How to make a carbon fiber bicycle ??

24 11 2014

Welcome to my newest endeavor.    The world’s first carbon composite framebuilding school!

Here you will learn the latest technique.  Utilizing some of the best materials available you will be able to produce a carbon fiber bicycle of excellent quality!  Not only that you can learn to do this in a small space with less tooling than you would think.

This will not be a 14 step Instructables on how to make a carbon fiber bicycle frame with electrical tape  and leftover materials from the local surf board shop.   Nor will it be a two day seminar on Gilligan’s island with the Professor making a bamboo bicycle lashed together with hemp twine.

Composite frames are built in many different ways but the two most prominent methods are the molded product and the T2T (tube to tube) product.  Both have advantages and disadvantages.  The prime advantage of the T2T method and subsequently the biggest disadvantage of molded is that tube to tube allows for customization of the size and tube shape/size for stiffness.  Molded products work well in volume but cannot be easily modified.  Certainly even a small change in size would require a brand new mold which is very expensive and beyond the ability of a small outfit or single craftsperson.

If profit was my only motive I would rather teach to a molded product.  It’s easier.   Lay up the stuff correctly on an expandable mandrel, place in mold and bake.  Bingo, bicycle!  T2T is constructed much in the same way as a steel bicycle but when it would come time to weld with the steel frame, instead we follow a strict layup schedule to build material on the outside of the tube joints, In a sense creating a lugged carbon frame.   In this case the bicycle frame itself is the tool/form, not a mold so it allows for a great amount of design freedom.   T2T can be better when it comes to creating the right ride quality.   The same properties that affect metal tube stiffness (size, shape and thickness) also affect composite tubes in the same way.  Only in the last couple of years have large bicycle companies even begun to modify their layups and designs from one sized frame to another.   This is something that is very easy to do with T2T.

Each frame is built with the best possible materials.   An Enve 2.0 fork is included with every build.   Tubing itself comes from Enve, Dedaccai, Reynolds etc.   You will learn general composite theory and procedures that you could use to build items other than a bicycle frame.   The education in that alone is worth the entry fee IMHO.   You will not waste innumerable hours and dollars on failed or dangerous experiments.  I have done that for you already.   Consider that you want to make a safe, reliable product.  I have tested these designs in house with a pneumatic testing device to far beyond the European standards.  You can rest assured that if you follow the course to the letter that your frame will last a very long time and be safe to ride.

Watching 100’s hours of YouTube videos and weeding through the chaff of the internet will not teach you as much as you can learn here.  Frames of the caliber you can build with your own two hands here cost as much as the course tuition, sometimes a lot more.

It is impossible for most people to conceive of creating a fully molded product in their own garage.   T2T requires less in the way of expensive tooling.  It is entirely conceivable that after taking this course you, the student could create more bicycle frames in your spare time, in a small workspace.

To facilitate this I will be offering build kits that include all the materials you will need to construct more frames.   One of the biggest hurdles to constructing composite frames is buying some of the necessary materials in such large quantities.  It is entirely possible to have to drop 3k on a single roll of bagging film when all you need is 2 sq./m.   This reality stops many before they can even start.

I can also paint your frames as well as provide groups/kits to complete your bicycle.  Special pricing is extended to those that attend.

Check out the website at www.carbonframebuildingschool.com

And contact me if you have any further questions.

All the best,

Dave Bohm

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