Is it a bike, a spider web or just some new technology from Delta 7 sports? The answer, which involves all three choices, may amaze you. Yesterday marked the unveiling of the Arantix mountain bike, a creation from Payson, a Utah-based company. Not so unusual, you say? Well, yes it is, because this mountain bike is made from hollow tubes spun from actual carbon fibers.
The unusual design of the IsoTruss tubes are based on a technology, which comes from Brigham Young University. It allows Delta 7 to cut down weight. The result is a standard mountain bike frame (without rear shock absorbers) that weighs about 2.7 pounds, but according to Payson, is just as strong as any conventional carbon or aluminum mountain bike frame.
The IsoTruss tubing relies on a combination of chemistry and geometry. Delta 7 takes carbon fiber, which has one of the better weight-to-strength ratios in industrial material science, and weaves it into an intricate pattern with a spool-like loom. The weaving is done by hand and when finished, a bike frame from Delta 7 will contain 1,672 linear feet of carbon fiber. To buy one of these bikes will only set you back about $12,000. The frame can be purchased separately without components for $6,995. Perhaps Diamond Jim Brady in his heyday might have paid as much for a bike encrusted with jewels, but each of these bikes take about 300 hours to build, which accounts for the high pricing. Perhaps, over time, volume manufacturing will lead to lower prices, but I would not really count on that.