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Carbon fiber seat posts and handle bars, are they safe? And what do I need to know?

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Carbon fiber seat posts and handle bars, are they safe? And what do I need to know?

Old 04-01-16, 03:13 PM
  #1  
goraman
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Carbon fiber seat posts and handle bars, are they safe? And what do I need to know?

I am looking at a 27.2 seat post and and some flat bars with a built in riser.
What should I know,I am both new to and scared of carbon fiber.
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Old 04-01-16, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by goraman View Post
I am looking at a 27.2 seat post and and some flat bars with a built in riser.
What should I know,I am both new to and scared of carbon fiber.
If you aren't confident in the product then avoid it. You can get plenty lightweight aluminum seatposts and bars. However Crabons are quite a strong material and for a seat post as long as it is used properly (torqued right, not over loaded...) should be just fine same with bars. If you are a big person/weigh a lot or are abusive on your components or just ride hard crabons might not be right for you.

You want to be confident in your components so you can ride and not worry and just have fun.
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Old 04-01-16, 03:51 PM
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Most of that kind of product is an aluminum core wrapped with a layer of carbon fiber for cosmetics.
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Old 04-01-16, 03:57 PM
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If you buy quality parts from a reputable brand, and you follow the company's installation and usage guidelines, you should be reasonably safe whether the parts are made of carbon fiber, aluminum, or steel. It's not so much about the material itself, but rather how that material is used.

With that said, each material does have its own unique properties -- good and bad. In the case of carbon fiber, it's lightweight and very strong in certain ways, but it's also possible to crush carbon fiber parts by over-tightening or unevenly tightening stems or seatpost clamps. This problem is more likely if you use clamping mechanisms that weren't designed for carbon fiber components, which may not distribute clamping forces equally around the part's circumference. It's kind of like an eggshell: Grip an egg in your hand and squeeze evenly and it's pretty darn strong, but squeeze it between your thumb and index finger and you're gonna break that egg pretty easily.
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Old 04-01-16, 04:14 PM
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CF is not worth the risk and worry. Every scratch, abrasion, or crash/drop will leave you with concern of future failure... or replacing parts. All for minimal weight savings? Just say no.
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Old 04-01-16, 05:06 PM
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I have never been concerned about my CF fork and saddle. I wouldn't worry about CF bars or seat-post either - not worth the expense in my current opinion, which might change if I actually bought some, but safety wouldn't be my concern.
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Old 04-01-16, 07:00 PM
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I just today switched from an Easton aluminum ergo drop bar (EA70 Aero) to an Easton carbon drop bar (EC90 Equipe) and it was worth every penny. I didn't do it for weight at all-- it's probably within 30g of the aluminum bar it replaced-- but road noise and buzz is virtually eliminated. My hands and arms feel better after 50 miles than they ever did on the aluminum bar. It is highly unlikely I will go back to aluminum for the handlebar at any time in the future. I wouldn't worry much about the crashing thing either. If you crash hard enough to break CF, you're probably going to bend aluminum.

Can't say it matters nearly as much for the seatpost. I've had 2 aluminum and 2 carbon posts, and if someone were to change them without my knowledge, I doubt I would even notice. They all feel exactly the same. I'm forever on a Thomson Elite, because it has pretty much the best clamp ever devised. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have bought the Thomson from the outset.
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Old 04-01-16, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
If you buy quality parts from a reputable brand, and you follow the company's installation and usage guidelines, you should be reasonably safe whether the parts are made of carbon fiber, aluminum, or steel. It's not so much about the material itself, but rather how that material is used.

With that said, each material does have its own unique properties -- good and bad. In the case of carbon fiber, it's lightweight and very strong in certain ways, but it's also possible to crush carbon fiber parts by over-tightening or unevenly tightening stems or seatpost clamps. This problem is more likely if you use clamping mechanisms that weren't designed for carbon fiber components, which may not distribute clamping forces equally around the part's circumference. It's kind of like an eggshell: Grip an egg in your hand and squeeze evenly and it's pretty darn strong, but squeeze it between your thumb and index finger and you're gonna break that egg pretty easily.
An excellent post!!! One of the best I've see recently. Full of accurate information and void of emotional arguments the way many posts are.
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Old 04-01-16, 10:41 PM
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Crabon asplodes. Don't believe me? Do a search on this site for "asplodes." That'll learn ya up good, boy-o.
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Old 04-01-16, 11:10 PM
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Thank you, all
But special thanks to Clark W. Griswold Who I'm sure is on his way to Wally World, thanks for putting it in perspective for me, your absolutely right ,I am 210 pounds, and aluminum is fine.Almost Trick because I am nervous as heck about this stuff and would be inspecting every little scratch for cracking, asploding thanks for that Wheever!
I would not be able to enjoy riding.Sky dog 75 it is right loads of tensile strength, but not much shier strength. It is just to delicate for a big horse like me.

