How a FiftyOne is built
Firstly the carbon tubes are cut to the client’s exact length. The tubes are then mitered using a diamond-tipped hole saw.
Once prepared, the tubes are then inserted into the jig to test their fit. The tighter the fit the stronger the joint. With every frame build there is great attention to detail. We will take the time to file and sand the joints by hand to ensure the tightest fit possible so your frame is the strongest it can be. We take the time on the small details as they help determine the outcome of the bigger details.
The tubes are removed from the jig and prepared for bonding. The builder sands and prepares the surface to ensure a good bond. A high strength adhesive is used to bond the tubes together and infrared is used to aid the cure. Once cured, the frame can be removed from the jig and is now held in together. We use a three step process to ensure maximum structural integrity before the joints are wrapped with prepreg, a fillet is built up around the joints. This not only adds additional strength but ensures a smooth transition from one tube to the adjoining tube avoiding any acute angles in the fibres and minimising potential weak spots.
We can vary the lay-up and use different weights of carbon fibre depending on the riders size and riding style. This allows us to fine tune the ride characteristics of the frame.
Once the joints are wrapped, the frame is vacuum bagged and cured under pressure. The temperature, pressure and duration vary depending on the carbon used.
When the frame has cooled and the bagging material has been removed there is a thorough inspection of fibre compaction. The small flash line is removed from the frame with some light sanding. The frame is then ready to be handed over to the painter.