A carbon bike frame layup is made by placing hundreds of individually cut plies of carbon in a mold in a certain order and orientation. The more precisely these plies are cut, the lighter the frame, as less material is used to achieve the desired strength and reliability.
But that's not all of it: different areas of a bike frame experience different demands. The front of the bike, for example, experiences different forces in different directions than the bottom bracket junction. Similarly, the down tube, seat tube, drive side chain stay, and non-drive side chain stay each have unique forces and demands placed upon them.
To accommodate these unique demands, we create different layups (layers of fibres at different angles) at specific areas of the frame to create the desired performance. Knowing which fibres to place where and in what direction is critical to reducing weight, maintaining strength, and producing a stiff bike that’s comfortable to ride. This is where our advanced knowledge and experience in composite engineering comes in.
We precisely select different types of fibres and carefully position them in the correct locations and orientations to best exploit their properties. Using advanced engineering software tools like Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Ply Draping allows us to better understand exactly how each layer of carbon fibre is working and if it is being used properly. In conjunction with these tools we apply our extensive in-house engineering knowledge of how they work and testing that correlates simulated results with real-world experience.
The result: we build extremely light bikes which are stiff, strong, and comfortable to ride.