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build a carbon bike from scratch

webbhostwebbhost Posts: 470
edited October 2008 in The bottom bracket
Ok, so I was exploring the deepest corners of the internet yesterday (ok so I was just on instructables.com) and I stumbled across an article on there that shows you how to build your own carbon fibre bike frame from scratch!.. Great Idea I think, and now I want to try it.

The 1 drawback I have is that in the instructions, he uses a few "metal" pieces (e.g. head tube, seat tube, some round tube where the pedals go through etc etc... (if you click link below you can see in more detail what he has done)...

Anyway, I was wondering how I get hold of these metal pieces... are they readily available so that you can build your frame around them, or am I on my own at this point, and required to build these pieces myself?

Link below, please take a look and pass some advice :)

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Hmmm - yeah build my own bike to race down hills at 50mph, or rely on professionals who make millions of frames each year.

    I think I know who I would trust ! :D
  • Ash_Ash_ Posts: 385
    If you like tinkering about with stuff, messing around with bikes etc. then it might well be a fun project.

    However, there's a very, very, very high likliehood the end product will be a piece of [email protected] and most probably not even rideable. Building bikes out of carbon isn't easy, that's why even most bike manufacturers outsource to specialists.

    If it's the process that interests you, then good luck, go for it. If it's the product, then don't even bother...
  • to be fair.. yes it is the product that interests me, but at the same time, it is the process and I think it would be very fun to try and see if I can do it.

    I can imagine cutting the polystyrene would be nice and awquard.

    IM not sure I would trust myself going 50 mph on a home made bike either.. but I've never made it past 40 MPH anyway :lol: snigger.

    Do not get me wrong through, if I did o down a hill at 40+ MPH on a home made bike first, I would make sure I have been riding it for a long while first so that it has been tested and strained, and that I know the bike is safe to use.

    I can only imagine how many safety problems could come in here? After all I wouldnt want anything like the frame snapping, brakes or wheels falling off.. or even worse my handlebars snapping would I?


    I did think through that if I could learn to make a reasonable ridable bike... at the age of 21 that is alot of money saved in future bike purchases and new frames ;)..if you can make one yourself, why buy it?
  • Il PrincipeIl Principe Posts: 10,555
    Why not just buy a frame and build the rest up yourself? Far less risky...
  • I could do - and it is an option in mind, however building frame is more of a challenge :P - dont get me wrong, im not definatly building this... but I have taken a huge interest to this and I want to collect more information about it.

    About the risk of building my own frame - again I would ensure to take any needed relevant safety precautions... I'm not just going to let myself ride my brand new bike which then snaps in half when I get half way down the street. (famous last words LOL).

    I do appreciate all the information and suggestions by the way - including the "dont do it's" - means if I do go ahead I'll probably be more careful about what im doing and how im doing it. Now that I have had people showing concerns, I have also thought about any possible problems with stress points on the bike, so I will be researching this area to find areas that I could add extra strength to ensure minimum risks


    Just a thought - but Glass Fibre is considerably strong once set... have bikes been hade from this material? If so how do they handle, and if not - any reason?
  • hopper1hopper1 Posts: 4,708
    So, I take it that, if you go ahead and build a bike, you will destroy the first incarnation, all in the name of 'safety', so that you will then know where it's limits are!
    I could contemplate building a steel framed bike (and I can't weld!), but carbon fibre, is not a material I would mess with. I don't even fully trust the product in the hands of the experts....
    Start with a budget, finish with a mortgage!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    webhost - if its saving money you are interested in - just buy a second hand bike.

    If glass fibre was a viable alternative - I'm sure it would be available commercially now - as it isnt - I guess its not as good/suited ?
  • DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    webbhost wrote:
    Just a thought - but Glass Fibre is considerably strong once set... have bikes been hade from this material? If so how do they handle, and if not - any reason?

    In the days before carbon fibre became popular, fibreglass bikes were tried out as a non-metallic alternative but don't know how successful they were. Lucien van Impe apparently rode a frame built with a carbon/fibreglass mix for some Tour stages in the mid 70s.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • lfoggylfoggy Posts: 28
    Why not try building something else out of carbon fibre first to get a feel for how easy it is....can't think what though !
    Regards
  • webbhostwebbhost Posts: 470
    yeah..well I did kinda figure the first bikes going to be a mess - and would probably be thrown away.

    as i stated yes its sort of money saving,but its for the experience and fun of trying it at the same time.
  • webbhost wrote:
    Just a thought - but Glass Fibre is considerably strong once set... have bikes been hade from this material? If so how do they handle, and if not - any reason?

    I've done more than my fair share of messing around in very expensive rowing & sailing boats over the years, and can promise you that CF is much stiffer & lighter than GF.

    Glass seems to be able to take a hell of a beating up to the point where it fails by delaminating due to flexing stresses which I understand CF is less prone to. Using glass you'd need to be v cunning on the shape of the tubes, and I'd guess you wouldn't save much weight over a frame against an aluminium one.
  • Also have a look at this link:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/howibuil.htm

    Personally, cheap taiwanese frames are getting that good, I don't think it's worth the effort. If you go for hand-layup, you won't have a vacuum bagging setup, which is what is needed to reduce the resin content. I think you need an autoclave for working with pre-preg sheets.

    I'd be more inclined to make a bike from wood using a combination of solid timber, plywood and veneer. It'd probably be easier & more exclusive...
  • skinnypunterskinnypunter Posts: 142
    edited October 2008
  • webbhost wrote:
    Just a thought - but Glass Fibre is considerably strong once set... have bikes been hade from this material? If so how do they handle, and if not - any reason?

    I've done more than my fair share of messing around in very expensive rowing & sailing boats over the years, and can promise you that CF is much stiffer & lighter than GF.

    Glass seems to be able to take a hell of a beating up to the point where it fails by delaminating due to flexing stresses which I understand CF is less prone to. Using glass you'd need to be v cunning on the shape of the tubes, and I'd guess you wouldn't save much weight over a frame against an aluminium one.

    My car has a glass fibre body and is heavier than aluminum bodied similiar cars. So, i don't think it saves much/any weight over aluminium. A friend of mine is currently building a car with a glass fibre monocoque chassis! I was sceptical at first, but apparently it's very strong and stiff.
    http://www.KOWONO.com - Design-Led home furniture and accessories.
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