Santa Cruz Bicycles - Test Lab

Feb 23, 2012
by Mike Levy  
 
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Pinkbike recently dropped in on Santa Cruz's California headquarters for a tour of the grounds, including their prototyping facility and company skatepark. We also had the go-ahead to visit their test lab, a room that, until now, had always been off limits to photo and video cameras. Joe Graney, head engineer at Santa Cruz Bikes, not only opened the doors for us, but also fired up their custom test machines for some bad-ass destructive 'research'. Putting frames through their paces until they fail is not unusual, every manufacturer goes through this process. Allowing the likes of us in to film however is far from common. This is especially true when it comes to carbon. Fortunately for us, Santa Cruz was feeling a bit more open minded during our visit, pitting an aluminum Nomad frame against their carbon version in a battle to the death. The goal: destroy both, discovering which one took more force to break in the process.

Santa Cruz Bikes testing facilites
  Graney smiles at the thought of destructive testing, and who can blame him? Breaking stuff in the test lab is always is a dream job, but importantly, information and insight are also gleaned from each and every test. All that then gets put toward bikes that we'll ride in the future. The test machine that Joe is leaning on was custom built by Santa Cruz. They felt that off the shelf test jigs are not capable of properly replicating some of the forces that frames are put through in the wild, especially when it comes to certain full suspension designs. The machine shown above emulates a massive and catastrophic frontal impact, picture casing a rather large gap with your front wheel. The front of the bike is held stationary with enormous steel fork tubes, and the bottom bracket is forced forward until failure. The test lab has aptly named this the JRA Ultimate test. JRA refers to the well known adage 'just riding along', and Ultimate denotes the test's destructive nature.

Santa Cruz Bikes testing facilites
  Aluminum Nomad peaks at 1464lbs: When the machine is turned on the motor driven chain turns a steel gear cog that is attached to the threaded rod. The rod then spins within its sealed bearing support, forcing the carrier that is attached to the frame's bottom bracket towards the front of the bike. The forces involved are so immense that the solid steel fork legs can be seen flexing slightly just before they reach their peak. For reference, Graney states that even the worst frontal impact would doubtfully ever exceed 800lbs of force, although he is quick to point out that the variables involved while riding are nearly impossible to measure adequately. While that type of crash is often the worst on your body, it's at least comforting to know that your aluminum Nomad should be able to brush it off.

Santa Cruz Bikes testing facility
  Carbon Nomad peaks at 2050 lbs: The Nomad Carbon is up next, the very first to be filmed during destructive testing. This particular Nomad Carbon has already seen its fair share of abuse, having been through 200,000 cycles of fatigue testing, two different impact test scenarios, and then ridden hard for two years by a Santa Cruz employee. She has more than proved herself, but she still met her maker at the hands of Joe Graney. Mounted in the JRA Ultimate test rig with the same solid steel forks, it took a whopping 2050lbs of force to see it fail. Although the failure mode is clearly more catastrophic than its aluminum cousin, it required an extra 585lbs of energy over the aluminum model, and an impressive 2.56 times the forces that it would expect to see in a worst-case scenario out in the real world, before it finally failed. It's for this reason that Santa Cruz encourages larger and more aggressive riders to choose carbon when considering a new frame - they are simply stronger.

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Santa Cruz Bikes testing facilites
  The next experiment is the JRA Impact test, a destructive procedure that involves dropping heavier and heavier weights from increasing heights until the frame fails. Santa Cruz declined to publish any exact weight figures, although they did say that say that they use ''twice the industry standard, as well as adding another 25lb weight for testing carbon frames''. A sturdy steel bar is installed through the head tube by way of custom made headset cups and is then tightened down firmly to keep it from shifting. The opposite end of the bar is attached to a cart that can cycle up and down on a rail, the very same rail that a different, and heavily weighted, cart follows. This setup ensures that the impacts strike in a consistent manner, regardless of the amount of weight being dropping each time. It also means that whoever is running the JRA Impact test receives a workout when a frame seems to defy physics, as was the case with Sven's Martin's used Nomad Carbon. Thank you Sven.

JRA Impact test. Again, it was aluminum v.s. carbon in a battle of who could take more abuse before becoming unrideable. Up first was a gloss lime aluminum Nomad front triangle that took its first impact from a height of 350mm, a collision that made some noise, but didn't seem to cause any visible damage. The same weight was then dropped from 400mm, but it wasn't until the height reached 450mm that we saw the front triangle begin to fold just behind the head tube. Next up, another Nomad Carbon, this time Sven Martin's personal frame that, prior to us deliberately trying to break it, spent much of its life travelling the world under the ex-pro WC downhiller. Yeah, it has already had a tough life, but its time had come. Graney is well aware that the Nomad Carbon far exceeds the aluminum version in strength, but it was only fair to replicate the exact testing. Six drops later and he was letting the weight fall from 900mm, twice the height that damaged the aluminum Nomad, with Sven's old frame shrugging it off easily.


The death blow didn't happen until we added extra weight to the cart, making it 35% heaver than what took out the aluminum frame, and upped the height to 900mm. The increased mass and height finally caused fatal damage to the old steed - she had a good life bless her soul. Again, the carbon front triangle proved itself to be considerably more resilient than its aluminum counterpart, this time in a straight up impact test. The failure modes between the two are quite different, with the aluminum triangle buckling and the carbon cracking, but the forces required to bring the carbon frame to failure are significantly higher. Can a rider expect to replicate this impact in the real world? Barring a car accident, it's highly unlikely that even the most miscalculated jump or drop could ever approach them.

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  It would have been much easier for Santa Cruz to purchase their own frame testing jigs, but that would have locked them into specific tests. They feel standard tests don't do a good enough job of emulating the abuse their bikes will see in the wild. Instead, they cast their own cement bases, and designed proprietary tests that not only eviscerate the required standards, but also take into account real world forces that the average jig simply can't produce.

www.santacruzbikes.com

287 Comments

  • + 183
 This will give all the Carbon fibre scaremongering stories a severe kick up the arse. I am now a believer in the Black stuff, got to be honest now, i never was before i saw this video. This has to be the best video i have seen , i did cringe several times while watching this, Well done Santa Cruz and Pink bike....AWESOME!!!
  • + 40
 talk about cracking under pressure..
  • + 17
 It still takes some serious engineering to make carbon frames strong as these SCs are! I saw carbon Salcano (turkish maker) frames that are cracked, one cracked on 3 places, and the chainstays are "eaten" by the tires. But after seeing this, I have no doubt that Santa Cruz makes some decent carbon frames!

Salute
  • + 41
 yess!!! now all the retarded monkeys can stfu about carbon being a scary weak piece of molded scariness.
  • + 21
 maybe they could give the next frames away instead of hitting it into a wall :/
  • + 9
 Carbon has won me over! When i finally upgrade to a new bike in two years or so, it'll be Carbon for sure.
  • + 56
 now they have to win me over on price tag
  • + 12
 I believe carbon will be cheaper in the future, when it will be more "discovered" and developed and not so exclusive like it is now. That's how new technologies work.
  • + 18
 Glad my Nomad is carbon... that is all.
  • + 9
 amazing to see this, thanks Santa Cruz and PB but like many (and the factory too) I am pretty sure we wont break frames based on this type of force, my concern is horizontal impacts from rock or tree, my 224 has stuck a few of them and been fine, no breaks or cracks - I like the idea of Carbon but it's these more random and sudden forces that bikes get hit and hurt with, not these massive frontal forces.