Thank you for really great advice all the posts where taken in and well thought through and I am not going the carbon road on anything structural.
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Old 04-01-16, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by goraman View Post
...it is right loads of tensile strength, but not much shier strength. It is just to delicate for a big horse like me.
You must be an awfully big horse. It has enough strength to keep commercial airliners aloft. ;-)

In all seriousness, though, ride what you're comfortable with, whether it be carbon fiber, aluminum, or steel. There's good stuff made from all three.
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Old 04-02-16, 07:16 AM
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Yeah, this is silly. Carbon fiber is absolutely safe. There is no practical reason to avoid it.

Do what you want, but the world is going to keep making bikes, bike parts, cars, planes, tennis rackets, boat hulls and masts, etc., etc., etc. out of carbon fiber.
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Old 04-02-16, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Most of that kind of product is an aluminum core wrapped with a layer of carbon fiber for cosmetics.
True for many stems, but not true for bars and seatpost.
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Old 04-02-16, 12:09 PM
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Perhaps the issue is more about weight than material.
If a component is super lightweight then the logic says more prone to breakage if damaged or used extensively&harshly.
Going lightweight? Carbon may be best.
Going for lifetime durability? More data to trust solid Al products from reputable manufacturers.

I would like to try a full carbon seatpost on my CF & Ti.
No 'trust' issues with me over full carbon fork on 3 bikes, so why not other pieces?

Last edited by Wildwood; 04-02-16 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 04-02-16, 12:43 PM
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If insecure replace them every couple years or after any Crash. whichever comes first.

Or forget it and stick with Metal Parts.
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Old 04-02-16, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Or forget it and stick with Metal Parts.
...but aluminum has no fatigue limit, so it can eventually break from fatigue failure! Oh noes! I guess steel's the only way to go ...but it rusts. Crap. I guess nothing's perfect. ;-)
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Old 04-02-16, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Or forget it and stick with Metal Parts.
Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
...but aluminum has no fatigue limit, so it can eventually break from fatigue failure! Oh noes! I guess steel's the only way to go ...but it rusts. Crap. I guess nothing's perfect. ;-)
One poster here showed aluminum bars after he took off the bar wrap. They were entirely corroded from sweat. There's another picture of a drop that bent in half from a mild crash. No material is immune to failure. That's why regular inspection and use of common sense like replacing a part after a crash is important. People can bash one material or another but it's all the same.

If someone is worried about equipment failure, maybe cycling isn't the sport for them.
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Old 04-02-16, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
One poster here showed aluminum bars after he took off the bar wrap. They were entirely corroded from sweat. There's another picture of a drop that bent in half from a mild crash. No material is immune to failure. That's why regular inspection and use of common sense like replacing a part after a crash is important. People can bash one material or another but it's all the same.

If someone is worried about equipment failure, maybe cycling isn't the sport for them.
Sure, any material can fail, but they can't all fail at the same rate or in the same manner.

Rare as failure may be, one material has to be more risky than the others. They simply can't all be the same! Serious research shows which material this is, and yes, many cyclists are ok with it.
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Old 04-02-16, 11:13 PM
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Carbon frame, forks & steerer, cranks, seat post, bars, pedals, shoe soles, and bottle cages. Time spent worrying about failure while riding 0:00:000.

I have better things to do with my time.
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Old 04-03-16, 06:04 AM
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There is a website called bustedcarbon.com. There are no posts since July 2011, so maybe that's when the industry finally figured out this carbon thing...
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Old 04-03-16, 06:14 AM
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It is just to delicate for a big horse like me.
I'm bigger than you, trust me, your size isn't an issue. I've been running carbon post, bars, fork, etc... for quite a few years. Like any other material, you use it correctly, maintain it and it will do well.
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Old 04-03-16, 11:34 AM
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Clydeosaur,
Its ok for a guy who tops 200 pounds often 210 to ride carbon?
Even going over areas of roads that are less than perfect, some of the side walks and road transitions you have to cross are raised up over an inch they will make you clench your jaw when going over them even at reduced speeds.
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Old 04-03-16, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Carbon frame, forks & steerer, cranks, seat post, bars, pedals, shoe soles, and bottle cages. Time spent worrying about failure while riding 0:00:000.

I have better things to do with my time.
I do ride as often as I am able, but hitting the ground at 35 mph at 50 years old because my handle bars snapped off in my hands going into a turn dose not appeal to me.
It's hard enough getting up for work now with out a broken collar bone.
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Old 04-03-16, 12:01 PM
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I do, and have for the last 6 or 7 years. In race form I'm 215. Carbon bars, post, fork, rear dropouts, saddle, seat post & pedals. In dus & tris I average in the 20's on the bike. Summer time I try to get 200 miles a week. I've never had an issue. That being said, I also do regular maintenance, cleaning and inspection just like I do on my other bikes. I'm not saying you should drop everything and go carbon. However, I think your fears of it a bit unwarranted.
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Old 04-03-16, 02:16 PM
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I have a carbon seat post and it was cracked I rode it anyway and I didn't die or explode. It is just as good as any other material and lighter.
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