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5 Carbon Fiber facts nobody talks about

13 Apr

Whether you’re an expert or a newbie searching for cycle buying guides online I sure you’re aware that almost all would recommend you get a carbon fiber frame bike and for very good reasons too.

These bikes are usually light weight, stronger and come with designs hard to manufacture with other available metals but like its benefits many are its mysteries too. So here are 5 secrets about this universally accepted metal that nobody talks about. Kestrel talon is probably the best low-budget carbon fibre frame road bike you can get.

Not all frames come from Asia

Yes while most of these frames are prepared in countries such as China etc. and raw carbon fiber is generally imported from Asia, European countries like US, France, Italy etc. are also major players in the manufacturing industry.

Though mostly considered an aerospace material it’s simpler to work with and thus smaller manufacturers no longer have to rely on finished products of bigger companies like Dedacciai etc. Companies like Craig Calfee, Nick Crumpton etc. are known to manufacture their own frames.

It’s all handmade

Unlike steel and titanium frames carbon fiber frames need quite a lot of manual work irrespective of whether it is built by smaller manufacturers or the bigger players in the market.

Setting up the frame into the mold is still a manual process though in bigger factories the division of work makes it’s simpler. Even the paint, clean up etc. requires a manual check to make sure no wrinkles, spots etc. are present.

manufacturing process

Bike manufacturers don’t decide the grade

Have you ever seen the bike company claim the frame to be high modulus or ultra-high modulus? Well guess what, the grade is not theirs to decide. Grade of the carbon fiber depends on the material’s rigidity and is usually decided by the JCMA.

Cheaper bicycle frames usually are graded as standard or intermediate modulus while the above mentioned grades are used for the slightly expensive frames though more companies have lately started their own grading systems.

It’s not the only material used

Though bike frames are generally known to be carbon fiber frames it isn’t the only material used in the making and that’s because in its natural state carbon fiber is actually brittle and very vulnerable to cracks and dents. To make it stiff it’s combined with glue like material known as epoxy resin.

This material holds the carbon together making the frame tougher and more durable and thus keeping your bike safe from unwanted scratches, cracks and dents.

It’s repairable

One myth surrounding carbon fiber frames is that unlike its counterparts carbon fiber once damaged is ruined but the truth is it’s most often repairable. Though for the repair work I would suggest you visit an expert.

Avoid trying to repair it on your own. Manufacturers usually have their own in house repairing and since it is a complicated process I would recommend you get in touch with experts.

Here’s an insight into Trek’s carbon fiber frame manufacturing process