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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not a huge fan of carbon fiber for much more than headset spacers. (I prefer steel or titanium) But there are plenty of cyclists out there who have ridden thousands upon thousands of miles without any issues. So when I came across two articles about carbon fiber forks in the same day, it struck my interest.

First, Felt has issued a voluntary recall through the CPSC of their 2011 F3, F4, F5, and F75 models due to a fork failure. The recall specifically covers about 1550 units with the carbon fiber frame and fork combo. No mention of what kind of injuries anyone has sustained due to a failure, but here's a company that's taking action right away, regardless.

Next, I read about a lawsuit due to a carbon fiber fork that reportedly failed on a 2002 Trek 2000.

The problem that I have is this:

"The defendant is accused of strict products liability for manufacturing a defective and unreasonably dangerous product and for negligently designing, manufacturing, marketing and distributing a bicycle with a steering fork that can fracture. The defendant is also accused of breaching express and implied warranty of merchantability and of gross negligence."

Yes, it's unfortunate that someone was terribly injured while riding a bicycle. And while steel and aluminum frames and components have been known to fail, for some odd reason, when carbon fiber is involved, it seems as though the incident is far more sensationalized. Trek has been a pioneer in carbon fiber development. Their products are at least as good, if not better, than anything from Giant or Specialized. To point to a single eight year old bicycle as proof of negligence in design and manufacturing is preposterous. If there was an issue, Trek, like Felt, would surely have been aware of it sooner.

Again, I'm no fan, but that's just not right.


Originally published on IndustryOutsider.com on 2/24/2011
 

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Rollin Solo like Han...
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My OCLV fork which is at least that old has been taking 200+ pounds of fat guy pounding the crap out of it just fine. Know why i'm running the carbon? Cuz the steel fork I had broke. Cracked at the crown on both sides. Don't get me wrong i've seen carbon fail pretty drastically before, but not on any of my bikes. I've got a good amount of carbon fiber stuff and i'm not afraid to use it.
 

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Two skinny J's
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My .02 worth. Not mine but one the guys I ride with has a 2011 Trek Madone 6.5 and the fork "appears" to have cracked several inches above the dropouts. You can run your finger over it and feel it but it's really hard to tell if it's paint or actually cracked. The Trek "Boutique" (just for you Hack:D)store where he got it warrented it and gave him a fork to use(they had a frame that had been warranted-aluminum not carbon forks) until the replacement fork comes in. Not sure how the warranty process works but I would think the local store has put there neck on the line betting the fork is cracked. I hope if I have issues it's as easy for me! I know when I worked for Cat, warranty was not that easy.

Have GREAT day ya'll. It's 60, very strong winds and thunderstorms here....long day at work today.
 

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Two skinny J's
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I like pictures:) and big crayons!
 

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Hack in the US is doesn't matter why it fails. In fact it often doesn't even take a serious injury. Something like the lawyers will have a field day over, even with a release signed. They may not have even done anything wrong. Yet with the expense of litigation, lawyers here have found many companies will settle for something to keep for paying another lawyer to defend the suit. If they settle the lawyer gets a percentage. If they go to court an win, the lawyer gets somewhere in the neighborhood of 50% or so, but it would vary. If they lose, all they are out is a little time and paperwork.
 

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So you're saying it's a lack of shame amongst lawyers? :D
Among some at least. We have a lawyer in town that specializes in bike cases, it's not something he would do I don't think.

We also don't know how well the bike was taken care of, there obviously is some basic inspection and maintenance that needs done on a bike that may not have been done. Who knows, the bike may have been crashed and the fork was cracked.
 

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Shame I don't think is the right word. They are playing by the rules for the most part, its just the rules don't always make sense. Even if you win, you often lose. Even if they did nothing wrong, the cost to prove it can force one out of business.

I asked once if a legal release would protect one from liability in the US. The lawyer answered, yes and no. Looking confused the attorney went on.

The release will protect you from negligence, but you can not release gross negligence. I asked, "What's the difference?" He replied, "The judge figures that out later." For once I actually found an honest lawyer. Now if I can only live long enough to meet an honest politician, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Once here there was an airplane manufacturer that made it very public he didn't carry product liability insurance. He built a good product, but it was built to go in places that most planes would never be able to operate. They occasional wrecked but the lawyers didn't mess with him. Why? He made it clear that if he were sued he would just turn over the company to the plaintiff and get to work on a new design that was slightly better. He would start a new company with another airplane and compete directly with the company he lost in the lawsuit. Without his name, the old company would struggle at best, and with him competing directly against them he would survive not them. He operated for years without a problem. Most companies are not so lucky.
 

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Rollin Solo like Han...
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The persons that make said rules also lack shame. Many also seem to lack moral fortitude in today's world as well. Greed comes into play more often than not it would seem no days. Right or wrong, someone is gonna make some money off it.
 

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My brother is a lawyer, while going thur law school a lot of "friends" would ask him for advice, most of the time he was forced to answer "I don't know". Now that he has his law degree he can confidently answer "It depends".
 

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carbon fiber

i read somewhere that carbon fiber stuff is just mainly hype and it doesn't really do a lot to increase your speed noticeable for the non racer. It only makes about a 30 second to a minute difference going from a 17 or 18 pound bike to a 2 pound bike. I forgot where i read it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
By manipulating the layup of the fibers, you can gain all sorts of performance advantages, which is where carbon fiber has an edge over metals. Different weaves, different lengths of fibers, and the direction that they are laid all contribute to a frame that offers the holy grail of bicycle frames - lateral stiffness, and horizontal compliance. Ask that guy that posted about riding a Cannondale 3.0 for the last twenty years what it's like to ride an immensely stiff frame with no horizontal compliance.

With a properly designed frame, all your energy gets translated into forward motion, not absorbed by a flexing frame. At the same time, you shouldn't get every little road imperfection transmitted through the frame and seatpost, into your most sensitive contact points. That quickly leads to fatigue.

A quick primer into the truly time-obsessed.
 

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But there's more problems with CF recalls then just the Hack report; there these:


---Product recall: About 200 Easton EC90 Zero seatposts. The carbon clamp atop the Chinese-made seatpost can crack, posing an accident hazard to the rider. The EC90 Zero post is black with red and gray graphics. Bikes with these posts were sold at Turner Suspension Bicycles, Ibis Cycles and Security Bicycle Accessories retailers in the U.S. from April through August 2010 for $150-$200. Owners should immediately stop riding the bicycles and contact an authorized Easton Sports dealer for a free replacement clamp. More info on the Easton website.

Widespread bicycle recall due to faulty CF crank. A Washington-based bicycle component manufacturer is recalling 9,300 bicycles that were outfitted with a faulty crankset that can break, causing falls and injuries.The recall involves 21 different bicycle models from 8 bicycle brands (see list below) that were sold between February and October this year. The US Consumer Protection Agency urges owners of the listed bicycles to stop using them immediately and take them back to the dealer for inspection and free replacement of the faulty crank arm. Eleven breaks have been reported, and two injuries. The importer, Full Speed Ahead of Woodinville, Wash., issued the recall for its BB30 Gossamer crankset installed as standard equipment. The cranks were manufactured in Taiwan by TH Industries. The cranks involved have two drive gears (triples are not involved in the recall). They are painted either black with "Gossamer" printed in white on the arm or white with "Gossamer" printed in black on the arm. The crank arms at fault have serial numbers beginning with either 10B, 10C, or 10D on the backside of the arm, near the pedal threads. If the fixing bolt on the non-driver crank arm is over-tightened, the bolt shoulder can crack or break, causing the crank arm to fall off the bicycle.
 
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