Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    83

    Lightning and Carbon Fibre

    Can I ride my CF bike without worrying about lightning durin a storm?

    Just an thought I had while I was watching a storm go past my house. I hate not riding because of yuky weather.

  2. #2
    rock n rolling resistance
    Reputation: 6was9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    880

    It's not the material...

    Quote Originally Posted by Caadrider
    Can I ride my CF bike without worrying about lightning durin a storm?

    Just an thought I had while I was watching a storm go past my house. I hate not riding because of yuky weather.
    of your bike that you should worry about but rather whether you are the tallest thing in the surrounding area. Unlike handling AC charge, non-conductivity of your bike material or shoes won't save you from a lightening hit. Lightening is powerful enough that the current will simply jump from you to the ground even if you are on a non-conductive bike.

    Lightening is basically arcing between two opposing field of electrical charge: atmoshpere and ground. You don't want to be near any tall conductive structure such as a big tree or be that tallest structure yourself. If you will, in the eyes of lightening, you are just a part of a large mass it is attracted to. You just don't want to draw any attention by sticking out higher than your surrounding which is hard to do on a bike unless you are in a city near many tall buildings. Also you can't always predict exactly how a lightening/arcing will behave. My advice: avoid riding in thunder storms.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Reputation: divve's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    2,603
    What if you wear this? Will the lightening still be able to find you?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Lightning and Carbon Fibre-assos.jpg  

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: russw19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,127
    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    What if you wear this? Will the lightening still be able to find you?
    That's a Ninja Suit if I have ever seen one! Next will be Campy throwing stars and Shimano swords!

    Russ
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Arrogant roadie.....
    Reputation: Dave_Stohler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,232

    No, but......

    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    What if you wear this? Will the lightening still be able to find you?
    Neither will the traffic!

    Is that the "Johnny Invisible" costume from that old SNL skit??
    We are the 801
    We are the central shaft

  6. #6
    hi, I'm Larry
    Reputation: bimini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,256

    Carbon is an excellent conductor of electricity.

    Probably better than steel.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    531

    Good decision

    not to ride not because the lightning is finding you, but simply because of nasty weather condition. Basically the charge is looking for the shortest path possible to pass through, so as 6was9 had pointed out, if you are not the highest object around, chances are the lightning wont find you. Also the currect in a lightning bolt is so enormous that, materials of your bike does not matter : whether you ride a styrofoam or platinum bike, you are still toast.

    As a matter of fact, You have better risk of getting a lightning strike driving under a thunderstorm than riding. The car will save you becos it is a faraday cage; it conducts current around you, so you wont get jolted.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    125

    Cool I love these little weather discussions you guys have. They're cute really.

    Okay. The last thing you need to worry about is the conductive properties of carbon fiber. What we should be discussing here is tensile strength, and what happens when thin carbon fiber tubing explodes; because that's what will happen if lightning strikes you while you are riding your carbon fiber frame. The gases inside the bike will superheat and the frame will explode. Shrapnel injuries are a definate risk here. I am wondering which would kill you first, the current or the explosion of metal. We need the input of some metalurgists here. I know plenty about lightning and nothing about CF. I think we also need a field test, and for that I nominate Akirasho. I bet he's got some old CF laying around not being ridden.
    Last edited by Free2Pedal; 05-30-2004 at 09:47 AM.

  9. #9
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    22,598

    Wink Only if you are wearing a faraday cage.

    Or you could go the cheap way and wrap your helmet with Aluminum foil. This has the added benefit of protecting you from alien mind control.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    287

    Does this come in the Anti-Shark Mesh too?

    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    What if you wear this? Will the lightening still be able to find you?
    Probably a bit sqeaky, but at the water drains out, not that it matters after you've been struck.

  11. #11
    rock n rolling resistance
    Reputation: 6was9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    880

    Perhaps aliensporebomb...