would be very interested to see similar report with "real world" style impacting.
  • + 19
 The last section of the video is quite close to "real world" impacting. I know I've had alot of rock strikes on my downtube...
  • + 10
 i would have liked to see (long term) tests on torque forces on the BB and pivots.. i allready believed the front triangles would be strong enough..
its more valuable to me to see how the small shock mounts would hold up.. also not only pushing forces on the front end but pulling forces too.. when you case or land to flat.. your fork want to go away from the bike . not towards it..
for the rest this was some awesome testing.. but it does not fulfill all my questions..
  • - 1
 if the carbon front end coped with the frontal loads/impacts in one direction then it can take the same the opposite way, no?
  • + 15
 carbon does not work like alluminium or any other metal it is highly directional!! it faills under different loads in different directions
  • + 1
 thats depends how you case the jump cyberhawk. if you land to flat or on the 'lip' then yeah the fork is more likely to 'go away from the bike'. but if you go front first into the backside of the landing, hence the above test stands.
  • + 1
 ok then but these tests are still very impressive
  • + 7
 true true.. but if you go in front wheel first.. the least you have to worry about is your frame.. more like your front teeth
  • + 11
 may i say to all the carbon haters.......suck it
  • + 6
 after seeing the video iam not worried. i know the types of landings you mean but still.. the carbon was not just a bit stronger than the alu.. it was quite a LOT stronger
  • + 1
 Pinkbike broke the easiest, at the end. BAH!!!
  • + 5
 lol cyberhawk, I'd be more worried about my balls than my teeth... can't go to a doc and get a replacement pair made up.
Smile
  • + 14
 I jumped on the carbon train with a nomad and a V10 and was growing tired of people asking me if I'm sure about it (and my Enve bars). Now I have a video to make them watch. The best "STFU" I've seen on the subject.

My V10 has taken some crazy rock hits to the downtube, and unlike my dented up old ally one it still looks brand new.
  • + 4
 I wouldn't worry about torque forces on the frames Cyberhawk. Carbon does not fatigue in a measurable way in comparison to Alu (which just ends up fracturing) or Steel (which gets soft and gives the frames that great whippy feel).

Carbon is strong enough for F1 cars, strong enough for most of the 787 to be made out of... I think I can trust a bicycle to be made from the stuff!
  • + 4
 440 NxS equals the momentum of the weight dropped on the Carbon and 170NxS equals the momentum of the weight dropped on the aluminum. So it was roughly 2.6 times greater a force i guess on the carbon. Pretty strong frame lol.
  • + 2
 This test really changed my perspective on carbon frames. Very good test on almost unreal riding conditions. Wink
  • + 3
 Testing the ultimate strength does not consider the REAL reasons why people (mostly engineers that know enough to be more cautious) are skeptical of carbon frames. The high strength of carbon fiber is well known; it's the resins that need to be refined for this particular application. I have ranted enough about this subject (and most don't care to listen) but carbon fiber products are not created equally. If I were to try a carbon frame, however, I would likely buy from a good brand like Santa Cruz; I have owned three of their Al frames and feel they are a great brand!
  • + 15
 brb buying a carbon santa cruz
  • + 6
 You can rant and whine about all carbon not being created/made equal but the same goes for any other material. There are a host of aluminium, steel and titanium alloys used in bicycle frames. Any of them can be used to build a frame well or poorly. As to tires rubbing thru carbon frames... yes and your point is what? I've ground thru aluminium frames with tire rub. People seem to forget that when you get dirt and mud on a tire... its effectively acting like sand paper against anything it rubs past.
  • + 4
 even the evil alu frames are not exactly quality anyway. i never thought they were that great and plenty have broken at races. carbon is clearly amazing when its used by the right people
  • + 2
 No material can make up for a design that is fundamentally retarded re. Evil. Seriously, that linkage looks to be optimised for high stress.
  • + 2
 I never knew the stuff was THAT strong!
  • + 8
 What worries me about Carbon is not the fact that it can withstand more stress. That is actually a fact. Pound for pound carbon is stronger. What worries me is hitting the frame on a rock garden or dropping the bike. Recently I dinged my Alu Nomad really hard when crashing on rock garden. A carbon frame would have probably been fractured without any external visible signs and then weeks or months later would snap without warning. But I could be wrong. But that is what worries me, this video did not ease my worries at all.
  • + 9
 How many people have said they are worried about the dings? Did they not watch the bit of the vid where they were smacking it against the concrete block really really hard?

Unfortunately, some poor quality/badly designed and specced carbon has given it a bad name.
  • - 1
 If their carbon frames are so strong, then why do they only offer a 2-year warranty? They have only a 2-year on their aluminum frames as well. Makes little sense...
  • + 1
 it CAN take the hits if its constructed right
  • + 4
 @mxlemming I can speak for myself. I did see that part in the video. If you watch the video, carbon doesn not dent, it breaks. Aluminum started bending way before it broke. Carbon just cracked suddenly, but you can hear it failing internally way before the crack occurs.. Those hits the frame took against the concrete could have fractured the carbon internally. And you can't see that. After days or weeks of use it could suddenly crack. That is my understanding. I really wish I am wrong, because I would love to be able to shed weight without sacrificing for durability. If they actually beat it against the concrete then do a month long riding test I would be impressed.
  • + 1
 so first carbon is rendered useless if its impacted and damaged on the outside and now it can go first on the inside.. man. the construction will most likely have that and more in mind.. overcompensated layers perhaps.. iam certain my carbon flight has an extra layer of something on top of the outer layer of carbon to protect it from impacts. you could drive yourself crazy going over possible scenarios in your head
  • + 6
 Dent an aluminium frame in the wrong spot and you're going to compromise its strength also. Not to mention the fact that aluminium is constantly fatiguing when you're using it, regardless of the load... every minor flex brings it one step closer to a fatigue failure. Carbon at least, if you keep the load below a known threshold (and designers can take that into account with carbon, with aluminium there is no such defined load limit) and it'll last pretty much forever. This is one reason why carbon composites are used to replace aluminium in aircraft structures. And most aluminum frames are just literally full of tiny microscopic cracks, its only when they've grown to a point to actually seperate that you realize they;re there. IF you can't them that is... most mountain bikers only find frame cracks when the frame fails during a ride or when cleaning the mud/dirt off the bike immediately after a ride. Steel and Titanium frames are better because they have defineable fatigue load limits (its a materials issue, not a design/construction issue) but still, they DO still develop fatigue cracks over time.

Cases in point, on my Manitou full suspension frame, I found the cracks in the aluminium headtube growing after I cleaned some mud off it. They were already an inch long at that stage. On my Alpinestars titanium hardtail, I didn't discover the crack in the chainstay until it had worked its way around 80% of the tube and the back end suddenlly started wandering off on its own as I went around a corner.
  • + 0
 cool story bro tup
  • + 5
 Geez thrice, what would it take to make you confident? If you belted an ally frame on concrete like that I doubt you'd even be able to mount a fork and wheel on it. I don't know what kind of a crash it would take to hit something that hard, but consider that if you did, and it did cause damage, that any single tube of a frame can fail other than your head tube coming clean off and you won't be forced to crash. If one chainstay fails, it would seem from these tests that the other will likely hold and you're not likely to crash. If the downtube goes and the top tube doesn't, you're going to hear and feel something and be able to bring your bike to a stop. Notice that in these tests, the frame did not completely separate into two pieces even when both tubes failed. I've seen people on aluminum snap the yolk at the BB and the tabs on swingarms clean though both sides and then stop to ponder why their bike felt wierd for the last 50 meters. I've had bolts come out of linkages and rear wheels pull out of dropouts and not crashed. About the only frame failure that would force a crash is a similtaneous top and down tube clean break, or a head tube decapitation. Regardless of any prior damge done to a tube from a rock strike or a crash not involving a vehicle, I can't see how the frames tested in the video could be in a situation that would cause that, unless you were crashing insanely hard anyway. Besides, haven't you seen aluminum snap? It certainly does.

