Carbon fiber is an incredible material that can make practically anything lighter, faster, or stronger, and few industries have delved as wholeheartedly into the carbon fiber pool as cycling. With frames, handlebars, wheels, and even seats available in the woven wonder material, bicycles today are better than they’ve ever been.
It’s not all upsides, though. The thing about using carbon in a bike is that it makes things incredibly rigid –which is good– but it does introduce some drawbacks. That rigidity allows you to put all the power you can muster into the pedals and eventually the ground, but a bike that’s too stiff will wear you out because of its unyielding properties. The flesh and bone beings that we’re made of require a little bit of flex when it comes to peak power output, because we aren’t as strong as the bikes we’re riding—and therein lies the drawback.