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Danger From Carbon Fiber Bikes

Old 07-24-16, 04:40 AM
  #126  
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The letter is BS. I can guarantee you that it was not written by an attorney, not even one whose native tongue is not English.

Also, the domain name included in the alleged attorney's email address does not exist.
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Old 07-24-16, 06:50 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
No doubt just poking a little fun.

If I deem a bike in my possession is not safe to ride, then it will either be repaired, or will not ever be sold.
Yeah, I hear you and agree.

I'm not deeming CF in general "unsafe to ride". Just saying it has a higher risk of failure, including catastrophic failure, than bikes constructed out of metal. I won't disagree that the overall risk may be very small... just saying that it is greater.

The risk of failure simply cannot be identical for all materials... one or another has to be the most likely to end up delivering its rider a face plant. My research on the matter leaves little doubt which material this is, so I sold it.

Now I ride in peace knowing nothing bad will ever happen to me.

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 07-24-16 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 07-24-16, 07:00 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The letter is BS. I can guarantee you that it was not written by an attorney, not even one whose native tongue is not English.

Also, the domain name included in the alleged attorney's email address does not exist.
This.

The entire thread is, of course, amusing in an odd sort of way. It is certainly one of the most elaborate "Oh Noes ... Carbon Asplodes" threads I've seen on here -- and that's saying something.
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Old 07-24-16, 07:08 AM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
And here I thought that "..."

was pretty plainly saying that Colnago will deny responsibility for any damage after 2 years. "after which they are destroyed"
You thought wrong. He told you that your 10 year old frame & the 14 year old frame of your friend were beyond the life expected of the bike. He also said that pros get rid of or destroy their bikes after 1 or 2 years. Nowhere did he say that all customers of Colnago bikes should get rid of them after two years. That's insane. As I said earlier, I'll bet those same pros get rid of their aluminum bikes after 1 or 2 years. And in previous eras, pros got rid of their steel bikes after 1 or 2 years. But misinterpreting the words of a Colnago rep isn't enough for you... you go on to say that "ALL carbon fiber bike frames, regardless of manufacturer and warranty, are good for only TWO YEARS". And all because you had a bad experience on a 10 year old bike after hitting a large bump on a downhill stretch at 35mph (leading to you detecting what you believe to be a crack in your carbon fiber front fork). Has it occurred to you that the crack was caused by the crash rather than the crash being caused by the crack? Of course not.

I guarantee you that if you asked you could find one or two members on this forum that have had similar crashes on bikes made of all materials possible. There's one just a few posts up describing a steel bike crash... "I have had the steerer snap in well under a second on a steel bike. The bottom of the head tube was smashed immediately afterwards when it (along with assorted parts of my body) hit the pavement." Using your logic you should also avoid steel bikes. And if you received similar stories about aluminum bikes you'd think that you would skip them as well. But you won't. Because it didn't happen to you so it's irrelevant to you.
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Old 07-24-16, 07:33 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
This.

The entire thread is, of course, amusing in an odd sort of way. It is certainly one of the most elaborate "Oh Noes ... Carbon Asplodes" threads I've seen on here -- and that's saying something.

Originally Posted by skye View Post
The letter is BS. I can guarantee you that it was not written by an attorney, not even one whose native tongue is not English.

Also, the domain name included in the alleged attorney's email address does not exist.

No, the domain is valid and there is a law-firm page there. Of sorts, non-professional look but it's not that unusual for a one man operation. Gilberto Gentilli, Attorney at Law diritto internazionale - sicurezza prodotti He probably IS an attorney.

He's got OP convinced that CF frames are designed for two years, without actually making that claim, and he implied that the product manual has effectively wavered OP's use of it, again without making any dubious claims. OP has accepted that. Mission accomplished, sounds like an actual lawyer to me.

The thing I take away from this is that Colnago would refer those questions to this guy in the first place, rather than someone in customer service or an engineer even. Any company whose first reaction is having an attorney draft a letter is one to avoid IMO. The only saving grace here is if both bikes were bought used and so OP and his friend weren't actually customers of Conalgo. I'm still inclined to avoid them, regardless of the legitimacy (or lack of), of that letter.

