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Photos from the carbon factory

Stevo, our globe-trotting designer, has been in China recently to progress the production on our 3 Carbon MTB frames. We could only find 3 factories that could assure the high quality standards we require, so we're using all of them. One for each frame. This gives us the added bonus of increased capacity.

If you have any questions on our carbon frame production, post in the comments and Stevo will respond...

So let's get into how we do it. We use our knowledge in carbon to get a base point for weight. R&D then measure all test frames for stiffness and compliance around the BB, Headset, Chainstays and Seatpost. We always test 15% higher than CEN and try to break the frame. This is the fun bit! R&D then use the stiffness and CEN test results to make any changes to the carbon layup. This process will go on for a number of iterations until we're ready to trial it in the field... or on the mountain. That's where our team riders come in.

Some photos

After the prefabrication and cutting of the carbon, Lucy lays the BB area of a frame.

Bottom brackets


Once these have been passed by QC they are put together by Zoe and her friends who use jigs for accuracy.

These are then put into a Steel Tool that is kept at 160°C. The Carbon is pressurised using an air-bagging process that compresses the resin for a smooth finish throughout.  And then, after all of this effort, a percentage for that day are spot tested to 15% above the CEN test standard. If this fails, the whole days work is scrapped... And, once the CEN test is passed, there is the visual QC.

It is a lonely life waiting for further QC testing and inspection, but this does ensure that we get the best product.

For more info on carbon Production click here


20 May 2010

Comments

  • SteveM

    I've always been facinated with composites and curious as to how a carbon frame is assembled. Looks good!

  • MichaelG

    SteveO, how long have the factories been producing carbon frames and what other 'brands' do they manufacture? Where are the 18" frames at the moment? Can't wait to get testing!