Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Carbon Fiber Everything

It was bound to happen, and mountain bikers have resisted until now, but carbon fiber is taking over the mountain bike world. Yep! And I mean in every way!

The latest component to fall to fall under the spell of the black composite cloud is wheels. I have been aware of 29"er wheels in carbon fiber before this, but with Edge Composites and Bontrager Wheel Works coming out with 29"er hoops in carbon, you know it is getting to be serious.

Frames? Well, Orbea has had the Alma in 29"er size for nearly three years now and, of course you have the Fisher Superfly. I expect even more to show up real soon. Even full suspension trail bikes have gone carbon fiber. I had the chance to ride the Hi Fi Pro 26"er last year at a Trek/Fisher product launch and had a gret time riding the bike. Five inches of travel at just over 23lbs? Yeah, it was amazing!

Besides frames and wheels, of course you have the various forks in rigid form and now even in suspended form. Most notably DT Swiss and Magura. Cranks, stems, handle bars, parts of derailleurs, and even saddles can be had in the black material. It's almost a metal free possibility!

While all this is going on though, you still have the steel and titanium bikes flourishing as well. It seems that not everyone is up for the exotic, man made materials on their rigs. Various reasons for that, I suppose. The thing is though, this carbon fiber stuff isn't going away and it is making what was once impossible for mountain bikes possible, and available. Pretty crazy stuff that is fun to check out.

No comments: