TIME Cycling Shows How Their Carbon Bikes Are Made
People tend to take carbon fiber for granted. Here's the thing: not all carbon fiber is made equally. Some frames or wheels are miraculously slapped together with sheets of carbon, while we pay more for carbon frames that are built with more precision.
French bicycle company TIME builds their carbon frames a bit differently than others. We've had details for RTM all over our site, namely on our TIME brand page and a few blog posts. The brand has seen a bit of a changing of hands in the past few years, being recently acquired by a French-American group led by friend of the shop Tony Karklins. However, the key to their quality - RTM construction - hasn't changed. Weaving individual carbon strands around different molds, these are shaped into carbon tubes. They then inject a resin into the mold at high pressure to keep the strands together. Of course this is an overly-simplified explanation, one that does not do the video justice.
And does this video seriously wow. Lots of mechanical clicking and clacking as carbon thread comes out, in-depth looks at just how strong the carbon is, and the gruff-looking handlers that work like an artisan's artisan.
It is rare to see the carbon manufacturing for bicycle components shown in this much detail (outside of our tour of the ENVE factory to show how their carbon wheels and Custom Road frames are made). This is perhaps the best example we've seen, and the perfect video for lunch break.
Words by Alvin Holbrook, media by TIME Bicycles and Cody Wignall.