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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-08-05, 04:32 PM   #1
go4broke44
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fiberglass frame?

i've been thinking about building a track-specific frame out of fiberglass, to get a good aero shape, and it would also be really light. anyone know if fiberglass would work in a bike frame? its similar to C/F, which is used alot, but i'm debating its strength and durability, i don't want it breaking apart. any ideas?
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Old 06-08-05, 04:36 PM   #2
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yes. don't do it.
if you make the bike light enough to be worth riding it'll collapse on you.
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Old 06-08-05, 04:37 PM   #3
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i'd say it would flex like a noodle. you'd have to make it super thick to make it strong enough, then it would weigh a ton.
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Old 06-08-05, 04:46 PM   #4
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Do it, but be sure to wear your kevlar bodysuit to avoid getting skewered when it breaks.

Honestly, I think if you're going so far as to layup a fiberglass frame, you might as well get CF and an appropriate epoxy and do a CF frame. If you look around, there's info out there on how to do this. I think Sheldon's site has an article from a guy documenting his frame building escapades.

Of course I've never worked with fiberglass or CF.
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Old 06-08-05, 04:50 PM   #5
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fibers made from GLASS!
a clear glass bike frame would look great.
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Old 06-08-05, 05:23 PM   #6
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just start out making a very small one for a neighborhood kid you dont particularly like, let us know how it goes
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Old 06-08-05, 05:47 PM   #7
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i think there's a reason this hasn't been done before.
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Old 06-08-05, 05:52 PM   #8
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use bamboo! and carbon fiber lugs
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Old 06-08-05, 05:53 PM   #9
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^^^ oh god, its teh boc



edit: (@ hexsun)
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Old 06-08-05, 06:34 PM   #10
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If you can make a fiberglass bike, I'm sure you can make a CF bike. From what I understand, it's much easier to work with, and much more reliable for the types of stresses it would be under in a bike frame. And it's hella lighter. That's right. Hella.

If you do it in fiber glsas, make sure you film the results / you skewering...
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Old 06-08-05, 07:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SSSasky
And it's hella lighter. That's right. Hella.
I concur. This ain't no surfboard broham, but it would be an interesting proof of concept.
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Old 06-08-05, 09:44 PM   #12
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i was just wondering cause i've worked with fiberglass before, and its pretty strong with like 6 layers, and still really lightweight. alpine uses 6 layers to make their crazy car audio system setups, which hold up under all the compressed air from subwoofers, etc. i didnt know CF was easier to work with, but it is more expensive, which is why i wondered about fiberglass. and actually, someone was saying a glass bike would be cool, engineers actually figured out that glass can be really strong when properly used, and it was possible to build a suspension bridge or something crazy from glass.

anyways, i guess i could try to make a fiberglass frame, or i could just suck it up and go with c/f
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Old 06-09-05, 10:53 AM   #13
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you ever seen a surfboard snap in two? pretty sudden and spectacular.
water's a bit softer than concrete, too.
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Old 06-09-05, 11:06 AM   #14
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CF and Kevlar are a bear to work with. You can't just lay it up like fiberglass. CF and Kevlar need compression in order to optimize the bond and strenght. Easy to do if your making flat plate...just sandwich them and add compression. But when you get to composite curves and the like you need to use vacuum bagging technology. Additionally, CF needs to cure at a specific temperature, meaning autoclaves (low powered oven) and the like. I've been working with CF for about 5 years now (making paddles, repairing racing boats, etc), its fun but messy and hella expensive. I'm just starting to breakeven.
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Old 06-09-05, 11:16 AM   #15
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BTW...steel is real.
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Old 06-09-05, 01:24 PM   #16
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This dude apparently didn't use any heat curing and used vinyl tape for compression: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/carbon_fiber.htm
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Old 06-09-05, 02:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehz
^^^ oh god, its teh boc


edit: (@ hexsun)
so tehz say.
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Old 06-09-05, 02:16 PM   #18
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If you really want to mess around with your own carbon frame, you could always try the Mecano Kit from Columbus.
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Old 06-09-05, 02:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go4broke44
i've been thinking about building a track-specific frame out of fiberglass, to get a good aero shape, and it would also be really light. anyone know if fiberglass would work in a bike frame? its similar to C/F, which is used alot, but i'm debating its strength and durability, i don't want it breaking apart. any ideas?
I say do it...what's the WORST thing that could happen ?

It might be a fun project....and make sure you get someone to video tape your maiden voyage!
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Old 06-09-05, 07:46 PM   #20
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yeah i say if youve got the materials, give it a try. on your maiden voyage wear jeans and long shirt jus to be safe but if you do it well it could work. they make some aerobatic airplanes outta that and it works. ohh and my kayak paddles is made of glass and its hella strong. but if you do it id do circular tubing because circle is a structurally strong shape.
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Old 06-09-05, 07:48 PM   #21
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ohh and to make it simple you could do glss tubing and buy some steel lugs and epoxy em on. they did that with early cf bikes
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Old 06-09-05, 08:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostontrevor
This dude apparently didn't use any heat curing and used vinyl tape for compression: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/carbon_fiber.htm
One of my buddies in textile engineering built a CF frame for a senior design project about 10 years back. I think they rode it, but I remember that they weren't real tight on the tolerances. So I have no idea if it would have survived on the road. They ay ave actually tested it to failure in the lab.
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Old 06-09-05, 08:44 PM   #23
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Not a track bike, but the only Fiberglass production bike I know of was the Bowden Spacelander. A very few of them were produced c. 1960. They didn't sell well, but...this is one beautiful piece of design. It weighed like a pig, but most of the newsboy bikes of the era did.

Picture cobbed from: http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/news/...ntm10-1-17.asp
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Old 06-09-05, 09:02 PM   #24
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a track bike prototype has been done. can't remember who the makers was at this time. All those spliter and you'll be itching..lol

S/F<
CEYA!
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