a carbon road bike you design and make yourself?.... how hard can it be!!

by cjjones   December 4, 2013  

so... I have designed my own road bike, and to be honest I'm damn happy about how it turned out. and in my opinion it looks awesome, but now I'm considering if I should make it! I have contacted Motorsport carbon fibre companies about the moulds and a carbon weaving company in the UK and they seem happy to do it but.... and yes a BIG BUT..... it will cost well over £200,000 to make just one!! CRAZY! Surprise I have the money, but what do you think about the design? too much? need more? teak something? and if you could would you do it yourself?! I'd love to know, and how you would start to make your dream bike! Drooling

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Not sure I understand... Why bother branding it Lamborghini at all if they are not involved with the project? Seems odd.

posted by giobox [217 posts]
5th December 2013 - 13:26

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bashthebox wrote:
Could you not have licensed their logo too? I mean, since you're throwing all this cash about and all.

I don't think you can import logos into Microsoft Paint.

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posted by William Black [196 posts]
5th December 2013 - 13:41

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Tremendous. You've got 2 out of the 3 dimensions absolutely nailed, just need to work on that tricky third one.

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posted by joemmo [768 posts]
5th December 2013 - 13:50

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This is fucking brilliant.

posted by farrell [1247 posts]
5th December 2013 - 13:57

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Should this thread not be in Fantasy Cycling?

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [583 posts]
5th December 2013 - 16:03

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Right, so you got a 2-D echa-scetch and wish to know why it's so expensive or difficult.

As said before, need to create a 3-D "blueprint" by someone who knows what they are doing. Are you using 3K,12K or unidirectional weave? What Toray rating? Nanotubes?

Transfer this into a seriously powerful CAD package that can workout the stresses on the frame. This needs to be programmed with the relavent stress factors of the carbon weave and resins you wish to use to allow a "correct" lay up to be designed in.

Chuck said design through another programme to work out airflows etc and return to original programme to recheck the strength of any aero changes. And repeat until the bike is light enough, strong enough and areo enough for you.

These dimensions are then transfered into the build of a one-off mould and bladder set up. The carbon sheets are then cut to size, layered and shaped as required before cooking in a pressurized oven. And that's before the first prototype can be test to destruction. All the data is then fed back in the computer packages for any changes to be made. The first mould and bladder are thrown away and fresh one made. Repeat until the frame is strong enough/light enough to take the punishment. Don't forget to through in a wind tunnel or two.

End result is lot's of trashed frames, moulds and bladders and one ridable frame.

Now I know very little of the actual processes involved other than the very basics as above, but that could be why it's so expensive and difficult.

Looking at what you done, I'd say it's illegal for UCI events as it can not conform to the 3:1 ratio and be aerodynamic or light enough. The kink in the top tube looks to be a useless stress point and probably would get in the way of the rider.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [271 posts]
5th December 2013 - 17:16

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cjjones wrote:
that's the problem I cant build it myself as the carbon fibre weave is manufactured in a different way and professionally done, the logos no problem I have licensing to use Lamborghini's name which was a ball ache!

Really? Well if that is the case then Lambo are the best people to ask as I don't doubt they use CF in their cars. If you have to go it alone here is some inspiration as to what is possible, only 11pounds:

http://theawesomer.com/blackbraid-bicycle/219783/

or just any of this lot: http://theawesomer.com/?s=carbon+bike

At least some of these aren't really off the shelf, still cheaper, don't forget the Canyon for me please. Wink

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
5th December 2013 - 17:31

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cjjones wrote:
that's the problem I cant build it myself as the carbon fibre weave is manufactured in a different way and professionally done, the logos no problem I have licensing to use Lamborghini's name which was a ball ache!

