Carbon Forks Durability

BDFunBDFun Posts: 67
edited October 2010 in Road beginners
Hi,

My Trek 1.2 has carbon forks and it is the first time I have had a bike with carbon parts. It is also my first bike since I was very young!

I've heard that carbon can fail very suddenly if it suffers from any large impacts such as a crash. I mainly use my bike to commute and there are areas where the road is so unsmooth that I have to stand up off the seat it shakes the bike so much. Also there area the odd large cracks going right the way across the road that I can't avoid and can cause a noticeable jolt.

How strong are carbon forks? I'm just concerned that they might not be able to handle the shocks from the road.

Thanks

Posts

  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    They'll be fine

    watch this, it will put your fears to rest...
  • They're fine. My oldest pair is 8 years old, raced on them, TT'd on them and now commuting with them including a 150m cobbled section downhill. No problems at all.

    Same goes for the carbon bars and seat post on my 10 year old mountain bike
    Basso Astra
    Principia Ellipse SX
    Kinesis Racelight 4S
    Kinesis Crosslight Pro Disc
  • BDFun wrote:
    How strong are carbon forks? I'm just concerned that they might not be able to handle the shocks from the road.

    They are very strong, in fact when my son was in collision with a van that turned across his path and he hit the front wheel of the van it was the headtube that gave way on his Trek OCLV frame.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    BDFun wrote:
    Hi,
    I've heard that carbon can fail very suddenly if it suffers from any large impacts such as a crash.

    Any material can fail from a large impact

    I broke first bike forks I got that cost me real $$$ by riding it into a wall. The steel forks bent. We bent them back and I rode another 20 miles on the bike. But the handling was awful and the bike was dangerous. I replaced the forks and the bike went on to do a lot of miles.

    Carbon fibre is probably stronger than steel or aluminum in a head on crash as it has "directional" strength

    If that first bike had had carbon forks then what might well have happened is that the steel frame of the bike would have bent and the forks survived

    Carbon does have some disadvantages but suddenly failing due to an impact isn't one of them. It is not like glass
  • ProssPross Posts: 21,043
    Watched the National Trophy cyclo cross on Sunday and every bike had carbon forks (most were carbon frames too). You would have to have a seriously rough commute to put the sort of strain on a set of forks that those bikes go through in a race!
  • They'll be fine

    watch this, it will put your fears to rest...

    How many hammer weilding loonies have you seen on the High St :D
  • The only thing that tends to break bike frames and forks these days ar crashes. Products are often 'overbuilt' to accomodate big riders on poor roads/worst case scenario type riding.

    If you want some shock absorption reduce tyre pressures and/or fit fatter tyres. Fatter tyres exist for a reason.
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