those. The 787, that is. A few mods, and it would be perfect for those weekend getaways.
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Old 05-22-07, 10:42 AM   #9
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That's an interesting observation, because nowadays bike manufacturers are adding carbon fiber parts to frames specifically to dampen vibration and create a smoother ride. A large number of road bikes now have CF forks, and usually the next two parts to "go CF" are the rear seat stays and the seat post - all primary vibration points.

Consider this excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on "Carbon fiber reinforced plastic." Perhaps the bike you tried used CF that was optimized for stiffness.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_...forced_plastic

"An area where carbon fiber reinforced plastic has found good use is in the manufacture of bicycles, especially high-end racing bicycles. The vibration absorbing properties of carbon fiber reinforced plastic make for a less harsh ride, while offering weight reduction compared to traditional bicycle tubing materials such as aluminum or steel. The choice of weave can be carefully selected to maximize stiffness. Exploitation of the variety of shapes carbon fiber reinforced plastic can be built into has further increased stiffness and also allowed aerodynamic considerations into tube profiles. carbon fiber reinforced plastic frames, forks, handlebars, seatposts and crank arms are becoming commonplace on medium- and higher-priced bicycles. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic forks are used on most new racing bicycles.

Another widespread use of carbon fiber is in the manufacture of fishing rods. Its high flexibility and low weight make it ideal to feel every bite."
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Old 05-22-07, 11:00 AM   #10
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The road bike that I have been out "fit checking/adjusting" this week has a carbon fork and carbon seatstays. I put a set of my "large guy" performance wheels on it (32 spoke radial front 32 spoke half radial rear) with 23mm 120psi tires. I expected a harsh ride at best.

Much to my surprise, the bike rides like a dream. The carbon parts seem to be doing the vibration damping that they are supposed to.

I'll start another thread next week when the control group is finally adjusted to my liking. I have a surprise solution for those who are unsure whether or not they like drop bars. (cheaper and simpler too)
Pics to follow.
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Old 05-22-07, 11:31 AM   #11
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As an F1 fan the only images I have of CF is when you try to make it do something it wasn't designed to do. Other than that, it's light, it's strong and -so far- no problems with the fork or seatpost on my LeMond.

No way in hell, though, that I'd knowingly get on a CF plane. 'Course I say that about any plane, really.

Xanax. It works
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Old 05-22-07, 12:06 PM   #12
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Took awhile to find this pix:
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File Type: jpg CFToilet.jpg (16.5 KB, 12 views)
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Old 05-22-07, 12:47 PM   #13
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And that's not even the famous $1200 toilet seat.
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Old 05-22-07, 12:54 PM   #14
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c/f tandem 14,000+ miles

If huffy built and airplane, would you fly in it?
Give us carbon fiber tandem/single/airplane anytime!
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Old 05-22-07, 01:27 PM   #15
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I'm confused.
Wikipedia says "Another widespread use of carbon fiber is in the manufacture of fishing rods. Its high flexibility and low weight make it ideal to feel every bite."

So, for cycling, carbon fiber will dampen road vibrations; but used for fishing rods it will enable one to "feel every bite".
Huh? Can someone 'splain this?
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Old 05-22-07, 02:37 PM   #16
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Perhaps being so light, it enables one to feel the slightest tug/pull, which might get lost when using a heavier rod. Wherein with a heavy rod, the movement of the rod itself, flexing, might be hard to distinguish from a nibble on your hook.
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Old 05-22-07, 02:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I think I might buy one of those. The 787, that is. A few mods, and it would be perfect for those weekend getaways.
Please do. And get all your friends to buy a few as well. I'm hoping to ride this one into retirement.
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Old 05-22-07, 02:52 PM   #18
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I was just poking around the web and found out that many of the top line camera tripods are now made out of CF. The combination of the lighter weight, strength, and better vibration damping, makes them very attractive to professional photographers.

Also a lot of scientific and materials industry papers on this topic, such as this one:
http://www.macqc.com/apps_industrial...76e30bc496b107
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Old 05-22-07, 03:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis
I'm confused.
Wikipedia says "Another widespread use of carbon fiber is in the manufacture of fishing rods. Its high flexibility and low weight make it ideal to feel every bite."

So, for cycling, carbon fiber will dampen road vibrations; but used for fishing rods it will enable one to "feel every bite".
Huh? Can someone 'splain this?
Carbon fiber is the magic manufacturing material. Because it is a cloth weave like fiberglass or a bundle of strands like untwisted string. (it actually anything the manufacturer is asked for or thinks the industry needs) it can be combined in any shape and configuration of fiber direction. It can be bonded together stiff in one direction and flexable in another or stiff in both directions. With the poser of modern computers, the designer can make tubing that bends where he wants it to in the direction that he desires. The ability to design strength, flexability and weight is making quantum leaps each year. I don't think that we've even begun to see the possibilities of what can be made with this and other materials like it.

Like in the movie Mrs. Robinson "Plastics, that's the future"
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Old 05-22-07, 06:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will dehne
I bought a Treck Madone and could not be more happy.
I am a happy CF user.


BTW, I looked hard at Ti bikes. The MTB racers I happen to know advised against it as being to squishy.
They had no ulterior motives other than share their experience which they had plenty of.

Ditto on the Madone, wonderful Bike.

My first hi $ bike was a litespeed Ti, I don't ride it much now, it is squishy, especially on the corners.
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Old 05-26-07, 09:35 PM   #21
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Found this link:

http://www.bikethink.com/ride_feel.htm

It provides interesting information on steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and to a lesser extent titanium and how the properties of these materials affects the transmission of vibrations through a bike frame's seat stays.

In a nutshell, it describes how carbon is both the stiffest material and the material that passes the least amount of vibration.
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Old 05-26-07, 10:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmaxx
Like in the movie Mrs. Robinson "Plastics, that's the future"
I think that line came from a film called "The Graduate." I haven't seen the movie "Mrs. Robinson," however. Is it any good?

Last edited by Big Paulie; 05-26-07 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:58 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Perhaps being so light, it enables one to feel the slightest tug/pull, which might get lost when using a heavier rod. Wherein with a heavy rod, the movement of the rod itself, flexing, might be hard to distinguish from a nibble on your hook.
So if I took the tires off a Roubaix and wrapped the wheels with 6lb test, what gear should I be in to set the hook?
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Old 05-28-07, 08:20 AM   #24
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My first hi $ bike was a litespeed Ti, I don't ride it much now, it is squishy, especially on the corners.[/QUOTE]

What do you mean by "squishy"? Just curious. Don't have a Ti bike, but thought from the marketing I've seen, and prices, that Ti/carbon was about as high on the drool/bling factor as bikes can go. Take a look at the Merlin Ciel (not sure I got that last word right).
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