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Another Op-Ed related to steel vs CF

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Another Op-Ed related to steel vs CF

Old 02-10-24, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Ross
Yes, but Carbon Gives Me A Hardon
Just be sure to not get any carbon splinters in your Hardon.
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Old 02-10-24, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Complaining about stiff forks is one of the talking points of people that dislike disc brakes. If that was not what you were implying, I apologize.
It is part and parcel of disc brakes. Complaints about that, as it relates to disc brakes, are valid. Facts don't stop being facts just because they support a certain viewpoint.

Road bikes have changed quite a bit since the adoption of discs. Not everyone has reason to like those changes - especially since they aren't optional.
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Old 02-11-24, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
It is part and parcel of disc brakes. Complaints about that, as it relates to disc brakes, are valid. Facts don't stop being facts just because they support a certain viewpoint.

Road bikes have changed quite a bit since the adoption of discs. Not everyone has reason to like those changes - especially since they aren't optional.
I’m not sure what the complaint is. I see stiffer forks as a positive feature. The usual rant from rim brake diehards is that they are heavier and less comfortable. Both of which tend to be insignificant in reality. I don’t ride my bike and wish it had lighter, more flexible forks. Nor do I worry about it assploding due to the braking torque.
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Old 02-11-24, 10:18 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Mtracer
I think this quote has some merit

"Mr. Weiss’s point that “a carbon bike is thrillingly cutting edge until it’s about two or three seasons old, at which point it becomes yesterday’s hunk of plastic and nobody wants it, including you,” is truer now than for any material in the past."

One of the things that attracts buyers to carbon frames is the more sculpted forms of the frame. These are usually claimed to have more aero properties and, if nothing else, do have unique shapes as compared to tube frames made from steel. Point being, the very thing that attracts many buyers to carbon frames, is what makes the latest frames designs more appealing than older designs. So, in fact we may lose our love for the older carbon frame, because it is, in effect, out of fashion.

I have two bikes with carbon frames, and my main one being a Trek Domane with a carbon frame. I absolutely love the bike. I really like the look of the frame, though there's nothing particularity radical in the shapes. But I accept the fact that in say 5 years, I may look at that frame as being out of date compared to whatever style frames are being made at that time.

It's of course silly to hold this against carbon as a material. It's this very flexibility of carbon that allows for the more complex shapes. This complexity allows for a wider range of designs. And then ultimately the wider range of designs opens the door to designs coming in and out of fashion.
Of course it's true that building bikes from a material that can be made into any shape freed up design to make much more aerodynamic frames, which has been an evolving process. My two CF bikes are a 2006 Bianchi 928 and a 2020 Canyon Endurace. The Bianchi looks almost quaint now. It's also slower, and more affected by crosswinds, which I attribute to 14 years of improvement in bicycle aerodynamics.

Now, looking at the same idea from the other side, steel frames (and to some extent any tubular metal frame) all look alike, and have done for decades. That's why they didn't "go out of fashion". Bikes made of straight cylindrical tubes can only go so far. Even shaped tubing, like Columbus MAX, only changes things at the margin.

Second, hydroformed aluminum frames made currently are mimicking the carbon frames higher up in the range. Often they are impossible to tell from a distance.

I notice that the farther into the CF era we go, the more all road bikes look the same. They are all subject to the same physics, and maybe there's only one optimum solution for all the issues.
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Old 02-11-24, 11:16 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Kontact
If you add mounting flanges to your fork without otherwise stiffening it, you won't have a fork for very long. All disc road forks are much more rigid than the forks they replaced, and even understanding that need, many road and CX disc forks had failures...

I suspect that some of the crown and steerer tube failures of other disc bikes may have been from disc braking load.
Yeah, the added localized stress at the disc caliper mounting points is pretty obvious.

