Author Topic: Touring on carbon  (Read 51399 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MrBent

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2009, 12:30:24 pm »
Wow, how many miles on those frames?  Now that I think about it, I did, once, brake a dropout on a front fork after about ten years of riding.  That's the only frame problem I've ever had.

Scott


Quote
I have, however, heard from at least one person who's frame blew apart on a trans-continental tour, something I've never heard of with steel/aluminum--not that it couldn't happen.
I've cracked a steel frame, twice, without a load, or an  accident-- just fatigue.



Offline whittierider

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2009, 04:27:23 pm »
Quote
Wow, how many miles on those frames?
Under 20,000 for the steel frame I mentioned.  I wish it were repairable, but it's quite a mess.  To fix the first break, the frame builder brazed an additional tube inside the bottom of the seat tube and down into the BB shell, then it broke again later.  A large pro racer, I believe it was Magnus Bäckstedt, broke four aluminum frames in one year, ahead of the team's liberal replacement schedule.

Offline litespeed

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2009, 08:08:09 pm »
Towing a trailer - less weight on the bicycle - should let you get by with a carbon bike and 700/23 tires. But the small tires will be a big problem on anything but good paved surface. My bike came with 28 tires and even they were iffy on some packed dirt trails. I had custom wheels made that could accomodate 37 tires. Much more comfortable, last longer and I can go most anywhere. Sooner or later you will be stuck on a unpaved surface.

Offline TCS

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2009, 10:05:06 am »
There are any number of carbon fiber cyclocross frames+forks available these days.  Many are exotic and rather expensive, although there are some modestly priced generic ones out of Taiwan, too. 

These bikes have cantilever brakes and large tire clearance.  Some even have eyelets.  Wheelbases are reasonable.

tcs
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline TCS

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2009, 10:14:28 am »
One of our neighbors is a welder with NASA certifications and does aircraft stuff all the time, but when I told him how thin-walled the modern steel and aluminum frames are, he said he wouldn't touch them.

A NASA welder, sure, but the village blacksmith would most likely be happy to braze up a crack or braze on a strenghening piece on a damaged steel frame.

tcs
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2009, 01:24:25 pm »

A NASA welder, sure, but the village blacksmith would most likely be happy to braze up a crack or braze on a strenghening piece on a damaged steel frame.

tcs

It might be more complicated than that. 

Let me start by saying that I love steel bikes, and only own steel bikes.  When I upgraded my touring bike last year, I went with a lugged frame from Waterford.  Lugged frames are brazed and not TIG welded.  Like you, I thought I could always find some one to braze a repair.

Waterford uses different steel alloys on their lug frames than those used on their TIG welded frames.  On my bike, I butted head with Waterford over the placement of the fork brazons.  Waterford wanted to position the lugs and brazons based on the rack I had (a Tubus Tara).  I wanted the flexibility to to also support a different rack.  Waterford was all set to put two different brazons on the fork until their metal expert said that two brazons would compromise the integrity of the fork.  Waterford ended up coming up with some universal location for the brazon (which is what I always wanted). 

Not all steels may support brazing.  I suspect it may have to do with how the steel is tempered rather than silver solder not wanting to adhere.

Modern steel bikes use some very exotic steel alloys.  Reynolds used to tell you a lot of neat factoids about their tube sets.  Apparently it took them two years and a lot of destroyed equipment learning how to draw their 853 alloy into tubing.  I wish I had a better understanding of metalurgy, so that I could understand all the steel alloys in use.

I am pretty sure that I can find someone to braze repairs onto my Waterford, I just hope I never have to.
Danno

Offline TCS

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2009, 04:56:59 pm »
::)  Well, of course it's possible to figure out ways to build a non-repairable frame out of any material, but that's rather different than there being no material available to build a readily repairable frame. 

For a variety of reasons I don't think reparability is a significant parameter, but if it's somebody else's jones, it is achievable.

tcs

Note on "modern" steels: quality bikes continue to be built out of chomoly steel alloy, as they have since the 1930s.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline whittierider

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2009, 10:40:22 pm »
Quote
Quote
One of our neighbors is a welder with NASA certifications and does aircraft stuff all the time, but when I told him how thin-walled the modern steel and aluminum frames are, he said he wouldn't touch them.
A NASA welder, sure, but the village blacksmith would most likely be happy to braze up a crack or braze on a strenghening piece on a damaged steel frame.
All the breaks I've seen in steel have been right at the edge of a weld or right where the tubing goes into a lug.  The only way I know to braze that is to put another tube inside (since you can't get metal right up to it on the outside), fitting the new tube rather precisely to the inside of the broken tube, and braze that, something you can really only do on the seat tube (because of access problems), which is where mine broke both times.  If you just try to braze the two sides of the crack to each other without another piece of steel, it will just break again right away.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 10:42:04 pm by whittierider »

Offline moots

Re: Touring on carbon in Cuba
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2009, 09:30:33 pm »
I will be touring Cuba for a couple of weeks in early 2010, not carrying luggage aside from a bar bag for oddments.  Apparently, the roads are paved but "poorly maintained in places".