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Old 07-24-16, 07:52 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
No, the domain is valid and there is a law-firm page there. Of sorts, non-professional look but it's not that unusual for a one man operation. Gilberto Gentilli, Attorney at Law diritto internazionale - sicurezza prodotti He probably IS an attorney.

He's got OP convinced that CF frames are designed for two years, without actually making that claim, and he implied that the product manual has effectively wavered OP's use of it, again without making any dubious claims. OP has accepted that. Mission accomplished, sounds like an actual lawyer to me.

The thing I take away from this is that Colnago would refer those questions to this guy in the first place, rather than someone in customer service or an engineer even. Any company whose first reaction is having an attorney draft a letter is one to avoid IMO. The only saving grace here is if both bikes were bought used and so OP and his friend weren't actually customers of Conalgo. I'm still inclined to avoid them, regardless of the legitimacy (or lack of), of that letter.
That's interesting, and I agree that assuming legitimacy he did his job, and did it extremely well (your second paragraph) on the evidence of the OP's initial and subsequent posts.

Actually makes the entire thread even more amusing.
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Old 07-24-16, 08:03 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
"Send CF bikes to me" has been proposed by many now. This request is tired and and no longer humorous. Why would anyone give away bikes they could SELL to riders who are unconcerned of the higher risk of catastrophic failure... and the results of such?

My previous CF bike helped fund the cost of my latest steel bikes. Less risk of failure and extra money for a new bike. Win-Win
So ... maybe it doesn't apply to you ... but how could anyone who seriously things that a CF bike is a lethal accident certain to happen,honorably sell that bike to some unsuspecting buyer ... and whop would buy the bike of the seller spent the energy emphatically and repeatedly claiming that the bike would almost immediately kill the rider?

Cognitive dissonance for breakfast today?
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Old 07-24-16, 08:11 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
That's interesting, and I agree that assuming legitimacy he did his job, and did it extremely well (your second paragraph) on the evidence of the OP's initial and subsequent posts.

Actually makes the entire thread even more amusing.
You're right and I'm kind of enjoying the whole thing.

But from my third paragraph, perhaps mission accomplished for OP as well! I think that it is possible that OP is grinding an ax for Colnago (wouldn't you be?), doesn't buy the "carbon asplodes" excuse any more than anyone else here, and intended to put some digs in on Colnago without actually badmouthing them. Just publish the full letter and act like you accepted everything that this Gilberto intended you to, and see what that stirs up. I think it worked pretty well
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Old 07-24-16, 08:49 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Haven't lost the head tube, but I have had the steerer snap in well under a second on a steel bike. The bottom of the head tube was smashed immediately afterwards when it (along with assorted parts of my body) hit the pavement.
Perhaps you can give us some details? What sort of bike? Where did this occur? What were you doing when this happened?

We KNOW that cheap bikes can have catastrophic failures because they are build with substandard steel for high speed descents.
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Old 07-24-16, 10:21 AM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by DaveWC View Post
You thought wrong. He told you that your 10 year old frame & the 14 year old frame of your friend were beyond the life expected of the bike. He also said that pros get rid of or destroy their bikes after 1 or 2 years. Nowhere did he say that all customers of Colnago bikes should get rid of them after two years. That's insane. As I said earlier, I'll bet those same pros get rid of their aluminum bikes after 1 or 2 years. And in previous eras, pros got rid of their steel bikes after 1 or 2 years. But misinterpreting the words of a Colnago rep isn't enough for you... you go on to say that "ALL carbon fiber bike frames, regardless of manufacturer and warranty, are good for only TWO YEARS". And all because you had a bad experience on a 10 year old bike after hitting a large bump on a downhill stretch at 35mph (leading to you detecting what you believe to be a crack in your carbon fiber front fork). Has it occurred to you that the crack was caused by the crash rather than the crash being caused by the crack? Of course not.

