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  1. #1
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    On plastic bikes

    Given all the seminars this time of year with big name bicycle companies - thought it would be an opportune time to ask some pointed questions regarding carbon fiber frames.

    So here what I was told by one major manufacturer: Riding a CF frame in the winter will NOT void any warranty and although there has yet to be a CF fat bike put on the market, a few staff members are currently using CF bars and seat posts on fat bikes with no issues.

    Any warrany claims made from a frame failing in winter conditions will be handled as any other warranty claim - with no regard to temperatures at the time.

    BUT - they still have no CF frame with a lifetime warranty because there is a natural degradation to the polymers used as binders, although the CF itself is unaffected.

  2. #2
    GT4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Given all the seminars this time of year with big name bicycle companies - thought it would be an opportune time to ask some pointed questions regarding carbon fiber frames.
    There was not a single question mark in your post, which makes it unclear of what you are looking for.

    Carbon fiber will only deteriorate if you smash it with a hammer or something; but that's under perfect conditions. If well taken care of, a CF bike will last longer than you will. I would be more worried about the components on the bike than the frame itself if I were to ride it in the snow.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The Pro's race bikes only get used a season, next year they get a new batch.
    so I'd say if you want to form an emotional attachment , to your bicycle for a long time ..

    .. get one made of Metal.

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT4 View Post
    There was not a single question mark in your post, which makes it unclear of what you are looking for.

    Carbon fiber will only deteriorate if you smash it with a hammer or something; but that's under perfect conditions. If well taken care of, a CF bike will last longer than you will. I would be more worried about the components on the bike than the frame itself if I were to ride it in the snow.
    Since I wanted straight answers and not just opinions - I asked the corporate reps and engineering staff at the technical seminars. The post here was just to pass on that info.

    Your opinion of CF bicycles is very different from the opinion of the people designing and marketing them.

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The Pro's race bikes only get used a season, next year they get a new batch.
    so I'd say if you want to form an emotional attachment , to your bicycle for a long time ..

    .. get one made of Metal.
    And I do tend to get emotionally attached .....

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Nice titanium, or super strong tube, so, light, steel frame-set is probably a better emotional investment.


    yea, given: the epoxy is a polymer, and polymer chains are broken up by UV
    and other wavelengths, in sunlight .

    so deterioration is inevitable, .. slowed by an opaque paint job..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-18-13 at 01:47 AM.

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    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Opaque might be an important word. Some pigments are almost transprent. Aluminum paint blocks light real well, but who buys carbon to make it look like aluminum?
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

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    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    I thought from the title of the thread you were going to talk about a bike made from recycled water bottles! Now that would have been impressive (probably already a concept bike somewhere...)
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

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    image.jpg
    By Designaffairs, it's made from Trivex polymer.

    I know it's not really on-topic, but it is a plastic bike!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The Pro's race bikes only get used a season, next year they get a new batch.
    so I'd say if you want to form an emotional attachment , to your bicycle for a long time ..

    .. get one made of Metal.
    Plus 1.

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    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Here we go again...once more into the breach dear friends!
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Titanium Oxide is a common white looking pigment, in Paint.

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    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    They do make clear UV coatings. I'd be amazed to learn any CF bike parts that weren't race-specific didn't have some kind of coating.

    Burton:exactly how long did they say CF lasts? Also,how many CF bikes live outside,all year long? If my commuter had been CF,it would've been exposed to sunlight for maybe an hour a day;at home it would've been kept in the apt,at work we had bike shelters(like the kind they have at mass transit stations). Even when being ridden,the route I took in the summer had alot of shade. Exposing CF to constant UV,or hanging it outside in the sun really isn't what real world bikes go through.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Emotional attachment to a Bike? A bike is a tool nothing more. There is no soul in a bike, even a pet has more loyalty. A bike will work just as well or just as bad for the guy that rips it off. I can like the way to tool works and change things on it to make it work better. I can like how a bike looks but if a better bike comes along and the same time extra money hit my wallet I can dump an old bike as quickly as an old pair of shoes. Now if the bike would come when I called it we could develop an emotional attachment. However I have read before that "men" are the only animals that can love a machine. I am not sure that is a compliment.

