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Spotted this on the wired site. At some point you have to think the UCI are going to give up on the minimum weight...

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-07/13/aerographite

5 comments

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notfastenough [3716 posts] 4 years ago
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0.2 milligrams per cubic cm! They could make the frames out of solid tubing and still not end up with a bike heavy enough to race.

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Raleigh [1667 posts] 4 years ago
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Quote:

A team of researchers from the Technical University of Hamburg and the University of Kiel say they have discovered the world's lightest material. They call it aerographite.

The material is a matrix of hollow carbon tubes, which are grown at the nano and micro scales. The complex lattice is mostly empty space -- in fact, it's composed of about 99.99 percent air. In all, the material weighs just 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimetre.

"We were looking for three-dimensionally cross-linked carbon structures, and we discovered this material," said Karl Schulte, from Hamburg's Institute for Composite Materials.

It has some incredible structural properties, too. It can be compressed until it's 1,000 times smaller, and then it will spring back to its original size. It can support over 40,000 times its own weight, and conducts electricity.

The previous material to hold the record for "world's lightest" was a micro-lattice material with a density of 0.9 milligrams per cubic centimetre. It was so light that a block of the stuff could sit on a dandelion head without squashing it.

I want some.

Wasn't there something called aerogel designed by nasa that was a solid lighter than air?

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 4 years ago
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At which point does a bike become unridable because it is so light? I think it's true application could be bikes for overweight Sportive riders looking to get to the same bike/rider weight as a Pro.

Why doesn't the UCI go further and issue a minimum combined weight limit? Or what about handicapping system like horse racing? The best rider has to use the steel Apollo from Halfords and the Laterne Rouge gets the Evo Speed Six?

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samjackson54 [54 posts] 4 years ago
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I think its a matter of cost. The UCI will always keep a weight limit as long as the bikes remain affordable for the Average Joe... (obv £7k is at the extremities of this already). I can see the weight limit being reduced in the future, as long as costs don't spiral to avoid an F1-style arms-race where no punter could ever dream of driving a car on the public highway with KERS, a front-wing and any other new-fangled piece of space-technology that is the rage at the time.  1

That aside, aerographite sounds amazing.  26

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kayakboyuk [30 posts] 4 years ago
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I would be a bit peed off if I spent 7 grand on a bike and it turned into a load of pencil shavings the next time I hit a pothole, even if it weighed 2kg.