But I don't see how disc braking puts added stress on the fork crown or steering tube. Those stresses ought to be the same for disc or rim braking.
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Old 02-11-24, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
It has no more merit than

"A steel/aluminum/titanium bike is thrillingly cutting edge until it's about two or three seasons old, at which point it becomes yesterday’s hunk of metal and nobody wants it, including you."
EVERY hobby has its obsessives who want the latest cutting edge stuff. Then there are those who "settle" for the generation immediately prior, or the 2nd tier of the current line. In road bikes that can be as simple as buying a $4k bike instead of a $14k model, which will deliver 95% [utterly arbitrary value] of the features and performance.

These obsessives provide the value of 1. helping the maker's bottom line and 2. providing a steady supply of The Good Stuff to the 2nd-hand market. Win-win.

Camera gear in this digital era is much, much worse, trust me.

Enjoy riding? Buy the bike that puts a smile on your face. It is not going to disintegrate while you sleep.

The end.
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Old 02-11-24, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick_D
EVERY hobby has its obsessives who want the latest cutting edge stuff. Then there are those who "settle" for the generation immediately prior, or the 2nd tier of the current line. In road bikes that can be as simple as buying a $4k bike instead of a $14k model, which will deliver 95% [utterly arbitrary value] of the features and performance.

These obsessives provide the value of 1. helping the maker's bottom line and 2. providing a steady supply of The Good Stuff to the 2nd-hand market. Win-win.

Camera gear in this digital era is much, much worse, trust me.

Enjoy riding? Buy the bike that puts a smile on your face. It is not going to disintegrate while you sleep.

The end.
But, anyone that spends more on a bike than Billy Bob has deemed appropriate is a mindless victim of marketing and must be saved from his/her self-destructive behavior.
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Old 02-11-24, 11:46 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Mtracer
One of the things that attracts buyers to carbon frames is the more sculpted forms of the frame. These are usually claimed to have more aero properties and, if nothing else, do have unique shapes as compared to tube frames made from steel. Point being, the very thing that attracts many buyers to carbon frames, is what makes the latest frames designs more appealing than older designs. So, in fact we may lose our love for the older carbon frame, because it is, in effect, out of fashion.
Fashion isn't something that drives my desire for bikes. Maybe that makes me weird, but to me a bike is a tool that helps me go fast.

My bike frame design was first released in 2007, and I'm still riding mine because it suits my needs. There's not an aero-shaped tube anywhere, all the cables are external, and it has (gasp) rim brakes. But it descends really well, and it's lighter than just about any production bike sold today. Besides, I don't care much about aero; I care about climbing fast.

The aero penalty didn't seem to bother Cavendish, who rode it in the grand tours and won several stages.

I rode by some teens the other day, and one of them said, "Dude, where's your disc brakes?" I replied, "Disc brakes are heavy."
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Old 02-11-24, 12:56 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, the added localized stress at the disc caliper mounting points is pretty obvious.

But I don't see how disc braking puts added stress on the fork crown or steering tube. Those stresses ought to be the same for disc or rim braking.
I've wondered about that, too. The only factors I can think of are these:

(1) Rim brakes need apply only comparatively minimal braking force because the braking is taking place near the circumference of the wheel (in effect, at the end of the lever arm that the wheel represents).

(2) The point at which that minimal force is applied is very near the fork crown and steerer, so very little bending leverage is applied at that point.

(3) Disc brakes need to apply far more braking force than rim brakes because the braking is taking place near the center of the wheel; less leverage means more force must be applied.