I guarantee you that if you asked you could find one or two members on this forum that have had similar crashes on bikes made of all materials possible. There's one just a few posts up describing a steel bike crash... "I have had the steerer snap in well under a second on a steel bike. The bottom of the head tube was smashed immediately afterwards when it (along with assorted parts of my body) hit the pavement." Using your logic you should also avoid steel bikes. And if you received similar stories about aluminum bikes you'd think that you would skip them as well. But you won't. Because it didn't happen to you so it's irrelevant to you.
What comedy club do you play in? I'd like to see your stand-up act. On just ONE of my half dozen bikes that I use regularly I have 38,000 feet of climbing this year alone. I have a quarter of a million lifetime miles.

While you're so quick to tell us what I know what are your statistics?

Why don't you tell me how I lost control of a bike in a mild turn at more than 5 mph less than I normally descend that section? You can use that one in your act.

And your description of a 1 1/2" bump as "large" identifies your capabilities pretty accurately.

As for your steel bike - you could have noticed that I am talking about one of the most expensive and well built racing bicycles in the world and that "steel bike" is a total unknown. But that is another part of your act isn't it?

I've ridden sport bikes since I returned from Vietnam. And I was in on the mountain bike revolution from the beginning. I don't need suspension to descend. I just use a cyclocross bike.

Seatbelts were made mandatory in cars because most people were dying from collisions of 25 mph combined speeds. I just hit a rock wall at 25 mph or faster and walked away. Let's see you do that at 72.

Though from your writing I can understand how less than 3 lbs of weight would have a huge difference to your ability to climb a 3% grade.
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Old 07-24-16, 10:45 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
What will they do with the new cars that are carbon fiber construction...throw them out after two years?
That is truly an ignorant example of how CF is used, on a bike it is used as a frame to support weight and take the load of banging on streets without the aid of any suspension to limit the banging to virtually nothing, on a car it is a body panel that supports only the weight of itself and no load of banging on the streets.
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Old 07-24-16, 10:49 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
That is truly an ignorant example of how CF is used, on a bike it is used as a frame to support weight and take the load of banging on streets without the aid of any suspension to limit the banging to virtually nothing, on a car it is a body panel that supports only the weight of itself and no load of banging on the streets.
Sorry to have to point out that you are entirley wrong.

CF chassis are far from new in the automotive world, and many CF racing chassis are used for many years---and I can assure you the loads encountered in automobile racing are bit higher than those associated with 35-mph bicycle rides.
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Old 07-24-16, 10:50 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
:
:
Six pages and I'm running out!

More popcorn please--hold the butter...
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Old 07-24-16, 10:57 AM
  #139  
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This is just starting to rev up. Tighten that seatbelt lads! (Not OP, he doesn't need it.)
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Old 07-24-16, 11:06 AM
  #140  
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Been away from this thread for a day or two. Sure has gotten interesting.
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Old 07-24-16, 11:09 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
Why don't you tell me how I lost control of a bike in a mild turn at more than 5 mph less than I normally descend that section? You can use that one in your act.
I don't have to describe it, you did it yourself in your original post. You lost control, believe you see a crack in your carbon fork & blame your crash on the fork. That's your description in your post.

Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
And your description of a 1 1/2" bump as "large" identifies your capabilities pretty accurately.
Again, that's the way you (or your friend) described it. Don't criticize me for taking you at your word... "He contributes the crash to hitting a large bump in the road on the downhill."

Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
As for your steel bike - you could have noticed that I am talking about one of the most expensive and well built racing bicycles in the world and that "steel bike" is a total unknown.
Yes, you're talking about a 10+ year old bike that hit a "large bump" at 35mph that you believe caused you to crash due to what you think is a crack in the fork that you never saw prior to the crash.

Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I just hit a rock wall at 25 mph or faster and walked away.
Given that you didn't notice anything wrong with your fork before the crash, how can you state that the damage to the fork wasn't caused by the crash? From what I've read, carbon forks implode on contact. Now suddenly you have a fork with a previously undetectable seam along the outside vertical blade, but you only saw this after running your bike into a rock wall at 35mph and you have the ability to determine that the damage was there before the crash.

Last edited by DaveWC; 07-24-16 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 07-24-16, 11:10 AM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
This is just starting to rev up. Tighten that seatbelt lads! (Not OP, he doesn't need it.)
Epic potential is epic.

