A SEE-THROUGH BIKE FRAME? The Arantix mountain bicycle and Ascend road bicycle have frames made from carbon fiber, shaped into a form called IsoTruss. The lattice structure is woven by hand into the form of pyramid-like shapes made of isosceles triangles (the kind with two sides of equal length). The design is specially designed to make the bicycle resistant to bending and twisting, with a greater ratio of strength to weight than metal frames. This technology is currently promoted as an alternative to heavier, weaker materials in everything from automobiles to building materials and utility poles.
HOW TO WEAVE A BICYCLE: To construct the bike, the artisans take a single strand of carbon fiber and wind it back and forth (by hand) over a cylindrical mandrill until it is the right size, then wrap Kevlar around the fibers to bundle it. Then they bake it in an oven, which bonds all the carbon together.
The Materials Research Society, the American Mathematical Society, AVS, the Science and Technology Society and the Mathematical Association of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report. This report has also been produced thanks to a generous grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.