The Advantages And Types Of Carbon Fiber Bicycle Frames

2022-06-17 10:36:17 tanchain

Carbon fiber application expertise: a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages of carbon fiber bike frames and the types of carbon fiber bikes.

In the processing of bicycles, the materials used in the past were mostly chrome-molybdenum steel, and now new materials such as aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, and magnesium are also included. As an emerging material, carbon fiber is primarily used in the best road bike frames, forks and wheelsets. In general, carbon fiber is mainly used in mid- to high-end race bike applications.

Carbon fiber not only has the inherent characteristics of carbon materials, but also has the soft processing properties of textile fibers. Its specific gravity is less than 1/4 of steel, but its strength is very high, and its corrosion resistance is excellent. It is a new generation of reinforcing fibers. Carbon fiber is widely used in civil, military, construction, aerospace and super sports car fields.

carbon bike frame

01. Advantages of carbon fiber bicycle frames

In short, carbon fiber bike frames are characterized by "lightness, stiffness, and shock absorption." However, it is not easy to fully exploit the excellent properties of carbon fiber in technology, and the quality of carbon fiber material manufacturers varies widely.

Bicycle manufacturers are unlikely to use high-grade carbon fiber in their frames due to cost considerations. Despite some of the aforementioned issues, carbon fiber frames offer advantages that other materials don't. It can make a light bike that weighs around 8 or 9kg. This carbon fiber lightweight bike shows its strengths best when it comes to climbing, and the climbs are smooth. Unlike some lightweight aluminum frames, there is pull back when climbing.

  1. Can make lightweight frame

    Carbon fiber frames gain strength by laminating carbon fiber in the direction of force. Carbon fiber frames are very light due to their density and excellent tensile strength.

  2. Good shock absorption

    Carbon fiber can be used to make prosthetic legs for disabled people, or special springs used in various fields. Therefore, the bicycle without shock absorber can be manufactured by using its excellent shock absorption performance. However, the quality of each manufacturer varies greatly, and some are very hard, so this kind of frame can only be known after riding.

  3. Frames of various shapes can be manufactured

    The basic molding method of carbon fiber is to lay fiber sheets on a mold, then inject resin and heat to cure. Frames can be made in various shapes.

carbon road bike frame

02. Disadvantages of carbon fiber bicycle frames

  1. Complex stress calculation is required

    The carbon fiber frame is composed of carbon fiber, which is characterized by high tensile strength but weak shear strength. During processing, complex stress calculations (longitudinal stiffness and lateral stiffness) are required, and carbon fiber sheets are laminated according to the calculation results. Processing techniques vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it is important to choose a product from an experienced and reliable manufacturer.

  2. It is difficult to change the size

    After the mold is made, it is basically formed, and it is difficult to change the size. Orders in multiple sizes and styles cannot be filled.

  3. Aging

    Although carbon fiber has excellent aging resistance, does the resin used will not age? This is a very real problem, because the resin will change in sunlight, such as gradually whitening. Of course, this phenomenon is related to the technology of the manufacturer. It's best not to put it in the sun.

03. Types of carbon fiber bicycles

Full Carbon Fiber Bike: Almost all accessories on this type of bike are made of carbon fiber material.

Semi-carbon fiber bikes: Many bikes are made of aluminum alloy + carbon fiber. For example, the frame might be made of carbon fiber for the top tube and aluminum for the other parts; carbon fiber for the fork arms and aluminum for the fork tubes.

Carbon Fiber Wrapped Bikes: For some frames, handlebars, bars, cranks, forks, seat posts, and other accessories, manufacturers use aluminum alloys and then wrap a layer of carbon fiber cloth over the surface.

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