Seatbelts be d___ed, but I am wearing a tinfoil hat for the duration.
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Old 07-24-16, 11:13 AM
  #143  
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Tinfoil? I'm wearing a steel one, thank you very much.
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Old 07-24-16, 11:43 AM
  #144  
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This CF problem is interesting to say the least. I've mentioned this before but the older CF bikes seem to be holding up pretty well but they also weighed 17 to 21 pounds which was about the same as a steel or AL bike! The problems came along when the industry started to make ultralight CF bikes with weight less than 17 pounds, thus the lighter the bike becomes the greater the risk of "premature" failure. I have a trusted mechanic at my LBS who can buy any bike he wants at wholesale and won't buy a CF bike! And there are a few shops that won't even work on them like this one that dared to go on the internet with an open letter: Carbon Fiber Warning

And buying a used CF bike makes a very risky investment since most damage cannot even be seen by the human eye because the damage is on the inside of the tube and not on the outside. Workshop: What to watch for when buying a used carbon frame - BikeRadar

Then stupid schit happens to CF like a rock kicked up from a tire punches a hole through the tube that would never happen to AL, Steel, or TI; see: Hole in Carbon S-Works frame And this sort of thing happens more than most people believe, the LBS mechanic that i mentioned earlier gets about one of these in per month during the riding season.

Then there's this blog written by the Retrogrouch: The Retrogrouch: Carbon Forks - No Way

Even the commercial aircraft industry is having second thoughts about using CF like the Dreamliner did, and are already looking into alternative airframe material and are thinking about using aluminium lithium alloy instead. Apparently it's costing too much money for sophisticated technology and man hours to scan all the CF parts on a frequent basis to check for hidden damage. Will Aluminum-Lithium Beat Composites for Narrow Body Airliners?

This is an example of typical manual for proper use and caution in regards to CF from Gary Fisher: Carbon fiber composite inspection procedures

And finally this from a law firm: Carbon Fiber Bikes May Be Susceptible To Sudden Failure - Newsome | Melton

By the way, since about 5 years ago pro teams only keep their CF bikes for ONE year not two, and after about 4 to 5 months of racing/training on one that particular bike gets deregulated as a backup bike for the final months of the season, after which the bike is sold but cannot be trusted to race on, though the real lightweight ones apparently the manufacture takes them back never to be rode on again. Also if a CF bike is crashed it is automatically crushed regardless if they find any damage or not, if the bike is simply laid down the rider will use if the rest of the race and then it is deregulated as a backup bike. While a huge percentage of CF users don't race the fact that a pro team won't trust a bike after a year goes far into showing that as an average user they too shouldn't be using them for more than 5 years before selling it.

I too use CF on a fork, so I check it after every ride even though I know I can't see underlying problems, but I tapped on the fork with a coin when I first bought it and before I used it to get a sound for it, and that's the way I check it to make sure the sound doesn't change, I doubt that's a foolproof way of checking a fork or frame but it might help. I also went a step further when I got the fork, instead of getting a fork rated for a 220 pound rider for a 170 pound rider so I upped it to a fork rated for a 350 pound rider at a slight weight penalty; but this goes back to the fact that the older heavier CF bikes had less problems then the newer uberlight ones, and just like the aircraft industry who can beef up a CF airframe to be very strong but then the weight difference wouldn't be any different than the old aluminum airframes.

I know most of you are going to argue this stuff till the cows come home because most of you use CF bikes and don't want to be shown nor want to believe that there could be issues with CF, but apparently there is more to CF then what's being told.
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Old 07-24-16, 12:24 PM
  #145  
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I don't think the issue is that there is more to CF than is being toldf, but that some people are getting hysterical to the point of ridiculousness about it. (After all almost all the riders posting here ride on the road with traffic---which do you think causes more injuries, CF or cars? (for that matter, driving in cars is incredibly risky, with 40K deaths per year approx.))

Pro teams don't use their bikes more than one season for marketing purposes. We all know that. Why would anyone try to twist that into "proof" that they are not safe? As fro not using a crashed bike, they certainly have the resources to check, but since they have so much else to do every day during the season, it is simpler to just grab another Free bike out of storage.

