John Wood wrote.
If anything, you could make the argument that older bikes (30's through the 90's) are more comfortable and safer, in that new hyper-specialized race bikes don't handle rough pavement as well, and the new superlight carbon fiber frames and parts are more likely to fail catastrophically.
One could make that argument, but I'm not sure that one would use for actual facts to form the basis of that argument. I don't know af any soild data that indicates that newer "superlight" carbon parts fail more frequently than older racing parts. Comparing standard racing parts, which are now lighter and often made of CF, I would actually be surprised if catastrophic failures are more frequent. Comparing modern standard racing parts, stuff that is light, but not special-use superlight stuff, to vintage stuff of similar weight, which would have been special-use in its day, my SENSE is that the older stuff would have been more prone to failure in general and MUCH more prone to catastrophic failure. If nothing else, when CF fails, it is decidedly less likely for that failure to be catastrophic, when compared to an aluminum or titanium alloy. Nature of the beast.
Consider a 2008 bike that weighs 19 pounds and a 1970's bike of the same weight. The former is oridnary while the later was superlight. Ordinary race bikes are not breaking left and right, in 2008, afaik. SL bikes from the 70's had issues. Ferrules pulling through rims, spindles cracking, freewheel bodies breaking. In 2008, compnies get sued into nonexistence for that sort of thing.
Consider a modern SL bike at 15 or so pounds. Look at a bike from the 70's at that weight. Whould you seriously trust the later more than the former?
Time marches on, techology changes. Composites aren't voodoo heaped upon an ignorant public. They a big reason that bikes are lighter at given level of performance and reliablilty then they were 30 years ago, and big reason that bikes are more reliable and better performing at a given weight than they were 30 years ago. Are modern CF bikes your cup of tea? I suspect not, and they aren't mine. Are modern riders equipment obsessed and making some bad choices, yes as always, perhaps moreso than ever. But giving CF a bad rap is just parroting the dubioius convenional wisdom, IMO. It reminds be of people belittling modren cars because of their thin body panels that are no match for that good old Detroit steel of the 50's... Ugh.
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