Spokes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by olderider, May 12, 2018.

  1. olderider

    olderider New Member

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    I searched info on sapim spokes and 10 pages of info came up and thats just too many pages to go thru
    so I started this threada bout the quality of sapim spokes
    I'm old school and have always used dt spokes,I'm building a road whl using a phil wood rear hub and mavic
    a319 rims
    any input is greatly appreciated...michael
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Sapim CX Ray spokes are very high quality but they are also very expensive, so the question becomes is the cost of those spokes really worth what they deliver?

    First off with bladed spokes you have to have another special tool to hold the bladed spoke in position as you adjust the tension. Second I think they're way overpriced. I think you would be served buying either Sapim Laser or DT Revolution if you want a lightweight build...BUT...both of those spokes are flexy and not really good for the street. So now you're screaming at me, sorry, so I would instead build a wheel using DT Competition instead and cost at least a fourth the cost of the CX Ray's too, and a lot stronger. Here's another but, but if you insist on having bladed spokes then I would look at CN Aero 424 spokes, these are supposedly an equal to the CX Ray's but about fourth the cost. Just keep in mind that building or truing a wheel with bladed spoke is a bit more of a headache.
     
  3. olderider

    olderider New Member

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    I'm not looking to buy blades,the shop suggested sapim race ,I'm old school and like the old standards
    straight gage and x4,weight is not and issue I like a solid dependable wheel for the streets of upstate ny...
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    double butted spokes are actually stronger then straight gauge. DT Competition spokes are really nice as are Wheelsmith double butted.
     
  5. olderider

    olderider New Member

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    how do they compare to sapim spokes,sapims seem to be a popular spoke...
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Just as good, both DT, Sapim and Pillar get their wire from the same mill in Sweden, just don't get the race light spokes because the durability will be lower. So avoid the Sapim Super Spoke, Pillar PSR triple butted and the DT Revolution. Otherwise I would say find the lowest costing dble butted spoke and go with that. Of course some will argue that Wheelsmith are also just as good, I have a set wheels with Wheelsmith dble butted as well as another set with DT dble butted competition on the rear and DT Revolution on the front (I could get away with this on the front because I at the time I weighed 155 pounds and I was using 36 spoke wheels so the Revs lasted a long time with no issues), anyway I haven't had any issue with either company, so to say which is the best I can't say, I know that Peter White (who made the set of wheels with the Wheelsmith spokes) swears by them and thinks they're better, but I don't see them being better, more like the same. With the Wheelsmith I would avoid the DB14 series if you want a reliable long lasting wheel. So all 4 those spoke companies make great spokes, again go with the best deal.

    If you noticed the spokes I mentioned to stay away from are the lightest ones that are made for lighter riders and higher spoke count wheels. A lighter guy could ride with light spokes on a 32 spoke wheel but the rear wheel will need truing more often. Anyway if you want a reliable durable wheel don't go with the lightest option.
     
  7. olderider

    olderider New Member

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    thanks for all the info...I just need to make decision now...
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I think I would like to know more info about you and the wheels you are trying to build, or do you have a wheel builder doing it for you and knows how much you weigh?

    Ok so how much do you weigh?
    How many spoke holes does each wheel have?

    The answer to those questions can determine what to use. If you're building 35mm or deeper wheel you could go with bladed but do keep in mind that those are harder to true yourself. Plus there is some controversy if the bladed spokes have any aero advantage over dble butted spokes, so since that hasn't been proven that bladed are better I would go with dble butted, however most cyclists are conditioned to see deep wheels built with bladed and may think it odd that such a wheel is not built with bladed...really who cares?

    Also DO NOT build a wheelset with aluminum nipples, the material is soft and you could round off the nipple when you attempt to true the wheel, so go with brass, besides the weight difference between the two you'll never feel it, use only AL nipples if you're trying to get the lightest bike on earth and you want to brag about having that! But if you want long term reliability brass nips can't be beat. Not sure why the cycling industry never went to stainless steel nips since spokes are stainless steel and stainless steel is a harder material than brass.
     
  9. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom New Member

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    It never ceases to amaze me how much myth and folklore there is around building wheels, and how people religiously proclaim that their way is the only way to build a proper wheel. My first suggestion is that if some tells you that you absolutely must use something or that you can't possibly use something without providing any real evidence or rationale, move on to the next post. If you want a good education on wheels, get a copy of "The Bicycle Wheel" by the late Jobst Brandt and/or Roger Musson's e-book, "Professional Wheelbuilding". Both are excellent resources. Also, check out the videos online from wheel manufacturers, as opposed to individuals.