(There was a video posted here about an Australian aerospace engineer who went into CF bike repair. He builds and rides CF, he repairs CF every day for a living, he used to design aerospace CF parts ... i'd guess he is what you call an "Expert." For some odd reason, he was not hysterically frightened by CF or its potential failure rate.)

And as I have mentioned, plenty of racing cars are built of CF---the chassis, not the just body work--and they last for years under the stresses of automobile racing. Sort of makes one think that used properly, CF is a pretty sturdy material.

Is it as resilient as steel? No. Nor as resilient as aluminum. But depending on how much you want to spend ... you can get CF chainrings and cranks---chainrings and cranks that Work. (cf that guy with the seven-pound bike he has ridden for 40k miles, also posted here.)

Sure, there are people with various biases, but we are all experienced adult human beings; wee have seen that about every subject. Seems to me the only sensible path is to try to recognize the biases of ourselves and of others ... and to discount said biases.

So ... most of what I have seen in this thread is unreasonable and unfounded hatred, and a little unsubstantiated fanboism ... but the facts remain, that we all know a lot of folks who ride and have been riding CF bikes or parts for many years ... and wow, no asplosions.

it's just part of my character ... when someone tells me the world is flat I tend to be skeptical. When someone says hot is cold and dark is light, i tend to discount most of what that person says.

When someone wrecks a ten-year-old bike and complains that crash damage caused the crash .... I cannot even laugh, and I have a pretty strong flair for the absurd.
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Old 07-24-16, 12:32 PM
  #146  
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I've been reading this forum for a long time, not posting. Having lots of experience with car forums, camera forums, gun forums, etc. I know what a waste of time it usually is.

But this thread caught my eye as it has such a lack of factual information that it can't help but go around in circles.

Nothing but anecdotal "proofs" and anecdotal rebuttals. I have a carbon bike and an aluminum bike but I couldn't begin to offer any information on failures as, like most all riders, I've never had one.

If in fact there were significant dangers inherent in carbon bikes, here's what would happen.

First, the company would be sued by the injured or by their survivors.

Second, the company would be required to provide mean time between failure analyses. Carbon frames produced by major manufaturers have been available long enough that failure to provide this data would constitute negligence on the manufacturers part.

A class action suit would follow quickly thereafter.

Evidently, this is not the case as this hasn't happened.

My guess would be that these analyses have been done by the manufacturers and they have concluded there is no pattern of failure at any definable point in time, miles or based on any other measurable criteria.

So I will continue to ride both my bikes secure in the knowledge that if catastrophic failure was anything but a rare and unpredictable occurance, I'd know about it.
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Old 07-24-16, 12:50 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Sorry to have to point out that you are entirley wrong.

CF chassis are far from new in the automotive world, and many CF racing chassis are used for many years---and I can assure you the loads encountered in automobile racing are bit higher than those associated with 35-mph bicycle rides.
No you're wrong, a racing chassis is not used for many years; see this discussion: Do carbon fiber chassis get lose rigidity? - F1technical.net In addition they have gone to a honeycomb construction which makes the frame chassis substantially stronger than a bike frame, plus they use a kevlar and Zylon weave with the CF fabric which again is not used on bike frames. And the monocoque chassis is replaced every 4 to 5 races, see post 7 and 8: How many cars will an F1 team build each season? - Straight Dope Message Board In post 8 the writer mentions a book by Steve Matchett where he mentions that the CF monocoque chassis gets soft after just a few races, something that this bicycling magazine also mentioned that is happening to CF bike frames: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/...es-going-soft/
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Old 07-24-16, 01:00 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
No you're wrong, a racing chassis is not used for many years; see this discussion: Do carbon fiber chassis get lose rigidity? - F1technical.net In addition they have gone to a honeycomb construction which makes the frame chassis substantially stronger than a bike frame, plus they use a kevlar and Zylon weave with the CF fabric which again is not used on bike frames. And the monocoque chassis is replaced every 4 to 5 races, see post 7 and 8: How many cars will an F1 team build each season? - Straight Dope Message Board In post 8 the writer mentions a book by Steve Matchett where he mentions that the CF monocoque chassis gets soft after just a few races, something that this bicycling magazine also mentioned that is happening to CF bike frames: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/...es-going-soft/
Sorry you are not an auto racing fan or you would know how worng you are.

