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Full Carbon Bike Durability Question?(3 posts)

Full Carbon Bike Durability Question?spoke
Dec 20, 2003 2:13 PM
How well do full carbon bikes handle cooler temperatures below 32F and how do they handle warmer temperatures over 110F? As far as fatigue factor would a carbon frame outlast a aluminum frame? The carbon frame that I am looking at is a OCLV 120 carbon Trek 5200.

Thanks, KJ
re: Full Carbon Bike Durability Question?rogue_CT1
Dec 20, 2003 2:34 PM
Carbon bikes will freeze and shatter if you hit a bump at 15 degrees or lower. The carbon starts to melt at 105 degrees and in direct sunlight. Take a look at this bike: See how it has started to melt?

Seriously, it doesn't matter. If you can survive in the conditions so can carbon fiber. The stuff is heated to 3000+ degrees during the manufacturing process. You might have something to worry about if you happen to find yourself riding in Hell. Otherwise you are safe back here on Earth.

As for the cold- remember they have been using this stuff on Jets for years (and I don't mean that crappy football team) and as far as I know those planes fly at altitudes where the the temperature is pretty darn cold and they never have problems.
The ultimate unanwerable questionKerry Irons
Dec 20, 2003 6:33 PM
As per the other post, temperature is not an issue for CF frames or other parts.

Your other question is impossible to answer. First, there is virtually no meaningful data available on fatigue failure rates for various frames, and even if there were, it would only suggest a difference in life, not predict it. There are far too many variables in daily use of a bike to begin to know how long any part (except chains and tires) will last. Plus, you didn't say which aluminum frame - they can be built fragile and they can be built stout, just as with any other material. Then there's "the luck of the draw" on any possible variations in the frame you actually get, again regardless of material of construction. There is NO WAY to answer this question, except to stay that reasonbly solid steel and Ti frames will most likely outlast both Al and CF by a long ways, typically longer than you would ever want to own the bike.