Bicycle Engineering Blog

Posted on January 20, 2008  Comments (2)

Cozy Beehive, where technology and engineering are given their atypical and due status in the sport of cycling by Ron in Buffalo, New York (mechanical engineer and aspiring cyclist). An example of what you will find:

Companies blend fibers with synthetic fibers for better properties and added with composite material (made in mats by processes like needle punching, thermoforming or compression moulding). Saab, led by GM did this to its door panels in the early part of this century. Others sandwich the fibers between composites like carbon fiber or polyurethane foam by the same processes. So interestingly, these fibers have extensive industrial applications. (I didn’t know that, until now! Learning is fun, boy!)

Following the ideas from the automotive sector, the bicycle industry has been quick to adopt this idea. By using the twill composite hybrid sandwich technique, Museeuw frames can be made with a combination of fiber and carbon composite that supposedly gives it a plush ride, without losing any stiffness.

Related: Wind Tunels and Bikes at MIT – more posts in our science and engineering in athletics categoryThe Science of the Football Swerve

2 Responses to “Bicycle Engineering Blog”

  1. Todd Johnson
    January 21st, 2008 @ 12:39 pm

    Most composite fiber suppliers (Owens Corning, Vetrotex, V-2) all supply fabric with custom weighting. For example, you could order a fabric with 33% carbon 33% glass 33% kevlar. The fabric can be made so that carbon is in the unidirectional, and the glass 90 degrees to this, etc.

    This is becoming extremely popular in the armor sector of composites, as various fibers provide different strength attributes.

  2. Ron
    January 26th, 2008 @ 5:29 am


    I can think of two companies, Advanced Composites and Hexcel. They have done work on some Tour de France winning bikes, ridiculously stiff, strong and light.

    There are numerous others who are in good partnerships with bike corporations over a long period.

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