    Make no mistake I like my bikes but when my Lapierre was smashed I didn't have a funeral service for it. I am just as happy with my Tarmac. Almost as happy with my Klein.

    Just as an aside, doesn't Giant have a lifetime frame warrantee? Do Steel bikes come with a warrantee against rust?

    It doesn't now nor has it ever mattered what the bike is made of if it is a quality bike. All work as well as they are supposed to. Some of us will simply replace their bike more often than others. I have friends that drive old cars and insist the new ones don't have any soul. Piffel they have ABS, fuel injection, stability control, better air conditioning and better fuel mileage and they don't need servicing every 3000 to 10000 miles for plugs. The truth is they just like old cars, no soul involved. The other truth is some people like steel, Aluminum, Scandium, Titanium and Carbon fiber. Others just try to justify their choice.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    I have an emotional attachment to my Bottecchia. It was a gift from my mom, who was so poor growing up that she never learned to ride a bike, let alone own one. Yet when I wanted an Italian racing bike, because my Schwinn Le Tour was not "fancy enough" she did not hesitate to open up her checkbook to buy it for me.

    The Bottecchia has taken me through rough times and even rougher rides. My mom passed away almost 4 years ago. I never feel her presence closer to me than when I am riding the Bott.

    They can take away all my other bikes...as long as I have the Bottecchia I am a happy man.

    Yeah, I have an emotional attachment to the Bottecchia.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Emotional attachment to a Bike?
    Sure. Especially since I have built my bike up myself, taking lots of time and care in selecting the components, dialing in fit, maintaining it on a regular basis, etc. My bike is unique. There is none other exactly like it, and I probably couldn't duplicate it exactly at this point. The attachment can grow as the years go by. This "tool" has enabled many great journeys and fond memories. I know if my bike was stolen or destroyed beyond repair, the impact would be felt beyond any financial loss.

    As for men being the only ones developing such an attachment, that is not the case. My wife was very upset when her bike was stolen. It wasn't worth much, but it was a bike that I restored and customized for her. She had many memorable experiences on it, like riding it from our wedding ceremony to the reception. It held great sentimental value for her. (And speaking of weddings and attachments to inanimate objects, how about a woman's attachment to her wedding ring? One could say it's just a rock embedded in a piece of metal.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ozonation View Post
    I thought from the title of the thread you were going to talk about a bike made from recycled water bottles!
    I was thinking it might be this:

    Fully-Functional Bicycle Made with a 3D Printer

  17. #17
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Brennan, well said...well, well-written. That was a most eloquent exposition of why many of us see our bikes as more than a tool.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The Pro's race bikes only get used a season, next year they get a new batch.
    so I'd say if you want to form an emotional attachment , to your bicycle for a long time ..
    The pros ride what they're paid to ride and the bike sponsor usually* puts them atop this year's model to sell this year's product.

    1. Team 7-11 rode Serottas with "Murray" and later "Huffy" decals.
    2. Lance rode a Litespeed Blade time trial bike with "Trek" decals

    You get to ride whatever you want although you have to pay for it yourself.

    Aluminum, bamboo, beryllium, carbon, magnesium, metal matrix composite, steel, titanium, and wood can all outlast you when used properly or fail early; although traditional dimensions designed for other materials may preclude proper use (ex - a 9-10mm aluminum axle wouldn't last and people did break commercially pure square taper bottom brackets; although aluminum is great for 15mm axles with end caps turned down to 9/10mm for backwards compatibility and titanium is terrific for 24mm bottom bracket spindles paired with larger bearings that sit outside a standard bottom bracket shell).

