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Carbon fibre bikes give you cancer....official....

bonk manbonk man Posts: 1,054
edited February 2013 in The bottom bracket
Heard it on the news this morning that carbon fibre can give you lung disease or even cancer so its back to metal for me :? .
So which one? Titanium has probably got an enormous carbon footprint, aluminium give you dementia, magnesium bikes are in short supply, steel bikes go rusty and weigh 3 tons per inch and bamboo bikes attract pandas..... :(

What bike frame should I buy?

VOTE NOW [not binding] :roll:
Club rides are for sheep

What bike should Bonk Man buy to avoid an early carbon fibre related death? 0 votes

Heavy old steel
0% 0 votes
Brain shrivelling alloy
0% 0 votes
Hard to find magnesium
0% 0 votes
Planet wasting titanium
0% 0 votes
Bear attracting thick grass stems
0% 0 votes
Stick to carbon as long as you don't inhale..
0% 0 votes
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Posts

  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I don't see how in normal usage you'll be inhaling carbon fibres. The only way you'll inhale it is if you take a saw to it and make loads of dust, like when cutting a carbon steerer - but you should wear a mask anyway..

    Can't see a problem
    I like bikes...

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  • bagpusscpbagpusscp Posts: 2,907
    Steel is real :roll:
    bagpuss
  • Mark AlexanderMark Alexander Posts: 2,277
    Eh?
    http://twitter.com/mgalex
    www.ogmorevalleywheelers.co.uk

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • SwannieSwannie Posts: 107
    Yes. Like MDF (medium density fibreboard) can cause cancer when it's cut up too.

    Carbon fibres are probably worse, but still.

    I suspect that even cutting a carbon steerer without a mask, would put me at less risk from cancer than 5 years spent inhaling 2nd hand smoke in clubs and pubs.
  • bobpzerobobpzero Posts: 1,431
    steel is not heavy.. hav you never seen a thorn cyclosportif?! or the cervelo discontinued Rennaissance / Prodigy bikes. or have a Johan Museeuw Flax fiber (carbon) bike
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Not carbon fibre per se but carbon fibre nanotubes
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/eastbradfordcyclingclub/
  • st68st68 Posts: 219
    so does breathing in pollution from cars so u might as well not go out :shock:
    cheesy quaver
  • Tony666Tony666 Posts: 274
    or they might not!
    Scientists have found that “carbon nanotubes could pose a cancer risk similar to that of asbestos”, The Guardian reports. The researchers have suggested “the government should restrict the use of the materials to protect human health”, the newspaper says. Carbon nanotubes are strong, light cylindrical molecules of carbon that are used industrially to add strength but not weight to products. They are reported to be a similar in size and shape to certain asbestos particles.

    The study in mice showed that long carbon nanotubes could cause inflammation of the membrane which surrounds organs (the mesothelium), and this is similar to what is seen with certain types of asbestos. With blue and brown asbestos, inflammation of the mesothelium of the lungs can lead to the development of a rare lung cancer (mesothelioma); however, the mice in this study were not studied for long enough to see if they developed cancer. Carbon nanotubes that are embedded in other materials, like those in tennis rackets, car body panels and bike frames, are thought to be relatively harmless, but the researchers suggest that further studies are needed to confirm this.

    http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/05May/Pages ... tubes.aspx
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    bagpusscp wrote:
    Steel is real :roll:

    You shortened the quote "Steel is really heavy"
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    Steel is real

    Carbon fibre is a figment of everyones imagination
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    bobpzero wrote:
    steel is not heavy.. hav you never seen a thorn cyclosportif?! or the cervelo discontinued Rennaissance / Prodigy bikes. or have a Johan Museeuw Flax fiber (carbon) bike

    Not much steel in the pro peloton, or many sub 17lb steel bikes. Fine for a 'retro look, but alu, ti and carbon have made steel so last year.
  • SteveR_100MilersSteveR_100Milers Posts: 5,987
    You want to be careful, breathing, nay merely existing can cause fatal disease...
  • ricadusricadus Posts: 2,379
    News story for the "worried well", I reckon.
  • bobpzerobobpzero Posts: 1,431
    Not much steel in the pro peloton, or many sub 17lb steel bikes. Fine for a 'retro look, but alu, ti and carbon have made steel so last year.

