mikep wrote:Hello Enthusiasts,
I'm in the market for a carbon tri-bike but I have reservations about the lay-up methods used by many of the popular and even highly regarded brands that I feel are worth sharing with other like-minded enthusiasts....
At the end of the day I suspect that many carbon bike frames built using this lay-up schedule are adequately stiff owing to other factors such excess material and oversize tubes, but they certainly donâ€™t meet my personal requirement for proper engineering and best construction practices. I will continue to look for a builder who knows his technology and/or wonâ€™t allow his commercial interest to compromise his engineering.
Being a materials engineer you are probably way more enthusiastic and critical about your gear than 99% of Tri-geeks who are THE MOST hyper critical riders I know.... Please note: that in no way should be construed as an insult.
To add to your comment above, the techniques used in 90% of carbon bike building only allow a 2-3 year shelf life for a CF frame before the $5000 investment starts cracking and "going dead". But by that time the builders count on you to upgrade to their next $5000+ offering.
Even though companies like Trek and Orbea will claim "Aerospace Grade" fibre, what they cannot claim is that the weave is aerospace grade as most of aerospace companies who use CF have specially designed purpose woven weaves for specific applications.
But back to bikes. You may want to look at Time Bicycles
. They buy carbon in spools and weave it in house (as well as Kevlar and Vectran), pull it over steel mandrills and use RTM to form it up.
They do use aluminium lugs for the BB on some of their frames. Aside from the expense i have heard nothing bad in regards to them.