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Doesn't this article make you think?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Doesn't this article make you think?

Old 07-27-14, 09:35 AM
  #1  
trek330
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Doesn't this article make you think?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/sp...ef=sports&_r=0
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Old 07-27-14, 09:46 AM
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I don't recall seeing any "explosions" of flying shattered carbon fiber in any of the tour crashes.
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Old 07-27-14, 09:50 AM
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That's a fascinating article. Thanks.
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Old 07-27-14, 09:53 AM
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yes, it made me think that i don't really have any compelling reason to change my mind as regards CF as a suitable material for bicycle frames and components.
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Old 07-27-14, 10:19 AM
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No, nothing makes me think. My posts should make that obvious.

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Old 07-27-14, 10:35 AM
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“Anyone in a team who’s being honest with you will tell you how frequently their bikes are breaking; everybody knows,” said Mark Greve, a physician and assistant professor of sports medicine at Brown University who studied injuries to 3,500 competitive cyclists. “Few people in the public appreciate how many bikes a pro team will go through in a season, because they break for one reason or another. The bikes, they completely explode.”

But that's not what internet posters on Bike Forums say, and they didn't see it on TV
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Old 07-27-14, 10:49 AM
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Just another example of reporters needing a subject to attract attention.
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Old 07-27-14, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Just another example of reporters needing a subject to attract attention.
Good friend of mine says it's a dirty secret everyone avoids talking about. He works in a Cervelo dealership LBS and he is amazed at the number of failed frames and how everyone seems to think no problem they're just as strong. He has worked in bike ships for 40 years and sees an incredible increase in this is happening.
But denial is the river carbon fiber enthusiast float upon.

Last edited by surgeonstone; 07-27-14 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 07-27-14, 10:58 AM
  #9  
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Repeat after me: Correlation is not causality.

"and, many fear, increasing the severity of injuries."
Translated: Well, we don't actually have any data, and really we're totally guessing here.

That's a pretty good example of fear mongering at its best. If you look at the TdF, the most famous broken frame was trashed on a team car. In the gruesome Stage 2 demolition derby, the riders just got back on their bike. The vast majority of examples they cite are bikes damaged in transport.

There would be a significant case for change if riders were getting impaled by carbon tubes, but I've never heard of that happening.
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Old 07-27-14, 11:09 AM
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Such Crap, Such Lazy Crap

Again, what a crappy write up, yeah, lets get loose with the facts.
"Crashes in the Tour de France often send riders hurling to the road because carbon-fiber frames and wheels tend to break. BS, things broke AFTER smashing into something at speed.
Think about it folks, no company wants to get sued for negligently selling products that fail.
"The bikes, they completely explode", you lost me right there.
The premise of the article has merit, the execution of it is majorly flawed.
3,500 "competitive" cyclist? Is he hanging around back water crit races?
Whatever.
Lets set this right. In the world of proefessional cycling, bike there have a hard life were they get ridden and pounded by very good athletes in some very bad conditions. Failures are happening would happen be it with aluminum, steel or titanium.
In racing surely the envelope is pushed to the limit, true, and I agree that we are reaching a point to were weight saved versus durability is overlapping. There, that's what the article should be about.
But no, it's hyperbole about what happens to a bike AFTER CRASHING. Balls, man, wtf, after a crash all bets are off with any material. Do you think Trek/Cannondale/Pinarello etc... does crash test like the do for cars? Well no doofus, they don't cause that would be stupid.
Make a frame out of wrought iron if you want ultimate survivability.
Small spills that used to mean, at best, straightening handlebars often require a bike change. For top level teams with huge support and equipment, even a minor bump gets them a bike change, again, hyperbole, or worse, lazy "reporting".
There are debatable issues with materials, this poorly researched and written article is crap though.
I fault it for it's presentation of content, it's like an junior high english class student got some internet facts and tied them together to finish his essay for class and got his C+ grade for his paper. Well done junior, now throw it in the trash.
This is what the internet has done, you don't have to write well, do good research or use logical thought to get published.
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Old 07-27-14, 11:19 AM
  #11  
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Even the skeptics of CF agreed that:

"Greve and Perovic agreed that for consumers who are not constantly banging their bikes around on team vehicles and who are unlikely to be involved in crashes, the risks in buying a carbon bike made by a reputable company should be minimal."
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Old 07-27-14, 11:21 AM
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Yeah. The article makes me think about how crappy articles even from major news sources have become.
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Old 07-27-14, 11:34 AM
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Makes me think the NY times is scraping the bottom of the barrel for writers who know anything about bikes. Mostly a nonsense article.
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Old 07-27-14, 01:00 PM
  #14  
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Plastic bikes are just not cool, that's the problem. Irrespective of whether they're safe, how crash resistant they may or may not be, they're just simply not cool.

Cool is using fire to bend metal to your will. That's manly, bad-a**ed ****. Spitting hot metal when it's time to hurt things; that's connected to our most primal instincts.

