The making of a carbon fiber bike frame starts by drawing the project by hand. Then we move on to a CAD drawing of the pipes, one by one, and we carry out the first impact simulations and virtual resistance tests using a computer. These virtual tests have now achieved excellent reliability and we consider them fully reliable.
Making of a carbon fiber bike frame with the tube-to-tube method
Making of a carbon fiber bike frame with the tube-to-tube method means printing the tubes one by one. In our case, Kevlar sheets are added during moulding to soften the carbon and make it more elastic and resistant. When the pipes are made they are cut, put into a jig and pre-glued. After this, carbon fabrics are wrapped near the junction points, obtaining a resistant bandage. This procedure guarantees a resistance not found in any monocoque, enhancing the characteristics of torsional rigidity in an absolute way.
Polishing and mechanizing
Once the frame is assembled, we move on to polishing. A meticulous work done entirely by hand requires 4 times the time necessary compared to the processing of a monocoque. The frame is then mechanized, i.e. the bushings for the passage of the sheaths are mounted. The bottom bracket shell. The various threads to accommodate the brake system. The headset housing. Possible housings for the seatpost clamping system, which nowadays can be of multiple types.
At this point, the frame is double-checked, and any pores are closed with stucco in the carbon fiber to make the frame ready for paint.
Frame resistance test
The first frames and some randoms are submitted to the resistance test in the exhaustion test machine. It’s a procedure that simulates a very intense use of the bike, with hydraulic pistons that push the pedals with the force of a professional athlete in a full sprint. This test can last 2 – 4 hours on sample frames, while it is continued for over 24 hours for the first projects. Sometimes we look for the voluntary breaking of the carbon fiber to understand how much it can hold up.
A custom carbon frame
In the case of custom frames, the project is refined and revised in terms of angles and dimensions. Changing the angles does not impact the frame’s resistance, but it does change the driveability and performance. Here we process each frame with special software produced just for us. But it must be said that experience plays the most crucial part in customizing the frame. The data we use to maintain the drivability characteristics are the result of decades of experience. Our working database is precious in this sense because it helps us to reshape and build a customized carbon frame without risking altering the characteristics of the initial project.