Really? Well if that is the case then Lambo are the best people to ask as I don't doubt they use CF in their cars. If you have to go it alone here is some inspiration as to what is possible:

http://theawesomer.com/?s=carbon+bike

At least some of these aren't really off the shelf, still cheaper, you could always get in touch with these small manufacturers. That £200K is feeling heavy in your pocket. Don't forget the Canyon for me please. Wink

blackbraid_bicycle_3.jpg 250412_x_9_nighthawk_1.jpg

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
5th December 2013 - 17:46

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I've been to Lamborghini direct in Italy! and they said they will not do anything as they all ready have a partnership with BMC! and your obsessed with the canyon Tongue but saying that I've already ordered a "Speedmax CF" and "Aeroad 9.0 Team"

posted by cjjones [12 posts]
5th December 2013 - 18:33

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YES! I have! but I can only use it 3 times on the bike, which is plenty!

posted by cjjones [12 posts]
5th December 2013 - 18:36

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which one is the third one? Surprise

posted by cjjones [12 posts]
5th December 2013 - 18:49

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I did want to involve them but they cant do anything/ don't want to as they have partnered up with BMC so they aren't interested!! but they do want to see the final finished bike before it is shown!

posted by cjjones [12 posts]
5th December 2013 - 19:05

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I wanna see your bike collection. You got a pic? Sounds incredible!

posted by bashthebox [590 posts]
5th December 2013 - 19:15

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cjjones wrote:
your obsessed with the canyon Tongue

Well with £200K to spare it couldn't harm to ask. It is always good to help the under privileged.

CJ, don't know which is the 'third one' but click on the awesomer link for more details of some funky carbon bikes and designers. The stealth aero bike with the angled tubes is particularly nice.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1161 posts]
5th December 2013 - 19:39

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one of my ambitions in life is to help people, people in need so yes I do help the under privileged people but donating £1 million a year to various charities! so I'm not exactly horrible haha and the bike will be special and one of a kind.... that's a promise! especially as it wont just be normal carbon fibre! it will be a special mixture...... but not telling what one Tongue

posted by cjjones [12 posts]
5th December 2013 - 19:46

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Think the third one is something to do with dimensions......

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posted by giff77 [1032 posts]
5th December 2013 - 19:48

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for my height and the way I want it to look and perform I think its perfect!

posted by cjjones [12 posts]
5th December 2013 - 19:59

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I was inspired to have a crack at this myself, like you say - how hard can it be? Turns out, it's a piece of cake in photoshop. Pretty sure that's what they use for CNC and all that.

Anyway, I'm fairly certain I'm on to something big here so perhaps we could form a sort of Dragon's Den style partnership? With my paradigm smashing innovation and your apparent willingness to throw cash at frankly insane projects I reckon we could really disrupt the market. What do you say?

bike.jpg
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posted by joemmo [768 posts]
6th December 2013 - 0:32

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joemmo wrote:

That's awesome, way nicer than cjjones' bike.

But seriously if you draw some angles on that crap sketch of a hideous road bike thing then Asiabike would probably build it for you a lot cheaper, wouldn't care about licensing, and it wouldn't be any worse.

Then you could waste your ridiculous disposable income on something more worthwhile, like snorting coke off hookers' tits. What are you a banker or a politician?

posted by drfabulous0 [257 posts]
6th December 2013 - 1:11

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That's a bit unnecessary. If you're so fabulous and also a doctor, why don't you put your mouse where you're mouth is and design your own too?

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posted by joemmo [768 posts]
6th December 2013 - 9:21

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That blackbraid site SCREAMS midlife crisis!

Nothing inherently wrong with your toptube mr jones. Look seem to think their's works OK.

Yorkshire Whippet's being a bit tough on the UCI 3:1 ratio thing. How does he know you frame isn't 9 inches wide?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [534 posts]
6th December 2013 - 10:02

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Taking this as genuine, why not put some money into starting your own bike company?

That's what I'd do.

posted by Super Domestique [1583 posts]
6th December 2013 - 10:10

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Perhaps the angled top tube will reduce the structural strength of the bike under use (depending in the tube jointing process?) and irrespective of the dimensions of the graphic, it looks good. Do you have an idea for the componentry etc? If I had the money then I wouldn't be happy with an off the shelf bike, the only criticism would be the branding.

posted by Cridge [5 posts]
9th December 2013 - 23:04

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There are 2 lamborghinis......Audi own the brand for cars, Tonino Lamborghini owns the brand for everything else, which is why Tesco used to sell Lamborghini bso's for 200 quid, with the bull logo and correct font, fully licensed, I'm not sure bmc know this.....

