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Old 08-19-05, 08:48 AM   #1
SaddleBags
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CF is outdated....

Just read an article about a new material developed by Nanotechnology - nanotubes.
From the article:

An advance in nanotechnology may lead to the creation of artificial muscles, superstrong electric cars and wallpaper-thin electronics, researchers report.

Self-supporting, transparent and stronger than steel or high-strength plastics, the sheets are flexible and can be heated to emit light.

A sheet made from nanotubes, tiny carbon tubes only a few times bigger than atoms with remarkable strength and electronic properties.

Future applications that scientists have discussed include creating artificial muscles whose movement is electrically charged, or race cars with stronger, lighter bodies that could also serve as batteries, says chemist Andrew Barron of Rice University in Houston.

"We could see this on Formula 1 (racing) cars by next season, says Barron. "This is a jumping-off point for a technology a lot of people will pursue."

Complete article:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/200...igbreakthrough

Haven't seen any research or strength/weight ratio and how it compares to other material. But if they're looking at applications in the Formula1 cars, why not bike frames?
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Old 08-19-05, 09:40 AM   #2
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I'd imagine that, at least initially, the cost would be prohibitive for the general public. And because pros have rules about minimum weight requirements, there wouldn't be too much market for them.

I also imagine that there are materials out there today that could be used in place of CF that exceed in durability, strength, lightess, etc. but again: cost and rules rule them out.
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Old 08-19-05, 11:27 AM   #3
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Easton is already using CNT in their forks?
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Old 08-19-05, 12:05 PM   #4
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It isn't that new, my last company had been using them for a few years. I think they are becoming more widespread as more applications are developed though.

Cost would be the main issue. Minimum weight wouldn't be, because if you can make the frame lighter, you can use heavier components to meet the minimum weight and maybe get some advantage that way (better brakes or something). I'm certain they will have some applications although of course making specific predictions is difficult.
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Old 08-19-05, 02:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
It isn't that new, my last company had been using them for a few years. I think they are becoming more widespread as more applications are developed though.

Cost would be the main issue. Minimum weight wouldn't be, because if you can make the frame lighter, you can use heavier components to meet the minimum weight and maybe get some advantage that way (better brakes or something). I'm certain they will have some applications although of course making specific predictions is difficult.
That is an excellent point. Which parts of the bike do you think they could make heavier to get an advantage? My first thought were the wheels and/or tires. But that's no good, because it's rotating weight. I'd say that a 15# bike with an ultra light frame but heavier tires would be worse than a 15# bike with a 'heavy' frame with lighter tires. Maybe pro riders can finally get more comfortable saddle, but then you have aero to worry about. I guess the most likely canidate would be perhaps the brakes then, as you said. Might give up some aero with beefier brakes, but not as much as a gel saddle or something similar.
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Old 08-19-05, 05:44 PM   #6
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But really, what will be the difference between a 1 kilogram frame, and 600gram frame. Frames are ridiculously light already, that the advantage would be miniscule.
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Old 08-19-05, 09:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisitsa
But really, what will be the difference between a 1 kilogram frame, and 600gram frame. Frames are ridiculously light already, that the advantage would be miniscule.
Here's an experiment.
Put 600 grams in your pocket. Run up 7 flights of steps.
Now put 1 kilo in your pockets and run up the same set of steps...
Then put the 15 pounds of standard bike weight in a backpack and run up 7 flights of steps.

I'll betcha notice the difference...

The question we can't answer yet is whether lighter is better over long distances. Maybe a certain ammount of rolling weight helps sustain momentum, maybe too light a bike has drawbacks... Maybe...
That's why science is fun, always learning new things...
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Old 08-19-05, 11:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisitsa
But really, what will be the difference between a 1 kilogram frame, and 600gram frame.
5000$

Seriously though, nanotubes could be used to make all sorts of parts, not just frames. Wheels, cranks, bars, stems, seats, etc.

I ride an old steel bike everywhere, so I don't really care. But the geek in me is facinated. Bikes hit their functional peak about 80 years ago, and since then it has just been a grand experiment in excess and geekery. But thats OK, its not about the destination, its about the journey. Bring on the nanotubes.

peace,
sam
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Old 08-20-05, 12:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biodiesel
Here's an experiment.
Put 600 grams in your pocket. Run up 7 flights of steps.
Now put 1 kilo in your pockets and run up the same set of steps...
Then put the 15 pounds of standard bike weight in a backpack and run up 7 flights of steps.

I'll betcha notice the difference...

The question we can't answer yet is whether lighter is better over long distances. Maybe a certain ammount of rolling weight helps sustain momentum, maybe too light a bike has drawbacks... Maybe...
That's why science is fun, always learning new things...
Rotational weight is overrated.

Basically less weight helps on climbs and rapid acceleration (sprints), but when an object is decelerating, the heavier wheel has more inertia, which means the deceleration rate is lower than on a lighter wheelset. It's a tradeoff. Really there is no right answer. The "faster" feeling is just the acceleration benefit, and top speed is just a benefit of that as well, since you will blow less energy to get to a given point, since you are not fighting the wheels so much to get there.....however, the benefit is not really worth much overall unless you are racing.

As for frame weight...if it does not sacrifice strength or durability, it's great. Same for any other part.

I also thought I heard about easton using nanotubes in their forks. EIther way, we are not very far off from it if we aren't there already.
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