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Old 04-13-2014, 01:19 PM   #1
Zapp22 OP
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Question Carbon Fiber [advanced] Crash Bars, plates, pans?

I've been trying to rethink crash protection.

I don't know what you ride: me? DR's, Weestroms, XRR, DRZ, a few others.
I've had a few crashes. With Crash Bars [costly ones] I've had a few crashes. Some bikes are easier to protect than others [DR].
Some crashbars don't work. At least not as one might hope they would.

I'm carrying around 20 extra lbs for ??? Insurance I guess.
I just took off a centerstand and put it on Ebay. Why do I want to carry around a shop lift on the chance that once in a blood moon I may want to use it in the wild?

Modern plastics/polys are not my grandmother's plastics. Any of you have the sink I have? My wife thinks it fell down from heaven. It is unmarkable, indesctructible, etc? Rhino-liner? Anyone coat their truck bed with Aluminum?

What's out there that works that is light, tough, bend-not-break, new-think? I read somewhere of a "plastic" bash plate [not the poser cowl dressing] but can't remember now which bike or what brand. wondering if any are battle tested?
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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The problem with composites like carbon fibre is that when they do fail, they don't simply bend like Aluminum or Steel does, it cracks and/or shatters. At least with the metals, you can bash it back into shape.

Maybe you should be looking into advanced metals. Like titanium, or a metal alloy of some sort.

That said, Moose Racing makes some carbon fibre bash/skid plates.

You could probably make your own relatively easy. Use cardboard for a template, then coat it with a release agent, and layup carbon fibre on it, I'd also recommend using kevlar on the bottom as it has superior abrasion resistance.

In fact, there is a thread here on adv, on how to do it. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605282
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Old 04-13-2014, 09:07 PM   #3
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There is a new carbon/composite hybrid just out now that may eliminate previous shortcomings. Better than any carbon/kevlar. I've got some coming in next week to begin some testing and prototypes. No time frame for production as yet. I'll post as things progress.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:17 AM   #4
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I make my bash plate out of hdpe. It's strong and slippery.


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Old 04-14-2014, 05:20 AM   #5
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I'll be "all ears".

spent a lot of time yesterday staring at my current rig and reimagining the real issue [not the marketing/style issue]. I think a "light" crashbar/pan solution could be very well-regarded by the community. it just needs real thinking and reality-check about what happens in common getoffs. I wish I could think of a way to 'rollcage' the upper body and tank but so far I'm not seeing a good way. bad way, yes. :)
the better idea I think is maybe a combo of frame slider/rework and a simple solo bar to wrap the front and provide strong mount for the skid pan.

on my DR's I did something so simple and so effectve. We probably all know what we mean by "highway bar/or/pegs". The forward lip of the skid plate on my DR's were strong [two different brands]. I mounted a common square "tube" from bigbox stores across the front of that upper lip, extending far enough for a boot if you want, but the main purpose was to standoff in a crash. covered with foam slide-ons. It works. The bar is disposable if bent too badly to hammer out. cost about 10 bucks and a few minutes of mounting. saved everything - cases, controls, oilcooler [not mirrors, bar ends, etc all that movable stuff is at risk]. its instructive.

for some reason, on the big bikes, I guess the crashbar makers are following some lead that one of them set early on. the lower parts seem ineffective for anything. don't save the controls, put the cases at risk, and if anything, serve to "launch" the bike into a rollover. ask me how I know. absent such the bike would slide on its side like you expect, damaging a lot of tupperware and hard parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramjet View Post
There is a new carbon/composite hybrid just out now that may eliminate previous shortcomings. Better than any carbon/kevlar. I've got some coming in next week to begin some testing and prototypes. No time frame for production as yet. I'll post as things progress.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:08 AM   #6
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LIke this video of tests done by Santa Cruz bicycles, comparing aluminum to Carbon composite in their lab. A lot of mountainbike guys used to be scared of carbon composites, saying they'd explode and send shrapnel everywhere. It doesn't happen like that.