Plastic is just not elemental, nor core, nor real enough to be truly cool. Sure, the bikes run great and even look good in some cases, and some even manifest craftsmanship, but how can someone really connect with plastic in a meaningful way? That's the question, and that's the problem for some of us.
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Old 07-27-14, 01:24 PM
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Carbon is here to stay. I've been riding on China carbon and its held up quite well and it is light and strong.
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Old 07-27-14, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Good friend of mine says it's a dirty secret everyone avoids talking about. He works in a Cervelo dealership LBS and he is amazed at the number of failed frames and how everyone seems to think no problem they're just as strong. He has worked in bike ships for 40 years and sees an incredible increase in this is happening.
But denial is the river carbon fiber enthusiast float upon.
It'd be interesting to see some real figures on this but I don't suppose any manufacturers want to provide data on their warranty claims. At least part of your friend's observation might be as a result of the difference in the type of failure. I.e. when I ran into a dog with my steel bike and bent the frame tubes there was no question about taking it to a bike shop since they'd take one glance, say you hit something too hard - go throw the frame away. OTOH, when a carbon frame cracks it's frequently much less obvious whether it was due to a defect or just that it was subjected to an impact that was too severe.
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Old 07-27-14, 02:03 PM
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Title- "It’s the Cyclists Falling Harder"
Then one phrase "often hurling riders to the road and, many fear, increasing the severity of injuries."
And there is zero content in the article to support the title, nothing else that discusses severity of injuries, nothing that shows anyone is even going faster. What a useless article.

It shouldn't be too hard (just time consuming) to research the number of riders, the miles ridden, the injuries sustained, the average speeds, etc., in the major races. If the author is too lazy to do that, he shouldn't be implying anything in the title. If that has been done and doesn't show anything, then the article is misleading. If that has been done and speeds and injuries are increasing, then that should be the article, rather than this article.
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Old 07-27-14, 02:04 PM
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I just got me a carbon bike and now I'm feeling stupid and scared it can asplode any moment.

I'm putting my bike on Craigslist so I can by a steel one.

Last edited by CactoesGel; 07-27-14 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 07-27-14, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CactoesGel View Post
I just got me a carbon bike and now I'm feeling stupid and scared it can explode any moment.

I'm putting my bike on Craigslist so I can by a steel one.
It's "asplode." Carbon fiber asplodes.
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Old 07-27-14, 02:19 PM
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There hasn't been a mass failure of all the carbon forks that've been on the road the past 15-20 years, yet now, suddenly, there's a "carbon scare?"
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Old 07-27-14, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CactoesGel View Post
I just got me a carbon bike and now I'm feeling stupid and scared it can explode any moment.

I'm putting my bike on Craigslist so I can by a steel one.
If your frame is a 58cm I have a great trade to offer you.
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Old 07-27-14, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
It'd be interesting to see some real figures on this but I don't suppose any manufacturers want to provide data on their warranty claims. At least part of your friend's observation might be as a result of the difference in the type of failure. I.e. when I ran into a dog with my steel bike and bent the frame tubes there was no question about taking it to a bike shop since they'd take one glance, say you hit something too hard - go throw the frame away. OTOH, when a carbon frame cracks it's frequently much less obvious whether it was due to a defect or just that it was subjected to an impact that was too severe.
Absolutely, nearly if not completely impossible to find any real data out there. Just opposing extreme statements from one side to another.
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Old 07-27-14, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
Absolutely, nearly if not completely impossible to find any real data out there. Just opposing extreme statements from one side to another.
No hard data but we do have some idea of the gross profit margins involved in selling bikes and it's not very high (in the 30-50% range depending on model). If modern carbon was significantly less reliable than steel then the warranty return rate would be higher. Given the relatively thin margins it's not possible to have a sustainable business with warranty claims significantly higher than they were for steel bikes. Manufacturers who've been around for a while have figured out how to keep their failure rates at a reasonable level. Most major carbon frame manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty so if they really were failing at a high rate they wouldn't be still in business.

Ironically, the only frame I've ever experienced a failure with was a steel Colnago. Unfortunately, Colnago doesn't provide a lifetime warranty for their steel frames so I was out of luck and the frame was not repairable.
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Old 07-27-14, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
No hard data but we do have some idea of the gross profit margins involved in selling bikes and it's not very high (in the 30-50% range depending on model). If modern carbon was significantly less reliable than steel then the warranty return rate would be higher. Given the relatively thin margins it's not possible to have a sustainable business with warranty claims significantly higher than they were for steel bikes. Manufacturers who've been around for a while have figured out how to keep their failure rates at a reasonable level. Most major carbon frame manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty so if they really were failing at a high rate they wouldn't be still in business.
This was the immediate and obvious thought that came to mind when I read about the "incredible increase" of frames replaced on warranty. Thank you for making the point so that I didn't have to.
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Old 07-27-14, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Title- "It’s the Cyclists Falling Harder"
Then one phrase "often hurling riders to the road and, many fear, increasing the severity of injuries."
And there is zero content in the article to support the title, nothing else that discusses severity of injuries, nothing that shows anyone is even going faster. What a useless article.

It shouldn't be too hard (just time consuming) to research the number of riders, the miles ridden, the injuries sustained, the average speeds, etc., in the major races. If the author is too lazy to do that, he shouldn't be implying anything in the title. If that has been done and doesn't show anything, then the article is misleading. If that has been done and speeds and injuries are increasing, then that should be the article, rather than this article.
That's exactly my point from my prior posts. Writers like this are desperate and resort to the shock effect. They don't do research and make claims impossible to prove.
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