Rodeo claims title of "world's first 3D-printed carbon downhill MTB"
Of all the different types of bicycles, downhill mountain bikes have to withstand the most abuse. That's why Colorado-based Revel Bikes decided to 3D-print one of things out of carbon fiber, as an acid test of the technology – the result is the one-off Rodeo.
Billed as being the world's first 3D-printed carbon fiber downhill mountain bike, the Rodeo was created via a partnership between Revel Bikes' Adam Miller and Jordan Haffener, CBF suspension inventor Chris Canfield, and the folks at 3D printing company Arevo, inc. The latter firm is the maker of the 3D-printed Superstrata road bike.
Utilizing Arevo's existing facilities, the front triangle and rear swingarm of the Rodeo's frame were printed out of a thermoplastic carbon fiber composite – the swingarm was printed all in one piece. The team reportedly went through tens of prototype frames, over several years, before arriving at one with which they were satisfied.
Although not all of the components specs have been listed at this point, we do know that the Rodeo features Revel Bikes' RW30 FusionFiber 29-inch carbon wheels clad in Maxxis tires, a RockShox Boxxer fork and RockShox rear shock (both with 200 mm of travel), and a SRAM X01 DH drivetrain. We're told that the frame tips the scales at 10.5 lb (4.8 kg) – again, it is just a design exercise at this point.
In fact, Revel has stated that the production process of the Rodeo was "incredibly time and energy-consuming, not to mention prohibitively expensive," so there are no plans to bring the bike to market.
That said, it is hoped that lessons learned from the project may help make the 3D printing of carbon bike frames more commercially feasible. Among other things, the technology could allow for quicker and easier prototyping during the design process, safer and more eco-friendly production facilities, and greater customization for buyers at lower costs.
There's more information on the project in the following video.
Source: Revel Bikes