Stems, bars, forks and front rims that fail are a different story. But I trust my Enve carbon DH bars more than my aluminum stem.
  • + 1
 Fracture toughness; read about it.
  • + 3
 Can you elaborate on the point you are trying to make?

I'd be willing to bet you could roll down Bline on a carbon V10 with a 2 inch chunk cut right out of the down tube because the top tube would still be strong enough to hold it together. I simply cannot see a downtube spontaneously going from looking fine to sheering right through both the downtube and top tube simultaneously while riding in control simply because the fracture toughness of composites is significantly less than aluminum. You would need cracks to be present on both the top and downtubes in just the right places, which is making the kind of rare assumptions that you can make about any material and any design. Aluminum breaks. Carbon does too. It seems that people are mostly concerned they will have an impact that would otherwise visibly render their aluminum frame useless but see absolutely no damage and ride it only to find later that it fails in a manner that it will cause them to crash in a situation where they would otherwise not crash more often than an aluminum frame would. I'm afraid I can't see it.

I guess the test that could lay this to rest is to strike the downtube once in the manner they did and then put it on the frame busting machine and crank it up to the failure point of aluminum (new frame) to see if it holds, and keep repeating; one strike then back in the machine. How about it SC?
  • + 7
 WOW!

Never seen anything quite as direct as this. Some one up there was saying that this didn't show for long term testing... They clearly didn't hear the guy when he said that the carbon Nomad frame had been on their long term testing jig for ages and THEN been ridden around for two years by a Santa Cruz employee.

Would be great to see some frames made of steel and titanium go through some similar tests!

AND if they can throw away beautiful frames like that so brutally and easily, how about throwing one my way??!!!!
  • + 3
 Once the carbon does have significant crack sizes (we are still talking microscopic sizes) perhaps from smashing a rock from a hard bail it will fail much faster (in fatigue) than compared to an identical aluminum crack due to the fracture toughness properties. This is why resins are critical! As an average consumer (myself) I would be choked if I had to replace my frame after a hard bail.

Kramster you hit the nail on the head... strike the downtube of an aluminum and cf frame in exactly the same spot with the same force and perform a FATIGUE test (not a strength test) and then comment on how long it takes to fail. It could be hours, days, weeks, months or years. As an average consumer that buys a new bike every three to four years I would like to know if I would have to be buying frames more frequently! Skeptical but open minded. No hate, just want to learn about the real issues and not the obvious Al vs. CF strength that has been well known for decades!
  • + 2
 ^ This!! Thanks derekr for wording my thoughts so skillfully. And I'm totally on the same boat with regards to the last two sentences.
  • + 2
 I understand your point better now derek.

I think your concern can be summed up as "is the type of strike required to cause a failure in Carbon equal/better/worse than an ally frame" which I guess I was unjustified in assuming to be better in my comments above, but clearly is the crux of what we all need to know. I was considering the question to be "what if you hit your carbon frame hard enough that it would have destroyed an aluminum frame but you didn't know you damaged it and were forced to crash later because it exploded beneath you when you were JRA".
  • + 1
 Exactly my point Kramster... a crash may not cause a lot of damage to a cf frame at first... but any cracks will propagate extremely quickly resulting in a failure (perhaps after a few more rides). Aluminum would firstly, be much less likely to crack (due to it's ductile properties) in the event of a crash and secondly would likely not propagate near as quickly as CF if a microscopic crack did develop. Of course this is merely a generalization but the tests above do not address this issue; they merely tell us exactly what most people know already.
  • + 3
 i don't know about anyone else non-american on this website, but personally i am sick to the teeth of americans saying "alumanum"
  • + 2
 they pronouce it that way but they spell it aluminum... but somehow the "i" before the "u" doesn't get dropped from magnesium or titanium or scandium, just from aluminium.
  • + 2
 as biffy clyro once famously said...."i pronounce it aluminium....cos there's an i next to the u and m"
  • + 1
 I agree that is should be aluminium. Apparently the story is that it was originally named Alumium, then Aluminum and lastly Aluminium (all by the same guy) to fit in with other elements he also named such as potassium, sodium and magnesium. No one seemed to care about Platinum or Tantalum. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry standardized it to Aluminium, and the rest of the world also uses metric but the USA doesn't care much for the international science community it would seem.
  • + 2
 oh man you so wikipedia'd that
  • + 2
 Not wiki, but I did check another other site to make sure I had the details correct. Didn't know about the IUPAC before though, but it's nice to confirm that North America is just plain wrong with no ambiguity.
  • + 1
 lets not start a war, now...
  • + 2
 hink id prefer to break a 3 grand frame another way to be entirely honest...
[Reply]
  • + 20
 Was a complete skeptic on the carbon front until this.... Wish we had more vids like this for other makes of bikes
  • + 10
 *Looks at Evil Bikes*

No, not you.
  • + 1
 Not just frames but like wheels, forks, bars etc.
[Reply]
  • + 17
 I love seeing these tests.
  • + 18
 I love lamp
  • + 6
 Do you really love the lamp Waldon?
  • + 13
 Shamelessly posting under an early comment....

People think of carbon as being brittle because of the "carbon" you get when you burn something in the oven, or the "carbon" lead in a pencil. I have the joy of working with carbon every day, and have to say that the perception of carbon as being weak couldn't really be further from the truth.

Carbon in graphitic form is remarkably strong - but brittle. If you start a crack in it, it will propogate a lot faster than a crack in steel would. This is because the bonds in carbon are typically covalent; that is, they are associated with another specific atom. If you break this bond, it is gone. Within a metal, bonds can be free to break and re-form, as dislocation lines, moving through the metal - the bond from one atom to another is essentially delocalised. This means metals can undergo a certain amount of strain before failing.

In carbon fibre, the fibres themselves are brittle (unable to absorb much energy before failure), but have a very high tensile strength. It is possible to make carbon fibre "strong" be the correct choice of resin.
The ideal is that the resin does not actually bond to the fibre so strongly that it can cause a brittle failure of the fibre. Instead, when the material is stressed excessively, the resin peels away from the fibre. Since there is a huge area between the resin and the fibre, it is possible to absorb a lot of energy in "unzipping" the resin-fibre interface; this is what the creaking noise is as the frame approaches failure.
  • + 11
 take 2, because I wrote too much and it told me I was spamming.... Another effect of carbon that makes it in many ways preferable to e.g. aluminium is the separation of fibres. Whereas in a metal frame, once a crack is initiated, it can propogate through the whole tube, when a crack is initiated in a fibre, it can only propogate through the one fibre. This further increases the effective strength of carbon, sinc stress to initiate a crack is vastly higher than the stress to propogate a crack. This effectively allows the frame to take advantage of the high ultimate tensile strength of carbon, while mitigating against the brittleness inherent. Hope this was of interest to someone. I ride an aluminium SX trail, and an Aluminium Trance, since ultimately, one is faced with a price - technology tradeoff.
  • + 1
 This was great. I love the technical side of things as well being an ME. The thing is, these tests are controlled. When out riding, there is nothing controlled or "of the norm". It's the randomness that will get you, whether it's aluminum, or it's carbon. One wrong hit or impact completely changes the game. The idea of carbon is great to me, but in this sport, I would rather see my frame SHOW signs that it is failing, ie yield strength vs UTS. The carbon obviously, by these tests, showed that it could take more force on this particular controlled test. But other than hearing some fibers "cracking" , there was no sign of failure until the frame snapped. To me, that will always be tucked away in the back of my mind. That being said, I have a bike now with a carbon rear, and couldn't be more happier to get on it and test it out.
  • + 1
 ^^haha not so much science...just material properties
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Eyewear! I can't believe none of them are wearing safety glasses! Exploding carbon bits and your retinas do not get along.
  • + 1
 Exactly what I was thinking during the whole video haha.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 i dont know what all the fuss about. the facts were already known that carbon is stronger and stiffer than aluminuim.

