advances in frame technology

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
NYCPrynne
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by NYCPrynne

It seems like carbon technology is probably going to plateau soon, if it has not already done so, and that improvements are only going to be incremental. The evolution of frames will hopefully continue. IMHO, the biggest advances seem to be made whenever there are changes in the materials. Chro-moly to titanium & aluminum to carbon fiber.

I am wondering if anyone has thoughts about the next jump? I feel like it ought to probably be in the development or discovery of new metal alloys.....a metal that can be made to be light and that can be easily handled?

I am a big fan of carbon, but it seems like manufacturers are just producing variations of the same thing, and it is getting a bit old.

Thoughts?

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btompkins0112
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by btompkins0112

I think that carbon nanotechnology has a lot of growth that won't necessarily be visually distinguishable, but will be felt. That said, I am an accountant so I don't know sh*t about engineering or nano-whatever.


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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

I believe the advance will come through new synthetic polymers and new resins (combined with those polymers).
Not necessarily carbon.

We'll then (when that happens) have 5 types of frame materials: polymers (whatever it ends up being), carbon fiber, titanium, steel, aluminum-alloy-variants.
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uraqt
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by uraqt

Look to the Cervelo RCa, It's my guess that nano coating on the steerer tube and the 3M™ Powerlux resin . The resin has changed how fishing rods are made. I have hear it's 3X the cost : (

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by FIJIGabe

With the advancements in carbon nanotubes that have been reported recently, I don't think we're anywhere NEAR the pinnacle of CF technology. I think we're far from it, actually.
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metanoize
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by metanoize

prendrefeu wrote:I believe the advance will come through new synthetic polymers and new resins (combined with those polymers).
Not necessarily carbon.

We'll then (when that happens) have 5 types of frame materials: polymers (whatever it ends up being), carbon fiber, titanium, steel, aluminum-alloy-variants.


Unless it is a true new material, it'll still be called carbon fiber! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-fib ... ed_polymer" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think the only advancement will be seeing are similar to Powerlux and TeXtreme http://www.feltbicycles.com/blog/?p=2812" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and various layup schedules.

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DMF
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by DMF

In the not so near future for certain frames will be made out of graphene, will probably bring frame weights down to sub300g without even breaking a sweat... Ofcourse when that is, is anybody's guess, but certainly the 'wheels are in motion' (pardon the pun) rolling in that direction, not just for bicycles...

If I would take a wild guess, no more than 15 years from now until mankind figures out how to mass produce this stuff for a reasonable cost, and knowing what we know from experience, high-end bicycles will be early adopters.

uraqt
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by uraqt

@ DMF not so sure the bike industry is an early adopter right now, Powerlux was used in fishing rods last year. I will give you that Cervelo and Felt are "starting to be early adopters" now and that will force everyone to follow.

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metanoize
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by metanoize

@DMF a whole bike from graphene is unlikely. But there will be composites of graphene+nanotech that will bring a frame+fork weight down to around 500g in about 5 years. They wont be cheap.

Vittoria will have tires in about 2 years that'll have graphene deposits http://www.vittoria.com/2012/12/new-joint-venture/

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prendrefeu
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by prendrefeu

metanoize wrote:
prendrefeu wrote:I believe the advance will come through new synthetic polymers and new resins (combined with those polymers).
Not necessarily carbon.

We'll then (when that happens) have 5 types of frame materials: polymers (whatever it ends up being), carbon fiber, titanium, steel, aluminum-alloy-variants.


Unless it is a true new material, it'll still be called carbon fiber! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-fib ... ed_polymer


No, it won't.

Actually, I was referring to a new material. Obviously since this discussion is about what-might-be the future and not necessarily what-is-available-now-but-we-haven't-seen-it-in-the-bicycling-industry-yet, my point still stands.

And by new polymers, I'm thinking beyond carbon. My point is this: scientists will be able to develop a new polymer/material that may or may not be used in conjunction with a particular resin (perhaps that too will be invented), and we'll have a 5th material in the industry. These newer types of nano-tech carbons are still variations of carbon fiber. I'm thinking beyond that.

For example of an advancement that was entirely born out of a laboratory, in the fabric world: Cuben.
I'm not stating that Cuben will be used in frames, but my point is this: Cuben was invented, so too will another polymer be invented for structural purposes, which will end up at some point in frames (which are structures).

Which is exactly what I wrote the first time around. Please don't confuse it with carbon fiber. ;)
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justkeepedaling
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by justkeepedaling

Fundamentally by science, the material will need carbon. Highest possible stiffness to weight. Aka carbon nanotubes or graphene

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kbbpll
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by kbbpll

prendrefeu, you missed magnesium and bamboo/wood. Of course these are not mass-market materials, and we're not likely to see any "advances" there.

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elviento
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by elviento

If we are talking pure material science (and not aero, ergonomics, etc.) then carbon should be good enough for a while, as the frame is THE most over engineered part in a bicycle right now. 6XXg frames are good enough in a 6XXXg bike. There is a lot of room to milk weight and strength out of other pieces, but old standards are often in the way. I like LOOK's BB65 cranks but they can't sell them at $3K, while the RCA is $10K. That's why LOOK even uses the same spider for both standard ring and compact coz they don't want to spend the money on extra molds.

I truly believe advances should come in the form of new standards (SORRY) and better integration. At some point, carbon spokes will be standard issue, much like forks, and later frames.
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kgt
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by kgt

I agree with Elviento that carbon frame technology gradually reaches its peak (F1 chassis evolution from 1981 until today show that as well). The prices just need to go down. $10K for a frame is insane IMO.

I would also like strong, light, full carbon wheels to evolve that would cost no more than 1000 euros.

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justkeepedaling
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by justkeepedaling

F1 chassis does not show that at all. Regulations force a weight limit. If there wasn't a weight limit, we'd have ridiculously light F1 cars and much higher cornering speeds, acceleration, and braking

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