    true so what. i ride steel. its not like we all hav to join the carbon fibre/titanium/aluminium elitists club
  • methodmethod Posts: 784
    They're only talking about nanotubes, how many bikes use them so far? BMC dabbled, anyone else?
  • Mark AlexanderMark Alexander Posts: 2,277
    bobpzero wrote:
    Not much steel in the pro peloton, or many sub 17lb steel bikes. Fine for a 'retro look, but alu, ti and carbon have made steel so last year.

    true so what. i ride steel. its not like we all hav to join the carbon fibre/titanium/aluminium elitists club

    I have all three. alu road bike, carbon [race] and steel fixed. the steel gets the most attention :D
    http://twitter.com/mgalex
    www.ogmorevalleywheelers.co.uk

    10TT 24:36 25TT: 57:59 50TT: 2:08:11, 100TT: 4:30:05 12hr 204.... unfinished business
  • methodmethod Posts: 784
    bobpzero wrote:
    Not much steel in the pro peloton, or many sub 17lb steel bikes. Fine for a 'retro look, but alu, ti and carbon have made steel so last year.

    true so what. i ride steel. its not like we all hav to join the carbon fibre/titanium/aluminium elitists club

    I've noticed more elitism coming from steel oweners in the last 5 years.
  • flattythehurdlerflattythehurdler Posts: 2,314
    I've just ordered a pro machine. :shock:
    Dan
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    Just make sure you get a mechanic to cut the fork.
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    So, I ride a steel bike. Just how careful do I have to be in riding with a group that
    contains a few carbon bikes??? Do I need a mask??? Is this a second hand smoke type
    of thing where they say that second hand smoke is more dangerous than if you were
    actually smoking the cig yourself??? Should I be riding a carbon bike so I'm no longer
    getting carbon fiber 2nd. hand because I'm actually riding it myself and am therefore
    safer??? So many questions - so few answers.

    Dennis Noward
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    Maybe steel riders should just ride with themselves, they evidently look for any excuse to slate anything modern because deep down, they know their bikes are inferior :D
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • LangerDanLangerDan Posts: 6,132
    So, I ride a steel bike. Just how careful do I have to be in riding with a group that
    contains a few carbon bikes??? Do I need a mask??? Is this a second hand smoke type
    of thing where they say that second hand smoke is more dangerous than if you were
    actually smoking the cig yourself??? Should I be riding a carbon bike so I'm no longer
    getting carbon fiber 2nd. hand because I'm actually riding it myself and am therefore
    safer??? So many questions - so few answers.


    Its all to do with osmosis. If you ride a carbon bike, your body tries to deal with the imbalance in carbon concentration by moving water across your cell walls into the bike to try to equalise the concentration. Thus you get lighter and thinner (and appear faster) while your bike starts swelling. Thats why the tubes on carbon frames are so fat - water retention.

    OTOH, when you're on a steel bike, you have the higher carbon concentration, the fluid* goes the other way and the steel tubes appear thin while you get fatter.

    * - havent worked out where the fluid comes from yet. I think its the rusty water that collects in your BB.
    'This week I 'ave been mostly been climbing like Basso - Shirley Basso.'
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,601
    Jez mon wrote:
    Maybe steel riders should just ride with themselves, they evidently look for any excuse to slate anything modern because deep down, they know their bikes are inferior :D

    In all seriousness this is easier said than done. I'm having a hard time thinking of anyone
    I know who rides or even owns a steel bike except as an antique. Can't remember the
    last time I saw one at our local and regional races. Then again it seems that everyone is
    younger these days and most of them don't seem to realize that steel is even an option.
    Oh my god, I'm alone out here.

    Dennis Noward
  • azzerbazzerb Posts: 208
    My GF's dad has been riding steel since he was racing as a youth, he just wanted to try out my carbon steed, and now I think he's currently on a mission to get permission for a new bike :lol:

    Cancer is a fair price to pay for the lovely goodness of carbon. :P
  • bonk manbonk man Posts: 1,054
    A mate has been riding a steel bike in road races and kept up ok but it was holding him back a bit , now he has his new lightweight carbon [cough] fibre bike he is getting placed in races.

    I ride a steel tt lo-pro thing dating back to the 80's in our fixed competition and it is as good and more comfy than my alloy Dolan.

    My winter bike is 531c but with carbon [wheeeze] fibre forks, will be replaced by an Amazon soon as it has virtually rusted through in places, shame , but that's steel for you at least it weighs less with the tubes being so corroded away :?
    Club rides are for sheep
  • NorwegianBlueNorwegianBlue Posts: 484
    Carbon fibre can be nasty stuff, but I don't suppose it's any worse than GRP. How much GRP do you come into in your daily life? Should you swap your bath for a good old cast iron one because it's "real"?