F1 builds several new chassis and new versions of each chassis each season. But in sports car racing, which is much more widespread and wehere a lot more CF tubs are raced, cars are often used for several years.

Back when IndyCar was using the Dallara IR3, IR5, and IR7, (produced first in 2003, 2006=5, and 2007 and used until 2012) some cars were rebuilt and repaired and used for almost a decade: look up Simona Sylvestro's "Pork Chop" for instance.

I just watched both the IMSA Lime Rock race and the WEC Nurburgring race, in which there were several cars which have been in use for several years.

Indeed, CF tubs Can be damaged beyond repair or to the point where repair is less economical that replacement. They can also remain sound and race-worthy for several years. Check out the Mazda prototypes which run in IMSA, which are many years' old Lola chassis, no longer in production but still being raced. if you had followed ALMS for a while before its demise, you would have seen the same cars coming back year after year after having been sold between teams.

In any case ... we were talking bicycles. as far as all that goes, i'd say jimb100's latest post says enough for me to not have to respond here ... at least to the bike question.

If you want to discuss sports cars, i am always willing. it is a subject about which I know a little, which means i can still learn a lot, and talking with others is a good way to learn, or at least to learn what to learn.
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Old 07-24-16, 01:16 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by jimb100 View Post
If in fact there were significant dangers inherent in carbon bikes, here's what would happen.

First, the company would be sued by the injured or by their survivors.

Second, the company would be required to provide mean time between failure analyses. Carbon frames produced by major manufaturers have been available long enough that failure to provide this data would constitute negligence on the manufacturers part.

A class action suit would follow quickly thereafter.

Evidently, this is not the case as this hasn't happened.

My guess would be that these analyses have been done by the manufacturers and they have concluded there is no pattern of failure at any definable point in time, miles or based on any other measurable criteria.

So I will continue to ride both my bikes secure in the knowledge that if catastrophic failure was anything but a rare and unpredictable occurance, I'd know about it.
And yet there is this: https://www.hop-law.com/consumer-saf...road-bicycles/

https://www.lawyersandsettlements.co...e-7-11591.html

And in this blog The Retrogrouch: Carbon Forks - No Way mentions this in the article: "And the thing is, there ARE lawsuits against the manufacturers. But since bicycling is still, in the big scheme of things, considered by many to be something of a "fringe" activity, the lawsuits aren't going to make big headlines. Nevertheless, here's an article about one such lawsuit: Carbon Fiber Forks on Bicycle Can Hold an Insidious Danger. In it, one can read the actual settlement (spoiler alert: the plaintiff won)." and that's why lawsuits are not a big deal in cycling because it's a fringe activity, and to add to that most manufactures will find ways of blaming the problems on a rider event like a crash or fatigue.
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Old 07-24-16, 03:06 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by DaveWC View Post
I don't have to describe it, you did it yourself in your original post. You lost control, believe you see a crack in your carbon fork & blame your crash on the fork. That's your description in your post.



Again, that's the way you (or your friend) described it. Don't criticize me for taking you at your word... "He contributes the crash to hitting a large bump in the road on the downhill."



Yes, you're talking about a 10+ year old bike that hit a "large bump" at 35mph that you believe caused you to crash due to what you think is a crack in the fork that you never saw prior to the crash.



Given that you didn't notice anything wrong with your fork before the crash, how can you state that the damage to the fork wasn't caused by the crash? From what I've read, carbon forks implode on contact. Now suddenly you have a fork with a previously undetectable seam along the outside vertical blade, but you only saw this after running your bike into a rock wall at 35mph and you have the ability to determine that the damage was there before the crash.
I would have answered you sooner but I went out and did another 38 miles and 3000 feet of climbing while you've been inventing scenarios. In 95 degree heat and 40% humidity.

I was too busy losing control and crashing in those 20 mph turns that I do 40 around.
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