    Fondness is probably more about what you came of age with than technical merit. Lots of guys about my age ride titanium. Lots of older guys ride steel. Lots of kids these days ride plastic.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-18-13 at 08:14 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Every time someone says "plastic bike" I think of the Itera Bicycle from the early 80's.

    Aaron

    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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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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  20. #20
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brennan View Post
    Sure. Especially since I have built my bike up myself, taking lots of time and care in selecting the components, dialing in fit, maintaining it on a regular basis, etc. My bike is unique. There is none other exactly like it, and I probably couldn't duplicate it exactly at this point. The attachment can grow as the years go by. This "tool" has enabled many great journeys and fond memories. I know if my bike was stolen or destroyed beyond repair, the impact would be felt beyond any financial loss.

    As for men being the only ones developing such an attachment, that is not the case. My wife was very upset when her bike was stolen. It wasn't worth much, but it was a bike that I restored and customized for her. She had many memorable experiences on it, like riding it from our wedding ceremony to the reception. It held great sentimental value for her. (And speaking of weddings and attachments to inanimate objects, how about a woman's attachment to her wedding ring? One could say it's just a rock embedded in a piece of metal.)


    I was thinking it might be this:

    Fully-Functional Bicycle Made with a 3D Printer
    I simply don't see it. If you wife died you might not remarry but I doubt if your bike was destroyed you would give up riding. If your wife lost her ring she wouldn't refuse a replacement. Yes it would be the loss of property but a relationship is a two way street and when a tool is used up you replace it you don't have a funeral for it. Many of us have built bikes, my Tarmac was built from the frame up. My Lapierre was built from the frame up. But the Lapierre was destroyed in a carf on bike collision. Yes I was sad at the loss but I was just as happy with the replacement and maybe even happier. Like anyone I have favorite tools. But they are still tools and if the break, wear out, get destroyed they will be replaced with hardly a thought about what they used to be.

    We, mankind, make up these anthropomorphic ideas about cars, planes, boats, bikes, motorcycles as if the object of our affection can tell we care about it. Romantic yes, logical no, I have favorite things that I have replaced time after time. But I might shed a tear for a lost pet or friend but I would never cry over a lost or broken bike or any other tool or machine because they are simply man made. Having an emotional attachment to the object because of who gave it to you and what that means to you I understand. But I can't see getting emotionally attached to a tool itself. They is always another tool and chances are it works better than the old one. I am not saying you can't love a piece of metal, wood, Carbon fiber or even rock. It all sounds a bit new age to me, like the bike gives off an aura and works better for me than it would for anyone else. I guess I just see the whole thing a totally subjective with absolutely no chance for an objective comparison between objects, "tools".

    I am sorry but the merits of a bike material can't be debated if people insist on putting some kind of spiritual aspect to their decision. At least no logically.
    Last edited by Mobile 155; 03-19-13 at 01:03 AM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I am sorry but the merits of a bike material can't be debated if people insist on putting some kind of spiritual aspect to their decision. At least no logically.
    Uh, sure it can.
    You simply have to expand the viewpoint to account for emotional factors.
    So much of human behaviour is influenced by such; it would be illogical to ignore it as meaningless.

    meta logic

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    Fiber-reinforced plastic composite is the standard material for recreational boat hulls. Instead of carbon fiber + epoxy, they normally use much cheaper fiberglass + polyester resin, but fiberglass & polyester have no functional advantages, it's just the matter of $$$. You get a boat hull that spends all its time in the water, in all kinds of weather conditions, stays outside during the winter, and exposed to sunlight 365 days a year. And failure is even less of an option than in case of a bike frame. If there were even a small chance that the hull would fail simply because of the exposure to elements, no one would risk going into deep water in a fiberglass boat. Instead, composites are favored because they don't deteriorate nearly as fast as wood or metal. There are quite a few 40 to 50 year old fiberglass boats still afloat and going strong, even though they were made when people were just starting to experiment with composites, using what's now considered primitive materials and technology. It is typical for the hull to outlive pretty much everything that is bolted to it inside the boat, from wood trim to the drivetrain.

