Composite is a widely used material in various industries due to its unique properties and advantages n the manufacturing of bicycles, composite has revolutionized the way they are constructed and designed. A new world of possibilities opens up for both cyclists and manufacturers. n this article, we’ll provide you with all the details and explore what composite is, how it is employed in bicycle manufacturing, and the benefits it offers.
Let’s dive in!
What is composite?
Composite (also known as “composite materials”) is an advanced material formed by combining two or more components with different properties. Typically, it consists of a matrix and reinforcements that come together to create a stronger and lighter material compared to traditional materials The reinforcements, such as carbon fibre or fibreglass, provide strength and rigidity, while the matrix, usually made of resin, provides cohesion.
And what about the bio-composite used in the Ossby GEO?
In our case, to manufacture the frame of the Ossby GEOwe use a biocomposite created from recycled fibres sourced from wind turbine blades and vegetalble resins. Let us explain:
For the matrix, vegetable resins (plant-based, our eco-friendly touch) are used, and the reinforcing material consists of fibres recycled from wind turbine blades, which are made of fibreglass.
You might wonder why we chose composite to make the frame of our new bike The answer is simple: we love challenges, we thrive on innovation, we’re passionate about all the properties and applications of composite, and we want to be more sustainable. With all this in mind, let us explain the properties of composite materials.
Properties of composite materials
Composite materials represent a true revolution in the industry. The main appeal of composite lies in its OUTSTANDING properties.. By combining different materials, a combination can be achieved that effectively utilizes the optimal attributes of each. As always, by mixing the best of both worlds, the result is even more incredible 😉 . These properties include: These properties include:
Composite materials have extremely high strength, meaning they can withstand significant tensile forces without breaking. This makes them more durable.
One of the primary advantages of composite materials is their light weight, making them an attractive choice for the production of high-performance bicycles. The composite blend results in a lighter material than aluminium, for example.
Thanks to advanced manufacturing and optimization processes, composite materials require less energy and resources in their production, reducing their environmental impact. We’ll explain later how it reduces the carbon footprint when manufacturing the frame of our bicycle.
Composite materials are extremely durable and can withstand adverse weather conditions and daily wear and tear. Additionally, unlike metals, composite is resistant to corrosion and moisture, making it ideal for various weather conditions.
Composite materials can be moulded into complex shapes, allowing manufacturers to create innovative and aerodynamic designs.
Applications of composite materials in the industry
Before we focus on bicycles, which is our speciality, it’s important to mention that composite materials have been used in various industries for several years, including automotive, aerospace, construction, and sports. Their versatility and ability to enhance product performance make them a preferred choice for many applications.
Why is composite ideal for the bicycle industry?
Now, let’s explore the benefits of using composite materials in the production of folding bicycles.
The use of composite materials in bicycle manufacturing has been a significant advancement in the industry.. As we discussed earlier in this article, the properties of composite materials are very interesting for bicycle production Below, we detail some key reasons why composite is our preferred choice for manufacturing our folding electric bicycle, the Ossby GEO.
Composite bicycles are lighter than their steel or aluminium counterparts. This results in increased agility and portability, which is especially beneficial for urban cyclists and folding bikes. Going down the stairs at the metro or train station will no longer be a challenge 😉
Composite materials are more resistant to fatigue and deformation, increasing their durability and lifespan. When creating the Ossby GEO, we wanted a bicycle that would last for many years. Did you know that composite is stronger than aluminium?
Customization and innovative design
Composite materials offer exceptional flexibility in shaping and designing components. This allows for the production of folding bicycles with unique shapes and geometries that optimize comfort and pedalling efficiency. Moreover, the ability to mould composite into complex shapes opens the door to innovative and attractive designs. Thanks to this versatility, we’ve been able to design a bicycle with clean and modern lines like our GEO.
Bicycles, especially folding urban bikes like the Ossby GEO, are used in urban environments where road surfaces can be uneven. Composite materials have vibration-absorbing properties that improve user comfort by reducing shocks and impacts transmitted through the bicycle. This results in a smoother and more enjoyable ride, especially on cobbled streets or uneven surfaces.
Durability and corrosion resistance
In addition to their lightweight, composite materials are extremely durable and resistant. This ensures that the folding bicycle maintains its structural integrity over time, withstanding the stresses and vibrations associated with repeated folding and unfolding.
Additionally, unlike metal bicycles, the frame of the composite bicycles do not rust and have a longer lifespan.. This is especially beneficial for those who use their bikes in humid climates or near coastal areas, as composite does not corrode or deteriorate from exposure to water and moisture.
Composite materials offer significant sustainability advantages, as their production is more efficient and considerably less polluting than that of traditional bicycles. During the manufacturing process, an 82% reduction in carbon footprint is achieved compared to bicycles made of aluminium, fibreglass, or conventional carbon, as it eliminates welding, which involves high energy consumption, and reduces highly polluting chemical resins and catalysts.
In the case of the Ossby GEO, the SMC (sheet moulding compound) manufacturing process allows for the creation of integrated shapes and increases sustainability by using recycled and plant-based compounds.
As you can see, composite is a revolutionary material that will gradually become more prevalent in bicycle manufacturing. For us, from the moment we discovered all the properties, versatility, and benefits for resource utilization and pollution reduction, we were fascinated. We knew that our next model had to have a sustainable composite frame made in Spain. From its lightweight to its durability, design capabilities, and ease of manufacturing, composite materials raise the standard for folding bicycles, providing urban cyclists with a versatile and high-performance option.
We hope that with this article, you now understand what composite is and how it is used in bicycle manufacturing. If you have any further questions, please check our list of frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
How much does a composite bicycle weigh compared to an aluminium one?
In general, a composite bicycle weighs around 15% to 30% less than an aluminium bicycle with similar features, resulting in a faster and more efficient ride.
Is composite safe and durable?
Yes, composite used in bicycle manufacturing is extremely safe and durable. In the case of our Ossby GEO folding electric bicycle, both our supplier and ourselves conduct rigorous tests to ensure its strength and quality. Additionally, Ossby folding bicycles comply with the European standard EN14764 after being tested by an independent company that awards this certification.
Can I replace a part of the composite bicycle frame in case of damage?
Yes, in the case of our Ossby GEO ebike, it is very easy to repair. The frames of our folding bicycles are made in separate sections, allowing for the repair of a section if it becomes damaged. This is an affordable and sustainable solution to further extend the lifespan of our bikes.