Renovating future Bikes

It occurred to me that in 10 years time there will be thousands of old carbon frames around looking for a home. Carbon frames from china are cheep as chips and are used by many leading brands to build entry level carbon road bikes at around the £800+ mark. As production is scaled up and costs come down bikes will continue to get cheaper. The ‘throw away’ bike has been with us for a while but there is a big difference between the 70s steel frames that are still around today and the carbon frames that will remain in 15 or 20 years time.

The virtue of an old steel frame is its ability to morph into a range of different incarnations from single speed/fixie to hub gear town/commuter bike. But what would a carbon road frame be doing in 20 years time? Putting aside the risk that the carbon may have fractured by that time, the vertical dropout limits its ability to change. A chain tensioner could be used but that’s less than ideal especially if the rear wheel is used as a fixie brake.  OK lets take a Carbon road frame and put a standard 9 speed Sora group set with a single front chainring and build a commuter.  Sounds OK? well it will depend on how much the frame will give when it goes over a rough surface,  the expensive carbon where the weave allows a bit of flex would be great but they will be in the minority.

When full suspension bikes are given the same consideration its difficult to envisage what else they could be. We have converted many classic ridged 90s mountain bikes to become good commuters but the addition of suspension limits the possibilities.  Many of the suspension mechanisms are also expensive to maintain or replace which increases the risk of the frame becoming a ‘write-off’ if that component goes.

Any ideas?

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