Very interesting video if you haven't seen it. Carbon composites can be VERY strong and light.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xreZdUBqpJs
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:09 AM   #7
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super

excellent post!
I know nothing about forming carbon-fibre or other composite materials, but the bike vid sure shows that their material is capable of the kind of strength and resilience needed in some crash-protection parts.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bracky72 View Post
I make my bash plate out of hdpe. It's strong and slippery.



Good idea!



Bash plates molded using UHMWPE instead would be a killer, don't you guys think?
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:44 PM   #9
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It would be extremely abrasion resistant. An ideal material in my opinion.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtDuster View Post
Good idea!



Bash plates molded using UHMWPE instead would be a killer, don't you guys think?
Like Dyneema? I don't know...some of my Dyneema seems brittle or almost like fiberglass (but obviously very different and stronger in some ways). Some of the thicker pieces seem more solid or monolithic I guess. More dense.

I'm not sure how all it can be formed and made so there are probably other ways to cater to an application like this. I know it can be incredibly tough so it seems like a cool idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bracky72 View Post
It would be extremely abrasion resistant. An ideal material in my opinion.
See, abrasion is actually one of the concerns I have picturing the thinner pieces I have. I guess I'd like to see some tests...it would be cool to see how it works and could offer a lot of potential.

I'm sure there's other UHMWPE besides Dyneema too.


ETA:

Well damn...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-h...t_polyethylene

"UHMWPE sheet is also cut into small blocks to be used as a brake pad material for mountain bike trials rim brakes. The material's combination of flexibility and abrasion resistance allows it to run on a roughened rim surface to lock the braked wheels extremely securely when the brake is pulled, while still wearing at a slower rate than more common bicycle brake pad materials."
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pardus View Post
Like Dyneema? I don't know...some of my Dyneema seems brittle or almost like fiberglass (but obviously very different and stronger in some ways). Some of the thicker pieces seem more solid or monolithic I guess. More dense.
To me, Dyneema is more a fiber made of UHMWPE than anything else.

And like any "super" fiber, it can be used to reinforced fabrics or molded using resin (like carbon or fiberglass) of some sort.


Solid UHMWPE block is a different beast to me. It's like the "cutting board" HDPE but more dense.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SgtDuster View Post
To me, Dyneema is more a fiber made of UHMWPE than anything else.

And like any "super" fiber, it can be used to reinforced fabrics or molded using resin (like carbon or fiberglass) of some sort.


Solid UHMWPE block is a different beast to me. It's like the "cutting board" HDPE but more dense.

Gotcha. That actually explains the differences between the types of Dyneema I have and mentioned above (and both are Dyneema). The one is more of a block like you're saying. I called it solid or monolithic...block works...it's a block. This one shows no evidence of being fibrous that I can detect.

The other is a thin sheet made up of layered very thin sheets it seems. But it's all one piece. It seems like there are fibers in it.

But hell, there's Dyneema sailing rigging and climbing slings so it can be made like that too. It's versatile.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:03 AM   #13
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Laugh

i may be assuming too much here, but back to the Bike Frame test: it would seem that the composite may not fare as well when formed with multiple bends, as is the case with crashbar arrangements.

is that accurate? multiple bends in the 'bar' or 'tube' formed results in greatly reduced load capacity?
with my wife's help I was photo-chopping an idea for a light crashbar that is really more like a "hooped/looped' frame slider but importantly forming the mount point at the fore of the motor/cage for mounting the traditional array of bashplates. from the frame mount points, a Y-joint to the main bar looping the front and attaching to each side. The side-impact strength comes from the perpendicular 'frame slider' geometry and serves only to save cases/controls. like pretty much every other crashbar out there, it ain't going to save the upper part of the bike, but at least its shaped in a way that will not deliberately lever the bike into a roll, which is exactly what other over-built crashbars do ... something I've seen with my own two eyes as I slid through the rocks watching my bike hideously tormented...
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