Making CF Handlebars?
I figured though the majority of you guys build frames with steel and such, many of you have worked with carbon fiber before. I was wondering if there were any of you who made your own, custom tuned ergonomic handlebars.
I was considering as my next project piecing together (and probably gluing sections together) Styrofoam tubes and using a hot wire cutter and sanding in order to fine tune the feel on my bars. Is it even a worthwhile venture? I read about a lot of people not liking the position they have in the drops even after trying a few different kinds and it just got me wondering why I haven't seen it before. CF really isn't THAT hard to work with, nor is it too expensive anymore.
If you guys have some insights (Tips on getting the tube diameters right?) please let me know!
Some companies make integrated bar/stem assemblies. I think this is the way to go if you are making your own. You dont need to have tubular sections. You can also include some internal cable routing.
Look Up 'Vacuum Bagging', that type of gear is what you need
to get the air bubbles out of the Epoxy while it cures ,
USCG Helicopters blade maintainence crews use that sort stuff to maintain rotor blades.
and heating the part in the mold in the process while in the curing process
is also part of making the part strong enough.
(old pizza ovens?) set low of course...
[to risk your face-plant on]
Last edited by fietsbob; 11-09-10 at 12:54 PM.
By and large vac bagging doesn't get bubbles out, it consolidate resin allowing a higher fiber resin ratio, by moving out excess resin. It also holds laminates in place during the cure. Pizza ovens would be overkill, the oven I have is just 4 lightbulbs in a plywood box, and I can do parts up to 6 feet long. Probably the best thing to do with bubbles is to not mix them in in the first place, and use a lamination roll to break them up. There are materials that allow one to form tubes relatively easily they are braids than can be pulled over a mandrel and snugged up. Fiber orientation may not be idea, and removing the mandrel can be a problem. There are lots of videos on Youtube, though for the most part for simple shapes.
Thanks for the responses, guys! I think I'll look into trying it sometime soon...
Hey Peterpan, when you make an oven to cure CF do you need to have some sort of vent holes in it? Will the fumes combust or anything? I have only played with carbon fiber wet and let it cure through outside temp. I have been making a couple of joints for experimentation. It wwon't be much longer before I make a frame but I am trying to learn as much as possible beforehand. Do you think laying up wet carbon will make an adequate road frame or do you need to use vacuum bags, ovens, etc to get a quality frame. The joints that I have made so far seem pretty strong and they only have about 4 layers of cloth around them. I have been laying them up and then wrapping electrical tape around them that has holes punched in it to allow excess resin to escape. Somebody's trick that I saw online and it works fairly well. Have you seen the Cyfac video's on youtube?
Thanks. That thread is great. Who woulda thunk that a bike forum would turn into a free education. I take back all the bad things I have said about computers.
Laying up Fiberglass , air bubbles come with each layer of cloth laid down, then got pressed out by hand
in most lower tech shops like boat makers..
haven't seen the shop that built Oracle Racing's America's Cup yacht,
they built that out of oodles of Carbon cloth ..
I've been known to make a few CF bars myself. The 'apes' shown below are 18" tall and weigh 282g.