Featuring TeXtreme Spread Tow carbon fabrics of Oxeon, US-based Felt Bicycles recently released their new Nine mountain bike frame that weighs in at only 900g.
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.”
According to the Swedish carbon fabrics company, with its 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.
Felt uses TeXtreme to replace the heavier base structure of uni-directional carbon fiber. Any time a product has off-axis plies such as +45/-45, two layers of uni-directional material are needed. Yet, Oxeon says with 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, the material company states. 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 said to be 20-30% lighter with improved mechanical properties.