Tonino will sort you out......

http://www.tesco.com/betadirect/lamborghini-toro-26-dual-suspension-adul...

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [438 posts]
9th December 2013 - 23:27

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you see I was thinking about this, but even so, it would cost a fortune per bike! and there is such a small margin in the market for £40,000 road bikes!!

posted by cjjones [12 posts]
10th December 2013 - 1:19

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the angles top tube is there to reduce disrupted airflow between the persons legs and frame so the airflow is more consistent and more smoother against the frame, which in theory makes the bike more aerodynamic = MORE SPEED! and the bonding of the carbon is well secret! but the grade and type of carbon has never been used in a bike before! and the components will be campagnolo (I'm a campagnolo kinda guy but I could get anything and everything to make it lighter or stronger! the front wheel will be a mavic io and the rear... well haven't decided yet! any suggestions?) and well if you had the money I could make the bike (if put in production) and I would put any type of branding, name or decal you could like! (within reason of course Tongue )

posted by cjjones [12 posts]
10th December 2013 - 1:42

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I'm still eager to see you bike collection, mate - come on, don't leave me hanging!

posted by bashthebox [590 posts]
10th December 2013 - 10:46

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seriously though, not long before this kind of thing is possible to do at home through a 3D printer. Some parts have already been produced using this method:

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/video-3d-titanium-printing-of-bicy...

posted by 700c [538 posts]
10th December 2013 - 13:56

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Clearly my tribisnowbike with integrated sports cat and assymetric sidesaddledrive has not lit your fire. No problem, I'll give Graham Obree a call instead.

Assuming for the sake of argument that this is not the schoolboy fantasy that it sounds like then you have a few things to consider.

For a start, all you have at the moment is a side drawing of a bike type object, bikes are 3 dimensional which means you have to consider how everything fits together, the cross sections of the tubes, the tolerances of the joints and clearance for wheels, bearings cranks, cabling - all that stuff that makes a bicycle go and stop.

Unless you're going to do that 3d work yourself then you'll need to get someone else to translate your 2d drawing into a CAD file (like this for example http://www.designworldonline.com/uploads/Imagegallery/2Catia-and-Simulia...) and fill in all the missing details, at which point it scarcely becomes your design at all.

Secondly - you've highlighted one of the big problems that market-driven bicycle designers face. This is that bikes mostly consist of some tubes and triangles that join together a set of parts into a functioning machine. It’s a tried and tested formula but bike companies spend thousands trying to ever-so-slightly differentiate their collection of tubes and triangles from everyone else’s but not so much that they upset the UCI or the consumers conservative tastes– then they get them built in the same handful of factories in the far east, put stickers on them and invent some acronyms that look good on a website. Some of them put wiggly bits in (Pinarello) some of them do angular stealth bombery bits (BMC) but they are fundamentally indistinguishable.
The detail, such as it is, in how they are put together and how they ride, even this aspect has seasoned journos struggling to fill a paragraph when comparing one well made, lightweight, high end bike to another. Compliance… stiffness… er... directness! etc.

What you seem to be keen on is building something that is almost exactly like any other high end aero road bike, slightly different in tiny details but it basically still conforms to the narrow design language that tells the viewer that this is one of those fancy bikes that goes fast. If they don’t get it, then it also has the name of a sports car manufacturer on the side which should ram the point home.

So if you want something that is cosmetically almost exactly the same as an existing product and realistically, is unlikely to perform better, then why not buy the existing one? You could get a fancy custom paint job and spend the loose change on an engineering course, a workshop and some tools and make some stuff yourself instead of outsourcing the whole lot. It seems like an extravagant vanity exercise for potentially more loss than gain.

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posted by joemmo [768 posts]
10th December 2013 - 15:43

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joemmo wrote:
Clearly my tribisnowbike with integrated sports cat and assymetric sidesaddledrive has not lit your fire.

Rolling On The Floor

But other serious points also well made. On the other hand, if you've got the cash, why not? Apart from all the sensible reasons, I mean why not?

posted by jellysticks [78 posts]
10th December 2013 - 18:42

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