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Old 05-02-12, 10:16 PM   #1
lungimsam
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Carbon forks no good after a "few" years???

Been reading a well known repair book by a well known expert. And he says that carbon forks should be thrown away and replaced after a few years.

So my 3 year old bike is dangerous to ride now?

There is so much controversy about carbon, that it is making me worried about riding my carbon forked bike.
Some say you can get many years' of use out of carbon, others say chuck it after 3 years. Some say 10 years. I don't know what to believe.

What do you think?

EDIT: The book actually says after a "few" years, so I corrected it here.

Last edited by lungimsam; 05-02-12 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:22 PM   #2
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Carbon fiber fork on our tandem has 34,000+ miles on it.
My single's has only 13,000+ miles on it.
Ain't the age . . . it's the mieage!
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Old 05-02-12, 10:24 PM   #3
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Those some who say three years are the one ready to sell you another carbon fiber bike at the drop of a hat. The only controversy are the ones who are making it. I've got probably a ten year old Colnago with a carbon fork that I don't feel the need to check my health insurance policy every time I toss my leg over the top tube. Quit worrying about it and put down the jibberish to whatever your reading. Less reading and more riding.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:33 PM   #4
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Who and how well known? People say steel rusts, Aluminum breaks, and CF will not last. Years ago they said the same about boats made of wood, Steel Cement, and fiber glass. But today most private boats are not wood or steel or cement. The word you should look up is Ludite. They believe if it is new it will not last and if it is old it should never be replaced. If you want to know about Carbon Fiber you need to ask Calfee or Aegis. If you want peace of mind realize no one not working with CF is an expert on CF. Read about one group of experts. http://www.aegisbicycles.com/home.html don't worry about it the forks will last unless you crash and then you would more than likely have to replace the forks anyway. The number one upgrade on steel and Aluminum bikes may be a CF fork.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:34 PM   #5
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I tend to think that if you haven't wrecked in any way, or had hard hits to the fork, it should be fine for years to come.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:38 PM   #6
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Who and how well known?
Lennard Zinn, Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance.
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Old 05-02-12, 11:20 PM   #7
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No information, about how many carbon forks and frames the pros go thru
in a stage race, because their team's mechanics work
after every one else is in the Hotel.
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Old 05-03-12, 01:52 AM   #8
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My 2006 TCR still has its original forks and they appear to be in mint condition after many thousands of miles. I have no plans to replace them.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:44 AM   #9
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ride the heck out of it.

like any other safety check, just look for cracks/dings/scrapes/delamination/etc.

the "in crowd" here always held that unless you spent top dollar from a "major company" you were getting carbon that would break and kill you. i have one ride with Nashbar carbon forks and i'm here to tell the tale.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:47 AM   #10
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I'm using a few sets of carbon forks on different bikes, the oldest is over 10 year old, the newest about 4 years, guess I'm in trouble then!
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Old 05-03-12, 06:52 AM   #11
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24000km over 6 years on my road bike. Includes a bunch of rough off road use and I'm not a light guy.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:58 AM   #12
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In fact I have an old Olmo steel bike, about 20 years old and if I shake the fork, I can hear the sound of some small particles moving inside. Probably rust. I feel a little scared of riding that bike. But it rides so well, I tend to forget about the fork pretty soon. In fact, the other day, I bunny hopped over a pothole in the road with no problem at all. But still, it is a little scary.
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Old 05-03-12, 07:10 AM   #13
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In fact I have an old Olmo steel bike, about 20 years old and if I shake the fork, I can hear the sound of some small particles moving inside. Probably rust. I feel a little scared of riding that bike.
That's probably not rust but steel reality checks you're hearing.
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Old 05-03-12, 09:17 AM   #14
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I remember in the early 70's they used to say that the "steel would get soft after 3 years" so you had to keep buying new bikes.
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Old 05-03-12, 09:57 AM   #15
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I remember in the early 70's they used to say that the "steel would get soft after 3 years" so you had to keep buying new bikes.
Thanks, I'd forgotten that one and I used to hear it all the time.

FWIW, I've never had a bike frame that didn't last longer than I wanted.
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Old 05-03-12, 11:40 AM   #16
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If your old carbon fork will fit a 56 Cannondale, then you should send it to me and I'll take care of it for you.
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Old 05-03-12, 12:04 PM   #17
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Lennard Zinn, Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance.
Zinn is an expert in Steel, Ti, and Magnesium. He doesn't use or build in CF. So He is the compitition to the CF builders. Do you not think he has an agenda? He builds good bikes I am sure but if you wanted a Magnesium bike would you believe a warning from some other builder telling you that if your bike got hot it could catch on fire and you couldn't put it out? why not if you have ever seen a magnesium fire you would be impressed. (not that I believe they catch on fire either) Information from Zenn and Rivendell about CF is close to worthless because they don't work with it.

Asking Zenn about CF would be like asking the Pope about becoming a Baptist.
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Old 05-03-12, 01:54 PM   #18
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You will get bored of the old latest stuff in 3 years, and want the new latest stuff.
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Old 05-03-12, 03:03 PM   #19
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Three years might be a true limit for the very first carbon forks built. But the technology has advance so quickly, you have no real reason to be concerned unless you have one of those original forks.

Inspect for cracks, do not crash and all is good.
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Old 05-03-12, 03:35 PM   #20
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A quick google came up with this Zinn column from back in 2002. I don't see anything like "replace in a few years" here.
Carbon Forks
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Old 05-03-12, 04:08 PM   #21
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A quick google came up with this Zinn column from back in 2002. I don't see anything like "replace in a few years" here.
Carbon Forks
You would think that would settle it.
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Old 05-03-12, 04:22 PM   #22
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Its in his book. Not saying I agree with him. Just trying to ge at the fact of carbon. I don't see why crbon would failmwithout damage, but I don't know much about carbon.
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Old 05-03-12, 04:36 PM   #23
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Its in his book. Not saying I agree with him. Just trying to ge at the fact of carbon. I don't see why carbon would fail without damage, but I don't know much about carbon.
With the Zinn report, and the curiously coincidental length of time between reputed "carbon fiber failures" and "steel frame softening", I suspect that you don't have much to worry about. It's all about the quality of the build.
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Old 05-03-12, 04:41 PM   #24
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Thanks, I'd forgotten that one and I used to hear it all the time.

FWIW, I've never had a bike frame that didn't last longer than I wanted.


If it were true, after 40 years this beast should be a puddle on the floor.
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Old 05-04-12, 04:29 PM   #25
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This bike shop hates carbon fiber for bicycles with good reason.
http://www.rideyourbike.com/carbonfiber.shtml
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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