American based Felt Bicycles recently released its 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. 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.