What is carbon fiber bike frame?
Before getting in-depth knowledge of how a carbon fiber bike frame made, we should learn the overview of the raw material. Carbon fiber starts its journey as a polymer, which is processed through various heating steps into long strings of carbon atoms. These long strings, or filaments, are each about 5 to 10 microns in diameter, 10 to 20 times smaller than the average diameter of a human hair.
These individual filaments are then tied together to form a thin ribbon, or fiber. And it really like the process that a thread becomes a string, then becomes a rope. The carbon filaments work together so as to form something extremely lightweight and strong.
Designers and engineers are more likely to utilize carbon fiber if the economy permits. As it is five times stronger than steel, twice as stiff, with weight ⅔ less than steel. Carbon fiber is a carbon cloth made from filaments thinner than a human hair. Unlike steel, aluminum and other metals, carbon fiber itself could mold highly aerodynamic shapes normally that other materials could not achieve.
How are carbon fiber bikes frame made?
One important thing that many new riders notice when they look at carbon bikes is that they are more expensive than comparable aluminum bikes. The process of building a carbon bicycle is much more complicated than making it out of metal tubes, largely because of the cost.
Carbon fiber is actually fiber, just like fabric. They are suspended in resin. Typically, you start with a "pre-impregnated" or pre-impregnated piece of carbon fiber, which already contains the resin. They come in different types, depending on the feature you want. These braided fibers create the typical braided carbon look that people associate with carbon fiber.
The manufacturer chose all the features they wanted for the bike. They may want to be tougher in one place and more pliable in another. To achieve the desired performance, it needs to place the fibers in a specific order and in a specific direction at a specific location.
The design of each piece requires a lot of thought and is done by hand. A bicycle may have hundreds of pieces of carbon fiber, all handmade by real people. Much of the cost of carbon-fiber bikes comes from manual labor. The mold itself is also expensive. Opening a mold can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and you'll need a mold for every frame size and model you make.
Then put it all in the oven. A chemical reaction takes place that solidifies the whole package and makes all these individual layers come together and work together.
Pros and Cons
Advantages of carbon fiber bicycle frames
- Professional strength-to-weight ratio competition
Carbon fiber is the lightest and hardest (even harder than aluminum). Because of its slight bend and gradual tightening, it is the material of choice for many sprinters and climbers. Virtually every winner of the Tour de France in the past 20 years has ridden a carbon-fiber bike. From Pro Peloton to top tier triathlons, this is what you'll find real riders driving.
Much of this has to do with the versatility of the carbon fiber provided in the manufacturing process. Designers are not constrained by the shape of tubes, which means they can tweak the structure in a variety of ways.
Carbon can be layered at different angles and directions to produce varying degrees of strength and stiffness to weight ratios. It also allows bike makers to maximize aerodynamics, a clear advantage when you're talking about high-speed competition.
Disadvantages of carbon fiber bicycle frames
Of course, nothing is perfect. Because of its rigidity, carbon fiber can still be damaged under excessive stress. Unfortunately, this damage is not always clearly visible. The structural integrity of carbon fiber bicycles is fragile. Careful inspection must be carried out after any form of collision to avoid the danger of complete failure in motion.
- Different quality and price range
However, carbon fiber is the most wonderful choice for bikes. Just be careful what you buy, as not all frames are created equal (many brands even use different names for their carbon fiber terminology). Quality depends on how the raw material is heated and layered, and what resin is used for the synthetic product.
As a result, performance varies greatly between cheap and expensive bikes. The same is true of prices, but fortunately for the high-end models, prices have been steadily falling.Try our best carbon fiber bike.
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