For most companies, producing a carbon fiber bicycle means working with one or more contractors. At minimum, they must work with a factory to produce the bicycle they want. That factory is likely to have a limited range of construction techniques, a limited selection of different carbon fibers, perhaps only a single resin. It’s in the factory’s best interest to keep that menu limited for the sake of continuity. They want their employees to do solid, consistent work in each and every frame for each and every client.
We don’t face that problem.
Because we own the factory, we aren’t confronted with the issue of asking our contractor to step outside of their comfort zone. We choose which fibers are best for our bikes, which resins will hold those fibers together and which construction techniques are most appropriate at each location of the frame and fork.
We exercise unlimited control over our bikes. While other companies are still trying to figure out how to produce a stiff and reliable 800 gram frame, we’re onto the next challenge—making sure that bike has the right balance of stiffness so that it gives every rider the feeling of riding something organic, that rare quality we like to call “lively.”
We are free to experiment with new ideas and because our ability to move from drawing board to prototype to production model is unmatched in the industry, we can innovate on in fresh ways, like our Twin Vane down tube on the One. We created that not as a means to improve aerodynamics, but as a way to restore stiffness and ride quality to an aerodynamic design. Why create an aerodynamic road bike that is no fun to ride?
When we signed the contract to sponsor Ag2r we didn’t yet offer a time trial bike. Our contract required that we provide one. We moved from a design to the wind tunnel in two months, and on to rideable samples in another three weeks. In less than 90 days we had our first production samples. No other company in the world can move as quickly; we chose to work 18 hour days because it was our reputation on the line.