Few years ago,we have started to see something new on the market.Carbon fiber mountain bikes interesting enough,this trend picked up during the recent years and all major bike manufacturers came out with carbon fiber mountain bike frame almost as a standard.I always look at the new bikes with anticipation to find new and better stuff from what we already have.Carbon fiber mountain bike sound like a pretty good candidate for the next upgrade.But is it a smart move?

 

Let me start with a bit of history about carbon fiber frames.Firstly,carbon fiber frames were introduced in the 70s.They suffered from series of problems and never reached mass production.Only in the last decade people like lance Armstrong who won 7 time Tour De France on carbon frame made the bicycle world accept carbon fiber as the material of choice.The two major advantages of carbon fiber over aluminum,is weight and quality of the ride.However,carbon fiber is not free of drawbacks.
Complex manufacturing precess can create non-uniform strength of the frame and uneven distribution of stresses at joint.In addition,carbon fiber is very susceptible to direct hits of stones or objects and the moment it cracked in one place it looses overall integrity of the frame.

 

On the road bike the weight saving,the ride quality and at least 10 years of manufacturing experience of the major brands make it a smart choice.However,on the mountain,it’s a different story.Mountain bikes experience much heavier loads than the road bikes.Therefore in order to create strong carbon mtb frames the manufacturers use much more material than on the road frames.The result is almost the same frame weight as aluminum.Even than the carbon fiber frames are weaker than their aluminum brothers.But one thing we can confirm that carbon fiber in terms of whole is better than aluminum.