(4) The greater disc braking force is applied at a greater distance from the fork crown and steerer; the bending force at the top of the fork can approach the force that front-end impacts sometimes exert (see the frequent refrain in the C&V "Are you looking for one of these?" thread: "Fork's bent!").
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Old 02-11-24, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I’m not sure what the complaint is. I see stiffer forks as a positive feature. The usual rant from rim brake diehards is that they are heavier and less comfortable. Both of which tend to be insignificant in reality. I don’t ride my bike and wish it had lighter, more flexible forks. Nor do I worry about it assploding due to the braking torque.
Probably because you have huge tires to take up the road chatter instead.
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Old 02-11-24, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Probably because you have huge tires to take up the road chatter instead.
Well if you can call 30 mm tyres “huge” then sure. I also have carbon bars and stem, which are great at absorbing road buzz. Like I said, the relatively stiff carbon fork is not an inherent problem at all. But it doesn’t seem to stop people attempting to use it as a valid argument against disc brakes. Rim brakes are already history and are not going to make a comeback because of disc brake fork design limitations.
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Old 02-11-24, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Well if you can call 30 mm tyres “huge” then sure. I also have carbon bars and stem, which are great at absorbing road buzz. Like I said, the relatively stiff carbon fork is not an inherent problem at all. But it doesn’t seem to stop people attempting to use it as a valid argument against disc brakes. Rim brakes are already history and are not going to make a comeback because of disc brake fork design limitations.
I think it's just something that people latch onto when they try to argue the "superiority" of rim brakes. But, it's really a non-issue; the vast majority of people using disc brakes have no complaints about fork stiffness.
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Old 02-11-24, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
I think it's just something that people latch onto when they try to argue the "superiority" of rim brakes. But, it's really a non-issue; the vast majority of people using disc brakes have no complaints about fork stiffness.
Yep. The argument usually goes along the lines of I’m never going to switch to disc brakes because they are heavier, harder to maintain, blah, blah, blah and the forks are too stiff. These things are apparently a big deal compared to the actual braking performance, which is what I prefer to focus on with brakes. When you stop worrying about a few extra grams of weight and whether or not your carbon forks are too stiff then disc brakes have a lot of inherent advantages, which is why they are now likely to dominate the market for probably the rest of this century.
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Old 02-11-24, 05:14 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Kontact
Probably because you have huge tires to take up the road chatter instead.
Still playing the same tune, I see.
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Old 02-11-24, 05:15 PM
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Nah ... electronic magnetic brakes reacting on tiny amounts of magnetic material embedded in the cf rim will be the end-of-the-century brake-through. No actual contact between the brake and rim. By that time every bike will have a tiny fusion reactor built into the bottom bracket so power won't be an issue.

People will still be moaning the loss of rim brakes.
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Old 02-12-24, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Nah ... electronic magnetic brakes reacting on tiny amounts of magnetic material embedded in the cf rim will be the end-of-the-century brake-through. No actual contact between the brake and rim. By that time every bike will have a tiny fusion reactor built into the bottom bracket so power won't be an issue.

People will still be moaning the loss of rim brakes.
What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 02-12-24, 01:42 PM
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^ See how people distort what I say? I never said ocean-going bikes would have reactors ......


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Old 02-12-24, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
^ See how people distort what I say? I never said ocean-going bikes would have reactors ......


Geez, dude - TMI!
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Old 02-12-24, 04:17 PM
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Noting, however, that TMI is/was a FISSION reactor, whereas the pictured blast is from a FUSION reactor - albeit a very shortlived one. IIRC, while it's possible to have a controlled fission reaction, so far fusion reactions tend be a bit more...violent.
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Old 02-12-24, 06:00 PM
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Actually a safe fusion experiment was recently sustained for a few seconds,. and produced a lot of power .... so in a number of years, fusion might well be a safe and reliable power source .... but probably not because humans tend to suck.

I recall many years ago when the Turkey Point reactor station in Florida was one of the most heavily cited and fined .... for things like "No operators on duty during a shift" and "No certified operators on duty during a shift." I mean, it is just a two-reactor nuclear power station ... what could go wrong? Go, sneak off out back ans smoke a joint ... oh, if you are scared something will happen, tell the janitor to stay in the control room ......

The scientists dream up all this awesome stuff and hand it to people who cannot understand how to merge in traffic.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:15 PM
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Back to the original topic: carbon vs. other.

Carbon is superior to every other frame construction material, as it is a stronger per unit of mass, and it can be shaped & tuned to provide the optimal mix of strength, weight and compliance. There is nothing you can do in steel, titanium, alu (or whatever) that you cannot do better in carbon. There is a lot of vague arm-waving about the magic properties of other materials, such as the “ride quality”, but that is overwhelmingly a function of tire size and construction, tire inflation pressure and your saddle. I have multiple bikes in every of the above frame materials, and carbon simply does it better.

Bike Snob NYC was just trying to stir the pot.

As far as disc brakes on road bikes, maybe if you are doing bike camping in the rain, then I would recommend discs, but for a performance go-fast bike, discs are not worth the weight penalty. As with other nonsense such as tubeless and fat (>28mm tires) they are just an inappropriate port-over from mountain bikes, designed to appeal to new road riders who don’t know any better.

The disc penalty is not just about the weight of the rotors, hydraulic lines, heavier calipers etc., but the frame reinforcements required to withstand the braking forces of discs. As mentioned earlier, the forces from braking on discs travels from the ground to the fork ends and then to the frame, an inferior path than with rim brakes. So you have to reinforce the forks, leading to a stiffer less compliant ride. Plus you have to add more crossed spokes in disc wheels, again more weight at the worst possible place on a bike.

In addition to the weight penalty, manufacturers have to add $500 to the cost of each new bike with discs, regardless of the cost, for no other reason that they can.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Back to the original topic: carbon vs. other.

Carbon is superior to every other frame construction material, as it is a stronger per unit of mass, and it can be shaped & tuned to provide the optimal mix of strength, weight and compliance. There is nothing you can do in steel, titanium, alu (or whatever) that you cannot do better in carbon. There is a lot of vague arm-waving about the magic properties of other materials, such as the “ride quality”, but that is overwhelmingly a function of tire size and construction, tire inflation pressure and your saddle. I have multiple bikes in every of the above frame materials, and carbon simply does it better.

Bike Snob NYC was just trying to stir the pot.

As far as disc brakes on road bikes, maybe if you are doing bike camping in the rain, then I would recommend discs, but for a performance go-fast bike, discs are not worth the weight penalty. As with other nonsense such as tubeless and fat (>28mm tires) they are just an inappropriate port-over from mountain bikes, designed to appeal to new road riders who don’t know any better.

The disc penalty is not just about the weight of the rotors, hydraulic lines, heavier calipers etc., but the frame reinforcements required to withstand the braking forces of discs. As mentioned earlier, the forces from braking on discs travels from the ground to the fork ends and then to the frame, an inferior path than with rim brakes. So you have to reinforce the forks, leading to a stiffer less compliant ride. Plus you have to add more crossed spokes in disc wheels, again more weight at the worst possible place on a bike.

In addition to the weight penalty, manufacturers have to add $500 to the cost of each new bike with discs, regardless of the cost, for no other reason that they can.
Is this guy for real?
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Old 02-12-24, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
There is a lot of vague arm-waving about the magic properties of other materials, such as the “ride quality”, but that is overwhelmingly a function of tire size and construction, tire inflation pressure and your saddle.
...
So you have to reinforce the forks, leading to a stiffer less compliant ride. .
So, ride quality is overwhelmingly a function of tire size, tire pressure, and saddle except when a bike has disc brakes? Sorry, nope.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Is this guy for real?
As for real as steel.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
...

The disc penalty is not just about the weight of the rotors, hydraulic lines, heavier calipers etc., but the frame reinforcements required to withstand the braking forces of discs. As mentioned earlier, the forces from braking on discs travels from the ground to the fork ends and then to the frame, an inferior path than with rim brakes. So you have to reinforce the forks, leading to a stiffer less compliant ride. Plus you have to add more crossed spokes in disc wheels, again more weight at the worst possible place on a bike.

...
And, in competition, considerably slower wheel swaps. Wout van Aert lost nearly a minute getting a wheel from a teammate at Clásica Jaén in Spain today and didn't succeed in the chase. Faster change with rim brakes and quick releases? We won't know but it a good bet. Faster wheel changes = more race placings = more money and = better sponsor advertising.
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