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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 10-28-04, 01:59 PM   #1
HereNT
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Carbon fiber in winter?

I thought of this a couple days ago, just now posting. I bought a new seat earlier this year, and it's carbon. Is this a problem when it's -30F? I'd hate to have it get all brittle and shatter while I'm riding. Anyone used a carbon fiber seat in really sub-zero conditions?
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Old 11-11-04, 04:14 PM   #2
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Velo news Tech Reports had something about this last winter, but I can't find it anymore on the site.... Basically, they said that the structural properties of carbon fiber are not affected by cold temps.
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Old 11-11-04, 05:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by HereNT
I thought of this a couple days ago, just now posting. I bought a new seat earlier this year, and it's carbon. Is this a problem when it's -30F? I'd hate to have it get all brittle and shatter while I'm riding. Anyone used a carbon fiber seat in really sub-zero conditions?
If carbon fiber couldn't handle -30F, it wouldn't be used in jet wings or propellers.
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Old 10-21-07, 08:30 PM   #4
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If carbon fiber couldn't handle -30F, it wouldn't be used in jet wings or propellers.
Well that pretty much ends that conversation.
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Old 10-21-07, 08:40 PM   #5
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Basically, they said that the structural properties of carbon fiber are not affected by cold temps.
Good. Because I just got done putting a carbon bar on my winter bike.

Not that I needed carbon on the bike I ride through snow and slop. It's just that I had the bar laying around and figured I might as well run it and enjoy it.
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Old 10-21-07, 08:49 PM   #6
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Heat will cause CF to explode.

Cold will cause CF to shatter into a zillion pieces.

Even my dog knows this, he told me this morning while reading his copy of 'Ride' and posting on the forums.

Don't do it bro'.
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Old 10-21-07, 09:22 PM   #7
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If carbon fiber couldn't handle -30F, it wouldn't be used in jet wings or propellers.
Correct. To add a little info on this, I'll comment.

Carbon fiber products being made up of two materials. Carbon, which is always brittle, and only becomes flexible as the radius of the threads are reduced to the point where when you bend it, it doesn't have a radius large enough to create a bending moment to fracture the material. The other is a plastic, that being Epoxy. Epoxy has a glass transition point (point where material turns from flexible to rigid) much higher then room temperature, so in use, its always in its "brittle" phase. Therefore, if its 90* or -30*, the composite is still below the glass transition phase, the properties are going to be about the same.
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Old 11-20-07, 11:45 AM   #8
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How does carbon react to rapid temperature changes. Say you are riding in sub 30 degree and then you bring your bike into a warm house. Will this cause any damage?
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Old 11-20-07, 02:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by HereNT View Post
I thought of this a couple days ago, just now posting. I bought a new seat earlier this year, and it's carbon. Is this a problem when it's -30F? I'd hate to have it get all brittle and shatter while I'm riding. Anyone used a carbon fiber seat in really sub-zero conditions?
I don't have a CF seat, but the other CF bits in service (ergo levers, frame, frame parts, forks, etc) don't seem to mind the cold and suffer no ill effects from the 100*f swings from inside to out. No worries, mano.
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