Full-carbon Holocene Superbike is made from leftover sailboat scraps
Carbon fiber has some amazing qualities, but easy recyclability isn't one of them. New Zealand based manufacturer Vélos Advancements is nonetheless using carbon fiber waste in the production of its limited-run high-end road bike, the Holocene Superbike.
Plans call for just 100 Holocenes to be built next year, each one tailored to its buyer's specifications. Those specs will include a choice of Shimano, Campagnolo, FSA, SRAM, Vision or Classified components, along with a custom paint job on the monocoque carbon frame and fork.
The Toray carbon fiber will be sourced from Kiwi sailing tech company SailGP Technologies, along with partners in the New Zealand aerospace industry. It will take the form of scraps of resin-impregnated carbon fiber sheeting that are trimmed off when larger patterns are being cut.
Although such scraps may be too small for use in sailboat hulls, etc, they're still plenty big enough for use in road bike frames. Vélos will store them in a freezer until they're needed, as uncured impregnated carbon fiber sheeting will otherwise degrade over time.
Vélos founder Dan Burrows tells us that ordinarily, SailGP would "cook" (cure) its scraps and then either send them to a landfill or ship them off for use in forged carbon fiber products. Forged carbon fiber is made by chopping up existing carbon fiber material, then placing the resulting fiber fragments in a compression mold along with an injected resin.
"While it is recycling the original product, it is very energy intensive compared with taking the feed stock straight from the factory floor like we are," Burrows said of the latter technique.
The Holocene Superbike is being offered in six frames sizes, with an unpainted 56-cm frame and fork claimed to tip the scales at 900 to 950 grams (31.7 to 33.5 oz). Pricing will vary with options chosen, although the base price of a Shimano Dura-Ace build will come in at around US$14,800.
Source: Vélos Advancements