    To give you some background, I'm typically between 170 and 175 pounds. I've been building wheels since the mid-1970s. I just turned 61 and consider myself an avid cyclist, but I haven't raced in decades and I'm not as strong as I used to be. I ride road, 'cross/gravel, MTB and fat bikes and have a preference for lightweight wheels.

    What I've been riding on my road bikes for the past 8 years or so are usually wheels with Sapim Race spokes on the right side and Lasers on the left, where their extra elasticity is beneficial to durability. I have built some with Lasers on both sides, but I typically only do that if the wheels are asymmetric (more spokes on the right, such as 8 left and 16 right). My road wheels are either 24 spokes front & rear or 20 front / 24 rear. I always use aluminum nipples and have zero problems with them.

    I don't use straight gauge spokes because there is no advantage to them and they have two significant disadvantages. The obvious one is weight, but the more important one is a lack of elasticity. That does not allow them to to absorb the stress cycles that occur in use as well as double-butted spokes do. This is particularly a problem for heavier riders, so the natural tendency to think you need heavier spokes for a heavier rider can actually result in less durable wheels. There really is no point is using anything other than butted spokes unless you just want to build wheels as inexpensively as possible.

    For 'cross/gravel, I bump up the spoke count to 24 front, 28 rear and use the Lasers left, Race right combination described previously (easy to remember, eh?)

    There's nothing wrong with brass nipples and they are stronger than aluminum, but that doesn't necessarily make them any more durable in a wheel. If used correctly, aluminum nipples are very durable. The keys to using aluminum nipples are:

    1 - Deburr the inside of the rim holes, if they don't have eyelets. This prevents the rim from digging into the nipples at the shoulder, which could create a stress riser. I use a reground Phillips screwdriver with an angle that matches the shoulder angle of the nipples. A quick twist back and forth irons out any burrs in the rims. This may not be absolutely necessary, but it's a good precaution.

    2 - Make sure that your spokes are long enough, which is the best practice with either type of nipple. That means that they must be at least flush with the top of the nipples when the wheel is done. If they're two short, it's possible that the nipples could eventually crack at the base of the slot. I've never actually experienced that type of failure myself, but I have heard of it happening.

    3 - Lube the spoke seats in the rim, which again, is good practice with any type of spoke nipple. I just use a dab of oil on a Q-Tip.

    4 - Lube the threads on the spokes with grease or oil. You don't need thread locking compound if your wheels are properly tensioned. Although I have used it in the past, when I switched to lubing instead, I found that it was easier to build and tension wheels and I have no issues with the spokes staying tight.

    Anyway, that's what works for me, but I'm not going to tell you that you must follow my practices, as there are many ways to build a good wheel. If you have any questions about anything I've said, I'll be happy to provide explanations.

    Good luck with your wheels!
     
    #9 BrianNystrom, May 19, 2018
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I suggest you contact Peter White on this site: http://www.peterwhitecycles. com/ and see what he recommends. The books Bryan mentions are indeed very good books on wheel building.

    Bryan I'm not sure if you were addressing me or not but since I was the only one that responded I'm assuming you were. I never even mentioned Sapim Race spokes, I mentioned Sapim Super Spokes; the Race spoke is a stronger more durable spoke then the Supers, there's also a 130 gram difference in weight between the two when comparing the total of 64 spokes. Even the lighter Lazer spokes are still 43 grams lighter. The Lasers are compatible with DT Revolution. the Supers are even lighter and thinner than the Revs and heavier riders have problems with the Revs, I can't imagine the problems they would have with Supers. Wheel stiffness is proportional to the total amount of steel within the spoke, so more or thicker spokes build a stiffer wheel which in turn will last longer because it raises the static load. The reason dble butted spokes build a better wheel then straight gauge is because butted spokes move the majority of the stress (from rider weight and their power) away from the elbows and threads which are the weakest area in spokes, to the thinner sections of the spoke which increases the fatigue life of the elbow, threads and spoke.

