Interesting thread I discovered:
http://forums13.consumerreview.com/crfo ... 8@.efcbeac
What do you think the frame material of the future is? My vote goes to carbon nanotube composites. Pound for Pound, carbon nanotubes are something on the order of 1000 times stronger than our best types of steel. In fact, they are so strong that they are rapidly being developed to be used for a space elevator (!!!!), possibly within the next 15 years.
Theoretically, steel should be a few hundred times stronger than it actually is, based on the theoretical strenght of the atomic bonds between iron atoms. However, its crystal structure isn't perfect, and their are impurities, leading to its comparitevely modest real world strength. Carbon nanotubes are like elongated soccer balls. Picture the grid of a soccer ball extended into a long tube, with a hemisphere on each end. Well, carbon nanotubes are damn near perfect, and thus approach their theoretical maximum strength. Here are some comparisons of straight (not composite) carbon nanotubes to the strongest steels available...
1/3 as dense
1000x stronger...and several times less elastic to boot! Now, these tubes are like strings, so if you are looking for something other than a cable of some sort you'll need to make them into a composite, as we do with fiberglass, carbon fiber, and kevlar today.
Even if the composite is only 1/100th as good as the pure nanotubes, you still can potentially have a frame of equal performance to a steel frame that only ways 1/10th as much! Could you imagine having a frame for a road bike that only weighs 5 ounces!? A complete downhill rig that weighs 14 pounds? How about a 900 pound Suburban?
I can't wait...this'll be a truely revolutionary material!