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On plastic bikes

Old 03-23-13, 09:08 PM
  #76  
MetalPedaler
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
feel free! Any other answer would take all the fun out of things!
Thanky!
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Old 03-23-13, 10:58 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
OK - lets say that's true. That in itself doesn't mean they won't stand up for years. Thing is, sponsored riders are given every possible advantage by the companies sponsoring them, which can improve every year, which can result in new frames being used every season. Which doesn't mean the frames retired were defective or damaged - just no longer quite as competative.

Its surprising the things that are considered 'obsolete' when you start measuring performance to three decimal places.

We need more sports measured by 'FUN FACTOR' and not a stopwatch.
The thought I was trying to convey was that a pro racer is not as concerned about breaking a expensive CF mtb frame as we would be because the sponsoring bike company just hands over a new bike, we get handed a bill.
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Old 03-23-13, 11:13 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by MetalPedaler View Post
Fiberglass is fine for boats- it was a genuine improvement- in durability; ease of maintenance; and in the freedom of shapes of hulls it allows to be easily manufactured....BUT the fiberglass lay-up on boats is a little thicker than the wall of a CF bike tube..... [Read: "A lot" thicker].

And that fiberglass still needs to be protected by things like gelcoat and bottom paint.
I have a buddy who refurbishes wooden boats and just loves the things.
When I saw how much hassle they are to maintain, (and how damned *heavy* they are), I lost all interest in ever owning one.
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Old 03-24-13, 09:13 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
I have a buddy who refurbishes wooden boats and just loves the things.
When I saw how much hassle they are to maintain, (and how damned *heavy* they are), I lost all interest in ever owning one.
Yesiree! No matter how much anyone may love 'em, wooden boats were just ridiculous. It was truly a case of just using a technology that worked....but just barely- simply because there was nothing better at the time. Naturally, when fiberglass boats first came out, they had their problems for a while...but they got those problems sorted out in pretty quick order.

Unlike with bikes, I think everyone pretty much quickly realized the benefits of fiberglass, and was happy to get away from wooden boats. But then, you didn't hear about fiberglass boats breaking in half, or being ruined because they got scratched or sustained an impact. They decreased owner maintenance; and unlike bikes, they made for far more durable boats.

You wanna talk heavy? I used to have a fiberglass-over-plywood work boat! It was like a tank!

Last edited by MetalPedaler; 03-24-13 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 03-24-13, 12:07 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I'm sure your dogmatism thrills your wife.
Don't address him personally. It makes him pontificate all over the place.
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Old 03-24-13, 12:28 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by MetalPedaler View Post
Yesiree! No matter how much anyone may love 'em, wooden boats were just ridiculous. It was truly a case of just using a technology that worked....but just barely- simply because there was nothing better at the time. Naturally, when fiberglass boats first came out, they had their problems for a while...but they got those problems sorted out in pretty quick order.

Unlike with bikes, I think everyone pretty much quickly realized the benefits of fiberglass, and was happy to get away from wooden boats. But then, you didn't hear about fiberglass boats breaking in half, or being ruined because they got scratched or sustained an impact. They decreased owner maintenance; and unlike bikes, they made for far more durable boats.

You wanna talk heavy? I used to have a fiberglass-over-plywood work boat! It was like a tank!
The comparison to the development in boat (canoes and kayaks specifically) technology is an interesting one. At the risk of repeating what you just said, I can see how the switch from wood to aluminum to composite materials most certainly presented noticeable and meaningful improvements to the average recreational user. Specifically when it came to care and maintenance. Your average weekend boat warrior is likely rougher (not to be confused with agressive) with their equipment and is more likely to not care about maintenance and any required special care. Not to mention that dragging the thing to and from the roof of the car is likely a whole lot easier than in the past. None of those improvements are sexy. Durability and practicality isn't terribly attractive. Yet in this case, this development likely gets more to stay involved in the sport because the equipment is easier to deal with and is less likely to fail. Then, after a while the weekend boat warrior begins to lust after the old fashioned, heavy, fragile, high-maintenance and extremely beautiful hand-made wooden canoe. It's counter-intuitive, backwards reasoning.