    And AL nips are indeed fine IF you do all that you say to do, problem is most local yoko wheel builders don't do all of that, then when the wheel needs truing the home mechanic with rudimentary skills uses a cheap spoke wrench that isn't quite the right size and after a few truings the AL hexs round off. The other issue with AL nips is that they need, or should be, used only on rims with eyelets made of brass, because AL used on AL eyelets or just aluminum rim with no eyelets, will cause the two materials to corrode together and thus making it impossible to true the wheel. Even after lubing the seats that lube won't last forever and when it fails corrosion will start and by the time you notice it it's too late. So you have to all the wheel prep that Bryan mentioned plus issues even after you do all of that just to save 17 grams of weight between 64 aluminium nips and 64 brass nips, plus spend about $20 more for the AL. Gee I don't but it just doesn't seem worth it to me.

    I tend to lean toward having my bikes overengineered for my purpose because I want reliability and long life and I get that. When I see some getting only 10,000 miles out of wheel and having to true it once a month that was built with ultra light spokes, I just question the rationale behind doing such a thing. I've read forums where a heavy rider, above 250 pounds, would be breaking spokes like crazy, but when questioned they were riding on a low spoke ultra light wheel, meaning expensive, that some bike shop said was a great wheel when they should have gotten a wheel with more spokes. I cannot get behind that kind of thinking when the person isn't racing. And riding on rough streets isn't kind to ultra light wheels.

    By the way, bladed spokes don't add anything to the performance of the wheel and the bike unless you ride all the time at 30 mph or above, at 30 mph they will save you about 1 watt over dble butted spokes.

    But like Bryan said, do what you want, everyone has different ideas that's for sure.
     
  11. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom New Member

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    I wasn't specifically addressing anyone, more the general direction of the conversation which tended toward "my way or the highway", which is typical of wheel building conversations. What I was trying to point out is that there are no real absolutes, but rather general guidelines and that success depends on understanding the component parts and how best to utilize them.

    I disagree with your statement regarding wheel stiffness; it's actually proportional to the amount of tension in the wheel, not the amount of material in the spokes. You can make a very flexible wheel with thick spokes and insufficient tension. Of course, heavier spokes can handle higher tension, but the tension limit is typically dictated by what the rim can handle, not the spokes. Rim stiffness is also a huge factor in the overall stiffness of a wheel. There are many factory wheels that use extremely stiff rims with very low spoke counts. They also generally use heavier spokes at very high tensions. These wheels are engineered as a unit with the component parts designed to work together. Those of us who build wheels with off-the-shelf parts don't have the luxury of that custom-engineering; we have to take what's available to us and mix and match to suit a particular need. As you correctly pointed out, it's entirely possible to mismatch the wheel to the rider and the result is wheels that don't last.

    Super Spokes are a special purpose item and are so ridiculously expensive that I wouldn't consider them for anything that I would ride. I don't use Ti spokes either, for similar reasons.

    I haven't built with rims with eyelets in a long time, but have not problems with rim-nipple corrosion. Perhaps this is because I'm a "fair weather" road rider, but it hasn't been an issue with my off-road bikes, either. It seems that the alloys and anodizing used in modern rims and nipples are less prone to this than those from decades past. I enjoy building wheels, so the extra prep required for alloy nipples is just another "labor of love". A few extra minutes to build a wheel that will be ridden and enjoyed for thousands of hours is just a drop in the bucket to me.

    I also differ with your explanation of how butted spokes work. Spokes don't fail because they're over-stressed or not strong enough, they fail from fatigue, typically at the elbow. I don't think I've ever seen a spoke break at the threads, or if I have it was such a rare occurrence that I can't recall it. Failures in the center of the spoke are typically caused by physical damage, such as a chain over-shifting into the spokes.

    Fatigue failures have two main causes, improper stress-relieving during construction and the stress cycles that occur when riding. The first issue is easily dealt with using proper building techniques. The latter occurs when the spokes are insufficiently elastic to to absorb the stress cycles of riding, whether that's the normal cycles that occur at the bottom of the wheel or momentary overloads caused by the surface being ridden. Drive torque is not a significant factor, as humans are simply not capable of generating enough force to apply more than a handful of pounds to each spoke. This really only matters if the wheel is marginal to begin with. Torque from disc brakes can be more of a factor, but primarily on front wheels where braking forces are highest.