I want to know what will happen to the integrity of the frame when i occasionally crash. if the frame hits hard a rock?
i want to know how much the integrity of the frame stays intact.
this is the exact reasoning a private customer wants. I DO want my frame to show clear evidence of structural failure. the most dangerous thing that can happen is that my frame will suddenly fail in the middle of a ride. i want to know after an inspection of the frame after a crash if it has any problem. and in this respect i think aluminum is better.
  • + 5
 Exactly, the video shows this but doesn't really spell it out, you can see how sudden and explosive the carbon failure is compared to the gradual and obvious failure (plastic) of the aluminium.

Generally and depending on heat treatments, carbon layering, condition, corrosion, etc, etc:

Carbon - Stiffer, stronger BUT more brittle
Aluminium - stiff, strong and ductile
Steel - less stiff, strong but much more ductile

I think the material you want depends on how hard you are on bikes and your attitude to maintenance i.e. checking the frame regularaly and after crashes.
For this reason I don't think I'd ever buy a carbon frame second hand, but I would consider a new one.

As one of a group of mates who have all recently lost an old school aluminium frame due to fatigue failures it would be interesting to know how long carbon lasts before fatigue sets in. Not sure I'd want to be riding todays carbon frame in ten years time!
  • - 3
 Steel is far stiffer than aluminium, and stiffer than CFRP.

CFRP also has better inherent fatigue properties than aluminium and steel, you just need to make sure you don't impact it.

Fatigue will also "set in" the first time you ride it, its just a question of whether it ever reaches a critical level to cause failure.
  • + 13
 youngs modulus aluminium ~70gpa
youngs modulus steel ~210gpa
so as a material steel is stiffer. aluminium frames are stiffer than steelframes because the diameter of the tubes are bigger.
  • + 2
 Was refering to frames rather than material itself, thanks for clarifying and the Carbon fatigue info
  • + 1
 Highsider is entirely right. For those now wondering "ehm wtf? then why don't they make frames with big steel tubing?": well, that's because steel is much more dense (heavier) than aluminium. So if you would make a steel frame with big tubing it would either be super heavy, or the tube walls would be thin as a can, which would be kind of a problem Smile
  • + 8
 For those worried about what happens to carbon once it is ridden both the carbon frames were ridden for 2 years and 1 was a prototype which had had many years of every day riding lab testing done on it before it was ridden for 2 years! I dare say it was crashed in that time also. The aluminium frame was new! Carbon is the way ahead if your wallet can afford it and the company you buy it off has used it correctly.
  • + 8
 Would have been interesting to see how the frame they hit the concrete edge with would have performed on the former tests....
  • + 1
 ^would be interesting to hit an alu frame on the concrete corner with the same amount of force, and the same number of times, and then see how it performed in the former test...
  • + 16
 Just wanted to say, I'm the guy that rode it for 2 years after the fatigue testing it went through. The fatigue testing the frame went through adds up to a lot of saddle time, more than most people put in on their bikes before selling them and buying another. That same frame was then built up and ridden for two years all over California, mostly in and around Santa Cruz, but also all over the Sierra Nevada (a good number of N* visits included) and the northern coastal ranges. I crashed it a ton of times, and despite taking gouges out of the carbon, I never noticed any problems with the frame. For the people worried about carbon's longevity, I put my faith in the black stuff and never had to worry that my frame would randomly fail.
  • + 7
 Only problem I see with carbon bikes is the bloody price!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 wtffff ... the last "test" with the v10 frame w/out any cover to the downtube hammering the edge of that wall with all their power was insane .. there is NO way this thing to crack from a rock while riding as few guys fear ..
[Reply]
  • + 6
 I would be interested to see the fatigue test done on a frame AFTER the "swing into concrete" test...
For the record I have a carbon blur lt and a carbon trek both of which seem to be bomb-proof
  • + 3
 this is not a test for me. this is how i unstall my headsets...
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I didn't wish to be the safety police. Nor was I really thinking about the safety of the workers who produce this stuff. I just saw these guys all wailing away at the concrete with the frame and thought someone is going to get a paint chip or a bit of concrete in the eye. That's all. Concerned for the Pinkbike guys' safety.

As far as recycling goes, it's only part of "reduce/re-use/recycle. These frames should last a long time. If people who buy these bikes keep them for 5 years or more, when otherwise they may have had a new bike every year or every 2 years, then it may not be so bad. But think about it, that means that the industry must stop changing the standards all the time, so that people with frames that may be 5 or 8 years old, can still fit a headset and BB. This means that Santa Cruz may sell fewer bikes in time.

If people go through these every year or two just to have newer stuff, then it will become a real crime in terms of environmental impact. I know that in the WBP coolio-bro-down ego fest lift line up, a 5 year old bike puts you at a distinct disadvantage.

So, if they're making frames this good, but they are basically non-recyclable, people need to keep them for a while and give up this flavour of the month attitude.
  • + 1
 Nice thought, but then bike industry folks would be out of jobs pretty quickly... It is a business, after all.
  • + 3
 Cruzian, I think you should at least try and keep up appearances for the company you represent. You basically just admitted, as an employee of Santa Cruz Bikes, that your company plans the obsolescence of their bikes. Not very good PR.
  • + 1
 A five year old bike in WBP made out of aluminum puts you at a distinct safety disadvantage if it was ridden hard for 5 years. Though I still think a 2007 V10 will look quite nice compared to many rigs out there this summer. I passed mine to my wife last year, because although I don't think she will ever break it, I was getting a bit concerned that I might considering I've broken a Bullit, a V10.2 and a Chameleon. I don't think I'll ever break my NomadC or V10C, but I guarantee I'll buy another one at some point.

I'm sure you can find a headset and BB for any 8 year old frame you would care to still ride. I think the biggest reason why people have moved on from bikes that are 5-8 years old is because they have improved enough to make the upgrade worth it. 2011 Carbon Nomad vs 2003 Bullit? Big change there. Fox RC4 vs 5th Element? Even from the mid 90's I would think every year we'd reached the top of bike design. Every year I was wrong. There was something better than a RS Judy, a Vanilla RC, an S-Works FSR, XTR V-brakes. Fast forward 10-15 years, and I wondered how it could get any better than a Blur 4X and a V10.3 with original Saint brakes. Well, here we are with new XTR brakes that blow them out of the water and carbon frames that do the same. I'm quite sure it's not over yet, so the bike companies will still be selling new gear until every last serious rider has the greatest new gear, or beat up hand me downs that outperforms the best stuff we have today.
  • + 2
 Even if the stuff has finally peaked and won't get any better, look to the success of companies like Chris King that sell gear that outlasts most frames, and actually haven't been improved upon for years. I have a set of 10 year old hubs running on original bearings and freehub that run smoother than most hubs going, look brand new and I'm quite sure still have solid resale value. Thomson seatposts and X4 stems are much the same. I don't think they'll be going out of business anytime soon. Stuff that is built to last just ends up down the food chain to buyers of used gear, rather than in landfills like gear with a limited life span, poor workmanship or designs that have been improved upon to the point they are no longer in demand. Cruzian, I'd like to see SC frames end up like Thomson and CK. Based on their experience, you will still have a job.
  • + 3
 Thank you, kramster. What you said was what I was getting at, but didn't word as well as you. The idea is to make a bike one can ride for 5 or however many years until something newer comes out (like a 2007 Nomad vs. a carbon Nomad, not just newer, but improved upon), and then you hook up a buddy with your old bike. Wait another 5 years, repeat. It's not about designing a bike with a limited lifetime, it's about working to improve upon old designs. Sorry if I came off sounding like I don't care about longevity of bikes, because I do.
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  • + 4
 Thank you for submitting these tests to the Pinkbike panel of internet engineers. After some analyses, discussion, and debate(and when mom lets them leave the dinner table) they will provide detailed direction on how to improve on frame material technology, strength, and weight.... or not.

