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When did they start getting carbon "right"?

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When did they start getting carbon "right"?

Old 02-12-15, 01:33 PM
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When did they start getting carbon "right"?

I've heard a number of people say that early on carbon bikes were problematic. And in more recent years, the industry has gotten much better with carbon making it more reliable, durable and overall more user-friendly than it had been in the past.

Roughly, what year did this shift occur? When do you feel that the bike industry started putting out consistently good carbon bikes?
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Old 02-12-15, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
I've heard a number of people say that early on carbon bikes were problematic. And in more recent years, the industry has gotten much better with carbon making it more reliable, durable and overall more user-friendly than it had been in the past.

Roughly, what year did this shift occur? When do you feel that the bike industry started putting out consistently good carbon bikes?
Late 80's

1987- many Kestrel bikes have tens of thousands of miles on them.
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Old 02-12-15, 01:43 PM
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Last post on Busted Carbon was in 2011 so there have been no carbon asplosions since then.
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Old 02-12-15, 01:52 PM
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I'd say in the early 2000s. At that point, there were still several large manufacturers who were not offering full carbon frames, including Specialized (2005?)and Cannondale (2008?).
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Old 02-12-15, 02:03 PM
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User friendly?
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Old 02-12-15, 02:35 PM
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Mid 2000 Scott CR1... FTW
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Old 02-12-15, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo
Last post on Busted Carbon was in 2011 so there have been no carbon asplosions since then.
No, the guy who ran that site was killed when his carbon bike came apart.
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Old 02-12-15, 02:41 PM
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A lot of people here seem to be scared of old carbon but go to the Classic and Vintage forum and there are plenty of people riding them

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...bon-fiber.html

To me the main concern is not knowing the history of the actual frame/bike you are buying if you are getting an older carbon bike.
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Old 02-12-15, 02:42 PM
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It's not hard to see in the designs. Carbon tubes glued into alloy lugs/joints (with an alloy fork)...not so good.
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Old 02-12-15, 02:53 PM
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It's my understanding that carbon frame tech hasn't changed that much in the last 10-15 years, beyond getting lighter and stiffer through better fiber blending and unidirectional layup instead of woven fibers. And now more aero while maintaining stiffness. I'd be pretty confident buying carbon made anytime after 2000 but the first carbon bike won the Tour de France in 1986, so, shrug. They've been good for a while I guess. The last time a non-carbon bike won the Tour was 1998.
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Old 02-12-15, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tekhna
It's my understanding that carbon frame tech hasn't changed that much in the last 10-15 years, beyond getting lighter and stiffer through better fiber blending and unidirectional layup instead of woven fibers. And now more aero while maintaining stiffness. I'd be pretty confident buying carbon made anytime after 2000 but the first carbon bike won the Tour de France in 1986, so, shrug. They've been good for a while I guess. The last time a non-carbon bike won the Tour was 1998.
One of the main arguments I hear is about durability and build quality and the move to unidirectional layup being a huge step forward in that respect. I won't argue that a 2000 CF frame wasn't the best frame at the time but the question is do I want to ride one that has been ridden hard for many miles for 15 years
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Old 02-12-15, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass
No, the guy who ran that site was killed when his carbon bike came apart.
Any references? I hope it's just a sick joke.
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Old 02-12-15, 03:31 PM
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What's wrong with classic carbon??

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Old 02-12-15, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rms13
One of the main arguments I hear is about durability and build quality and the move to unidirectional layup being a huge step forward in that respect. I won't argue that a 2000 CF frame wasn't the best frame at the time but the question is do I want to ride one that has been ridden hard for many miles for 15 years
Yeah, I dunno. I've still got a 2004 Giant TCR that's awesome. Probably flexy by modern standards but whatever. I wonder when unidirectional layup became the norm.