    Fatigue occurs when spokes go slack under vertical load, then regain tension as the load is removed. This can be caused by insufficient tension in the spokes or by spokes that are too stiff to absorb the small deflections in the rim under load. How much rim movement can be absorbed is dependent on how much the spoke stretch when tensioned. If you compare a 2.0mm straight-gauge spoke with a Laser/Revolution, the latter has only 57% of the cross-sectional area and will stretch nearly twice as much the straight-gauge spoke under the same tension. That means that it can also absorb nearly twice as much rim deflection, reducing the likelihood that it will experience fatigue-inducing slack cycles in normal use. It's this increased ability to absorb rim deflection that makes wheels build with butted spokes more durable, all else being equal.

    That said, there are practical limits to how light a wheel can be and still support the rider adequately over the long haul. With the light rims I use on the road, my wheels are getting close to that practical limit. I don't have durability issues, but I'm pretty easy on wheels and I wouldn't recommend my exact builds to riders who are significantly heavier or more abusive to their equipment. My off-road wheels are more rugged and perhaps more suitable for the average road rider of my weight.
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    In regards to the strength of the wheel I think it's both, the thickness of the steel and the tension. I've seen a lot wheels fail that the spokes were not strong enough to hold the rider after a period of time but the riders wanted the lightest wheel they could make, some of those were high spoke count and some were low spoke counts. Obviously I can't tell you what the tension was on all those wheels but I doubt all of them were tensioned incorrectly, and if you over tension that leads to the eyelet area of the rim to crack. If it was only tension that causes issues then touring and tandem bikes would be built using the lightest spokes made, but we find this isn't the case, touring bikes, tandems and now e-bikes are built with the thickest butted spokes (they use to be built with just straight gauge but time showed that wisdom was flawed), this is one of the reasons DT came out with Alpine III's. And of course touring and tandem wheels are built with high spoke count rims that use a stronger heavier rim. But I doubt our original poster needs Alpine III spokes, but the point is he shouldn't go with the lightest spoke on the market. If again it was all about tension then there would be no need for different thicknesses of spokes that manufactures make, they would just make one thickness of spoke, the lightest because that's what people want, and go with that because tension would take care of any problems of load bearing down on the wheel.

    I guess what I really find strange is that straight gauge spokes are recommended for those who ride disk brake bikes and even tandems, but supposedly we all talk about dble butted being better than straight. I'm confused as to why Sapim recommends those spokes for those applications.

    This wheel builder discusses this: https://whosatthewheel.com/2014/12/27/my-views-on-spokes/

    And yes there are companies building heavier wheels for low spoke count reasons, I have a set, but look what happened, they had to make the rim quite a bit heavier which makes a rim that isn't any lighter then a rim that is lighter with a few more spokes! Also with low spoke count wheels if you break a spoke the wheel tacos and you have to walk home, you can't re-adjust the other nearby spokes to compensate for the damaged spoke, the wheel is toast. I was riding one of my bikes with 36 spoke wheels and a stick hit the spokes and snapped a spoke, all I did was twist the broken spoke around another spoke so it would hit anything as I rode it home, AND I didn't even have to re-adjust the surrounding spokes (I couldn't anyways because I didn't have a spoke tool), the rim was out of alignment just enough to contact the brake pad so I opened the brake calipers up and rode it home with no problems. I could have never done that with a low spoke count rim.

    In my lousy opinion I don't see the rationale behind an average everyday rider who's not racing to be riding on low spoke count wheels, they do so because it's the fad, it's what comes with most new bikes as well, but with the possibility of breaking a spoke causing the wheel to taco and causing the rider to crash which could injure the rider and damage the bike itself, to me it just doesn't make sense. And to say that breaking a spoke a spoke on a low spoke count wheel will never happen...BS, it's happens, my mechanics at my bike shop have see the after effects and I've even seen it happen on the street once, I've seen what it did to the rider and the bike going about 22 mph since I was behind him doing the same speed. The bike was toast because it snapped the CF fork and the CF handlebar upon impact, and cracked the head tube (not sure if that was from the wheel tacoing or the impact, I think it was from the wheel failure but there is no way to tell for sure); the rider dislocated his shoulder, and broke a finger and jammed the wrist of the same hand, he also destroyed his helmet but his head was fine thanks to the helmet. I never did find out why that spoke broke but the guy riding it weighed around 220 to 240 pounds. Actually I think the guy came out of the crash in pretty good shape, something like that could have been a lot more serious.