Next up, pedals....
  • - 1
 @hypermoto

completely agree!

cannot believe, any of these clowns are wearing no eye protection in a frame testing environment where sudden failure of aluminium and carbon components is expected due to the huge loads being put into the frames!

personally? If if was in that room with a CF frame being tested to destruction I would also have forced air extraction switched on and would be wearing a filtration mask to prevent inhalation of CF particles that are thrown into the air when CF is snapped or cut?

www.pinkbike.com/photo/7457039

if any of my mechanics pick up a hammer or use the parts-washing machine without eye protection, they get a good chewing out !
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  • + 4
 The carbon fibre also held up because you can get away with a thicker walled tube and more reinforcement and still come in light. A lot of people are not thinking about the detailed specs. I will stick to alloy, I ride my bikes for fun and stress relief. last thing I want to do is stress about my bike after every ride, especially if I took a fall.
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  • + 3
 I know you guys hate me for this but please don't get over excited with that undisputable proof of victory of CF over Alu. The fact that Santa Cruz or Trek did it right doesn't mean that other companies are doing the good job as well. They've spent lots of time on coming to achieve such success, but I don't believe that many other did. There are too many Chinese companies doing frames for whoever asks them to and is willing to pay. For people that know only that they would like this and that geometry, knowing little about building process. It is easier with Aluminium. Probably all frames in the world are made from similar tubing, as the suppliers are big factories doing such products for all kinds of industries having equipment bigger than half of your town. Sure you can get great or shitty alu but still, differences in prices and quality for alu are not that big. Then the weak spots in alu-frames are in house made CNC and molded elements. So as soon as it comes to in-house moulding of anything, like CF then things get tricky. But yea, great vid, great job Santa Cruz!
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  • + 3
 That was all indirect impact. What about direct impacts to the frame? Say like your frame slamming against a rock? Will it be able to consistently take these impacts before it fail? I'm not worried about the frame surviving a cased jump, mainly if it will take repeated slammings into rocks.
  • + 3
 Just watched vid. They didn't show the slamming of the down tube against the concrete slab in the article. Does move the carbon V10 up on the list for next bike.
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  • + 3
 Science speaks the truth, carbon fibre is stronger than aluminium. Fact. However, I'm monitoring this post for the idiot who says, "Well my 13 year old mate saved up his pocket money and spent £6000 on the new Trek Carbon and it snapped the first time he rode off a kerb, Trek won't give him his money back because they say the bike wasn't designed for kerbs." Yawn..... Smile
  • + 2
 mabye it was hitting a kerb at 200mph
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  • + 3
 Thanks pinkbike for this great video. It's the experimental science as it should be. So far your California trip is an amazing contribution to knowledge among us Average Joe's.

It would be really like to see a comparison between all materials, let's say a hardtail frame from CF, Alu, Cro-Mo, Ti. Who will pay for it? Big Grin
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  • + 2
 I want to see more rock impact testing on carbon. I've seen a few things that make it seem a lot better then it used to be. Would be nice to see some clear impact studies done that the general public can read/ relate to actually hitting a big rock.
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  • + 2
 Personally, ive never been worried about the rigidity or strength of CF. These test just reinforce that. But over the years of riding with all the wipe outs, dings & general abuse that will occur, will there be cause for concern? How would one bad spill with a deep gash to the underside of the front triangle effect the numbers in these tests? If im going to pay that kind of money for a frame, i want to know it will still be something i can use 3 or 4 years from now and be able to trust it during normal use.
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  • + 2
 Great video, S.C and P.B showing this rarely seen side of things (yeah, I know SC don't actually make the frames themselves but they do design it, test it and put their name/reputation behind it)! Check out the Trek site and have a look at the anvil v.s OCLV Mountain carbon test video amongst others, very impressive stuff (and they do manufacture their own frames, either in the US or Asia, depending on model!). As with many things in life, you get what you pay for - companies like Trek have pretty large R & D budgets, along with years of experience at getting the best from the materials they use or developing new ones for specific requirements. Cheap carbon? Well, I think the tests above would highlight a rather different outcome!
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  • + 2
 Damn! I love my Nomad,but being a big dude always thought I was better off on the aluminum! Santa Cruz knocked it out of the park on this one, both with the frame and the pinkbike exposure as a way to tell the world! Save the ad dollars, everyone's frothing! Well done!
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  • + 2
 Rode my first carbon bike the other day, a Carbon Stumpy EVO, at a Specialized demo day and it's all it's cracked up to be (no pun intended ha). The carbon was unreal! If I had the $$ I would buy carbon for sure. Next bike hopefully!
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  • + 1
 my only previous experience with carbon fibre was hockey sticks, and i used to shatter them every couple of games so i was never that impressed with the black stuff, but this was a good few years ago and having seen that video im more than happy to swing my leg over a carbon cruz, awesome vi.
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  • + 6
 safety glasses, anyone?
  • + 1
 yup, big FAIL in that respect
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  • + 2
 I'm convinced for the first time over that carbon fiber is not a death trap waiting to happen! I still am not sure i would buy it used and I know I can't afford it new. But wow!
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  • + 1
 These tests speak for themselves. This is nothing new: Easton couldn't brake their Havoc bars with the equipment used to test alloy DH bars. What I like about this is they tested a frame that had 2 years of use on it in addition to earlier fatigue testing. That speaks volumes. Fatigue life is said to be better than metals, this backs that up.
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  • + 1
 There must be a reason why the industry is still using carbon over the f1 world and not for offroad use or over street bikes and not in the motocross world. Both motocross and mountain bike are based on the same principles and i never saw a carbon mx frame.Just sayin... Btw i do love carbon frames but im not convinced yet
  • + 2
 The cost of developing the frames is prohibitive especially when the sales numbers steadily decline. I have seen some prototypes years back, and they reported superior weight and strength, but 12-15k for a moto is not going to fly.
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  • + 1
 I've cracked a Rocy Mountain carbon frame near the pivot area. No impact from a rock or crash. Just failed. It was a 2010 model as well. They were terrible and tried to deny my warranty. Don't buy Rocky Mountain carbon bikes!
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  • + 1
 Don't want to rain on anyones parade here but i distinctly heard crunching noises coming from the carbon very very early on, almost before the aluminium started to bend. Would much rather see 5 runs of 500-600 lbs and see which frame survives. My money would be on the carbon snapping after 2-3 runs and alu being maybe slightly bent at the worst. People also seem to forget that carbon fibre can fail in many more ways that metal can. I've read studies about how weak carbon becomes after being exposed to "acid" - acid is everywhere: in the rain, the soil, the atmosphere etc etc. You go out on a carbon frame in a WET and MUDDY climate often and it will rot/corrode the carbon lay-up, simple as that. All it takes is a deep paint chip or a little mud/water to get inside the frame and your "forever strong" carbon frame is more like a piece of moldy cheese.