Edit:discussion here from 2007 about unidirectional layup in Trek bikes https://boards.core77.com/viewtopic.php?t=12979

Second edit: Parlee patent from 2002 with reference to unidirectional carbon https://www.google.com/patents/US20040061302

Third edit: Specialized document from 2005 claiming most of the carbon they use in frames is unidirectional
https://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/pdf/Witchcraft.pdf

Fourth edit! Tried to find my 2004 frame and according to this still online blurb, my 2004 TCR is entirely unidirectional except for the top cosmetic layer https://pvbikeshop.com/brands/fall-fo...-2004-pg37.htm

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Old 02-12-15, 03:34 PM
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So who can attest to the durability of carbon frames that are 15+ years old?

There are still plenty of steel frames that are very much rideable after 25 years of service: the same is true of titanium. But what about older carbon frames?
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Old 02-12-15, 03:52 PM
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You could argue that they can't be "right" until carbon steerer tubes and dropouts, which are relatively recent. All depends on what you consider to be "right". They worked just fine (for the most part) decades ago. Nonetheless, they're better now.
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Old 02-12-15, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug
You could argue that they can't be "right" until carbon steerer tubes and dropouts, which are relatively recent. All depends on what you consider to be "right". They worked just fine (for the most part) decades ago. Nonetheless, they're better now.
So when did they get computers "right?"
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Old 02-12-15, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
So when did they get computers "right?"
Zigactly. Broadwell is a whole lot more "right" than Coppermine, but I used the crap out of my old Coppermine in school. Skymont will be even more "right".
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Old 02-12-15, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bah Humbug
Zigactly. Broadwell is a whole lot more "right" than Coppermine, but I used the crap out of my old Coppermine in school. Skymont will be even more "right".
Yup, although the analogy is not perfect, as computer tech will continue to evolve for many more years (moore's law?), while CF is probably close to being a "mature" technology, there will be refinements and improvements of course but these will likely be more modest in the future.
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Old 02-12-15, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sam_cyclist
So who can attest to the durability of carbon frames that are 15+ years old?

There are still plenty of steel frames that are very much rideable after 25 years of service: the same is true of titanium. But what about older carbon frames?
Age is irrelevant. Mileage, rider weight and road conditions are what matters. Someone could have a 20 year old carbon bike with a thousand miles on it.
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Old 02-12-15, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Yup, although the analogy is not perfect, as computer tech will continue to evolve for many more years (moore's law?), while CF is probably close to being a "mature" technology, there will be refinements and improvements of course but these will likely be more modest in the future.
Might be closer than you think - "Moore's Law" has been slowing down of late, and the focus of development has been on decreasing power consumption rather than increasing speed. And besides, CF is still getting better.
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Old 02-12-15, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass
Age is irrelevant. Mileage, rider weight and road conditions are what matters. Someone could have a 20 year old carbon bike with a thousand miles on it.
I'm talking all else being equal. As in, compared to a ti or steel or alu frame ridden the same number of miles, stored in the same way, etc. Obviously, I'm not interested in how a 20 year old carbon bike has held up if it's never been ridden.
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Old 02-12-15, 06:32 PM
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i can say that trek certainly didn't have it sorted in the one offering i rode in '95 when looking for a new bike.

up until then (sort of pre-internet for me) the "noodley bike frame syndrome" was unknown to me. so after jumping on the trek carbon tubed, aluminum lugged, bonded frame and riding no more than a block or two, i thought ,turned around, rode back to the shop and left. i knew something was serioualy wrong, but didn't know what.

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Old 02-12-15, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2
I've heard a number of people say that early on carbon bikes were problematic. And in more recent years, the industry has gotten much better with carbon making it more reliable, durable and overall more user-friendly than it had been in the past.

Roughly, what year did this shift occur? When do you feel that the bike industry started putting out consistently good carbon bikes?
Greg LeMond won the TdF on a carbon Look in 1986. LeMond Racing Cycles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Carbon must have been reasonably sorted out by then.
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Old 02-12-15, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bikepro
Greg LeMond won the TdF on a carbon Look in 1986. LeMond Racing Cycles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Carbon must have been reasonably sorted out by then.
The riders had several bikes each for each race. I think it's impossible to draw accurate conclusions about durability from the fact that the finishing bike was made of carbon.
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