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New to Carbon fibre

Old 07-31-17, 08:29 PM
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New to Carbon fibre

Hi there. I've been riding steel for years. Just made the leap, and purchased my first carbon bike.

I haven't had a need for bike-shop mechanics for years, since I do all my own 'wrenching' ... But I am kinda nervous about doing any work on this carbon bike, since I am so unfamiliar with the material.

It feels so light and brittle ... I'm afraid of over-tightening things. (Stem, seatpost, wheels etc..) proper lubrication and so on.

Are there any obvious things i should be aware of with carbon? So i don't destroy a bike that costs a small fortune?

Thanks.
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Old 07-31-17, 08:32 PM
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Get a torque wrench if you don't have one. Use carbon paste where appropriate to prevent slipping.
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Old 07-31-17, 08:36 PM
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use a micro torque wrench; like this one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FMXEWQC...I11MJIAK50YJD9
for all of the bolts going in or thru the carbon.

Regular torque wrenches are not sensitive enough, they accuracy specification of a torque wrench is FULL SCALE. So for example if a wrench is rated 4% accuracy, and 100 ft-lbs, that means the actual torque will be within 4 ft-lbs of the reading over the full scale. If it says 10 ft-lbs, then reality is between 6 and 14 ft-lbs. Way to much variation for dealing with carbon (or even aluminum).
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Old 07-31-17, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83
Get a torque wrench if you don't have one. Use carbon paste where appropriate to prevent slipping.
Thanks. I'm going to pick up a tube of Park-tool SAC-2 ... is this what is typically used for carbon lubrication?
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Old 07-31-17, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jonelliotelliot
Thanks. I'm going to pick up a tube of Park-tool SAC-2 ... is this what is typically used for carbon lubrication?
It's the opposite of a lubricant as it is intended to prevent seatposts and other carbon on carbon surfaces from slipping. But that's what I was referring to.
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Old 07-31-17, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nfmisso
use a micro torque wrench; like this one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FMXEWQC...I11MJIAK50YJD9
for all of the bolts going in or thru the carbon.

Regular torque wrenches are not sensitive enough, they accuracy specification of a torque wrench is FULL SCALE. So for example if a wrench is rated 4% accuracy, and 100 ft-lbs, that means the actual torque will be within 4 ft-lbs of the reading over the full scale. If it says 10 ft-lbs, then reality is between 6 and 14 ft-lbs. Way to much variation for dealing with carbon (or even aluminum).
You aren't suggesting the 4% accuracy rating of the 100 lb-ft max. setting is applicable to any graduation on the scale? If the wrench reading is 10 lb-ft and in reality is 6 lb-ft, that is a 40% variance.
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Old 07-31-17, 09:48 PM
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The first thing to know about carbon fiber is that 99.9% of what you hear about it is hysteria and drama.

Just use common sense - don't clamp it too tightly in a work stand, use a torque wrench where it makes sense and ride the crud out of it.
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Old 07-31-17, 10:12 PM
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I really like my carbon bike. It's ride is smoother than my old Trek aluminum bike but it's still very rigid. No frame flex even under my clyde body.
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Old 07-31-17, 11:11 PM
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Consider the torque values on stem, seatpost, etc. to be max, not recommended.

Like GPS navigation leading you off a cliff, torque wrenches can lead astray.

This is all I use https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

but do have a stupid one-bolt seatpost that I tighten the **** out of, carbon saddle rails and all.
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Old 08-01-17, 12:10 AM
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yeah stem and seapost are the main things? and bars if you have carbon bars i guess
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Old 08-01-17, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant
You aren't suggesting the 4% accuracy rating of the 100 lb-ft max. setting is applicable to any graduation on the scale? If the wrench reading is 10 lb-ft and in reality is 6 lb-ft, that is a 40% variance.


This is the reason that you do not want to use the bottom 20% or so of the range of a wrench.
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Old 08-01-17, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant
You aren't suggesting the 4% accuracy rating of the 100 lb-ft max. setting is applicable to any graduation on the scale? If the wrench reading is 10 lb-ft and in reality is 6 lb-ft, that is a 40% variance.
There are generally fixed and variable components to accuracy specifications. Often for torque wrenchs an operating range is provided. I doubt there are any quality 100 lb-ft torque wrenchs that would be suitable for a carbon bike. That was his point. You want a torque wrench where the max setting is reasonably close to the torque values you are working with not 10 times higher.
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Old 08-01-17, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
The first thing to know about carbon fiber is that 99.9% of what you hear about it is hysteria and drama.
Truth. Pay attention to your seat post, bars and steerer tube torque if carbon. Other than that it's just a bike - ride it. I've tried several carbon pastes and like Finish Line Fiber Grip best.
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Old 08-01-17, 09:52 AM
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Carbon paste is not a strict requirement.

There is no carbon paste on my Niner other than the expansion plug inside the steerer.

Some was put on the handlebar/stem interface when the bike was initially assembled but that has been taken apart several times and the paste is all but gone.


-Tim-
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