If you’re a bike geek, you probably keep up with all the latest and greatest bikes. Do you remember when they were all made by old craftsman in dusty old shops in Europe. DeRosa, Basso, Guerciotti, etc. At the time road bikes were steel and with the exception of some fillet brazed frames they were primarily made of lugged construction.
Topics: Made in Bozeman
When I was asked several years ago by a friend if I wanted to join him on a cycling trip to France with a group of his friends I didn’t have to think very hard about the decision. Bicycles are connectors. They connect us with our world in a more complete way than our cars, they connect us to each other, and they connect us to the inner child we often lose touch with. Now I try to return to France every year to ride, and immerse myself in the food, culture, history, and scenery that is on offer there. It’s a time to connect with old friends, disconnect from the day to day, and re-awaken a long term love affair withthe bike...
For those of you that have been following our progress I thought I’d bring you up to speed at what has gone on since our last update.
My name is Kyle and I am the guy that spends the most time with Carl building here at Pursuit Cycles. Head on over to my bio page to read a little more about me and my materials science background. In today’s post we will be covering the thing that makes up the majority of your bike. Carbon fiber. Around 60% by volume, epoxy, the remainder is something that we will talk about in the next blog post. After the epoxy post I will be writing the last of this 4 part series on potential new material technology in bicycles. But, in this post I will focus on the nuances of selecting carbon fiber for frame design.
Advanced Bike Tech
Carbon fiber frames are lightweight, but how light is too light? It requires a lot of engineering to make sure your frame is light and strong.
We were hoping we'd be showing you all sorts of awesomeness by now, but I guess we were a little too confident. We knew things would take longer than planned and tried to be conservative, but even our conservative estimates were a little optimistic.
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.