    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY
    Or you could go the cheap way and wrap your helmet with Aluminum foil. This has the added benefit of protecting you from alien mind control.
    could enlighten us about a best way to shield ourselves from Alien Mind Control while riding in a thunderstorm and its effect on carbon fiber. Electrical arcing in atmoshpere is one thing but I definitely don't have any working knowledge regarding AMC...

    I don't know about the aluminum foil theory though. For one thing you'll have to replace the foil quite often since it'll develope stress facture sooner than other material. My 2 cents....
    Last edited by 6was9; 05-30-2004 at 01:50 PM.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    83
    Got caught out in a Thunderstorm a few weeks ago....I noticed that most around me (there were 4 or us together at this point) were on CF, and I assumed that me being on Ti was a disadvantage...then I noticed that I was a bit shorter and could really be lower if I rode in the drops, so I opted to go the "don't be the tallest thing around" and rode the drops for the last 10 miles or so.

    Luckily no one was hit, but I felt a lot better keeping low...and not mentioning this fact to my partners!

  13. #13
    UHA! uhg?
    Reputation: lsnfa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    180

    That's low...

    Quote Originally Posted by morkm
    Got caught out in a Thunderstorm a few weeks ago....I noticed that most around me (there were 4 or us together at this point) were on CF, and I assumed that me being on Ti was a disadvantage...then I noticed that I was a bit shorter and could really be lower if I rode in the drops, so I opted to go the "don't be the tallest thing around" and rode the drops for the last 10 miles or so.

    Luckily no one was hit, but I felt a lot better keeping low...and not mentioning this fact to my partners!
    it's a good thing that no one got hit... Imagine the guilt you'd feel....

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    83

    What a cool way to go though...

    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY
    Or you could go the cheap way and wrap your helmet with Aluminum foil. This has the added benefit of protecting you from alien mind control.

    "He was killed by exploding Carbon Fibre!!"

    I like it.......

  15. #15
    hi, I'm Larry
    Reputation: bimini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    2,256

    Tend to agree

    I use to work for a public utility where the linemen had to work out in the lighting around tall grounded poles.

    At least once every couple of years someone died (or wish they would of died) due to lightning striking them or near them. Feet almost always explode, legs and arms do also. Then the lightning tends to tunnel through the center of the person burning everything in it's path. Normally it is a close hit not a dirrect hit. In these cases the voltage goes into one foot through the legs and out the other foot. What happens to the soft tissue in between? Yeck!

    After the training films, I am certain you would not catch me out on a carbon fiber bike (or any bike) in a thunder storm. Me, I run for shelter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Free2Pedal
    Okay. The last thing you need to worry about is the conductive properties of carbon fiber. What we should be discussing here is tensile strength, and what happens when thin carbon fiber tubing explodes; because that's what will happen if lightning strikes you while you are riding your carbon fiber frame. The gases inside the bike will superheat and the frame will explode. Shrapnel injuries are a definate risk here. I am wondering which would kill you first, the current or the explosion of metal. We need the input of some metalurgists here. I know plenty about lightning and nothing about CF. I think we also need a field test, and for that I nominate Akirasho. I bet he's got some old CF laying around not being ridden.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    65
    A few years back, one of the testers at one of the MTB rags had a related experience.

    He was using a CF-framed bike, and a bit of the clearcoat had chipped off the top frame tube during rigorous testing. He was in a mountainous area, and as happens, a quick thunderstorm blew up. He was standing, straddling the bike, and could feel heavy-duty static electricity building. He was just about to find a place to hide when a healthy spark jumped from the frame via the chip in the clearcoat to the closest available location.....Ouch.

    Not really a lightning strike, but it does give one pause.

  17. #17
    AYHCSMB etc.
    Reputation: haiku d'etat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    21,326

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nm

    no massage
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

INTERBIKE

EUROBIKE

Hot Deals

Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest road bike products from these brands!




















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »


Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook