5

Are there such brands who have overbuilt carbon frame that is intended to last longer? Most if not all frames nowadays seem to always talk about being lighter stiffer, but I never seen one made to be strong and last longer. I know modern carbon are probably plenty durable, but I want at least one bike that will last long so I can proudly show to my grandchildren that it was my bike 'back in the day', and still being able to ride it. Quick Google search doesn't help.

Otherwise I had to resort on titanium.

10

Why produce a heavy but durable carbon frame if one can have a heavy and durable steel frame that is cheaper? Apparently there are no (mass) buyers for such technology.

The bicycle industry is mainly driven by the competitive cycling needs, whether it is good or bad for a regular consumer. The choice of frame material is driven by the material properties and many adjacent tradeoffs, such as durability/weight. The resulting product price is closer to the end of the list in competitive disciplines. The product will not be initially mass-marketed in any case, which would drive its price even higher, but who cares.

At any point in time, current technology advancements dictate the sport's favorite frame material. Movement from steel to better steel, then to aluminum alloys and then to carbon was caused by that. If tomorrow someone invents how to make a frame from weightless forcefields, it would quickly replace carbon in sport.

The consumer market is more driven by a mixture of price and fashion trends, in no particular order. What is deemed to be well sold, will be produced. What does not look like a marketable thing, will only stay at bike expos and end up in museums. Apparently there is no need for carbon frames that are heavy — there are already steel frames. Besides, what's wrong with modern consumer grade carbon anyway? Its advantages and weaknesses are well known, and, if used properly, carbon has no life length limitation.

  • I like this answer, although I believe the fashion and price are set by the marketing to maximize the profit. Few consumers do much more than buy what someone tells them they must have (A new bike every year, Rule 12 etc). How often do casual/fitness riders get told to spend more to get a better (i.e. lighter) bike? – mattnz Jan 5 '18 at 20:11
  • To be fair, CFRP mountain bikes are very strong and durable and really not all that light. – Paul H Jan 6 '18 at 2:28
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Modern carbon fiber composite frames don't actually have to make a trade off between strength, durability and weight. The properties of modern carbon fiber composites are such that a bike built to enough strength will still be lighter than a metal frame and also possess superior durability because carbon fiber composites have better fatigue resistance than metal frames, apparently including titanium (and I suspect they are vastly superior to aluminum).

long term exposure to UV radiation and heat can weaken epoxies, but there have been improvements in UV radiation resistance in the epoxy resins and paint finishes.

What carbon fiber is susceptible to is concentrated force in a small area, which can crack or damage the epoxy matrix.

Source: https://cyclingtips.com/2015/08/what-is-the-lifespan-of-a-carbon-frame/

If you want to convince yourself you should look on YouTube for videos of the punishing testing manufacturers put carbon frames through and see how well they withstand it.

  • I think this is the best answer. Carbon bike are going to be stronger than metal counterparts and weigh much less which is the appeal of paying more for a carbon frame. Other answer is too chatty and off topic and really the correct answer should nip in the but the notion that modern carbon frames aren't "built to last". Just from personal experience I think carbon frames are also more susceptible to abrasion damage too (dont have a source though). – user74671 Jan 6 '18 at 22:33

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