I’m going to do a little 4 part mini-series on carbon fiber materials. In this first article we’ll cover where the actual individual fibers come from and in following articles we’ll discuss types of fibers; their characteristics, strengths and weakness. Then we’ll go over the epoxies(matrix) and finally we’ll discuss commercially available products that are commonly used in high-end carbon frames. For a deeper dive into how carbon fiber actually works, check out Jared’s series on anisotropy.
When I decided to give myself a birthday present there wasn’t much question that there would be some sort of cycling involved. Those days with zero’s attached could be looked at as just another day, but in reality they carry more weight for us. This wouldn’t be my first trip to Europe with bikes involved, but this time around I wasn’t going to be wrenching on cross bikes, or watching my friends play in the mud. This trip was going to be food and fun based entirely, and I wanted to go somewhere that offered great riding, and options for off the bike exploring.
So we left off last time discussing anisotropy; specifically how a composite tube may differ from a metal tube. We have defined anisotropy as having different properties or responses in different directions. It would be helpful if anisotropy were easy to visualize, but it is not. Go perform an image search using “anisotropic material” and you may expect to see some nice images of anisotropy . However, the search yields many images that when thought about and combined in various ways allow us to develop an understanding of anisotropy, but none clearly show anisotropy.
When I felt the pop in my knee I instinctively knew things weren’t likely to be the same in my athletic career. My first love was running, but my orthopedic surgeon told me that I should start thinking about something else...when he suggested swimming I cringed and asked “how about cycling?” and when he said “yes, but use low gears” my heart lifted. I’d grown up riding around the neighborhood on my trusty Schwinn, and for transportation through high school, but college and cars had intervened. An odd accident was what steered me back onto the life path I’m still on to this day.
There are almost as many methods for making a carbon bike as there are manufacturers. I think it’s fair to say that there is still a lot to be learned. That’s the fun part, there is plenty of room for improvement. While we all have our own variation on the theme, the bicycle industry has been using the same basic manufacturing processes for the last 20 years. There has been plenty of evolution in the form of small refinements which add up over the years, but not major incremental advancements.
We at Pursuit believe that an expert is not someone who knows all the answers, but instead knows the right questions to ask. As noted below, I definitely do not know all the answers surrounding composites and it is our hope that through this Tech portion of the Pursuit Blog that we are able to investigate and discuss some of the pertinent questions. In particular, we will focus on design, modeling, and manufacturing of composites as related to bicycle frames. Below is the first step in that direction, where some of main hurdles of composite usage are discussed. Finally, each Tech post will include credible references (a tip of the hat to Nate Silver ) so that readers may delve further into the topics addressed should they wish to do so.
When I began my cycling journey it was on a hand-me-down Schwinn convertible my sister had outgrown, and casually discarded in our barn. Something drew me to it, and the promise of greater mobility and freedom it offered. I taught myself by trial and error, no training wheels, and no parent pushing from behind, and soon discovered that the scrapes and bruises were well worth the cost.
What was once known to Native Americans as "many come together country" because of the rich fertile soil and use by several tribes, has recently been deemed "the most livable place", to some "the last best place", and is to us, home. Bozeman Montana the largest town in the Gallatin Valley, sitting at 4820 feet above sea level is surrounded by five mountain ranges, three rivers and the Headwaters of the Missouri. With almost one-half of the county's 2500 square miles of land owned by the Gallatin National Forest, Montana State BLM, and the National Parks Service, it is no wonder people come here to play. The lifestyle, one where most embrace the outdoors, be it cycling, hiking, climbing, fishing, skiing or just enjoying the Big Sky, is laid back. Most people don't move here to be in a hurry.
Topics: Made in Bozeman
Welcome to Pursuit Cycles. This post is kicking off what will be the first of many more for years to come. We plan to post at least every week and will cover subjects ranging from carbon fiber bike design, manufacturing and technology, to travel and rides. We'll also share stories about our beautiful town, Bozeman MT, the birth place of Pursuit Cycles. This Blog is broken into 4 topics; Happenings, Tech, Experience and Made In Bozeman. Please feel free to comment and let us know if there are anything you'd like us to write about.