Atmospheric carbon may be bad for us and the planet, but that doesn't mean the element is totally evil. When incorporated into other materials carbon can add a tremendous amount of strength with minimal weight. Carbon (along with smaller amounts of other materials) is added to iron to create steel and carbon fibers are mixed in with plastic resins to create the high strength materials that many race cars are built from.
Mercedes-Benz has now added a new high-end model to their bicycle lineup utilizing a carbon-fiber frame. The new racing bike dubbed the Racing Bike 2007 weighs in at 15.4 lbs. The frame is made up of carbon fiber tubes that are glued together and then the joints are wrapped in carbon fiber. The whole frame is then cured in an autoclave like a Formula One chassis. The new carbon bike comes in five frame sizes and starts at €3,990 (about $5,360).
[Source: Mercedes-Benz] New top-of-the-range model for Mercedes-Benz Bike Collection 2007: Ultra-lightweight carbon fibre racing bike from Mercedes-Benz
Stuttgart, Jun 01, 2007
At Mercedes-Benz it is not just the cars that benefit from the company's involvement in the field of motor racing – motorsport know-how is also used to optimise various top-class technological Collection products. The latest example is the new "Racing Bike 2007": thanks to an innovative frame made from carbon fibre – a high-tech material used in Formula 1 – this competition-standard cycle weighs just seven kilograms. With its consistently lightweight construction and exclusive equipment, this is a cycle that will appeal to professional cyclists and serious amateurs.
Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH developed the new high-end bike in partnership with top German cycle manufacturer ADP Engineering GmbH, a company renowned for its exclusive, handcrafted Rotwild brand of cycles. In collaborating on the Mercedes-Benz Bike Collection 2007 the partners' aim was to build cycles which would satisfy the every need of discerning Mercedes-Benz customers.
Racing Bike 2007: the high-end bike made from carbon fibre
The heart of the impressive racer is its innovative carbon fibre frame, manufactured using tube-to-tube processing. In this cutting-edge manufacturing process the frame is assembled from individual carbon fibre tubes, which are initially bonded together. The joints are then wrapped with carbon fibre and, in a process similar to that used in Formula 1, are cured in autoclaves (sealed pressurised containers) where they are subjected to high pressure and high temperatures. The frame created using this high-tech process is characterised by extreme stiffness and a low weight. The full carbon fork, made from the same high-tech material, comes courtesy of professional outfitter Topkey. The "Racing Bike 2007" weighs just seven kilograms (excluding the pedals).
Premium components from top Italian manufacturer Campagnolo
The exclusive equipment for the Mercedes-Benz bikes leaves nothing to be desired – even by the most demanding of professional cyclists. The shift system, brakes, wheels and chain wheels are part of the CentaurTM series from top Italian manufacturer Campagnolo.
The CentaurTM ErgopowerTM shift/brake levers combine perfect ergonomics with contemporary design. These competition-standard components allow particularly fast gear changes and braking because the rider's hands stay on the handlebars – a design which not only offers time advantages when racing but is a major safety bonus too.
The CentaurTM rear derailleur was specially developed for top-level sport and allows fast, extremely precise gear changes across all ten speeds. The outer section of the shift parallelogram is made from carbon fibre – ensuring the cycle's consistently lightweight construction, right down to the smallest detail. The ChorusTM crankset follows the successful formula used in racing. The ultra-lightweight chain rings feature an integral bearing and are directly laminated onto the high-quality carbon cranks using a special process. This solution also helps ensure an extremely stiff structure with an impressively low weight.
The SciroccoTM black wheels come courtesy of top Italian manufacturer Campagnolo. They have a 24-millimetre profile and feature radial spoking at the front and G3 spoking at the rear. Aerodynamic aero spokes (20 at the front, 27 at the rear) reduce air turbulence to a minimum – enhancing dynamic handling in the process. The oversize hubs feature a sealed deep groove ball bearing – another precision element which will appeal to discerning racing professionals.
The Mercedes-Benz Carbon Bike is available in five versions with a frame height of 49, 53, 56, 58 or 61 centimetres. The price of the thoroughbred sports cycle is Euro 3,990 (German price, incl. VAT).
The Racing Bike spearheads the new Mercedes-Benz Bike Collection 2007, which also includes new-design men's and women's versions of the "Fitness Bikes" and "Trekking Bikes". The technology and functionality of these two series are precisely tailored to the needs of keen amateur cyclists. These cycles too were created in partnership with top German cycle manufacturer ADP Engineering GmbH. The Collection also includes an extensive range of cycle accessories plus Mercedes-Benz-branded cycle wear.
The Bike Collection 2007 will be available from Mercedes-Benz sales partners from June.