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Professional cycling team, Argos-Shimano, has begun using road bike frames from Felt Bicycles made with Oxeon’s TeXtreme Spread Tow carbon fabrics.
According to Oxeon, the Felt-sponsored Argos-Shimano team began racing their new TeXtreme composite carbon fiber F-Series FRDs just weeks ago at the UCI WorldTour race, Tour of Qatar (Feb 3-8). Following that event the team went straight to the Tour of Oman (Feb 11-16) where Marcel Kittel (GER) won the opening stage.
“The material is so advanced you can, in the simplest terms, use less than what we previously had before” says Felt Engineer Anton Petrov. “It delivers all of the characteristics everyone wants in a bicycle frame; lower weight with greater strength and stiffness.”
TeXtreme is already available in the Felt Bicycles’ Nine FRD hard tail, the company’s premier 29″ wheel mountain bike frame. Felt’s Director of R&D Jeff Soucek said, “We started with a mountain bike to prove the performance of TeXtreme.” Since its introduction the Felt Nine FRD has proven itself as an anomaly in bicycle frames, with a level of stiffness, durability, light weight and comfort that has caused riders to ponder new superlatives to describe the level of seemingly conflicting performance qualities.
Oxeon explains that TeXtreme Spread Tow reinforcements consists of 0/90 fabrics, +45/-45 fabrics and UD tapes that can be supplied dry or as prepreg. The amount of TeXtreme material used in a given frame model varies according to the performance qualities desired in each case. The Felt Nine FRD uses a substantial amount of TeXtreme in its lay-up, while the Argos-Shimano team frames use less. The material combination of TeXtreme with other hand laid-up carbon fibers all centers on producing an optimal ride quality given the frame’s anticipated conditions and circumstances. “It is an exciting new ingredient that allows us to push the limits of design and ride capacity.” explains Soucek.
From aesthetic standpoint, one interesting visual feature of TeXtreme is the Spread Tow fabric pattern’s unique checkerboard pattern. Oxeon says that both consumers and shops have mentioned to Felt how they like the unique appearance since it conspicuously differentiates a TeXtreme bike from more conventional non-TeXtreme carbon fiber bikes.
Team Argos-Shimano will continue to use their F-Series FRD frames throughout the racing year, including at such high profiles events as the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a’Espana and World Championships. “Somehow ‘stiff, light and strong’ don’t do the TeXtreme bike justice. It’s the next level, it’s like science fiction” one rider says.
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