Ruckus Composites Launches Composite Bike Science Program and Identifies Future Research

Adhesion test. Photo credit, all images: Ruckus Composites

Ruckus Composites (Portland, Oregon, USA) is continually focused on setting standards for the inspection and repair of carbon fiber bicycles; to date, more than 16,000 bicycles have been studied. Recently, the company launched a cutting-edge carbon bicycle science program that uses chemistry, physics and engineering to study important questions in areas such as durability, design, maintenance and repair. This program is designed to provide information for scientists, bike technicians and consumers.

Program highlights to date include:

Composite bike repair carbon footprint.

Composite bike repair carbon footprint.

  • Analysis of the carbon footprint of repairing carbon frames at Ruckus Composites shows that repair produces up to 95% less greenhouse gas emissions than replacement.
  • Published a scientific paper and video presentation, “Ultrasonic Testing of Carbon Fiber Bicycles”, at the 2021 International Online Ultrasonic Testing Conference. This paper/video ranked in the top ten most viewed at of the conference.
  • Experiments using droplet contact angles to determine the best carbon fiber composite surface preparation methodology for bonding with substances such as adhesives and paint. Proper surface preparation is essential for safe repairs, the company explains.
Frame top tube failure.

Frame top tube failure.

Ruckus Composites also identifies a few additional topics in the pipeline in 2022, including:

  • Drop impact test of carbon fiber frames. This is a tool drop study to determine if damage can occur from dropped tools.
  • Galvanic corrosion, where the company even creates a “sweat bath” for certain components.
  • Exploration of epoxy and carbon fiber to acquire general knowledge of materials.
  • Couple in connection with bicycle repair. According to Ruckus Composites, it will use a calibrated, highly accurate (0.2%) low-range digital torque wrench to press and crack the tubes with precision.
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