    Failure at the threads I don't think is very common, I can't recall ever seeing that happen personally but maybe I did but thought the spoke broke at the elbow? but evidently it does happen because it's discussed on the internet; see: http://www.wheelfanatyk.com/blog/for-spoke-nerds-only/ Also on that site the builder talks about spokes lasting 100,000 miles, how can that be if the rims only last 30,000 miles? Because if the spokes are tensioned correctly initially during the build process and then detensioned correctly after the rim is worn out you can reuse those spokes on a new rim. So while spokes do fatigue the fatigue issue isn't a big deal if the wheel is build and later unbuilt correctly. There is also a forum discussion about threads breaking with Sapim spokes, see: https://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum/f40/sapim-spokes-breaking-threads-26340.html Once the original poster posted others later chimed in with the same problem if you continue to read through the discussion which has 5 pages to it. So it can and does happen.

    Like you, I'm a smooth rider so I don't stress my components like a lot of other riders who are not smooth riders, so I've never had a wheel fail from riding, and only one spoke ever broke and that was due to a stick. My smoothness may be one of the reasons my chains last 12 to 15,000 miles though I do keep them clean and lubed so it's probably a combination of those things.
     
  13. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom New Member

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    I've never been a fan of "boutique", alloy-rim wheels with proprietary parts, as they've always been expensive to buy, inconvenient to repair and generally heavy. I think the rationale was that aero trumps weight and deep, heavy, stiff rims with very few, very strong spokes at high tension was one way to improve aerodynamics, before carbon rims came along and turned everything upside-down. I haven't seen one fail and hope I never do, at least not from behind! I also don't seen any point in riding them.

    As for what wheels people should use, it's a matter of personal preference and priorities. I've always liked the feel of a light bike and light wheels, but I can't bring myself to spend the money for carbon rims. Yes, they combine the triple virtues of light weight, high stiffness and high strength in a single rim, but the price is too high for me to justify as a non-racer. It's also why I quit riding tubulars after 40+ years. Alloy clincher rims are just as light as alloy tubulars now and the tires are in the same weight range, but easier to deal with.

    OTOH, I can fully understand that others may prefer heavier wheels that are more forgiving of abuse and that may last nearly a lifetime. If I had to pay someone to work on my bikes, I'd probably lean the same way.

    FWIW, all of my tubular wheels - some of which date back to the late '70's - are 36 spoke (or more, but that's a whole different thread). Most are built with NOS rims from the '70's and '80's, though frankly, compared to modern alloy rims, they really suck! They are lighter, though... ;)

    I do tend to get much longer chain life than most people I know, but not in the range that you do.
     
    #13 BrianNystrom, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Bryan I haven't seen a CF wheel actually fail in person but I've seen them fail on TV watching races, and I have seen broken ones at the bike shop which is why one of the mechanics told me he won't ever ride on CF wheels, but he also won't ride on a CF bike because of all the stuff he's seen in the 12 years he's worked there. Here's an interesting read about CF wheels: http://road.cc/content/feature/171115-pros-and-cons-carbon-fibre-wheels the conclusion is what my bike mechanic came to as well, and they just are not well suited for the street and should be used for racing only. Here's another site: http://www.wheelbuilder.com/faq.php?q_id=10 note on this one it says they don't do well with sharp impacts like potholes...well streets where I live have lots of potholes, big cracks, sharp bulges, rough railroad tracks etc, which isn't unlike a lot of other places I've ridden which means most cities in America have the same issues.

    I seriously doubt I will ever buy a set of CF wheels, in fact I won't buy a CF bike either, I do have a CF fork on my Lynskey but I got a fork that was over engineered for me, I weigh 170 so I got a Enve 2.0 fork rated for 350 pounds, other CF forks are rated for 220 to 240 pounds depending on the manufacture, though Enve says that it's 1.0 is rated for 240 pounds they recommend the 2.0 if the rider is over 185 pounds...even Enve thinks being way over engineered for the rider is a sound idea. I also saw a guy on the bike path last summer who was riding towards me when suddenly his CF handlebar on one side broke right off and he crashed, but fortunately he landed in a bunch of shrubbery that broke his fall so other then scratches he was good. Carbon steerers have also snapped off. A lot of CF fails with small parts is due to incorrect torque when the part was assembled but still that sort of thing shouldn't be happening but it does because it's all about getting the lightest part.