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Old 03-24-13, 12:43 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by jjvw View Post
Then, after a while the weekend boat warrior begins to lust after the old fashioned, heavy, fragile, high-maintenance and extremely beautiful-hand wooden canoe. It's counter-intuitive, backwards reasoning.
My buddy, the wood-boat refurbisher actually has a lot of customers whose wooden boats have been in the family for several generations. In fact, he has told me tales of where a boat was so badly damaged in an accident, (usually week-end boaters colliding with a dock or seawall), where the boat was damaged beyond it's market value, but the owners still wanted to pay for the rebuild just because of the sentimental value.

BTW, this guy is also a skier. So what is his ski boat? A fiberglass one, because it is less maintenance, and the lighter weight translates into a faster boat with a smaller engine, therefore less fuel to operate when skiing.
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Old 03-24-13, 12:48 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by jjvw View Post
The comparison to the development in boat (canoes and kayaks specifically) technology is an interesting one. At the risk of repeating what you just said, I can see how the switch from wood to aluminum to composite materials most certainly presented noticeable and meaningful improvements to the average recreational user. Specifically when it came to care and maintenance. Your average weekend boat warrior is likely rougher (not to be confused with agressive) with their equipment and is more likely to not care about maintenance and any required special care. Not to mention that dragging the thing to and from the roof of the car is likely a whole lot easier than in the past. None of those improvements are sexy. Durability and practicality isn't terribly attractive. Yet in this case, this development likely gets more to stay involved in the sport because the equipment is easier to deal with and is less likely to fail. Then, after a while the weekend boat warrior begins to lust after the old fashioned, heavy, fragile, high-maintenance and extremely beautiful-hand wooden canoe. It's counter-intuitive, backwards reasoning.
Good point!

Back in the late 80's, I built myself a kayak out of airplane-doped canvas over cut-out plywood frames. Definitely old-school...but darn, that was a sweet-handling 'yak, that could really take the waves.

With bigger boats, the differences between fiberglass and wood were much more dramatic. With a wooden boat, you either scraped, painted and caulked it...or it rotted away/sunk. Fiberglass ones, the hulls would last forever- it was all the stuff inside that would wear-out (Floors; upholstery; tanks; mechanicals; controls)- so you see old boats being junked, and the hulls are still perfectly fine...just everything else is worn-out.

I think a big part of the difference is [comparing boats to bikes] that with boats, there is the space/and weight isn't so critical, so that wooden/steel/molded foam-core structural members could be built-in to make the hulls as strong as need be- whereas with bikes, they are essentially totally reliant on the walls of tubing to carry all the stress/impact/weight. Picture a boat just made out of fiberglass panels, without any other stiffening structure....hehe, it'd be garbage.
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Old 03-24-13, 12:52 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I'm sure your dogmatism thrills your wife.
...but I'll bet his dog loves it!
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Old 03-24-13, 03:11 PM
  #85  
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Interesting we should bring up boats, kayaks and dragging things on the beach. Neither fiberglass nor carbon fiber are common choices of building materials for kayaks.
Fiberglass hulls are stiffer than Polyethylene hulls, but they are more prone to damage from impact, including cracking.[FONT='Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kayak
Polyethylene and ABS are far more common.

Swingarms for downhill bikes are being made from CF, but I doubt they'll be too popular for components like cranks and pedals that commonly take direct hits from rocky terrain.

Some skis are manufactured using composites and foam core technologies - they don't stand up long term as well as wood / metal laminates.

[/FONT]
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Old 04-01-13, 03:28 AM
  #86  
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Aside from any warranty considerations altogether - one thing no-one's brought up at all is consumer confidence as a measure of build quality.

I'm not saying its right or wrong - just that consumer perception indicates chances of buying any one particular material over another. Posts on these forums over the past couple years indicate BF members are very reluctant to buy a CF bike or CF parts used. Not because they're inherently bad - just because they're still percieved as 'fragile' and because there's no simple way to confirm their condition.
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Old 04-01-13, 04:42 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Aside from any warranty considerations altogether - one thing no-one's brought up at all is consumer confidence as a measure of build quality.

