How much variation in weight (if any) is there in carbon frames?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Catagory6
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:36 am

by Catagory6

I've been reading through posts about bike builds of a particular frame model i have.
and people are reporting weights up to 1 kg and even lighter, than my bike
and i'm wondering if there are significant variations in weight within a manufacturer's model.

now, the bike builds i've been reading through are outfitted with much fancier, weeney appointments
but i'm also not attaching boat anchors to my frame.

i was also quite surprised that this 2016 frame set built up to be 1/2 kg heavier than a 2007 carbon bicycle.
using practically the same build specs

yes, i fail WW 101. i don't even own a digital scale

sychen
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 1:06 pm

by sychen

Answer is yes.. like anything there are variations in manufacturing processes and results. See every thread about people weighing every component in this entire forum. No need to weigh them if they are all as advertised.

As to weight of old vs new, depends on alot of things. The core of it is UCI rules of race bikes have essentially stagnated the weight war between bikes and more focused on aero and other stuff that adds more weight.

As to a digital scale.. took me 4 years from being a member here to owning one... pfft who cares?

by Weenie


hannawald
Posts: 320
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:28 pm

by hannawald

old vs new - if there is less than 6.8 kgs weight limit, we may probably see different development..aero and disc brakes are here partly because of 6.8 kgs constraint..

comparing similar bikes - also size really matters..plus 2 builds may seem similar but it is all in the small details that adds up.. 20-30g difference on each component does the difference.. and small things like headset, bearings, expander..

Marin
Posts: 3066
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

For the same frame, same paint scheme and same size, the weight variation should be very small, like 15 or 20 grams.

Any larger differences would be due to a manufacturing problem or error.

However, between a small frame with just logos and light clearcoat and a medium / large with white paint there can be 150-200g or even more. Paint is heavy, and the brighter the heavier since you need more layers.

mattr
Posts: 3821
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Depends on the manufacturers processes and frame design as well. The more pieces/sections/joins/steps while making the frame (or painting it), the larger the possible variation.
Unless you go to lug/tube construction, which could potentially reduce variability (Colnago for example). Difference between levels of automation will also affect variability..... and so on.

Marin
Posts: 3066
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

The carbon pieces are cut after a pattern and the resin that goes in is weighed so the potential for variability is minimal.

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Beaver
Posts: 501
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Lower Saxony - Germany

by Beaver

Carbon frame weights start from less than 700g for a rim break climber to twice the weight for an aero disc frame.

https://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/ ... ogy-30298/

It's very hard to keep a certain weight - negative examples are the Sperialized Tarmac SL and Cannondale SuperSix Evo. You can easily have more than 100g variation for the same frame size and paint job here.

Canyon and Trek frames are made by Quest Composite, those seem to be quite constant in weight.

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wheelsONfire
Posts: 2059
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:15 am
Location: NorthEU

by wheelsONfire

I've seen a bike that at the time, was so incredibly alike mine. But the guy claiming weights for each and every component, was lighter.
This has made me a bit suspect on differences in scales.

You may also ask manufacturers, of their weight tolerances!
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO D
Paduano Racing Fidia
Open *UP*
https://opencycle.com/showcase/the-xplo ... eelsonfire

mattr
Posts: 3821
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Marin wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:11 am
The carbon pieces are cut after a pattern and the resin that goes in is weighed so the potential for variability is minimal.
That's stage 1 and 2 of around a dozen. All of which have variability, and most of which are changing the weight of the final article. (Adding filler, removing excess dried resin, adding paint, removing bags, variability in autoclave temperature/pressure. And so on.)

15-20 grams would be what I'd expect for a high end frame with no decorative layer and minimal clear coat. Something mass produced and painted, maybe 3-4 times that.

Then factor in the manufacturers bullshit adjustment.

And no one knows where they are.

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Calnago
Posts: 6614
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

Didn’t Specialized recently try to turn “manufacturing variations” in weight into a marketing “feature” by pulling the lightest frames off the line and actually marketing them as “Ultralite” or something like that? When no real design, material, or manufacturing attributes were changed.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

mattr
Posts: 3821
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Several manufacturers have done it. Cherry picking frames at a sensible point on the production line.
Heavy ones get paint and 105.
Light ones get clear coat and DA.......

As long as they meet minimum strength spec.

by Weenie


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