    A lot of this bling stuff should mostly be used in racing and not the street, but they also are very expensive, when I see guys riding on the street with a set of wheels that cost more than my Lynskey I just can't help to think how they'll feel if a wheel gets damaged. Where I live I don't see a lot of expensive wheels like that but I did when I was riding in California two summers ago along the coast of Santa Barbara. I'm sure riding those real light wheels up a mountain is real sweat, but with the durability issue they could cause quite a spectacular crash coming down.

    I have a few bikes with original wheels from the 80's and while they may not be as good as modern aluminum rims but the older wheels ride a bit more comfortable because they aren't as stiff as the new stuff, so it's a give and take thing. Although I think the 80's era Torelli Master Series were the best of the era, I have one of my Torelli's left, the other one got damaged, but they were lightweight and held up very well. I have to unlace both Torelli's this summer so I can use the hubs for another set of wheels, I hope I can save the spokes on the good wheel too, and of course the rim.
     
  15. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom New Member

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    I have a very different take on carbon fiber and I've adopted it where it makes sense to me.

    I actually had a CF frame back in 1977, an Exxon-Graftek. It was way ahead of it's time and poorly engineered, as it didn't really take advantage of the properties of CF. It now hangs in a collection at First Flight Bikes in Stateaville, NC.

    I bought my second CF frameset in 1996, a generic-badged Giant TCR1. It was actually pretty inexpensive and it rode OK. However, I had my eye on a Litespeed Vortex as my "dream bike" and when I got it in 1998, the CF frame became a wall hanger (and I still have it). I rode the Vortex for 12 years only replacing the flexy Look HSC fork with a much stiffer Easton EC90SL.

    I switched from Ti to CF road frames in 2010, after buying a CF 'cross bike and experiencing the advantages of the material, specifically lighter weight and improved torsional stiffness. I've been happily riding CF frames ever since and the only metal frame I've bought since was a Ti hardtail, as I like the extra durability on MTB trails. My new (used) 'cross/gravel, disc-brake bike is also CF and came with CF rims. I promptly put road tires on those and set up aluminum wheels for off-road. I don't see myself ever going back to metal frames for road riding, especially in light of the advances in comfort of CF frames, while still maintaining torsional stiffness, which is something that you cannot duplicate easily with other materials.

    As I mentioned, I don't us CF road rims (with the one exception mentioned above) primarily due to the cost, but also the need for special brake pads. However, if the price was competitive with Al rims, I'd probably make the switch due to the benefits they provide. We have Chinese CF rims on our fat bikes, because the risk there seems low, there's a lot of material in them and they save a full pound compared to Al rims. I don't trust Chinese CF road rims yet, but they're improving quality while pushing the price down, so it's likely just a matter of time until they're good enough to consider.

    I don't use CF road bars due to cost and the fact that the ones I've tried are insanely stiff and uncomfortable. The stiffness issue appears to be addressed by some newer products. I have CF cranks on multiple bikes (road, 'cross/gravel and MTB) and I like them, but I have had a problem with early FSA K-Force Light cranks on which the pedal inserts loosened (crap product). I have CF seatposts on 3 bikes, two of which are designed to flex and improve comfort (on the Ti hardtail and the new 'cross/gravel rig). They definitely work.

    From what I've seen, CF failures can usually be traced to specific causes, such as:
    • Junky, knock-off/counterfeit products
    • Improper installation (over-torquing, using an inappropriate stem with CF bars, gouging the CF, etc.)
    • Continuing to ride with parts that have been involved in a bad crash
    If you read and follow the manufacturers' guidelines for their CF products, failures should not happen.

    The way I see it, if I'm willing to trust CF at 40,000 feet in an airplane, I can trust CF products from reputable manufacturers on my bikes.
     
    #15 BrianNystrom, May 21, 2018 at 8:52 AM
    Last edited: May 21, 2018 at 9:02 AM
  16. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom New Member

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    The 15 minute editing limit on this forum is really frustrating! Do we really need that??? I don't see the point.

    I wanted to add one more failure cause:
    • Impact damage (potholes, endo's, etc.)
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Airplane CF construction is not the same engineering process, with an airplane they use a carbon fiber matrix which is woven mats of CF embedded in plastic and the two combine make it far stronger than just one or the other by itself, bikes don't do that nor do they need to but there is an issue of strength that could be applied to bikes but isn't due to cost. And airplanes have to meet FAA safety requirements which include stress loads etc, we have no requirements in the bike industry. There is even some concern over CF safety in planes, because it has different fatigue problems, it tends to snap, rather than bend or stretch over time like a metal, and if a component bends in flight it can be controlled but if it snaps off no such luck. Also there are aircraft manufactures that are now concerned about the long term life expectancy of CF aircraft and are looking into aluminium lithium matrix instead.

