Nov 29 , 2020
When it comes to all-out bike performance, strength versus weight is the ultimate deciding factor - regardless of whether you are a commuter, hobbyist or professional cyclist. And when it comes to strength versus weight, at this point, nothing beats composite carbon fibre. So for those in search of a bike compromising absolutely nothing in weight, responsiveness or performance, then yes, carbon fibre is going to be the best overall choice in most cases. Read on to find out all the advantages of choosing a carbon fibre bike.
1. It’s Lighter
Is weight really important on a road bike? You can bet your last ounce of stamina it is. The fibrous nature of carbon fibre materials makes them specially crafted for peak performance. For example, the frame may be extra stiff in both the bottom bracket and handlebar connection for crisp responsiveness and delivery, but it may be more compliant in the seat region for extra comfort for the rider. All this shaves off valuable micrograms from the workload of the rider making the riding effort easier.
2. It’s a smooth comfortable ride
The greatest benefit is the capacity carbon fibres have to meld seamlessly into their purpose, this means offering the greatest connection to the road in terms of comfort and stability. An aluminium frame is a rigid sort and all the road vibrations will be transferred from your road surface through the frame and directly to your wrists, ankles and sit bones. By the 15th mile, your body will feel the effects. OF course, there are other ways to avoid this issue, wider tires with less air pressure absorb much of the road vibration.
Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need the entire carbon fibre frame, just the carbon fibre fork will significantly diminish the vibrations felt from the tires.
3. It’s stronger and more durable
Carbon Fibres have been developed significantly to produce an impressive strength level in the spots where the most strength is needed. This means that a carbon frame can be every bit as durable as the most expensive alloy frame. There are even impressive Mountain Bikes now being made of carbon fibres.
One important thing to understand is that the strength provided by a carbon fibre frame is exactly designed to fit the use of the bike. Impacts and pressure from incorrect use can result in damage to the frame. But this is not a reflection on the durability of the carbon fibre but the lack of care practiced by certain users. Bike racks, transport racks and the position of the seat post in the fame are all possibly hazardous to the carbon fibre frame and best practices should be considered carefully.
4. Carbon is an extremely stable material
Carbon fibre can resist corrosion from salt and sea air like no other bike material can. Steel and Aluminium can be very susceptible to the elements, but carbon fibres are inert and can withstand it all. There was a time when the carbon fibre could be damaged by UV rays, but modern manufacturing process has eliminated this problem from the table.
One of the unique abilities of carbon fibre is its ability to damp vibration. This is due to the resin, which effectively filters out high frequency vibration – i.e. road buzz. What some people describe as dead feeling, others exult as hugely comfortable.
5. What about Aluminium? It's light and strong.
Aluminium can be a more affordable alternative to carbon fibre without much weight penalty, but what aluminium lacks is the shock absorbing characteristics of carbon fibre. On a bumpy road, the difference in comfort between aluminium and carbon fibre is most noticeable.