    As an aside: the very fact that a glib phrase like "steel is real" was coined in the first place suggests to me that the people who use it don't have any strong arguments in favour of steel. In particular the traditionalist argument is a very weak one. If we're going to be traditionalists then lets go back to steel rims, solid tyres and rod brakes. Oh and how many of the "steel is real" crowd have steel rims, steel calipers, steel stems, etc?

    And before all the steel lovers protest. My road bike has a 501 frame.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
  • NorwegianBlueNorwegianBlue Posts: 484
    I was just thinking about Flann O'Brien and the idea that a rider and bike exchange atom over the years so the bicyle becomes part rider and the rider part bike. To the extent that a high mileage rider needs to lean against a wall when he's standing up. Maybe riding a carbon fibre bike is enough to give you cancer, especially if you have a carbon shell saddle.

    Or at least it would do if you were a policeman in a humourous/philosophical Irish novel.
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
  • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
    I don't know, the steel is real phrase sums up the unquantifiable benefits of steel. CF is stronger, lighter, and can easily be shaped into more aerodynamic shapes.

    Despite all of this, steel still sells as it can be used to build a cheep-ish, comfortable ride and overall it still has a part in todays market.

    Marketing departments have managed to convince us that CF is "the material of the future...today!!" and is the must have material for; cranks, handlebars, stems and saddles. However, alloys cope very well for these components.

    Having said all that, CF does make for some brilliant bikes
    You live and learn. At any rate, you live
  • bonk manbonk man Posts: 1,054
    Perhaps this is where cycling splits into 2 different branches then, carbon and non carbon, evolution in progress, the two branches diverging and perhaps diverging again to spawn new life forms and modes of transport and ultimately life,

    Carbon .... the ultra fast lean and slightly carcainomious and Steel the comfortable but dead ended twig on the tree..

    Which do we choose ? At what point do we consider each other a completely different entity or even lifeform??
    Club rides are for sheep
  • NorwegianBlueNorwegianBlue Posts: 484
    Jez mon wrote:
    I don't know, the steel is real phrase sums up the unquantifiable benefits of steel.

    I'm honestly not being pedantic when I say this, but I can't see how any three word phrase can "sum up the unquantifiable benefits of steel". My problem with the phrase is that it is glib and you nothing about steel that it couldn't equally tell you about any other material. Aluminium alloy is real, carbon composites are real, as indeed are wood, grass and dog poo. It tells us nothing that we don't already know.

    I'm not anti steel by any means, of the road bikes I have owned only one has had a aluminium alloy frame the rest have been steel of some sort. My mountainbikes tend to be about 50/50 steel/aluminium. In spite of the obvious benefits of carbon composites I have never owned a bike made from the material because I wouldn't be able to trust it after a crash. It's fine for the pro peleton who can probably throw away their frames after an off. I can't.

    Many people suggest that aluminium is not crash resistant, some even go so far as to suggest an aluminium frame will fail unexpectedly without even being involved in a crash. More than once I have read the phrase "unlike steel, aluminium has a finite fatigue life". The very fact that I have read exactly the same words written by more than one cycling writer suggests that only one of them really knew what they mean, the rest of them just lifted them because they seemed to prove their argument. It is however nonsense. Steel does not have an infinite fatigue life. Bend a peice of steel backwards and forwards enough times and it will eventually snap. It will last a lot longer than a peice of aluminium under the same circumstances, but it does not have an infinite fatigue life. Secondly raw aluminium has a very short fatigure life, but one of the reasons for alloying aluminium and heat treating it is to improve it's fatigue life. Even so the comparison is largely irrelevant. Aluminium bike frames are built to be very stiff, they don't flex very much at all so their fatigue life will generally be much longer than their expected lifespan.

    I have an aluminium framed jump bike that's a good few years old now and it shows no signs of fatigue. That frame gets a load more hammer than any road going frame.

    Oh and by the way I used to work in a non-ferous foundry so I picked up quite a bit about aluminium alloys. Although I'm a long way from being an expert. An aluminium bronze frame would be much prettier than a titanium one, shame it wouldn't be much use. :wink:
    "Swearing, it turns out, is big and clever" - Jarvis Cocker
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