Relevant to this thread, I'm intending to take my carbon road bike (Cervelo RS), though I may need tougher wheels than the current Easton lightweights.  Having said that, said bike has been thrown down a muddy, rocky bridleway -- twice -- and survived.  The experience was a bit like ice skating drunk, though, and I wouldn't recommend it.

I 'only' have two bikes, and I would like to avoid taking the draggier, bigger, full suspension ATB or buying a proper touring bike specifically for this one trip.  I shall get advice from the tour leader.

The main negative against carbon touring, as far as I see it, is that once it's broken... it stays broken, with little chance of getting it patched up.  I previously rode a steel road bike for 18 years and was very happy with it.  I wouldn't go back, mind you :)


Moots

Offline rsamps

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2010, 10:42:38 am »
I know this is kind of an old thread, but.  I have been touring on my Specialized S-Works Carbon Tricross both on pavement and on unpaved roads here in Northern New England.  The bike comes with eyelets for fenders/racks front and rear, and being essentially a cross bike, has tons of space for fat tires.  In addition, the bike has elastomers built into the fork, seat stays and seat post to further smooth the ride.  The elastomers, coupled with a stretched out carbon frame, makes for a velvety ride.  I will be changing my gearing over the winter and will tour next spring with a compact 5/34 crank with Sram Force shifters running an 11-36 ten speed rear end.  I had been looking for a carbon bike with eyelets for a few years before I realized that Specialized's world cup cyclocross frame had them.  This frame, fork, headset, seat post and stem (all carbon) were purchased vis ebay.  Unfortunately the new 2011 Specialized Cross bikes do not have eyelets. So at this point you have to search for a used 2007-2010 frame.  Built up with the gearing listed above, fenders, rear rack, 33mm Jack Brown tires, the bike weighs about 22 pounds.  It has become my favorite bike.

Offline ducnut

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2010, 08:24:33 pm »
Unfortunately the new 2011 Specialized Cross bikes do not have eyelets. So at this point you have to search for a used 2007-2010 frame.

Yeah, Specialized has really jostled eyelet availability, the last few years. Because I wanted mid-fork eyelets on a Comp model, I hit eBay in search of an '09.

I, too, just got my GF a '10 Expert model, off eBay, and set it up with SRAM Apex derailleurs and 12-36 cog driven by the original 46/36 crankset. I just need a set of levers and I'll have everything to switch my Comp over to Apex.

I haven't, yet, started touring. But, I have been working on multiple centuries per week in an effort to hit 150 miles in a day, as a personal goal. The Tricross is lighter and more nimble than the dedicated touring rigs and allows a large enough tire for me to ride dirt and gravel roads. It's really proven to be the perfect bike for me. Enough so, that I sold, both, my road and tri bikes. I have no desire to own another skinny-tired bike.

Offline froze

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2014, 10:04:52 am »
Quote
I have, however, heard from at least one person who's frame blew apart on a trans-continental tour, something I've never heard of with steel/aluminum--not that it couldn't happen.
I've cracked a steel frame, twice, without a load, or an  accident-- just fatigue.

BS.  You're just a CF chest beater.  Steel has the least amount of fatigue of any material except for Titanium.  I have a steel frame with over 160,000 miles and about 100,000 of that was racing and training for racing at Cat level 3.  I use to race back in the days when steel was all there was and guys pounded those bikes and they rarely broke.  This is also why steel is the most popular choice for heavy loaded touring because they rarely break, and this is evidenced by millions of tourist all over the world and probably a couple of thousand here on this forum!  Geez, man they've been touring on steel bikes before there was "good" steel, before there was ultralight camping gear which mean't heavier loads then we carry today, and they rarely had issues.  And this why today steel is still the number 1 choice for a touring bike no matter the cost, from low end mass produced touring bikes in the $1400 range to the high $6,000 plus range for custom built touring bikes.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2014, 10:34:20 am »
I've cracked a steel frame, twice, without a load, or an  accident-- just fatigue.