    Yes, it is typical to cover the composite with a UV-resistant coat/varnish since epoxy tends to discolor when exposed to UV for long periods of time. (I believe it's mainly a cosmetic defect, there's no performance degradation.) There are varnishes which are transparent to visible light but opaque to UV.
    Last edited by hamster; 03-19-13 at 04:07 AM.

  23. #23
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Fiber-reinforced plastic composite is the standard material for recreational boat hulls. Instead of carbon fiber + epoxy, they normally use much cheaper fiberglass + polyester resin, but fiberglass & polyester have no functional advantages, it's just the matter of $$$. You get a boat hull that spends all its time in the water, in all kinds of weather conditions, stays outside during the winter, and exposed to sunlight 365 days a year. And failure is even less of an option than in case of a bike frame. If there were even a small chance that the hull would fail simply because of the exposure to elements, no one would risk going into deep water in a fiberglass boat. Instead, composites are favored because they don't deteriorate nearly as fast as wood or metal. There are quite a few 40 to 50 year old fiberglass boats still afloat and going strong, even though they were made when people were just starting to experiment with composites, using what's now considered primitive materials and technology. It is typical for the hull to outlive pretty much everything that is bolted to it inside the boat, from wood trim to the drivetrain.

    Yes, it is typical to cover the composite with a UV-resistant coat/varnish since epoxy tends to discolor when exposed to UV for long periods of time. (I believe it's mainly a cosmetic defect, there's no performance degradation.) There are varnishes which are transparent to visible light but opaque to UV.
    So here we go ...... "carbon fiber and epoxy isn't much different from fiberglass and epoxy and all polyester resins are the same"

    None of that is true and in any case - boats and bikes are built completely differently - as are airplanes. The only thing ALL of these have in common is that ALL of them are an INDIVIDUALLY manufactured items and QC for both materials and construction techniques can vary considerably from one unit to another if personnel aren't properly trained and supervised.

  24. #24
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Every time someone says "plastic bike" I think of the Itera Bicycle from the early 80's.

    Aaron

    Actually had one of those come in the shop for a tune-up last year. Still in surprisingly condition, however, a road test indicated that the ride characteristics were nothing to brag about

  25. #25
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I simply don't see it. If you wife died you might not remarry but I doubt if your bike was destroyed you would give up riding. If your wife lost her ring she wouldn't refuse a replacement. Yes it would be the loss of property but a relationship is a two way street and when a tool is used up you replace it you don't have a funeral for it. Many of us have built bikes, my Tarmac was built from the frame up. My Lapierre was built from the frame up. But the Lapierre was destroyed in a carf on bike collision. Yes I was sad at the loss but I was just as happy with the replacement and maybe even happier. Like anyone I have favorite tools. But they are still tools and if the break, wear out, get destroyed they will be replaced with hardly a thought about what they used to be.

    We, mankind, make up these anthropomorphic ideas about cars, planes, boats, bikes, motorcycles as if the object of our affection can tell we care about it. Romantic yes, logical no, I have favorite things that I have replaced time after time. But I might shed a tear for a lost pet or friend but I would never cry over a lost or broken bike or any other tool or machine because they are simply man made. Having an emotional attachment to the object because of who gave it to you and what that means to you I understand. But I can't see getting emotionally attached to a tool itself. They is always another tool and chances are it works better than the old one. I am not saying you can't love a piece of metal, wood, Carbon fiber or even rock. It all sounds a bit new age to me, like the bike gives off an aura and works better for me than it would for anyone else. I guess I just see the whole thing a totally subjective with absolutely no chance for an objective comparison between objects, "tools".

    I am sorry but the merits of a bike material can't be debated if people insist on putting some kind of spiritual aspect to their decision. At least no logically.
    What I'm really gathering from your posts is that you've never lost anything you condidered irreplaceable. Discussions of logic aside - most people would consider you very fortunate.

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