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How long a carbon road bike could use?

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How long a carbon road bike could use?

Old 05-29-15, 03:40 AM
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How long a carbon road bike could use?

Recently a friend of mine told me the carbon bike only can be used about 3 years. After 3 years ,the frame will be broken.

I haven't bought a carbon bike, yet.

I want to know how long a carbon road bike can be ride?
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Old 05-29-15, 03:44 AM
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Your friend is wrong.

Longer than 3 years. Probably 5-20 depending on usage, storage and how well it was built.

I regularly use 10+ year old racing rowing boats (carbon/kevlar/nomex) with carbon shafted oars that are similar ages. Haven't drowned yet.
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Old 05-29-15, 04:09 AM
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Here we go again...

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Old 05-29-15, 04:17 AM
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https://www.tubechop.com/watch/6084086

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Old 05-29-15, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffersonduang
Recently a friend of mine told me the carbon bike only can be used about 3 years. After 3 years ,the frame will be broken.
Categorical statements tend to be wrong. Carbon frames don't conk out after 3 years unless something's happened - like an accident.

As a material, carbon fiber composites last basically infinitely long as long as the applied load is about 60-80% of what its ultimate strength. So if you have a tube that can withstand a maximum of 100 Newtons in compression, you could cyclically load it with 80 N and have it last basically forever (as in millions and millions of cycles).

Bikes - collections of tubes - are more complicated but I think it's safe to say that carbon is a durable material if it hasn't been damaged in a crash. Even so there are repair options for carbon, while none exactly exist for other materials such as aluminum. Dent, crack, or otherwise significantly damage an aluminum tube and there's no going back - there's almost no repair option.

Carbon, by its nature, can easily be repaired. It's just a collection of fibers bonded together. Repairing it just means removing the damaged fibers and replacing them with good ones. That's a relatively easy job versus repairing aluminum. You can't just remove the damaged aluminum and replace it with good aluminum. Aluminum alloys are crystalline in structure and it's harder, as one might imagine, to manipulate structures on the crystalline level by hand. Impurities in the crystal structure can greatly modify the properties of aluminum ... hence aluminum alloys!

Last edited by Deontologist; 05-29-15 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 05-29-15, 04:36 AM
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by the way, isn't your look 986 a carbon fibre mtb?
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Old 05-29-15, 05:03 AM
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You can use a crabon bike until it asplodes.
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Old 05-29-15, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Deontologist
Categorical statements tend to be wrong. Carbon frames don't conk out after 3 years unless something's happened - like an accident.

As a material, carbon fiber composites last basically infinitely long as long as the applied load is about 60-80% of what its ultimate strength. So if you have a tube that can withstand a maximum of 100 Newtons in compression, you could cyclically load it with 80 N and have it last basically forever (as in millions and millions of cycles).

Bikes - collections of tubes - are more complicated but I think it's safe to say that carbon is a durable material if it hasn't been damaged in a crash. Even so there are repair options for carbon, while none exactly exist for other materials such as aluminum. Dent, crack, or otherwise significantly damage an aluminum tube and there's no going back - there's almost no repair option.

Carbon, by its nature, can easily be repaired. It's just a collection of fibers bonded together. Repairing it just means removing the damaged fibers and replacing them with good ones. That's a relatively easy job versus repairing aluminum. You can't just remove the damaged aluminum and replace it with good aluminum. Aluminum alloys are crystalline in structure and it's harder, as one might imagine, to manipulate structures on the crystalline level by hand. Impurities in the crystal structure can greatly modify the properties of aluminum ... hence aluminum alloys!
If you bend aluminum, it can be straightened. If you crack aluminum, it can be welded. We have an aluminum welder at our auto shop and I have seen several parts including body panels repaired so your theory of not being able to repair aluminum is flawed. As far as carbon goes, sure you can patch it but what about the layup? The strands of carbon fiber are "laid" down in certain lengths and patterns to give it strength so just patching a hole only fixes the cosmetic damage but leaves the affected part more susceptible to a catastrophic failure. Sure an aluminum or even steel bike could be damaged beyond repair but the same amount of force that noodled the metal frame would surely wreck a carbon frame as well.
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Old 05-29-15, 05:37 AM
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Old 05-29-15, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dvdslw
If you bend aluminum, it can be straightened. If you crack aluminum, it can be welded. We have an aluminum welder at our auto shop and I have seen several parts including body panels repaired so your theory of not being able to repair aluminum is flawed. As far as carbon goes, sure you can patch it but what about the layup? The strands of carbon fiber are "laid" down in certain lengths and patterns to give it strength so just patching a hole only fixes the cosmetic damage but leaves the affected part more susceptible to a catastrophic failure. Sure an aluminum or even steel bike could be damaged beyond repair but the same amount of force that noodled the metal frame would surely wreck a carbon frame as well.


