2012-07-24 | Bicycle
American based Felt Bicycles recently released their new Nine mountain bike frame featuring TeXtreme® Spread Tow carbon fabrics. The new Nine premium frame weighs in at only 900 grams. Established in a number of Sports applications TeXtreme® now makes its way into the bicycle segment broadly, reducing weight and improving mechanical performance.
Felt produces road, mountain, track, bmx, cyclocross and cruiser bikes. The company also has a strong reputation in the time trial/triathlon bike category. In carbon fiber innovation, Felt is devoted to constant improvements and this is the driving force behind their newest carbon fiber blend, UHC Nano TeXtreme®. TeXtreme® Spread Tow Fabric consists of flat tapes instead of yarns of fiber. With Spread Tow Fabric, more fibers can be packed into a given area than yarn. This means more fiber and less resin for a lighter and stiffer lay-up.
Jeff Soucek, Director of R&D of Felt Bicycles says: “We were looking for reduced weight on our frames, but still needed the same high properties of stiffness and strength. By using TeXtreme® we succeeded in making a frame that was lighter, as stiff, while actually increasing the impact durability. Because TeXtreme® is so thin we could work with several plies to get the same thickness or less, resulting in significant improvements and a better riding experience.”
Felt uses TeXtreme® to replace the heavier base structure of uni-directional carbon fiber. Any time you have off-axis plies such as +45/-45, two layers of uni-directional material are needed. Now, because of TeXtreme®, both plies can be integrated into a single layer, meaning half the weight while retaining the needed balance of structure. This material integration helps protect the delicate high-modulus fiber from impact seen during actual use, not just lab testing.
TeXtreme® Technology is a flexible and tow size independent technology that enables development of ultra light composite reinforcement solutions tailor-made for specific application needs. TeXtreme® is produced using Oxeon’s novel Spread Tow- and Tape Weaving Technologies, rendering in optimized Spread Tow Tapes and Spread Tow Fabrics that enable production of composite parts that are 20-30% lighter with improved mechanical properties.