And yes I know steel rusts but you can SEE that happening and you can FIX it before it gets worse, aluminium oxidizes and same again it can be FIXED before it ruins the integrity of the frame. On another note you can dent and/or bend steel and then bend it back or re-weld the frame.
  • + 1
 I would also like to see how the rear triangle holds up under these tests, the only carbon frames i've seen snapped or cracked have failed at the rear triangle. Not saying i hate carbon, i think it's a great idea in road cycling, TT and track cycling but for MTB... stick to whats been used for decades. This whole "lets go lighter and lighter and lighter" whats the point, all you do is add the weight back on with saddle bags, water bottles, and not to mention the rider. So you get a carbon frame and its maybe a couple of kg's lighter than an aluminium equivalent but are you going to notice that down a hill?? unlikely. You "might" notice up hills, and i really do mean take that with a pinch of salt because i doubt you would notice out on a trail. I've ridden steel, alu and carbon bikes and all i can say is the carbon bikes are FAR less forgiving over rough terrain. I've owned a Patriot 66 and had that running in at about 13kg, rode a carbon full susser which came in at about 10-11kg maybe less i'm not sure, but since the forks and shocks on both bikes had lockout/adjustable travel i did not find any noticeable different in climbing at all. Descending my patriot picked up speed and maintained speed better than the carbon bike (this is down to momentum, which relies on weight for those of you who question this)

so what do get for your cash? pretty much nothing except a frame that can never be repaired if it breaks and bragging rights that you spent more money than anybody else at your local trails, sounds like a bargain!! (insert sarcasm here)...
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  • + 1
 Guys, I´ve been throwing down some numbers here, the second test might not be that impressive, for instance on the aluminum frame, the load is falling at 10.7km/h, on the carbon frame it falls at 15km/h. I honestly do not know how that can be translated into the real world. As per the test results carbon fiber is 23% stronger then aluminum and it also absorbs more energy, about 159% more...
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  • + 1
 None of this suprises me. My carbon GT Fury has proofen all of this a long time ago! On top of that the feeling you get riding carbon is suprisingly better. And you really first notice the difference next time you back on a alu frame, it feels dead, boring, heavy and less grippy... Cheers to all you new belevers!
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  • + 1
 My 2 pence on alu just bending and not cracking...of the 7 frames I have destroyed in 7 yrs of riding, all were aluminium and all except one rear triangle catastrophically ruptured through the whole tube without warning...fwiw
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  • + 1
 There are a lot of tests that these companies will not show you for good reason, trust me you are not the first person to think.. "oh no what will happen when these bikes get dumped in a rock garden during a crash" engineers think of this stuff and test it before they sell it, there is a reason SC carbon frames cost 3k new. You get what you pay for. Spend good money, get good shit.
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  • + 1
 i had a friend work with yeti designing a 303 carbon bike. i told him i was still a bit unsure about it till he showed be this video. well video watched i do see and understand the true evidence, but why do i still not believe in the carbon.
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  • + 1
 The Nomad can survive anything!!! Just picked up a new Santa Cruz Nomad Carbon full XTR build with a Talas 36 fork, on the way home from the bike shop on a rainy day the straps on my bike rack slip off and I watch in horror as my new bike is thrown from the back of my car onto a freeway at 60mph. I had to replace the stem, handle bars and brake levers and that was it! Not a single scratch on the frame or fork. Special thank you to the garbage truck driver who stopped traffic so I could retrieve my bike.
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  • + 1
 When i have read all comments..i'm thinking, why anybody tried produced frame combinated of carbon and aluminum :-)? Probably because its not possible technologically and weight will be higher, but it should solved all issues above. Outer layer should be made from aluminum (separate carbon to not hits by rocks and if yes it will be vissible) and inside layer made from carbon fibers, which makes frame much stronger..
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  • + 1
 There's a strange thing in the nature calling EVOLUTION,it isa bizarre impulse that all the humans have, It push Us to IMPROVE things no matter how good it is. In history many organisations tried to stop the printing papper, or satanising the electric power. Change never has been easy ,but evolution always makes its way through, We like it or not

WOOD, ROPES, NAILS....
....IRON, BRONZE ,STEEL, TITANIUM, ALUMINIUM
??????
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  • + 1
 I have been preaching the superiority of Carbon to all my Clydesdale buddies. They ride better than aluminum, and are stronger. Every comparison between carbon and aluminum that I have seen has shown the carbon to be stronger. The forces required to break these carbon frames is severe enough that the rider won't be worried about saving the frame, but saving his/her life. I never understood the " I would rather have a bent aluminum frame/wheel/bar etc. than a cracked carbon one" mentality. A busted frame is a busted frame. In all the years of moto and MTB I have seen (go back to 1982), I have only seen one impalement during a crash. Bikes and bodies tend to go different ways when we lose control.
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  • + 1
 I've got a carbon Nomad and it physically hurts watching this video, such an amazing frame, feels like you're handling a piece of granite its that stiff, cant ever imagine breaking the frame and this video further backs that statement up!
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  • + 3
 thanks PB, my wife (with a jaw dropped) saw the video and suggested I get a carbon frame now. you've made my life better!!!!!!!!
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  • + 1
 My only concern would be with the carbon frame not breaking under high load, where as the aluminum frame buckled, where does all that force go or get transferred to? To the rider? I would almost rather have my frame buckle and absorb the impact than it not and full force be directed into me. Kind of like how cars are designed to crumple on head on impacts. That energy has to go somewhere. Just a thought. On another note this has completely dismissed any doubts I have had about carbon fibers durability.
  • + 1
 Ah yes but you are strapped into a car....you're not attached to your bike. Smile
  • + 1
 good point. I think im just grasping because all my frames are alu lol. But then again if you are riding clipless...
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  • + 1
 Good to have an insight into the testing, but unless theres more to it than we get to see I'm surprised at how rudimentary their testing is. Would have expected to see software plotting strain graphs so you can see where the frame begins plastic deformation, rather than just testing to destruction. Although I'm sure their argument against this is that FEA gives a decent enough idea as it is.
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  • + 2
 Amazing, it's like the producers of the SAW films were allowed to design bike stress testing stuff...

"Do you want play a game?"

*Frame starts crying*

Great article, this site never fails to impress. Thanks PB.
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  • + 2
 if my calcs are not too far off, then that 110lb drop test, is the energy equivalent of someone of 80kg riding at about 12kph coming to a deadstop, fork somehow locked solid, and rim not taco'ing.
  • + 1
 Yeah - surely the rim would take most of the beating.
  • + 2
 totally agreed, which makes me wonder about the test itself and it's applicability. Unless they are presuming someone loses a wheel somehow and the fork hits the ground with no travel available. (reminds me of that guy that had his stanchions ripped outta the lowers).
But in that situation, the last thing to be concerned about is frame damage Wink
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  • + 1
 good stuff. iam halfway through building a carbon redline flight and its my first carbon frame. it feels like plastic when you have hold of it and when you are so used to steel or alu its not as easy as you'd like to get 100% settled with the idea of riding it hard. well its been like that for me on and off anyway. redline took 2 years to develop it also so with that and after seeing this iam good to go
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  • + 4
 they have the coolest job in the world!! i dont know though id rather my frame bent than just snapped!
  • + 1
 Why? A bent unrideable frame is better than a cracked unrideable frame? Considering you are going to bend more frames than crack frames, I don't get it.?????
  • + 2
 just the security of knowing your bike will still be in one piece underneath you. i rather ride out a big crash like that than go straight to dirt, especially with the forces your goin through on either of the materials.
  • + 1
 agree denverd. bent frames can often be repaired if they are steel. Aluminium not so much, but the frame will get you to the bottom of the hill. a frame that no longer attaches the front wheel to the bike, as it is now in two pieces, means your walking home. not to mention probably going to A&E.
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  • + 3
 Safety glasses anyone? Carbon shards to the orbs is a distinct possibility. Or concrete bits. Does Carbon recycle readily? Or will the frames be with us forever?
  • + 0
 Yeah. The other thing that made me cringe was allowing the impact weight to keep bouncing onto the frame until it came to rest.
  • + 3
 leverfingers: thank you. I like seeing things from other side than just price and performance, many costs and compromises that are not taken into account: externalities like the cost of environment damage, how materials are extracted, put together, recyclable if possible, finaly wasted. How does each party in the process deals with waste etc. are people doing these having enough safety gear. Costs on local economy, unemployment due to movig production to Asia etc.etc.etc.