I'm not saying its right or wrong - just that consumer perception indicates chances of buying any one particular material over another. Posts on these forums over the past couple years indicate BF members are very reluctant to buy a CF bike or CF parts used. Not because they're inherently bad - just because they're still percieved as 'fragile' and because there's no simple way to confirm their condition.
But if you look at eBay auctions, most of the real world doesn't feel so strongly. As with most things CF, it might be more accurate to say that a strong, but very vocal, minority, is predicting doom.
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Old 04-01-13, 08:15 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
But if you look at eBay auctions, most of the real world doesn't feel so strongly. As with most things CF, it might be more accurate to say that a strong, but very vocal, minority, is predicting doom.
You could be right - BF seems have have a number of people who are more opinionated than informed. Have two full CF bikes myself - one road and one off-road. Neither has given me any issues to date. Thing is - in actual practice - there isn't a huge difference between them and their aluminum or cromoly counterparts. Aside from being a little lighter and a lot more expensive that is.
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Old 04-01-13, 08:40 PM
  #89  
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Oh yeah, I ride an 11 year old Fuji Team Easton aluminum frame. It rides and handles great. And I would love a vintage steel track bike. Hell, and a 4130 80's BMX while we're at it. But that's the point, all frame materials are fine and dandy. And they can all be broken. I would fer sure be more worried about damaging one of those modern steel bikes, that seem to mostly be a design exercise in proving that steel can be almost as light as CF, than a modern, middle of the road carbon frame...
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Old 04-04-13, 04:58 PM
  #90  
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Maybe this will help with the concern of the OP. I am 270lbs. I got my first bike about 6 years ago. It was a 1989 Lemond Team Zed with a lugged TVT CF frame. Garage sale. I rode it for a year and it was near 20 years old. One of if not the first production CF frames. I had no issues with it and after a couple of years, I sold it (regret) very easily. It was solid. I now have a new Cervelo R3 and yes it has a lifetime Warranty. I am in the automotive collision repair business. We did a test on CF the other day, where we dropped a 1lb ball onto a steel hood from about 3 feet, and also on a CF hood from the same distance. The steel hood was totaled and the CF hood barely had a noticeable mark. CF is much stronger and can withstand far more pressure than steel, or alum. If you had a section of a CF frame break, you can bet that the same section of a steel or alum, frame would have been destroyed as well and most likely with less force.
I am not a leisurely rider. I am just a heavy rider. I ride as hard and as fast as I can. I ride around 1500 miles per year which I don't think is too bad for a 55 year old fat man with a lot of other hobbies. The point is, I would be far more cautious to ride a light weight steel bike the way I do than I would a CF bike. Don't get me wrong. I love some of the steel bikes out there and plan to get one soon. But it will be for a different type of riding. Maybe a little more leisurely. Also, in this sue happy era we live in, there is no way that bike manufactures could put out these products and accept the potential liabilities if they "assploaded" like some people worry about.

Look at some of the crashes that these cycling pros get into on the tours. At 30, 40mph, and they jump right back on them and finish the race.

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Old 04-04-13, 10:44 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by jaydubu View Post
Maybe this will help with the concern of the OP. I am 270lbs. I got my first bike about 6 years ago. It was a 1989 Lemond Team Zed with a lugged TVT CF frame. Garage sale. I rode it for a year and it was near 20 years old. One of if not the first production CF frames. I had no issues with it and after a couple of years, I sold it (regret) very easily. It was solid. I now have a new Cervelo R3 and yes it has a lifetime Warranty. I am in the automotive collision repair business. We did a test on CF the other day, where we dropped a 1lb ball onto a steel hood from about 3 feet, and also on a CF hood from the same distance. The steel hood was totaled and the CF hood barely had a noticeable mark. CF is much stronger and can withstand far more pressure than steel, or alum. If you had a section of a CF frame break, you can bet that the same section of a steel or alum, frame would have been destroyed as well and most likely with less force.
I am not a leisurely rider. I am just a heavy rider. I ride as hard and as fast as I can. I ride around 1500 miles per year which I don't think is too bad for a 55 year old fat man with a lot of other hobbies. The point is, I would be far more cautious to ride a light weight steel bike the way I do than I would a CF bike. Don't get me wrong. I love some of the steel bikes out there and plan to get one soon. But it will be for a different type of riding. Maybe a little more leisurely. Also, in this sue happy era we live in, there is no way that bike manufactures could put out these products and accept the potential liabilities if they "assploaded" like some people worry about.

