Updated: November 20, 2018
Buying a bike can be a very difficult task if you are not familiar with what you should be looking for. The key to finding the best bike online comes to doing your research. In this article, we will be discussing some of the key tips on buying a carbon bike online.
Tips For Buying A Carbon Bike Online:
1. Identify The Right Bike For Your Needs.
The most important thing that you are going to need to do when you are trying to find the right bike is to figure out what your needs are. By figuring out your needs, you should be able to better conclude what kind of bike is going to fill them. You want to look at everything from the activities that you are planning on participating in with your bike, figuring out where you will be riding your bike the most, and how you will be storing it. All of these things should help you identify what kind of bike you should be looking for when choosing.
Another major thing that you are going to want to consider when you are shopping for a bike is your budget. You will need to consider your budget when shopping for a bike because it will limit your options. Depending on how much you are willing and able to spend, you are going to have very different options to choose from. You might even need to be prepared to spend more than you were initially hoping to spend to get a bike that is going to fill your needs. However, you should be looking at and figuring out what kind of budget you can afford to put in a new carbon fiber bike.
Another thing that you are going to want to look at when you are trying to find the right bike would be the reviews that each bike is getting on the market. You will be able to find a variety of bikes available online that have great reviews. Considering the reviews can really help you narrow down your options to find the best one available. You never want to purchase a bike that has poor reviews online as it is likely to result in a bike that doesn’t live up to your expectations. Instead, you want to find the bikes that have the most positive reviews as they are likely to provide you with the best all-around performance and satisfaction.
4. Bicycle Warranty.
When you are planning on spending a good amount of money on a brand new bike, one of the biggest factors that you should be looking at would be the warranty that you are going to get with it. By checking out the warranty, you will be able to rest easy knowing that your bike is going to be covered for an extended period of time. Being able to get a solid warranty on your bike is crucial because it can really help you get the most out of your purchase and it can protect you from manufacturer defects. Typically, you will need to purchase the bike from an authorized retailer or supplier online if you want to retain the original manufacturer’s warranty. Therefore, it is something that you are going to want to be sure to look for when you are shopping for bikes online.
5. Bike Brand Reputation.
The brand is another thing that you want to look at when you are shopping online for a bike. Not only do you want to find a reputable brand that is known for backing their products with a warranty, but you also want to find a brand that is known for using high quality carbon composites. There are brands on the marketplace that really have great reputations and there are brands that have less than stellar reputations that you might want to avoid completely. Check out the brand’s reputation to ensure that you are making a wise purchasing decision.
Overall, there are a lot of things that you are going to want to consider when you are shopping for bikes online. By following the tips above, you should be able to identify the right carbon bike to purchase for your specific needs and budget.
Find out more about SID bike.
Are Carbon Bikes Durable?
In short; yes they are! However, their durability is different than an aluminum or steel frame. A metal frame can get dented or bruised and still be perfectly usable. A carbon frame is not able to withstand strong impacts on the surface, especially when it’s a sharp object.
Such an impact will damage the fibers and protective coating. Over time, water can get in an become a problem. More importantly, though, the broken fibers are often the beginning of cracks that can go through the whole tube.
You see, the reason carbon frames are so stiff is that the fibers don’t stretch at all. You can imagine that less stretch on the outside of a tube makes it more stiff towards bending.
But because the fibers are so stiff, the tensile forces inside get real high during impact, or at the tip of an existing crack.
Here a “normal” frame is much more resilient because the metal can deform to a shape where it’s able to absorb forces again. It will never be the same as before but can function for a long time. Most bicycle frames only have to endure high loads during falls or jumps.
But why are carbon bikes durable then? Good question, glad that you ask:)
Carbon bikes are durable as long as you don’t drop them on sharp objects.
And then they are far more durable than metal frames.
A carbon frame doesn’t get metal fatigued. This is a real problem in any steel or aluminum structure loaded cyclically for an extended period of time. It causes failure at a load way below the actual tensile strength.
A carbon frame does not rust or oxidize. Carbon is a composite the resin doesn’t react to air or water. So your frame will never oxidize, no matter how wet you get it. And you don’t have to worry about drying it either. Now for some, this is probably not important. But for me, I never clean my bike. It just doesn’t make sense to clean something that you will run into a puddle the next day.
So there you have it; carbon frames are durable as long as you don’t cause cracks in them. Most modern mountain bike, and especially the downhill bikes, can take a terrible amount of abuse.
You will need to be either really unlucky or specifically try to cause damage. For any normal to pretty crazy usage, a carbon frame is probably the best upgrade you can get.
Well, after a good set of tires that is.
Tires are the most undervalued component by bikers. Yet they are also one of the biggest influences on our riding performance, safety, and pleasure. If you ever wonder what to spend $100 to $150 on, get yourself a new and well-designed set of tires. But that is a different topic that we are going to address in a separate article.
Are Carbon Bikes Lighter Than Aluminum?
Yes, carbon bikes are almost always lighter than aluminum. But to have a fair comparison, you need to specify what that really means.
You see, there are definitely aluminum bikes that are lighter than carbon. But these don’t have the same strength, or stiffness, or features.
When you have two bikes with the same strength, the carbon version will always be lighter than the aluminum. Unless you try to cheat by using extremely high-grade metal and very low-grade composite. Here’s why:
The strength of a material is expressed in its maximum tensile stress. That means the amount of force it can transfer across one square millimeter of its surface. (or inch, the unit doesn’t matter).
Well, the tensile stress for carbon fiber is a lot higher than for aluminum. So if you want to transfer the same amount of force, you need way less surface area than for aluminum. And less surface area translates to less material (surface times depth equals volume).
So if you have less material you have less weight. And on top of that, carbon fiber composite also has a lower specific weight than aluminum. This means it’s not just a bit lighter, but a lot. And a lighter bike is easier to handle, quicker to accelerate, and more fun.
Stiffness is an extremely important factor for cycling. A bike needs to be both stiff and compliant at the same time but in different directions. If you have ever cycled on an extremely stiff frame and wheels you know the sheer terror of feeling your teeth every time there is a tiny bump in the road.
So the frame (and also the wheels) need to absorb the shocks from the road surface. And carbon has a really cool characteristic that helps with this: internal dampening. Metals, and especially steel, are like a spring. Well, they are not just like a spring, they are also what real springs are made of.
And what do springs do? They spring back. This means the energy state is stored during its compression, is released during the extension. So the bump is not absorbed, it’s just temporarily stored and then given back to you. If you have ever seen a car with broken shock dampers, you will know how much it bounces.
Carbon frames have internal damping. So instead of directly returning the energy of a bump, the material converts it to heat inside. And that makes for a much smoother ride. You will notice how your contact points with the bike are much less sore. And you will feel more energetic after the same time on the bike.
But stiffness is also a good thing. When you apply power to the pedals or hit a berm super hard, the frame has to endure high lateral loads. And when it’s not stiff enough you feel it flex which is going to interfere with the railing of the berm.
And when the frame flexes sideways during pedaling, well you energy is not sent to the back wheel but absorbed by the frame. And that means less speed, more tiredness, and losing bets with your buddies. Because they will be riding a stiff and efficient carbon frame.
Bicycle manufacturers have been trying to optimize aluminum frames for both stiffnesses and dampening for many years. And they succeeded to some extent.
When carbon frames became available it was possible to take it to a whole new level. The way a carbon composite is built allows for complete control over the wall thickness of tubes and to change the shape along the frame.
So with the much better manufacturing, material properties, and constructions, carbon frames are the best choice for any serious biker.