Carbon fiber demystified

With such a wide range of materials and manufacturing processes available today, choosing the frameset that best meets your needs requires some thought. Oftentimes, what may seem like a sure thing at face value turns out to be a more complex matter.

  • For example, just in terms of the basic raw material, carbon fiber, a distinction must be made between a number of variants, including High Tensile, High Modulus, Very High Modulus fibers.

These three broad categories, while each embodying their own specific properties, can be further broken down into 30 or so fiber sub-types. What’s more, other fibers enter into the frame building process; among these, the most useful are Kevlar aramid fiber, used to improve impact resistance, and fiberglass/polyester, which, when properly used, increases vibration absorption.

A frame decal bearing the words ‘‘High Modulus’’ doesn’t necessarily mean top quality, no more than a decal stating ‘‘High Tensile’’ means an inferior product.

  • The most important point is to determine what kind of performance and road feel you want from a bike, and choosing the material and frameset model that will best fulfill your expectations.

At Argon 18, we plan and control all phases of manufacturing, from raw carbon fiber filaments, through prepreg fiber sheet weaving, all the way to the final finish work.

  • This lets us design a number of carbon formulations incorporating a variety of fiber types in different proportions that are then used to give the frame and fork models their distinct properties. Each formulation is designed to meet the diverse, specific needs of riders.

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