Look at some of the crashes that these cycling pros get into on the tours. At 30, 40mph, and they jump right back on them and finish the race.
BS; see these videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs

That's the true strength of CF bikes. A flat CF hood is not even the same thing as a round tube. Sure a CF tube will take a hammer impact but fiberglass and the such works weird that way, but it doesn't hold up in real world situations...as well. I know guy who's CF biked slide in the garage while it was leaning against the garage wall and hit a anvil which nicked the fiber causing a fuzz to show. The bike shop totaled the bike...of course that was some years back and now they easily repair that but not back then. There are some strengths and weaknesses to CF as there is with any material.

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Old 04-05-13, 12:06 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The Pro's race bikes only get used a season, next year they get a new batch.
Pros ride new bikes every year because sponsoring manufacturers want their latest models on camera.

Pros ride whatever they are paid to ride.
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Old 04-05-13, 12:14 AM
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The frame material war is over. Carbon won.

Nothing to see here, keep moving.
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Old 04-05-13, 06:15 AM
  #94  
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From what I've seen in the shop - aluminium bends then breaks, steel bends, carbon fiber breaks - all of which is pretty incidental cause the frame or fork or bars are usually scrapped regardless of material. Usually it has more to do with replacement cost vs repair cost than the choice of material.

Steel frames crack eventually, so do aluminium frames, so do carbon fiber frames. But honestly - eventually is a long time and the average consumer doesn't put enough miles on their bike to worry about any of it.
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Old 04-05-13, 11:22 AM
  #95  
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Get your *stuff* together. This bike was made by Robert Egger, the owner of Specialized Bicycles, inc.
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Old 04-05-13, 11:37 AM
  #96  
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Do a Google Image Search for "Fiberglass Bicycle". You will see some Bowden Spacelanders, a couple pictures of my Daughter's "Fiberglass Ladies Bicycle" and Robert Eggers' Cadillac bike, shown above.

In case you haven't seen Mellisa's Fiberglass Ladies Bicycle, here's a picture:


I know a lot more about Plastic "Composites" than most people, on account that I built several Fiberglass Bicycles. Yet, I would use a Chrome/Molybdenum front fork, If I was to build a Carbon Fiber Bike. Also, I have recently shopped around for a rear "Trailing Arm" , Fork, and would probably buy one from the Quest Recumbent Bicycle company, if I were to start building next week.

I hope you realize that this bike plastic is secured to the frame/headset/BB shell, by internal "Lashing", which is embedded with resin, so as not to come unwound.

Good luck with your DIY project, I hope you have found my advice helpful.
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Old 04-05-13, 07:54 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
The frame material war is over. Carbon won.

Nothing to see here, keep moving.
War? You want a battle? Great, this is going to be good. You make yourself a carbon fiber sword and I'll make a steel one, and lets duel to the death and see who wins.
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Old 04-05-13, 08:06 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by hotbike View Post
Do a Google Image Search for "Fiberglass Bicycle". You will see some Bowden Spacelanders, a couple pictures of my Daughter's "Fiberglass Ladies Bicycle" and Robert Eggers' Cadillac bike, shown above.

In case you haven't seen Mellisa's Fiberglass Ladies Bicycle, here's a picture:


I know a lot more about Plastic "Composites" than most people, on account that I built several Fiberglass Bicycles. Yet, I would use a Chrome/Molybdenum front fork, If I was to build a Carbon Fiber Bike. Also, I have recently shopped around for a rear "Trailing Arm" , Fork, and would probably buy one from the Quest Recumbent Bicycle company, if I were to start building next week.

I hope you realize that this bike plastic is secured to the frame/headset/BB shell, by internal "Lashing", which is embedded with resin, so as not to come unwound.

Good luck with your DIY project, I hope you have found my advice helpful.
Is the finish on that thing really as bad as it looks?
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Old 04-05-13, 11:10 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
The frame material war is over. Carbon won.

Nothing to see here, keep moving.
The sweater material war is over. Polyester won. Nothing to see here, keep moving.
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Old 04-06-13, 08:44 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by jjvw View Post
the sweater material war is over. Polyester won. Nothing to see here, keep moving.
z
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