    There is also all sorts of things that can go wrong in building a CF bike that can't go wrong in building a plane because the quality control is lacking, the only bike company I know of that has a very high standard in quality control of their CF bikes made in China is Specialized, even the high end Italian jobs don't have Specialized level of quality control. And this site discusses these issues which all of these issues are completely addressed by Specialized: http://www.newsomelaw.com/blog/2013/05/22/carbon-fiber-bikes-may-be-susceptible-sudden-failure/ Here is a video of various CF frames being cut to show the quality control issues:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZbg5hCRyvs&t=1641s


    Here are a couple of videos showing the sort of damage various materials can take, it's in German but you can figure it out:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63bmVpck


    And:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khJQgRLKMU0
    Though in this video at the end the carbon fiber didn't stay deflected but the tubing is completely toast and unusable at least with the cro moly steel you could still ride it safely.

    Since you mentioned titanium, which I preferred way over the many CF bikes I tested because of its unmatched riding comfort and unmatched durability, I think you may find this video interesting:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0eP-6j8d6s


    And here's a very interesting article that is never discussed in the bicycle world: https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/ot...frame-for-rising-number-of-injuries-1.1879653

    And this report is about CF actually does fatigue over time and use: https://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/frames-going-soft/

    This is a fun video, hit the play arrow sort of hidden then the video will suddenly appear where it looks like there isn't one:
    View: https://vimeo.com/106021360


    And like you said you can't ride a CF bike after even a mild accident until you have it checked to make sure it's ok and the only real way to test it is to have it sent back to the manufacture to have it ultrasonic sensor used on it because a lot of damage occurs inside the tubing and isn't visible on the outside, and tapping on the frame with a coin won't always detect that. So to have the manufacture do that, they'll have to send it out to have it done will cost about $50 which doesn't include stripping the frame and putting components back on if the frame is deemed rideable, and shipping (cost to strip and replaces is about $250 unless you do that yourself of course, and shipping is about $75, so you'll be out roughly $375) and it's out of your pocket not the manufacturer's pocket.

    Anyway it's for all those reasons I won't buy into getting either CF frame or wheels, the fork thing I already addressed what I did with that.
     
  18. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom New Member

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    I'm well aware of the difference between aerospace use of CF and bike parts. That was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, so perhaps I should have included a wink icon.

    I'm also familiar enough with composites to understand whats required to make a quality part.

    Abusing materials in ways they won't see in the real world doesn't impress me. I'm surprised nobody broke out a welding torch in order to take it the most ridiculous extreme. I understand the material properties of metals and composites, how they handle stresses and where they're best used. Nothing in these videos changes my mind about the suitability of carbon fiber for bicycle applications, as long as it's properly engineered and constructed, then treated as it's supposed to be when building the bike.

    I also have to say that your statement that "even a mild accident until you have it checked to make sure it's ok and the only real way to test it is to have it sent back to the manufacture to have it ultrasonic sensor used on it" is really WAY overstating the case. If that were actually true, my 'cross/gravel bikes would have either gone to be scanned dozens of times or they would have collapsed into a pile of scrap by now.

    I also completely disagree that Ti has "unmatched riding comfort". That may have been true 15 years ago, but it's no longer true today, now that bike companies are realizing the true potential of CF. With CF, you can have incredible ride quality without sacrificing stiffness under pedaling forces. Remember that unlike you, I've ridden both Ti and CF extensively.

    This all boils down to personal choice. I've chosen to primarily ride CF frames because it works well for me and the type of riding I do. No material is perfect in all aspects, but for me CF comes closest for most applications.
     
  19. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    When I test rode all those bikes it was in 2012 and 2013, just barely 5 years ago. But like you said it is a personal choice but I happen to like TI better, it was noticeably better ride in my opinion. Granted finding TI bikes to ride was difficult where I live but what got me on TI bikes was two guys I know that own TI bikes, one had a Motobecane and the other a Serotta, two vastly different priced bikes. The Serotta of the two was the most comfortable but it had swayed seat stays and smaller diameter tubing. but it didn't feel as sure footed as the Motobecane. The Motobecane by the way is a fantastic deal but Bikes Direct was out of my size when I tried to order one and didn't get them in for over a year and half, so I bought the Lynskey Peloton because it was on sale; the Moto welds were just as good as the Serotta or my Lynskey and it cost about $4,000 less than the Serotta and about $800 less than my Lynskey.

