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How much faster are carbon bikes

Before we can answer this question, its important to define what a carbon bike is. As there are various elements to be considered before deciding that which bike is faster and why. So, firstly, we must go through the whole definition of Carbon bike.

what is carbon bike

Carbon Bike is a new technology made of carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is a material consisting of extremely thin fibres about 0.005–0.010 millimetres in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. It is stronger than steel but weighs less.

Carbon Fibre was developed by British Royal Aircraft Establishment scientists Roger Bacon and Eric Laithwaite during the 1960s.

Brought to public attention by Colin Chapman of Lotus Cars, who used it in his Lotus 49 car which won 5 straight Formula One championships in 1968-72…

Carbon fibre has been increasingly used since the early 1970s in the manufacture of lightweight racing bicycles, for both frames and components such as handlebars or seat posts. It is now the most popular material for road bicycles, surpassing aluminium in the early 2000s.

The use of carbon fibre in bicycle frames has grown since the 1990s, when mountain bikes began to be made of it.

It is now the dominant frame material for high-end road bikes.

Carbon Fibre Types

There are many different types of carbon fibre available for use in the cycling industry. Choosing which type to use will depend on several factors including cost, strength, stiffness, and weight requirements.

For example, if you need to build up a frame with very high strength at an extremely low weight (making it ideal for climbing), you would likely choose Torayca T700 or similar unidirectional carbon fibre.

On the other hand, you may want something that has just enough strength or lower weight than an aluminium alloy frame but still provide the performance factor of the top materials. This is where filament winding comes into play.

Filament winding uses high modulus carbon fibre in a multi-strand process with varying strand directions to create a composite tube that is very strong and stiff, but has less overall weight than the unidirectional varieties mentioned above.

With so many types of carbon fibre available, it can be difficult to determine which type was used in any given bicycle model. It is important to remember that just because a bike is made from carbon, does not mean it has one of the premium materials I described above.

In this case, we’re going to assume that the manufacturer took the time and care necessary to use top quality material for its intended purpose. Assuming you have a carbon frame with one of these premium materials (such as Torayca T700), how much faster will this frame be compared to an aluminium alloy frame?

The answer is that it depends on the specific weights of each frame in question. If both frames were designed using lightweight tube sets, then theoretically they should both be relatively equal in terms of performance.

However, if one frame has significantly higher tube wall thickness than the other, heavier tubing or weighs less than its competitor, there simply isn’t enough information available to provide a precise answer.

What we can do is use our combined knowledge about bicycle design and materials along with some math to come up with a rough estimate for performance differences between two similar carbon fibre bikes versus two aluminium alloy bikes.

The following examples are just that…examples used simply to illustrate how various factors effect bike performance. Actual performance numbers will vary greatly depending on the make and model of bike, rider weight, terrain, etc.

All things being equal (same frame materials, tube shapes and sizes, same wheelset), a carbon frame will be approximately 50% stiffer than an alloy frame which will result in a bike that is faster and more responsive to rider input. This stiffness also results in less frame fatigue and therefore a longer lifespan for the carbon frame.

A carbon frame will also be about 25% lighter than an alloy frame. This lower weight not only makes the bike easier to transport and lift up stairs, but it also means that the rider has to apply less effort to move the bike forward – leading to increased speed.

The advantages of carbon over other frame materials are:

  • Carbon frames can be molded into any shape, so they can be designed to optimize stiffness and strength while minimizing weight. This makes them more efficient than metal frames, which must be thicker and/or heavier to achieve the same strength and rigidity.
  • Carbon frames can also be made very small without becoming brittle. This makes them ideal for racing bikes where a low weight is essential.
  • Carbon frames are not as affected by changes in the environment (such as temperature and humidity) as metal frames, which can cause them to expand or contract slightly and make the bike difficult to ride.
  • Unlike metal frames, carbon frames do not corrode and so do not need to be painted.
  • Carbon frames are more expensive than metal frames.

Carbon fibre has a few disadvantages:

  • It can also be very expensive.
  • Carbon fibre dust can be harmful if inhaled.
  • It is more fragile than metal and can be easily damaged in a crash.
  • The resins used to glue the fibres together can be toxic if ingested.

Types of Carbon Bike

There are many different types of carbon bike on the market, each with their own unique properties and benefits. we will look at the three main types of carbon bike available: road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrids.

Road bikes

Road bikes are designed for speed and performance on paved roads. They typically have narrower tires and a more aerodynamic frame than other types of carbon bike, making them ideal for racing or long rides.

Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes are built for off-road use, with wide tires and a sturdy frame that can handle rough terrain. They are perfect for thrill seekers who want to ride down trails and hillsides.

Hybrids Bikes

Hybrids are a cross between road bikes and mountain bikes, with features of both. They are ideal for riders who want a versatile bike that can be used for both commuting and recreational riding.

So, which type of carbon bike is right for you? It all depends on your needs and preferences. If you enjoy speed and performance, a road bike may be the best choice.

If you prefer to ride off-road or in rough terrain, a mountain bike is the way to go. And if you want a versatile bike that can be used for both commuting and recreation, a hybrid is the perfect option. No matter what type of cyclist you are, there is sure to be a carbon bike that fits your needs.

Final Statement

In conclusion, carbon fibre can be an advantage over alloy frames on the right type of riding terrain. However, one thing to keep in mind is that there are so many other factors involved with bike performance (weight distribution, power output of rider, weight of gear carried during different types of riding etc. that you will never get exactly equal performance between two bikes.