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carbon fiber question(12 posts)

carbon fiber questionTSuprano
Mar 27, 2003 6:00 PM
Why is it I can buy other carbon fiber items from other sports that are incredibly inexpensive, ie: a composite tennis racket, yet when it comes to carbon fiber on the bike, the prices are jacked way up. Why is this?
Economy of scale. nmpurplepaul
Mar 27, 2003 6:08 PM
Economics 101Akirasho
Mar 27, 2003 6:11 PM
... it's called, what the market will bear...

Certainly, the size of the market, R&D and recouping investments have some bearing... but fundamentally, most makers of bike components have marketing trend studies that prove we'll spend a lot o monies for the goods...

Be the bike.
Not true-filtersweep
Mar 27, 2003 6:12 PM
You can buy an EPX frame for around $500- the issue with CF and bikes is there ARE alternatives and relatively few carbon frame makers. You likely won't be buying a WOOD or aluminum tennis racket these days, will you? Or a bamboo fishing pole?

I think the real expense of CF ends up in the fit and finish. CF forks are relatively inexpensive, and are certainly more staight-forward in terms of manufacturing compared to a frame (not to mention the sheer volume of a one-size fits nearly all approach to forks these days).

Compare this to AL bike frames. You can buy a cheapo frame for a few hundred dollars with relatively crude welds (cosmetic or not). Compare this to some fancy Cinelli AL frame that costs several times as much... we won't even talk about PAINT.

I have a CF dashboard on my car... while I purchased it off the lot, it was definitely a hefty addition to the price tag on the sticker... so it isn't just bikes...
German car? (nm)jtferraro
Mar 27, 2003 6:55 PM
Not real carbon fiber on the dash...Fez
Mar 27, 2003 7:57 PM
its plastic with the carbon finish. Notice how perfect the weave is? Would be pretty expensive to use real carbon fiber and what would be the real benefit? Lower weight? Dash stiffness? Shock absorption?

Now if you told me you had a Ferrari that would be another story.
No....really...Ahimsa
Mar 27, 2003 8:05 PM
...his car is much smoother on the road with the carbon dash.

Vibration damping maaaan, it's all about vibration damping.

Cheers!

A.
No....really...TSuprano
Mar 28, 2003 4:25 AM
I bet his cd player skips less too.
I actually ran across a company who makes carbon dashes...Matno
Mar 28, 2003 9:30 AM
Doing a web search back about 4 months ago, I came across a company who does custom car parts in carbon fiber - including dashes. I dont' remember if they gave any reasons WHY you would want to do that (other than cool factor), but they are available. Seems like a total waste to me, but then, so do a lot of things that people pay a lot of money for... (Porcelain dolls come to mind).
OK, OK...filtersweep
Mar 28, 2003 4:15 AM
(now that you have made me look into the matter)...sure it is just a "Carbon fiber-style dash appliqué by Acculaser®"- operative word, "appliqué"- and sure there is no "benefit"- but cars are much like bikes these days? ;)
It's a different type of carbonaeon
Mar 27, 2003 10:40 PM
Things like tennis raquets are fairly strong structures and do not suffer the level of shock a frame is subject to. In a raquet, it's graphite, not woven carbon fibre.

Carbon fibre for bike parts must be hand layed, layer after layer. You have to make sure you don't get air bubbles, and you can't sell a bad layup. You have to align the fibres to make the frame stiff in the right places. And historically there have been no suppliers of carbon tubing, although there are now inexpensive seatstays and chainstays available.
Prolly a lot more R & D going into frame designspeedisgood
Mar 28, 2003 6:47 AM
You also gotta fgure that the liability issue comes into play so there's a lot more expense going into making a light AND somewhat durable frame that won't fail catastrophically. A tennis racquet failing during use will probably cause less personal injury than a frame failing during use.