Robot Bikes R160 | Bike Check
June 10th, 2016
Robot Bikes R160 – a different approach to bike design
Robot Bikes is a brand new bike manufacturer based in Monmouthshire.
Unlike many of the small boutique brands out there, Robot Bikes has taken the traditional lugged and bonded construction method and turned it on it’s head!
The lugs are manufactured in Titanium by Renishaw using mind-boggling Additive Manufacturing, and are bonded to Carbon Fibre tubes…
What is Additive Manufacturing?
Renishaw are a UK company based in Gloucester. They are the leading resource in additive manufacturing – which is used to build complex metal components for aerospace companies such as Airbus; and incredible medical application such as titanium plates for repairing bone damage.
Additive Manufacturing* uses powdered metal, which is fused together using a high power fibre laser. This technology allows batch production of incredibly complex parts – and has allowed Robot Bikes to think outside the box and perfect the lug system, which has incredibly detailed parts and their totally unique Double Lap Shear Joints.
*the term 3D printing is often bandied about for this type of manufacturing, but the Additive Manufacturing used by Robot Bikes is the same type used in aerospace engineering for safety critical components.
Lugs and Glue
Lugged bicycle frames used to be common place, and over the years improvements on this system have raised their head in the MTB world. Most notably was the Raleigh Special Products Division in the 90’s, which experimented with Metal Matrix, Carbon and Titanium configurations using bonded frame tubes.
Robot Bikes has revisited this concept as the manufacturing process now allows for an incredibly strong, stiff and versatile platform.
Here are the main facts about the Robot Bikes R160:
- Custom Fit and Geometry – tube length and frame geometry can be chosen, though Robot Bikes have a standard geometry that is tweaked around your height and arm-span.
- DW6 suspension – the 6th generation of the DW system not only has the great characteristics of the DW system, but it’s designed to work specifically with the Robot Bikes lugged frame design. The frame tubes themselves do not have to support the shock or any part of the system.
- Titanium additive Manufactured lugs offer ultimate stiffness and support for the frame tubes and suspension platform
- The lugs have unique double lap shear joints – which mean the frame tubes are supported both inside and out – offering a huge bonding surface for ultimate reliability and support.
- BB yoke area has threads for a zero-creak BB interface
- BB yoke area can be completely custom to allow for geometry options etc
- Mitsubishi-Rayon pre-pregnated Carbon composite tubing is very stiff and light, but has the compliance that carbon is famous for.
- Two part epoxy adhesive creates a permenant bond with the lug system that is more efficient than anything used even in aerospace or Formula 1 currently.
Geometry and frame details
- Head angle* – 65.5degrees
- Seat angle* – 73.5degrees
- Chainstay length* – 430mm
- Bottom bracket drop* – 10mm
- ZS44/ZS56 headset
- 73mm thread bottom bracket shell
- 142mm x 12mm rear axle
- ISCG tabs
- 31.6mm seat post, stealth compatible
- 216 x 63mm shock
- M8 x 22mm shock hardware
- 142mm x 12mm rear axle
- 27.5in wheel size
- Custom Fit frame price £4395
- *recommended ‘standard’ geometry. Custom available.
Find out more in this video:
What do you think of the Robot Bikes R160?
Does the crazy technology float your boat?
Let us know in the comments below…