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  1. #1
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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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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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!
    Pedal on!

  3. #3
    Is a real super guy. Henry III's Avatar
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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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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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.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  5. #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.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Who and how well known?
    Lennard Zinn, Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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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.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #9
    Senior Member RGNY's Avatar
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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.

  10. #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!

  11. #11
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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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.
    1992 Peugeot mtb, gone
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  12. #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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    Prabuddha

  13. #13
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prabuddhadg View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  14. #14
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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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.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    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.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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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.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  17. #17
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    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.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You will get bored of the old latest stuff in 3 years, and want the new latest stuff.

  19. #19
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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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.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  20. #20
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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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

  21. #21
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
    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.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  22. #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.

  23. #23
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
    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.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  24. #24
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    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.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  25. #25
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    This bike shop hates carbon fiber for bicycles with good reason.
    http://www.rideyourbike.com/carbonfiber.shtml
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    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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