But yea we have huge problems because of being so separated from nature by technology - 99% of us can't tell where does our food come from (many can't tell what is in the food at all) so how should we know how our bicycle frame came to be... I would really like to hear that from some company, instead of essays about suspension technology an essay about production.

That was nothing against SC, it was a "general thing"
  • + 1
 If you listen to the carbon bike being tested it starts making craking noise at about 800lbs and the aluminum frame also Starts to deform at around 600lbs I wonder if those frames would be considered safe after just that stress.
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  • + 1
 Dammmmmmm needed this vid last week as I was going to order the carbon frame but changed my mind because I was unsure about carbon damm .I ordered a 2012 intense traser 2 instead. Would like to see intense do a vid test on there new carbon frame and now we know carbon is strong but would be good to compare intense and SANTACRUZ carbon frame and see how much the frames design effects in how it holds up
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  • + 2
 Incredible. But the most amazing part was the Swing-A-Carbon-Frame-Into-A-Concrete-Block test. I thought that the downtube will just shatter, but no, nothing happened. Absolutely amazing.
  • + 2
 Yep I agree that swingin into concrete test was the most mind settling one of them all , I had some doubts about carbon untill then ! Very good promotion for SC
  • - 7
 Yea that one really staggered me at first! But then I realised its the same as trying to destroy a golfball by hitting it with a golfclub. Which relatively is the same as throwing the golfball into the club, which is the same as throwing the frame into the wall. What does it do? It bounces back.
  • + 0
 What the heck are you talking about?! If you don't get it, just shut up, and don't try to be smart.
  • + 0
 Victor that is a terrible comparison , no it's very very terrible. Using your golf analogy , it's more like hitting the golf club against your golf cart and the club taking the beating and laughing , still a terrible analogy but hopefully one that makes sence in your world.
  • + 1
 i think you'll find he is actually correct. Carbon re-directs impact force and bounces away from the object. under load and strain when it hits something however it would snap. A company i used to work for asked for some of the returned carbon frames to be destroyed as they were warranty frames that had been replaced. The guy doing the destroying started with a sledge hammer and it just bounced off and he hurt his arms and wrists. We put the frame into a vice so it cant go anywhere and hit it with the sledge hammer again... CRUNCH your "impenatrable" carbon frame snaps. (BTW the best way is just to cut it up with an circular saw, but we didn't have one at the time)

so if the frame has nowhere to go it will most likely break that is what victor was getting at. You ride a frame made from carbon straight off a jump and land the downtube on a concrete edge and see if it survives, bet you good money it snaps and you end up in hospital.
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  • + 2
 Holy crap there's no way an aluminium frame would withstand that last 'concrete' test! Crazy to hear all the fibres starting to break on the carbon frame in the first test :-O
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  • + 3
 i want to hear what the carbon hater folks have to say after seeing this video.
  • + 2
 been riding a carbon bike for few years now. never listen to the critics. what the hell do they know anyways.
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  • + 1
 i think a lot of people were scared away by carbon fiber as much as i was, but after seeing how much more it can go thru compared to aluminum ill think twice before going "oh its carbon itll snap easy"
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  • + 0
 When you go to the grocery store, the bagger asks if you want your bag to be paper or plastic. When you go to the bike shop, the salesperson asks you want your frame to be made out of aluminum cans or plastic bottles. Plastic is taking over! That plastic bottle train of thought makes me wonder if you can actually make tubing stiffer and sturdier if you make it airtight and pump it full of air pressure. Wonder if that lets ya get away with being lighter weight as well.
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  • + 1
 Carbon seems very strong, but my buddy still cracked his carbon nomad at the bb/main pivot, twice. And he wasn't riding the crap out of it. That being said, carbon is probably the way of the future.
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  • + 4
 Damn you Pinkbike!! Now I want a carbon frame Frown
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  • + 2
 Next specialized, then Kona, Trek, Giant, Yeti, Cube etc... show them how good your frames too, so riders can choose wisely which one to buy=)
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  • + 3
 Have you got any "huck to flat" bottom out ultimates? I would really like to see one of those. Thanks for the mayhem!
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  • + 2
 My studies at Uni could me much more interesting if we used to check failures with bike frames instead of small pieces of metal.
  • + 1
 well my at my Uni they give us do tests on carbon as well as metal pieces and i am still a sceptic
  • + 1
 Im using it at my Uni right now for a project, fun to lay up and test, not fun to calculate at all, Carbon is the future for performance material applications, becoming more popular which means more manufacturing processes and lower costs
  • + 1
 low cost ??? wouldn't say that well at least not yet
  • + 1
 lower than it used to be i mean* still spendy stuff as of now, however no welding processes...
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  • + 3
 So many wasted frames... I could've used them!!! But at least they were wrecked for the greater good.
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  • + 4
 I would like to see some impacts done on the sides of the frame please
  • + 2
 yeah some thing along the lines of hitting it on the concrete block again then puting it back in the machine that simulates frontal impacts.
That would be even more impressive then it already is Razz
  • + 1
 impacts that are not perpendicular to the carbon lay-up would be better, they were hitting that at near 90 degree's along the direction of the carbon. It's the same idea as Wood, you hit it with an axe across the grain it's strong, hit it in line with the grain and snap there goes the wood. That frame would almost definitely fail if it was hit in line with the carbon "grain" so to speak. Get a steel chisel to represent a sharp rock and hit that into the frame... watch as it opens up like a piñata
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  • + 2
 Now, this is what every company's ad must be like! Nothing wasted, this is a real engineering stuff. hopefully PB gonna show us more...
  • + 2
 You missed the point that it takes a lot more force to get it to break. And as they said, BOTH tests far exceed real-world crash limits. Your body will break before you can put enough force into the frame to break it.
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  • + 1
 to be honest I never believed that carbon is stronger than Aluminium, definitely my next frame should be from carbon and after I have seen these tests, R35P3CT for the guys on SANTACRUZ.
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  • + 3
 SC got to be best bike manufacturer in the world that produces most advanced bikes!
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  • + 2
 Wow awesome vid!! I really like these factory visits, seeing how things go inside! First test made me cringe all throughout. The "pass" was hillarious.
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  • + 1
 this should be a type of certification or standard that should be All bicycles according to the style to which they were designed, santa cruz should put competing brands to see if they respond
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  • + 1
 Wow! Now carbons skeptics should see this. I just can't believe it and both are old and abused for years. Now I wish other bike brands should follow the marketing strategy of santa cruz.
  • + 1
 yeah, like Ibis
  • + 0
 maybe not ibis... there frames would almost definitely break way before aluminium, and then they'd go out of business.
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  • + 3
 Cal-OSHA says to wear safety glasses guys!
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  • + 1
 Did my senior design project on turning a large steel structure to carbon, Results have been crazy so far...you would never know how strong that stuff is
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  • + 2
 The problem is the value for money vs advantage. Alluminiun still reigns supreme for the non sponsored rider.
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  • + 1
 I loooooove my Nomad C even more now. Just riding it convinced me to take the "risk", now I realise there was no risk. Even better. Big Grin
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  • + 3
 Now I believe those carbon frames Big Grin
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  • + 2
 Id rather cycle home on a bent bike than be walking and carrying two pices of bike.
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  • - 1
 Kind of confused here. Aluminum bikes of this type have what? a twenty year history of excellent reliability. So saying the carbon bike is stronger just tells me it's too heavy. Now if you want to optimize the carbon design to break at the already safe levels of the aluminum bike then you are talking. Of course doing this requires substantial efforts in FEA and manufacturing process to really get carbon to its real potential. If you are going to to 'throw carbon at it' to keep your analysis costs down and piece of mind up, then it seems kind of waste. In the aerospace business, we spend insane amounts of time analyzing carbon to the nat's ass. It is exceedingly expensive compared to aluminum and titanium which we use as much as possible- counter intuitive given the seemingly huge budgets we deal in.
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  • + 1
 Its good to see this. I just purchased one last month. I am 6" 2 and 205. I actually enjoyed the very scientific whacking the concrete the most.
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  • + 1
 Jesus, I knew it was strong but that's insane. I am now a believer !! I would have worn some eye protection though. Carbon shardes in the eye can't be fun !
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  • + 1
 gotta love santa cruz. They hooked my buddy up when his frame failed even though he was the second owner. I love this company and they are in my top 5 for next bike for sure.
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  • - 1
 What do these #'s and tests relate to in the real world? That first test the aluminum failed at 1400lbs, is that like crashing in the backside of a 20 ft jump going 30mph under 150lb rider, assuming a 180mm fork may flex 1 or 2" before transferring that stress entirely to the frame. It's cool to see but how does this relate to me and my riding?
  • + 1
 they said the average hit when you hit the backside of a jump is gonna be around 800 lbs (hitting the backside of a jump is pretty real world) im assuming thats a 160lb riding hitting the back of a double, distance doesn't matter, just speed. Flex in the fork and wheel will only make the frame last under even higher load...they showed you that bike buckling if all other factors were completely solid and free of flex so imagine tacking on other components that will just take away from the energy going to the frame. It wasn't meant to blind you with science, it was meant to give you confidence in the strength of carbon frames.
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  • + 2
 Bike abuse!!! Throw those monsters in jail, who could do that to an innocent frame :O ... very likable crew btw Smile
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  • + 2
 Not all carbon frames are made the same. I am fortunate to own a Nomad Carbon!
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  • + 1
 this makes me want the carbon bikes even more. come on, an aluminium bike is all ready really expensive for most of us but now im drooling over carbon. Frown _
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  • + 4
 This video makes me cry!
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  • + 2
 Can i have the frame that was smashed to the concrete.. ? God save the other frames soul !!
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  • + 3
 They should make a bike out of Arnold Schwarzenegger!
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  • + 2
 I'll go test out a few indos with my bike starting at 7ft so on tomorrow =) Keep you guys updated on results
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  • + 3
 The cost of every santa cruz just went up in the buy sell section
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  • + 2
 Love how no body has safety gogs on. A few beers at Seabright'll do that.
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  • + 2
 dont break it :,( you animals Frown you killed it
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  • + 1
 I've had a big frontal impact and it just bent my boxxer. I doubt you you would brake your frame before your fork.
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  • + 1
 I love how the photographer has flip flops on in a drop test lab..haha ...smart
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  • + 2
 Wow truly impressed, mad props Smile
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  • + 2
 Makes me wanna buy a carbon bike haha! And rob a bank of course.
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  • + 2
 i just cried alittle while watching this Frown
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  • + 2
 speaks for itself,im converted!
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  • + 2
 This video will put all those carbon sceptics at rest.
  • + 1
 or maybe make everyone steer well clear of SC alu frames... considering they bent in the same place that the carbon snapped, i was not expecting the down tube AND top tube to fail, one or the other fine but not both :/
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  • + 2
 talk about the best job ever...
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  • + 2
 I'm very surprised how well the carbon did in the test. Good work guys
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  • + 1
 dammn! so right now when we all belive maybe the aluminium frame price drop down by a half?
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  • + 2
 I love Santa Cruz and My V10 carbon.
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  • + 1
 I do they always do the test with a front impact at the fork? what about 20 foot flat landings?
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  • + 2
 I want to see tests like these from other Bike Brands/Companies...
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  • + 2
 instead of cracking em... gimme one : /
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  • + 0
 I know that stress testing etc. is vital to designing more durable bikes, but watching all these beautiful bikes get destroyed made me want to cry. Frown
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  • + 2
 Now you can give to Conan a carbon sword.
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  • + 2
 Amazing, gives me so much more faith for my carbon bike.
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  • + 1
 i want to see a cro-mo and titanium frame test on similar lines, just to see how these materials fare !
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  • + 1
 Here is a road bike passing the same test from the same height. Go Colnago

