The advantages of carbon bikes for road cycling


The vast majority of high-end bikes for road cycling today have a carbon frame, made from carbon tubes. But while carbon is a material that has been used for years in the manufacture of road cycling bikes for years, it is always good to know the benefits of it when shopping for a carbon bicycle frame.

Carbon fiber variants for veloroute

The different types of carbon fibers can be classified according to their mechanical characteristics. Thus, according to their elasticity and their tensile strength, the names can be classified: HM carbon and HR carbon. Note that the unit of measurement used to calculate elasticity and tensile strength is Pascal, 1Pascal (Pa) being approximately 100 g / m2.

HM carbon fiber has a tensile strength of over 350 GPa (giga Pascal), compared to that of good quality steel which is 220 GPa. This clearly shows the full benefit of making a carbon fiber frame.

HR carbon fiber has a tensile strength of between 200 and 250 GPa, it is the most common fiber and therefore the cheapest.

In general, carbon frame builders use these two types of fibers at the same time to have a frame that is rigid in some strategic places and more flexible in others to improve comfort.

Types of carbon fabrics used in the manufacture of bicycle frames

There are basically two styles of carbon fabric used to make bicycle frames: bidirectional fiber and unidirectional fiber. Bidirectional fiber is woven in 2 directions with crossing angles between 10 and 70 degrees. The bidirectional fabrics give greater resistance to crushing, which is what gives an aesthetic appearance to the carbon frame without paint, since you can see the bare carbon fiber directly.

To produce a bidirectional carbon fabric, used for the manufacture of road frames, the carbon fibers must be woven by grouping them together in strands, each strand comprising a large number of fibers. We will then speak of 1K, 1 × 1000 being the number of wicks which will have been used for the manufacture of the carbon fabric. So to have a fairly large grid in terms of visual appearance on certain carbon frames, manufacturers use for example 12K = 12000 bits.

The advantages of a carbon fiber bike

If, for the bike, the map or the racing bike, the carbon frame is the best choice, it is first of all because compared to other materials such as aluminum or steel, carbon fiber has a Better weight: for equal strength, carbon fiber is sometimes 5 times lighter than steel and 2 times lighter than aluminum. Another advantage is that one can increase or decrease the comfort, rigidity, as well as the nervousness of the frame by associating different types of carbon fibers combined with the different manufacturing techniques of carbon frames (tubular, monocoque…).

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