Go ahead, stare. It’s OK, they want you to. Delta 7 Bikes currently manufactures two of the most unusual-looking bicycles on the market, the Arantix hardtail mountain bike and the Ascend road bike. Their open-lattice spider-web tubes incorporate patented IsoTruss geometric design, wherein carbon fiber and Kevlar are woven into a network of isosceles triangles. The triangles join together to form pyramid-shaped trusses, which provide incredible structural support while using a minimum of material. If you’re a bicycle-maker looking for something with a great strength-to-weight ratio, it’s hard to beat.
IsoTruss was developed at Utah’s Brigham Young University (BYU), for use by NASA. BYU still owns the patent, but granted a license to Advanced Composite Solutions to develop, produce and market products using IsoTruss technology. Advanced Composite Solutions owns Delta 7, hence the funny-looking bikes. IsoTruss is most commonly used to build things like masts, towers, beams and pillars - although it can also be used to make flat objects.
While Delta 7 uses carbon fiber, IsoTruss products can be made using just about any type of weavable fiber (including bamboo) and resin. Because it uses less raw material than conventional methods, IsoTruss can legitimately be called an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective process. Unlike materials such as metal and wood, IsoTruss products won’t rust or rot, they have low wind resistance, and don’t require toxic preservatives. And, despite its complex appearance, IsoTruss is possible to produce using automated techniques. How it applies to bikes Interestingly enough, one of the items that BYU students made to showcase IsoTruss was a mountain bike - the bike that became today’s Delta 7 Arantix. So, what makes IsoTruss particularly well-suited to high-end bike-building?
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