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Old 01-03-13, 11:35
oronet commander oronet commander is offline
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Default Durability of carbon frames: success stories

Even though my own experience with the material doesn't invite to optimism, somehow I believe that discussions on carbon frame durability are biased towards failures, be it by crashes or by defects in origin. Today many frames more than a decade old must be on the roads, and I would like to hear from people who have logged thousands of miles with them without problems. I think it could be interesting to know nice stories about long-lived carbon frames, wouldn't it? Or there isn't any?
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Old 01-03-13, 16:34
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I have no doubt there's plenty of long-lived carbon being ridden.

Technically, straight by the numbers, the lifecycle of carbon is much longer than alloys. No contest. The problem being carbon is not multi-factor/multi-purpose like alloys. And when it fails, KAPOW! Worse still, it can and does affect casual riders.

That said, plenty of expensive alloy frames where the assembler pushed the limits of the material to failure. It doesn't tend to affect casual riders though. There aren't as many alloy frames sold any more since the carbon honeymoon is in full-swing, so definitely not as many stories retold.

There's so much misinformation out there! The sell-side of the industry is famous for pushing all kinds of misinformation to get people to consume more. I've even heard the old B.S. applied to carbon frames "going soft" after some years to sell more equipment.
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Old 01-03-13, 18:00
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1999 Look KG 281: I still ride it, yes its the beater bike and at one point was considering selling it because of the supposed softening/failure stories but a new set of wheels put that to rest in one ride with those wheels. Miles/K's? A lot, ~20K, crashed a couple times, bent the hanger back, some paint chips but still intact.

2009 Ciocc Blade: Not as old as the Look, nor as many miles but still the primary bike and feels like day one.
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Old 01-03-13, 23:03
twothirds twothirds is offline
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All the carbon frames I have owned/own are still going today. I've broken a steel frame, had a lug peel away on another, and have had cracked welds at the bottom bracket on two Specialized frames (M2 and M4). I have owned steel and Alu bikes that haven't broken, but carbon is batting 1000 compared to the metallics in my lifetime.
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Old 01-03-13, 23:45
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I have 2 carbon bikes. One is around 10 years old and wears the fenders. The other is a 2007 and was raced by a Pro for the season before I bought it.
My wife had a 1998 Lemond that we replaced for a warranty issue that should have been caught in the shop. It was a flaw in the rear brake bridge during the moulding process. It was never a safety issue and had I not replaced her rear brake calliper I think she would still be riding it.

The only carbon parts i ever had problems with are campy Record bottle cages. The bottom stop eventually breaks and bottles slide through the cages. Arundle rules for hold. Cateye plastic cages are lighter than most Carbon cages and hold too well. They only cost $12.00 or less and you can even step on them without a breakage. Way too practical.
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Old 01-04-13, 00:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twothirds View Post
All the carbon frames I have owned/own are still going today. I've broken a steel frame, had a lug peel away on another, and have had cracked welds at the bottom bracket on two Specialized frames (M2 and M4). I have owned steel and Alu bikes that haven't broken, but carbon is batting 1000 compared to the metallics in my lifetime.
Didn't all those M2s eventually break? Sorta like Yeti FROs.
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Old 01-04-13, 00:14
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I've ridden over 6,000 miles on my main carbon racing bike since getting it last year. I've crashed on it 3 times, in the worst one breaking half the spokes on my front wheel. And so far the frame is still in great condition and still works great. BMC makes a durable bike.
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Old 01-04-13, 00:19
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2002 Trek 5200 with 26k miles. No problems
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Old 01-04-13, 00:21
marathon marke marathon marke is offline
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I put almost 11,000 miles on my 2012 BMC Team Machine since I got it last March. I would still be riding it, but took a bad spill on Christmas eve. I broke my left hip, requiring a complete hip replacement. The BMC is waiting...
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Old 01-04-13, 01:00
simo1733 simo1733 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyWorks View Post
I have no doubt there's plenty of long-lived carbon being ridden.

Technically, straight by the numbers, the lifecycle of carbon is much longer than alloys. No contest. The problem being carbon is not multi-factor/multi-purpose like alloys. And when it fails, KAPOW! Worse still, it can and does affect casual riders.

That said, plenty of expensive alloy frames where the assembler pushed the limits of the material to failure. It doesn't tend to affect casual riders though. There aren't as many alloy frames sold any more since the carbon honeymoon is in full-swing, so definitely not as many stories retold.

There's so much misinformation out there! The sell-side of the industry is famous for pushing all kinds of misinformation to get people to consume more. I've even heard the old B.S. applied to carbon frames "going soft" after some years to sell more equipment.
The lifecycle if carbon may be longer than alloys but it is the resin that is the weak link.
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