Moda reveal their first British-made carbon fibre road frame

There's a new Vivo alloy road bike too

by David Arthur   February 20, 2014  

Moda showed their first ever British made carbon fibre road frame at distributor Moore Large’s dealer show this week. It’s still at prototype stage, they have some refinements and ride testing to do yet, but provided that all goes smoothly, it should be available as a frameset and complete bike this autumn as a 2015 model.  

This is a big deal. Carbon fibre bicycle manufacturing in the UK is almost non existent, but there are signs we’re witnessing the beginnings of a resurgent. Moda have been working with a Stoke-based carbon fibre specialist more used to working in the motorsport sector, for the past three years. In fact they first showed a fibreglass sample at the Cycle Show back in 2012.

Moda brand managed James Ryan admitted they had hoped to follow up that launch with a production frame, but there have been delays along the way that have pushed it back. But it's here now, and coming to a bike shop near you before the end of the year. The frame they showed is the very first to pop out of their own composite mould, and looks pretty good. They've kept the naked carbon fibre finish to show it off, but production frames will be painted. 

On the scales it weighs a claimed 803g. That’s for the 56cm size pictured. However, James tells us they have plenty of scope to make the frame lighter still. The rear triangle can apparently be made with a few less layers of carbon fibre, so it sounds like they have potential to evolve the layup of the carbon fibre before the production frame is finalised. We expect the frame to change quite a bit over the coming months as they start getting some valuable ride testing data and feedback on the frame.

It’s still early days for pricing, but James told us that they’ll offer it as a frameset and a complete bike. They haven’t yet confirmed pricing, but they’re keen to make the frame competitive with the carbon frames (made in the Far East) that they already offer. A price of around £1,500 for a frameset isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.

While the frame doesn’t show it, it’ll be compatible with all groupsets including electronic. It’s a good looking frame, with nicely shaped tube profiles, elegant seatstays that remain separate all the way to the seat  tube, which itself curves around the rear wheel. The head tube is a tapered design. Other final details will be revealed nearer the time.

Talking to James, it’s clear they have an ambition to push the carbon fibre manufacturing from this initial frame, which will be available in two sizes, 54cm and 56cm, with 52cm and 58cm following as soon as the other moulds are created. Certainly, once they’ve smoothed out the final rough edges and get the production running smooth, it’ll be exciting to see what else they have up their sleeves. We can't wait to ride this bike when it's ready, and yes we have lined up a ride, so we'll be able to tell you how it performs. Don't hold your breath though, it'll be a good while yet.

The only other UK made carbon fibre bicycle brand we know of is Craddock Cycles, who launched late last year from their Worcestershire base with a plan to produce 50 bespoke frames a year. 

Carbon isn’t the only material getting some love from Moda, they’ve also got time for aluminium too. And good thing too, because we here at road.cc love a nice alloy road bike. This is the new Vivo, a £1,449 bike which replaces the Primo with a more advanced aluminium frame. The frame is a more refined development, and is also lighter. Looks good.

It’s built up for with a Shimano 105 groupset but Moda can do any build you want, so if you wanted full Dura-Ace and some posh American Classic wheels, you could do that. James even showed us such a build on his phone, with an Ultegra build and £700 wheels. In fact, you can see it on Moda’s Facebook page.

That's it from Moda for now. They do have a lot more lined up for 2015, with an updated of their titanium road bikes on the cards, but we'll have to wait until the Cycle Show at the end of September to see those. 

More from Moda at www.todayscyclist.co.uk

12 user comments

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Not usually a fan of raw carbon fibre finish on bikes, but that frame looks really nice, not sure if it's the high gloss or the lighting, but some of the angles really make that look cool.
Looking forward to hearing what this is like when it's finished.

Former Fat Lad on a Bike

posted by RobD [40 posts]
20th February 2014 - 13:00

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I wonder if rather than pushing the boundries of weight, they invest in making the frameset as affordable as possible or a make a second ~1000g model. Take the far east carbon head on!

posted by mcvittees73 [10 posts]
20th February 2014 - 13:38

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Lets hope this us the start of a resurgence...Im all for UK made..

posted by NeilXDavis [98 posts]
20th February 2014 - 14:17

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mcvittees73 wrote:
I wonder if rather than pushing the boundries of weight, they invest in making the frameset as affordable as possible or a make a second ~1000g model. Take the far east carbon head on!

They're not really trying to make the frame as light as they can, and they are interested in making it affordable, so it compares with the carbon frames they currently offer in their range

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1224 posts]
20th February 2014 - 14:24

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Col Nago wrote:
Rich Craddock's frames also worth taking a look at if you want a completely bespoke UK built carbon frame. He is a true enthusiast, knows his stuff and is a thoroughly good bloke to boot.

You're not wrong, linked through to an article we published about Craddock last December http://road.cc/content/news/103453-craddock-cycles-offer-made-uk-carbon-...

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posted by David Arthur [1224 posts]
20th February 2014 - 14:25

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Rich Craddock's frames also worth taking a look at if you want a completely bespoke UK built carbon frame. He is a true enthusiast, knows his stuff and is a thoroughly good bloke to boot.

posted by Col Nago [8 posts]
20th February 2014 - 14:26

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Craddock's approach though is differnet, much more like "traditional" rame building out of pre-made tubing, whilst this is "modern" moulded design (much less flexible for custom geometry!) like the "big boys" do.

posted by Al__S [419 posts]
20th February 2014 - 14:46

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That is true AL_S. Both exciting stories though, and clearly going after different parts of the market. Hope to get a ride on both sometime this year

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posted by David Arthur [1224 posts]
20th February 2014 - 15:16

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If they made a 48cm version with external cables and threaded bottom bracket (both for ease of maintenance) and with a non-tapered head tube (a 48cm frame properly made doesn't flex there anyway) i would put my name on the waiting list right now.

posted by Welsh boy [83 posts]
20th February 2014 - 15:23

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You and me both, Welsh boy. Perhaps I should volunteer as a test rider, Stoke isn't far from me Wink

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posted by Simon E [1778 posts]
21st February 2014 - 11:39

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They should add disc tabs, future proof it a bit.

posted by pwmedcraft [20 posts]
23rd February 2014 - 11:52

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Super stuff. Fair play to the Moda crew for their innovation. i hope it is a foundation to great things

posted by mylesrants [12 posts]
23rd February 2014 - 13:14

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