Quote
BS.  You're just a CF chest beater.  Steel has the least amount of fatigue of any material except for Titanium.  ... [bunch of bragging deleted]   And this why today steel is still the number 1 choice for a touring bike no matter the cost, from low end mass produced touring bikes in the $1400 range to the high $6,000 plus range for custom built touring bikes.

I'm not sure why it was necessary to resurrect a four year old thread, but this steel chauvinism isn't helpful or relevant.  Steel has minimal fatigue, sure.  A single, N=1 example to the contrary does nothing to refute the assertion that steel bikes still break.  I've broken two, one loaded, the other not.

Why steel is the top choice for touring bikes is an interesting question.  I suspect a part of the answer has to do with traditionalists who won't buy a touring bike made of any other material.  Other answers might include: limited sales of touring bikes mean it's not cost-effective to set up tooling for carbon; Cannondale cornered the marked for aluminum touring bikes before it went through bankruptcy; many tourists stop with the cheapest production touring bike they can find, so that keeps the number of titanium touring bikes down below the point most manufacturers will mass produce a touring model.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 10:36:02 am by Pat Lamb »

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2014, 11:22:28 am »
It is a bit odd to revive such an old thread for not reason.  Oh well.  All bicycle frame materials will break.  Racing bikes probably the most often because weight is an important criteria for them and they use the thinnest tubes possible.  Thus less strength.  Its very easy to make a very fragile steel frameset.  Just use very thin and lightweight tubes!  But most companies use heavier and stronger steel tubes because they do not want the reputation of making bikes that break.  Again easy to do.  I suspect touring bikes use steel because it is probably the cheapest material to make a bike from.  Steel foundries and fabricators are very common.  Suspect its easy and cheap to roll a sheet of metal into a circle and weld it into a tube.  Cheapness is why companies do things a certain way.  Steel is cheap!  Whether its the best touring frame material?  Who knows.  You could make a stronger and superior frame out of titanium maybe.  But it would be costly so its not done.  No one uses titanium for touring bikes because of cost.  Making a touring frame from carbon would also be costly probably.  So its not done.  Cheapness is the reason for many many things.  Steel is cheap to make into bike frames.  Long ago all bikes were made from steel because it was the only material.  1970s aluminum started to be used.  Carbon in the 1980s.  Titanium about 80s too.  Steel is also cheap because its an old way of making frames.  Its been around a long time.  Working with aluminum, carbon, titanium is newer and less known.  So more expensive.

Offline froze

Re: Touring on carbon
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2014, 11:43:22 am »
the only reason I renewed such an old post was due to misinformation given on it in some posts.  The misinformation about steel breaking by the poster made it sound like steel is crap and isn't worth a darn to tour on and CF is now the big king of touring frames.  That simply is not even remotely true.

Cost to make steel is indeed cheaper but only to a degree.  Yes you can get bargain basement steel touring bikes for about the $1500 range, but to say it's cheaper isn't always the case, there are plenty of bikes like the Atlantis and other models that Rivendell sell that are production made bikes that cost in the $4,000 range and these are steel, there are also custom steel touring bikes that cost even more, so to say touring bikes are made of steel because their cheaper to make in steel isn't really true to the fullest degree.  The Cannondale aluminum touring bike was also a cheap offering of about $1,300 range so being made out of a "newer" material doesn't make AL more expensive either.  TI touring bikes, like almost all TI bikes are custom built; the least expensive one I could find was a Lynskey at around $3300 complete, so in comparison to a Atlantis the Lynskey TI is a little less then the steel Atlantis bike!   The only carbon fiber touring bike I could find was a Specialized that cost $5500.

One of the reasons touring people chose steel is in the unlikely event damage occurs to the frame (usually by an accident) no matter where their at they can find someone who knows how to bend the steel back and weld, not so easy to find a person adapt at doing that with any other material especially TI or Carbon fiber.  I knew a guy who broke his AL Cannondale on a touring trip and was able to get it re-welded and splinted with wood and zip ties to make sure it held, the weld job held up till he got home and it broke again on the next leisure ride he was doing around home.  So while AL can be repaired it is usually substantially weaker then before the repair.  You don't run into that issue with steel.  CF and TI would have to be sent someplace for repairs and then sent back while you camp out in whatever town your in.   All of this is assuming it is repairable of course, if not the person will be looking at either buying a new bike or frame, or ending the trip and flying home.