Poll: Plastic Fantastic Or Woven Woe?

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Compared to roadies, mountain bikers generally seem pretty comfortable with change and innovation. We are progressive types after all right? To be fair, our sport is a lot newer than the crusty old world of road cycling, where history and tradition create all kinds of unwritten rules around what you’re supposed to wear, ride and adorn your bike with. Because you wouldn’t want to experience the wrath of the roadie elite for turning up to a bunch ride with … *gasp* … disc brakes, and ruining everyone’s day would you?

For those of us rocking knobbly tyres however, new technologies are seen as new ways to improve our experiences or capabilities, rather than as a threat to tradition and integrity. There are exceptions however, and carbon fibre bikes are one of those things that seem as divisive as Marmite or U2.

ibis ripley ls fox kashima carbon orange 29er
Carbon fibre affords some pretty incredible engineering possibilities, and it can be used to build lighter and stiffer mountain bikes.

Whether it be based on myth, legend, fake news or fact, carbon frames are something that some people just can’t quite get their heads round. Others have no problems with their heads, and the only thing stopping them swinging a leg over a plastic pushbike is their bank balance, or the fact that they have a perfectly good metal machine sitting in their shed and n+1 is not an option.

alchemy arktos carbon enduro bike full suspension fox transfer rotor kashima factory saddleback 36 27.5 us made
Carbon fibre is everywhere in 2017. But are you into it?

Six years ago, we asked you whether you’d be riding a carbon fibre bike in five years’ time…

Do you reckon that you'll be riding a carbon mountain bike in five years?

  • I don't think I will be (22%, 104 Votes)
  • Possibly but only if they become cheaper (21%, 99 Votes)
  • Yes. It looks like it's going that way (19%, 90 Votes)
  • I already am, so yes! (18%, 87 Votes)
  • It's too hard to predict (11%, 52 Votes)
  • No way José! You'll never get me on the plastic (10%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 478

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Can’t see the poll? Click here.

A lot has happened since then. The Tiangong-1 Space Station launched by China in 2011 is due to crash back to earth in the year ahead. The Juno space probe made its trip to Jupiter, where it is now orbiting. The Higgs Boson particle has been found. Gravitational waves have been discovered. However, some things stay the same – Chipps’ desk is still a mess, although there’s every chance that fossils, coal, or even diamonds are now being formed in the bottom layer of detritus.

Singletrack towers office chipps desk
Chipps’ desk.

Let’s see how the future turned out. Get your votes in.

Do you own a carbon mountain bike?

  • Yes. The future is now. (34%, 260 Votes)
  • No, but I would if I could afford it. (34%, 256 Votes)
  • No way José! You'll never get me on the plastic. (21%, 156 Votes)
  • I had one, but I'm back on the metal. (9%, 68 Votes)
  • Yes. But I won't again. (2%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 754

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Can’t see the poll? Click here to register your vote!

Update: You can also vote via the following Facebook Poll!

Are we living in the future? Or is it still around the corner? And what will the next new frame construction that we’ll all have to learn to trust?

Is this the future?
Is this the future?

Comments (6)

  1. That was an interesting vote comparison. My bikes and riding seem to have become more xc orientated and now I’m riding carbon full suspension bikes for the most part and I am loving it.

    Back then I had a Lynskey Ridgeline 29er – which I no longer own.

  2. The performance advantages can be great, if designed with the material in mind.

    But, it’s the environmental impact that bothers me. The material is near-enough inert and not widely recycled/ reused. That’s why I won’t buy one.

  3. Er, has this thread been caught in some sort of worm hole for the last 4 or 5 years? CF bikes went mainstream back in about 2010 or 2011 didn’t they??

  4. Are these ‘articles’ getting ever closer to clickbait?
    Come on guys write it. Dont get us to do your slog. Yu get the cheap bikes, earn them.
    Very lazy

  5. a poll that’s past its sell by date ………………..

  6. If carbon has gone mainstream, then it’s since our last poll, maxtorque, which is why we needed another poll. We use some of our polls to determine your (the readers’) opinions so that we know what to feature in future issues of the magazine. In our editorial vacuum, otherwise, we might assume that only a select few are interested in carbon – but this poll proves otherwise and so we’ll be doing more on the material in future. Hope that helps explain things.

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