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Wire Bike uses carbon fiber and Kevlar cables

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March 9, 2009

Wire Bike by Ionut Predescu

Wire Bike by Ionut Predescu

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March 9, 2009 Super light structural materials such as carbon fiber and Kevlar have incredible natural strength in tension but are much weaker in compression. A good example of this is how the carbon fiber suspension on a formula one car can resist several tons of downforce but explodes when crashed into a barrier. The concept of tension has been a familiar sight in large engineered structures such as suspension bridges and now the same concept has been applied to a bike frame.

We have seen the down tube on a bike frame replaced by a steel cable in the Slingshot bike, now Romanian industrial designer Ionut Predescu has come up with a concept bike frame that uses just two carbon fiber tubes and takes advantage of the tensile strength of Kevlar wire to replace all other tubes usually found in a bike frame. He calls it a Tensegrity frame, a term invented by Buckminster Fuller of Geodesic dome fame which is a portmanteau of Tensional Integrity.

The idea is similar in concept to the spokes in a wheel where it’s actually tension on the spokes that holds the wheel together, not compression. The result is a super light, high strength frame where "elements seem to float one against the other", although as the designer himself admits, there may be issues with lateral stability. A prototype will tell the tale - we'd love to see one.

Paul Evans

Source: ionut predescu (Coroflot).

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5 Comments

Way trippy and way cool looking. Lawyers in the US must be salivating over this bike coming to the US... there's probably a huge chance of someone doing something weird and getting a hand or fingers yanked off though.

ELV
18th May, 2009 @ 01:47 pm PDT

I don't think the hand or fingers are in the most danger.

I can't believe a male designer puts a (relatively) thin wire right where the groin will land when something goes wrong.

Einar Jón Gunnarsson
13th March, 2010 @ 10:17 pm PST

This type of design is almost definitely going to make its way into pro racing it would probably be lighter than anything currently on the market

Facebook User
30th June, 2010 @ 05:06 pm PDT

wow! i like the concept of this bike, made of carbon fiber which is very light and durable. I wonder if this bike is available in the market today.

ultralightcomposites
10th November, 2010 @ 08:18 pm PST

NOT NEW... Design dates to 1930s!! [at least] (http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/dtwitchett6.jpg)

The previous designer had the sense to criss-cross cables for lateral rigidity, and double up on the top tube... "It's all been done."- so sayeth the retro grouch. :D

Still, an interesting concept.

Re Keeyop
8th August, 2011 @ 11:32 pm PDT
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