Its just a chunk of plastic?!

I was late to the whole carbon bike frame game.

Over the years I have had Reynolds 531ST, 531, 531C and Columbus SL steel frames. I have even had the screwed and glued seam welded, and drawn and welded titanium framesets. Each has their merits and character.

Carbon arrived in my life last year. Directional rigidity or flex – layered up high modulus carbon fibre mats set in a resin goup, and cooked resulting in a feather light optimal structure in whatever shape you like. Often with a finishing top layer and a lacquer or paint.

Sooner or later things get mechanical – the bottom bracket or the steerer and there it is – you see the exposed material and it strikes you that the areas bearing the most sheering and torquing forces are there looking back at you not glimmering and cold – but essentially warm to the touch black plastic.

Last weekend I got around to cutting the steerer tube down to size. It has been a year – it was time – overdue. Waste marked off, forks off, steerer through a spare stem in a vice and enter Mr. Hacksaw.

A minute later and a small plastic looking black ring bounces to the floor.

It is amazing to think of the forces in expansion, compression and sheering that this bad boy has to put up with. Whatever next.

 

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