Shown for the first time to visitors to the Rouleur Classic Rolo has manufactured a proof of concept road racing bicycle frame using Graphene-enhanced prepreg material.
Manufactured in Rolo’s partner facility at 77 Composites in Germany, the size 56 frame tip the scales at just 618 grams unpainted, or 679 grams clear-coated and painted, as seen in London last week.
Made using Graphene-enhanced prepreg unidirectional carbon, supplied by its UK-based material supplier, the frame also incorporates all of Rolo’s standard vibration damping thermoplastic elastomer materials in the head tube bearing seats and the bottom bracket interface points.
The vibration mitigating materials allow the frame to remain extremely comfortable, especially over uneven surfaces, while still being very responsive, according to the brand.
As the frame is a proof of concept, Rolo will continue testing the frame and refining the lay-up schedule taking full advantage of the unique properties of this graphene. Those, if you’re curious, are excellently described in this piece with Vittoria, another bicycle industry brand using the wonder material.
In Adam Wais of Rolo’s words: “Conventional unidirectional carbon fiber reinforced plastics (cfrp) are extremely strong under tension, but weak under compression. The addition of Graphene nano platelets to the resin system and subsequent impregnation into the material increases the compression performance while maintaining the tension characteristics.”
In the Spring of 2018, Rolo will be launching production frames manufactured at 77 Composites using the material.
While the production frame weights are not yet finalized, the material allows for very low weight while still maintaining high stiffness and unique strength, so Rolo anticipates painted production frame weights in the sub 750g range.