Pros and Cons of Carbon Fiber Bikes
Riding a bike was one of the magical moments of most of our childhoods. It’s easy to connect with this experience since we usually learn at a young age. First, you might ride a tricycle or a bicycle with training wheels. Then, the training wheels come off. It’s then that we feel like we’re free. We’re flying without wings. For a moment, we know we’ve accomplished something big. There are a lot of metaphors about them: “easy as riding a bike” or “you never forget how to ride a bike”. Choosing a proper bike doesn’t have to be difficult—take your training wheels off.
What’s the Difference Between Aluminum, Steel, and Carbon Fiber?
Three of the biggest competitors on the market for bike frames are aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber. Aluminum frames have saturated the market for years, while carbon fiber frames have only been introduced recently. Both are highly viable to choose from, but what separates the two? Both of these frames are great, but each of them has its own specialty.
Aluminum is always going to be one of the cheaper choices. Because the market is so packed with them, the prices have gone down to the point where you can spend a few hundred dollars and get an okay bike. They’re lightweight, so it makes them a bit easier to handle than steel or titanium, making them optimal for daily commute or otherwise. It is easy to repair in most cases. It’s stiff enough to survive harsh impacts, but dents easily. The stiffness has been known to be uncomfortable.
Steel frames are often called the grandfather bike, considering it was one of the first materials bikes were made from. It is one of the hardiest materials, making it durable and strong. Crashes and accidents will hardly damage a steel bike. It is a great casual bike, making a comfortable ride on many different roads. While this might sound great, weight is a factor. They’re heavy! This causes many problems if you’re looking for a racing bike—they’re difficult to gather speed quickly enough. For mountain bikes, it takes a lot of effort to get over some of that harsh terrain.
Carbon fiber is certainly more expensive than aluminum. It hasn’t been around that long, so not many manufacturers are putting them out. They are steadily becoming more popular, considering it is some of the best material you can make a bike out of. As such, there’s a high price tag. Either way, there’s no hiding this luxurious bicycle’s features. It is one of the lightest materials on the market, ranging from 22 pounds to 25 pounds, making it lighter than aluminum by a few pounds. It creates a lot of different styles you can choose from, making it one of the best choices for personal style.
The carbon fiber frames are also stiff and can withstand quite a few impacts. It is very versatile, making it a great road bike. It’s what the professional cyclists use, after all. Even some of the world class teams use it. While not too trusty of a mountain bike, it can provide a safe ride. Carbon fiber is, unfortunately, rather brittle. Where metal would bend, carbon fiber will shatter, making the repair bills quite costly. If the damage is too great, you could total your bike quite easily. You have to be sure if your carbon fiber bike can handle the terrain you plan to go on. There are some guides out there to help you choose.
Carbon fiber bikes are some of the best on the market. They’re gathering popularity, especially since many professionals are endorsing their use. Carbon fiber has been used by the military and in aviation for years, so it’s easy to see the testament to its usefulness. While carbon fiber is expensive, the benefits far outweigh the cons. The weight of the bikes are so light that they make for the best racing and mountain biking, making it easy to gather speed or go over rough terrain. It’s a great choice for anyone who likes the outdoors or flying through town!