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Legendary Time Sport International uses basalt fiber for mountain bikes

Replacing part of carbon with basalt fiber in Alpe d’Huez, the company introduced a more affordable version of their mountain bike model.

Necessary rock studies of the gabbro and andesite basalt groups for the suitability as the raw material base for the production of continuous basalt fiber (CBF). A unique technique including laboratory melting and pilot-industrial melting at the high-tech equipment.

After a new model of Alpe d’Huez 01, equipped with carbon frame was announced, Time Sport International expressed its intention to launch another mountain bike version where part of fibers would be replaced with basalt fiber.

The frames are produced by RTM method. The tread is wound into braids around mandrels then impregnated with resin and cured. The mandrel is removed and frame parts are assembled into a finished product. Each frame contains more than three kilometres of thread, formed in 65 strands.

The Alpe d’Huez frame uses carbon fiber and Vectran so the finished product weighs 840 grams and costs about €4290 with a standard fork or €4750 with innovative Aktiv fork technology. Alpe d’Huez 21, produced from basalt and carbon fibers, is not much heavier and weighs 930 grams. However, the cost is falling significantly: about €2490.

The designers claim: “The Alpe d’Huez 21 is a direct descendant of the Alpe d’Huez 01. It represents the ideal climbing bike for cyclists in search of comfort and versatility in hilly landscapes. After developing the Alpe d’Huez 01, we wanted to offer an accessible bike bringing more comfort and versatility.”

The “descendant” is manufactured by the same technologies as 01 model and basalt fiber is employed for cost and vibration reducing.

We cannot doubt in quality and high performance of Time’s products. The team has highly raised the bar of their standards. Founded in 1986, it manufactures accessories, spare parts, bicycles and footwear for bicycle racers.

Time Sport International has its own R&D department and a group working with composites. The company sponsors numerous cycling events, its products have repeatedly helped to win prizes at the most famous sporting events: the Olympic Games, the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, Paris-Roubaix, the World Championship, la Vuelta a España and many others.

According to the manufacturer, the company uses the same basalt fiber as Rossignol in its skis. This comes as no surprise: a few years ago Rossignol Group took over Time Sport International and their headquarters are even located nearby. Moreover, Rossignol offers a line of ski jackets with basalt fabric for reinforcement parts. It helped the company to become the winner of ISPO Award 2017 in the ski segment.

This is not the first case when basalt fiber was used for bicycle frame production. The founder of Racormance Enrique Romero talked about his research and development that resulted in the idea of using basalt composite for bicycle construction.

Companies: ISPO Award, ROSSIGNOL

Countries: France

Industries: Construction, Sports & Leisure

Technologies: RTM

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