    Even after buying the Lynskey and riding a few CF bikes I found the Lynskey to be more comfortable, and as responsive if not more so then some. My Lynskey I had the Enve 2.0 fork put on and stock CF bikes where I live none come with Enve 2.0 forks so some of that responsiveness and surefooted feeling I get out of the front end may be due to that fork. I know between the Moto and Serotta the Moto CF fork seemed noodly which the owner after riding my bike agreed, so about 2 years later he replaced his fork with a Enve 2.0 and now it feels a lot better after I rode it, so I think the fork did play a part. My Lynskey doesn't ride quite as smooth as the Serotta but just a tad better than the Moto; the Moto is the heaviest of the three. I actually didn't like the Serotta as much as I liked the Moto because it wasn't as responsive, I guess making the bike ride smoothly took some of the crispness and responsiveness out of the bike. And the Lynskey weighs as much as a lot of CF bikes on the market at 17.5 pounds, sure there are lighter CF bikes just as there are lighter TI, lighter AL bikes, and even lighter steel bikes, in fact I know of a steel bike in production that weighs just a tad under 14 pounds with pedals and bottle cages! and they're are no complaints on the internet about this light steel bike having frame failures.

    So for me TI does everything I wanted a bike to do, and it will last forever if I don't crash it hard of course, it won't rust or corrode, it won't go soft, a small rock being fired up by the front wheel won't create a hole in the CF see: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/bikes-frames-forks/hole-carbon-s-works-frame-347478.html Ti can be bent back with no ill effects unlike AL of course CF can't be bent back it's just toast. You have to remember too is that I came off of riding steel bikes for the last 40 plus years, and I really liked the durabity that steel gave me, but I found TI to be a bit more comfortable than steel, but to me steel was more comfortable than CF, so TI was actually two levels above in comfort over CF, not one. Again as you stated it's preception. I don't like the muted feeling I get with CF, I want a connection to the road, it's like cars with electric steering, the steering on those cars (at this time anyways) feel like they are disconnected from the road and give very little feedback, this is sort of how CF bikes feel to me.
     
  20. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom New Member

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    FWIW, the Ti hardtail I mentioned is a Motobecane and it was a steal with a full SRAM XX group for under $3000. Other than a minor issue with the seatpost clamp - which Bikes Direct paid to remedy - it's a great bike. The frame is built by Kinesis, so the quality is no surprise.

    I agree with you that if you want a lifetime frame, Ti is the way to go. I still have my Vortex and a Clark Kent built Lemond Ti frameset hanging in the basement, in case I ever want to build them up again. However, CF offers a combination of stiffness, light weight and comfort that Ti cannot equal, especially with the advances made in just the past 2-3 years. I'll take that over ultimate durability, but that's my personal choice.

    I don't know what CF bikes you rode, but I have not found them to be "muted" at all. You can easily find a CF frame that will provide you with as much feedback as you could handle. In fact, I find the feel of Ti to be generally very muted, which is why it feels smooth. I imagine that newer Ti frames with 1 1/8" or tapered headtubes and larger section main tubes will feel much sharper than my old Vortex, so perhaps that explains the discrepancy.

    After putting plenty of miles on my CF road and 'cross/gravel bikes, I have zero fear of a rock holing the frame anywhere. Yes, anything is possible; I could get struck by lightning on the road or attacked by a bear in the woods too. Anecdotes of freak occurrences are essentially meaningless. It's interesting that he does specify how the rock hit his frame or how big it was. Judging by the damage, it wasn't your average road pebble and I think you're making inappropriate assumptions about that. If you search the Web, you can find plenty of anecdotal evidence of Ti failures, generally at the welds and water bottle mounting studs. I haven't let that prevent me from riding Ti bikes.

    If you're just looking to support a predetermined narrative, you an always find anecdotal evidence for that. I prefer to keep an open mind and examine new developments with a critical eye to determine if they make sense or not. CF framesets work for me and have for a long time, with zero problems.

    We've pretty thoroughly hijacked this thread and beaten the Ti vs. CF argument to death. I'm fine with agreeing to disagree.
     
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