Today's coffee talk: Are the benefits of carbon worth the increased cost of potential replacement/fixes/injuries? To keep my somewhat silly comparison going, when the Six Million Dollar Man fell off a building or got ran over, the secret segment of the Government and their team of doctors fixed him right up for the next episode. Same with carbon bikes for the pros. The average pro goes through...many bikes in one year. The crashes are nothing short of a terrifying, spectacular show at ridiculous speeds. The bikes and riders are often shattered, but the team car arrives, with new bikes and doctors, fixing the rider right up.
But for the average local rider/racer, it's not such a 80's action sit-com ending. Your bike is gone, your crash is painful and there you are in a situation that may not have been as severe (financially) than if you were on an aluminum or steel frame.
Recently trusted bike-fitter extraordinaire, (Big) George Mullen (Peak Cycles, Golden) and I were discussing this very topic during a fit. His prediction for the future: all major bike shops will have their own carbon repair person in house. That's how common repairs are becoming. In his opinion, "It will simply become a necessity.". Read the article below and give us your opinion.
From the mobile.nytimes.com
July 26, 2014, Periguex, France
Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
In terms of technology, Greg LeMond, the three-time Tour de France winner, was a pioneer. In an age when steel still dominated, LeMond rode bikes made of carbon-fiber composites, then an exotic material mostly used by the military.
At this year’s Tour, carbon fiber is the only material used for bikes, and it has also replaced aluminum in wheel rims. The strength, lightness and the design flexibility offered by carbon fiber have ensured its dominance. And its most extreme form, the special aerodynamic time-trial bicycle, was on display Saturday in the 20th stage.
But there has been a catch. Unlike steel or aluminum, carbon fiber does not bend in crashes. Rather the bikes and wheels frequently shatter, often hurling riders to the road and, many fear, increasing the severity of injuries.
“Anyone in a team who’s being honest with you will tell you how frequently their bikes are breaking; everybody knows,” said Mark Greve, a physician and assistant professor of sports medicine at Brown University who studied injuries to 3,500 competitive cyclists. “Few people in the public appreciate how many bikes a pro team will go through in a season, because they break for one reason or another. The bikes, they completely explode.”
For the entire article, click here.
*And by the way, if you DO happen to be in need of this service, call Sam Morrison, Brady Kappius and their crew at
brokencarbon.com. I just picked up two bikes (mine and a neighbor's) last night. They did amazing work. Much cheaper than a frame/crash replacement. Much. For more on their business, go to Brady Kappius and Broken Carbon.