As a Miami Bicycle Accident Lawyer and avid cyclists, I have represented those that have been injured in bicycle accidents and have myself been injured in a bicycle accident. Accordingly, I have a good understanding about the impact of carbon bike frames and parts, and how they have resulted in not only more accidents, but more importantly in more injuries.
We all know Miami is one of the most dangerous places to ride a bike. Not only does Miami lead the country in bicycle accidents, but also in injuries and fatalities. There are multiple reasons for that, including but not limited to narrow roadways, distracted drivers, aggressive drivers, and lack of bike lanes. However there is also another factor at play, the terrain and type of bike ridden. First and foremost, flatland leads to greater speed. Secondly, carbon lightweight bikes go faster. Thus the old addage, the faster they go, the harder they fall.
Now lets look at those lightweight carbon bikes, and what happens after an accident. The answer is simple, they are simply ripped apart. That means collapsing tubes, forks, and handlebars. Again, greater risk of injury after an accident on a bicycle that disintegrates upon impact. As written in the New York Times, when pro bike mechanics and riders spoke on the condition they not be identified, their stories emerged. Riders described landing on the top, horizontal tube of the bikes during crashes and ending up on the road after their frames splintered and collapsed. Small spills that used to mean, at best, straightening handlebars often require a bike change. Mechanics say they sometimes return the shattered remains of frames to manufacturers in bags intended to hold a single bicycle wheel. Just look at how many riders had to abandon this years Tour De France because of injuries from accidents.
Finally, carbon simply is not as durable as steel or titanium. That means more accidents caused by part failures. All the major manufacturers have had recalls ranging from faulty steer tubes(Trek) to fork, seat post, and brake recalls. We have represented cyclists that were injured when their bike simply gave out.
Thus, sometimes faster and lightweight is not always better.