So many wrong statements in one post.
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Old 05-29-15, 05:53 AM
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Its about time this topic is finally discussed on this forum....

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Old 05-29-15, 05:57 AM
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Oh my, a carbon thread. What won't they think of next?
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Old 05-29-15, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht


So many wrong statements in one post.
Please enlightn me! If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Aluminum can't be repaired? Caron is just as strong after patched? Please explain.

Edit- I did a bit of research on carbon repair and I stand corrected, I read a few articles about Calfee Design and what they do. Their results don't lie and most carbon repairs do in fact result in a stronger repair.

Last edited by dvdslw; 05-29-15 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 05-29-15, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BillyD
Oh my, a carbon thread. What won't they think of next?
And yet here you are!
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Old 05-29-15, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffersonduang
Recently a friend of mine told me the carbon bike only can be used about 3 years. After 3 years ,the frame will be broken.

I haven't bought a carbon bike, yet.

I want to know how long a carbon road bike can be ride?
Quite a very long time. One reason that CF is such a concern for enviro reasons as it's not at all easily recyclable.
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Old 05-29-15, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffersonduang
Recently a friend of mine told me the carbon bike only can be used about 3 years. After 3 years ,the frame will be broken.

I haven't bought a carbon bike, yet.

I want to know how long a carbon road bike can be ride?

I commute to work daily on my Trek 2120, it's from 1995. So that' 20 years old and it's fine. I recently completed a century ride and many 30-50 mile weekend rides on my Giant Cadex 980c from 1990. So that's 25 years old and it's perfectly fine.

I'd say your friend is speaking ignorantly.
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Old 05-29-15, 06:53 AM
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Three years sounds about right. After that you should send it my way so I can recycle it.
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Old 05-29-15, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dvdslw
Please enlightn me! If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Aluminum can't be repaired? Caron is just as strong after patched? Please explain.

Edit- I did a bit of research on carbon repair and I stand corrected, I read a few articles about Calfee Design and what they do. Their results don't lie and most carbon repairs do in fact result in a stronger repair.
aluminum can be welded, but that doesn't really help a heat treated frame, and bending aluminum tubes isn't recommended either.
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Old 05-29-15, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK
Your friend is wrong.
Like shooting fish in a barrel...
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Old 05-29-15, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK
Your friend is wrong.

Longer than 3 years. Probably 5-20 depending on usage, storage and how well it was built.
This is just about as wrong as well
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Old 05-29-15, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven
This is just about as wrong as well
Are you sure?

I've seen plenty of carbon and fibreglass (rowing and sailing equipment) that is stored 100% outdoors that is not great after 5 years. Grey, brittle, and about as close to the mythical carbon-assplosion that we like to joke about.

Admittedly my low end of 5 years is for a poorly looked after bike that is stored in the sun (OK, not a likely scenario), but the experience and science is there. After 5 years you'll want to replace that bike and no one would buy it from you. Therefore = dead.

A couple of friends have very early carbon bikes, but both have had failures. Luckily they are the lugged type that can be re-bonded (an Alan and a Look), but it goes to show that after 20 years glues can break down.

I'm sure folks will still be riding well cared for bikes in 20+ years, but your going to have to resurrect a very much zombie thread to tell us about it.
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Old 05-29-15, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker
You can use a crabon bike until it asplodes.
+1
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Old 05-29-15, 08:56 AM
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There are a lot of carbon frames from the 80's on the road today.
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...bon-fiber.html
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Old 05-29-15, 08:57 AM
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I read somewhere that carbon forks are only good for 5 years so the frames are likely right around there too.
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Old 05-29-15, 08:58 AM
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Really makes you think- I watched some historic Formula 1 cars racing last summer in Canada. There was a 1981 Mclaren MP4/1 on track, the first F1 car to use a fully composite chassis. Needless to say, given the extreme forces involved in auto racing and the age of the crabon, the car shattered into millions of tiny fibers on the first lap of the race and the driver was lucky to escape with his life.
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