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American based Felt Bicycles recently released their new Nine mountain bike frame featuring TeXtreme Spread Tow carbon fabrics.
According to Oxeon, the new Nine premium frame weighs in at only 900 grams. They say that 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 claims it has a strong reputation in the time trial/triathlon bike category. In carbon fibre innovation, Felt says it is devoted to constant improvements and this is the driving force behind their newest carbon fibre blend, UHC Nano TeXtreme. Oxeon explains that TeXtreme Spread Tow Fabric consists of flat tapes instead of yarns of fibre. With Spread Tow Fabric, more fibres can be packed into a given area than yarn. This means more fibre 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.”
According to Oxeon, Felt uses TeXtreme to replace the heavier base structure of uni-directional carbon fibre. 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 fibre from impact seen during actual use, not just lab testing.
Oxeon says its 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 optimised Spread Tow Tapes and Spread Tow Fabrics that enable production of composite parts that are 20-30% lighter with improved mechanical properties.
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