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.
Felt Bicycles is a leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of its own proprietary line of premium quality bicycles, framesets, components, and accessories. The company’s U.S. office is in Irvine, California and its European office is in Edewecht, Germany. Felt Bicycles is an internationally recognized brand with bicycles and products sold in more than 30 countries worldwide. Athletes on Felt products have won numerous events including World Championships, Olympic Games, ESPN X-Games, and other major national and international competitions.
Founded 2003 in Sweden, Oxeon has quickly established itself as the market leader in Spread Tow Reinforcements. Use of these spread tow carbon reinforcements increases the mechanical performance of composite material products and reduces the weight. Utilization of Oxeon’s TeXtreme® Spread Tow Fabrics and TeXtreme® Spread Tow Tapes by manufacturers of advanced aerospace, automotive, industrial and sports products in applications that have critical material performance requirements has affirmed the significance of ultra light TeXtreme® materials.