www.pinkbike.com/video/243714
  • + 1
 The weight being dropped in this video is 49.6lbs
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  • + 2
 After watching that I would now buy a carbon
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  • + 1
 Love how nobody has safety hogs on for any of this. Few beers at Seabright?
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  • + 0
 This video just proved how dangerous carbon can be, those guys could get really hurt trying to slam that frame on the concrete Wink
  • - 2
 I think this just proves Santacruz aluminum frames suck!!!!!!
Wink
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  • + 1
 i believe in carbon now !! wtf r they hitting the v10 frame for haha
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  • + 1
 *gogs* freaking auto correct!
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  • + 1
 anny body else think kona should test like this
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  • + 1
 Awesome! Nice hat Joe! See you in Downieville.
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  • + 1
 carbon bikes should have a thicker tube walls
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  • + 1
 ...And all the carbon Nomads in the for sale area have been pulled off Wink
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  • + 1
 I loved how you can hear the fibers splitting on the first nomad
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  • + 1
 Would still rather a frame bend/dent a bit than SNAP like carbon does...
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  • + 1
 Cabon Nomad, next frame. Never need to buy a frame again...simples!
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  • + 1
 Your just a bunch of yobo's! haha... Poor frames!
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  • + 1
 They should have let this out earlier...
  • + 2
 I think the timing was better. That carbon frame had been ridden for two years, and had tons of other simulation tests done to it. Gave a more legit argument for the carbon frame!
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  • + 1
 Next PB tour should be of Oakley to get some Safety Glasses!
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  • + 1
 Stop breaking frames and give me one
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  • + 1
 holy mother of god! im glad they could take that abuse
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  • + 1
 Some of us were not surprised at those results.
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  • + 1
 What a waste, but what a result !!!!!!!!!
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  • + 1
 Carbon Nomad Y U NO BREAK!
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  • + 1
 Breaking up things is awesome!!
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  • + 1
 The last "hiting test" was amazing!
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  • + 2
 I am now a believer
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  • + 1
 they are some heavy duty frames!
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  • + 1
 I Love my Santa Cruz!! Amazing
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  • + 1
 what a punishment
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  • + 1
 love carbon fiber
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  • + 1
 it won't fucking die!!!
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  • + 1
 Rest in pieces
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  • + 1
 what about Ti?
  • + 0
 There wouldn't really be a point because titanium is heavier than aluminum.
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  • - 2
 Proved what i dont like about carbon. And thats that it breaks without notice, and suddenly. Alloy just bends.
  • + 4
 What??? At the point Al bent the carbon didn't even stress. It took nearly twice the force to break the carbon, that's like saying you would rather ride a rubber frame cuz you don't want it to crack, absurd.
  • + 1
 rlucky82 -- take it you didnt hear the continuous crunching noises coming from the carbon at same point/earlier than where the alu one bent? i wouldnt ride that carbon frame after half way through that test never mind the end result...
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  • + 0
 Carbon uber alles!
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  • - 2
 pure marketing for monkeys to be astonish with!
  • + 12
 Yeah, totally agree. I would much rather buy a bike without knowing ANYTHING at all. I like the element of surprise! Poo poo to marketing!
  • + 0
 Some people should know how to ride his bike instead.
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