The bicycle industry aims to produce lighter, stronger and more attractive designs that cannot be done with metal. But carbon fiber products are more mysterious than metal parts. Now let’s learn 9 facts you may not have known about it.
No.1 Not all carbon fiber bike frames are made in Asia
It's true that a lot of things are made in Asia in the popular sense. some of the frames and parts are also made in America and France.
Although originally known as a material for aerospace, carbon fiber is also ideal for small-scale processing. It can be processed in small American stores or even private workshops. Many bike makers can make their own frames out of CFRP, much like big bike makers such as Giant.
No. 2 But most of the raw carbon does come from Asia
Carbon fiber is made from polyacrylonitrile (PAN) fibers. They are heated to such a high temperature that the non-carbon material is burned away, leaving only a series of long, very thin fibers. The more fully treated, the greater the rigidity of the material.
It's a complex industrial process, and only a few companies in the world have the ability to make it.
No.3 Bicycles use more than one kind of carbon fiber
Carbon fiber comes in many forms: raw silk, fibrous cloth, and so on. Short-cut fibers are generally used on pedals. Usually used on car frames, CFRP is exactly what it sounds like: a continuous CFRP that looks like a roll cloth is wound around a giant reel. Raw silk is relatively rare in the bicycle industry.
No.4 Not only the frame needs carbon fiber
What we usually call "carbon fiber" is actually carbon fiber composites, and they aren't the only material in your bike's frame. That's because its high stiffness is conditional: when left alone, the composite is brittle and has a tendency to crack. To preserve its properties, it is dipped into an epoxy resin, a colloidal material, before it is put into the mold to form a composite. Much of the carbon fiber used in the bicycle industry is processed in this form, a process called "prepreg".
No.5 The most amazing and expensive process is Cascading
Carbon fiber is a good bicycle material for the below two reasons. First of all, compared with other materials we are familiar with, it has the advantages of high stiffness and low mass. Second, unlike metals, the stiffness of it is easier to control; its stiffness characteristics are only shown in one direction, so its stiffness can be adjusted depending on how the composite is aligned or placed in a mold.
Engineers use anisotropic software programs to let the frame achieve extreme lightness and stiffness, or even both. But these procedures and the manpower required need high cost. And the high modulus fiber needed to achieve the demanding design is expensive.
No.6 All carbon fiber frames are handmade
Traditionally, frames are made of stainless steel and titanium alloys, but every tire, handlebar, or other part made of CFRP requires a lot of hand manufacturing.
The manufacturing process is almost entirely automated: Computer-controlled machines cut single layers of carbon fiber from the carbon fiber cloth. After that, the CFRP frame or parts must be precisely assembled in a mold in a sequence of layering, a process that has yet to be automated.
No.7 Carbon Fiber Bike Frames is repairable
A lot of people have the misconception that when a carbon fiber bike frames or part breaks down, it's a dead end. But that's not entirely true. It can be repaired in some cases. The treatment is not much different: the damaged parts are cut off and bridged with new material. The new material goes through a series of processes, fixing, polishing and painting to make it match the original material.
Carbon fiber bikes are a boon to sports enthusiasts, and more carbon fiber bikes and products are also enriching our lives.
Our lytron-bike contribute all our loyalty to our customs. Our carbon fiber bike is waiting for your appetite.