John wants our opinion on frames, to be more precise; carbon frames. Is the technology of carbon frames of the 1980s been super seeded by the frames of today? We think this is inevitable and we explain why…
Question: Hi, Considering advancement in technology is there still any 1980’s collector’s bikes today that have not been matched or improved. Or is a Vitus or an Alan frame the ultimate in carbon frames?
Advancement is inevitable and the frames of today are from the space age in comparison to the frames of the 1980s.
I had a Vitus and a friend had an Alan and at the time they were great. But the way they were constructed with tubes screwed into jointing lugs was liable to creaking and eventually some were known to fail over time.
Vitus 979 – 7 tubes of carbon frame – photo credit flickr.com/photos/dagwald/
Example of an Alan carbon frame – model “modolo” – via flickr
That said we don’t know how the carbon tubed and monocoque frames of today will stand up to use over the next 10 or more years.
If you want to learn more about monocoque carbon frames, their technology, how they are made, molds, etc. then ibiscycles.com shares the process of making an HD downhill carbon frame. More details here
I personally think that change happens for a good reason. Its called evolution and the frames of today have to be better than frames of nearly 30 years ago.
The way the carbon is manufactured and the methods carbon is layered is different. You also have monocoque designs, which are nearly a frame in one piece. This must all be stronger than the old methods of jointing carbon to alloy.
They are lighter and stronger and depending on your taste; they look so much nicer.