Normally, when we bring you new bikes from new brands they come from enthusiasts and shed builders with a lot of passion but not a great history of designing and building complex machines. That's definitely not the case with the Cduro bike from Compotech.
The Czech brand was founded in 1994 and is a specialist in carbon fiber tube and beam manufacturing. The second-ever product it produced was a carbon lower leg for a telescopic MTB fork and it has been building everything from kayaks, to sailboats to seat tubes since.
The Cduro started in 2017 as a passion project and was inspired by both the enduro trails of the local Sumava mountains and the fact that Compotech's R&D Director, Ondrej Uher, couldn't find a carbon-framed long travel, progressive geometry bike to tame them at the time. The mission for Compotech was to build the kind of bike with the geometry to rival a Pole or a Nicolai while using its in-house carbon technology.
Compotech Cduro DetailsFrame material:
2022More information: compotech.com
There are a few things Compotech has done differently with this bike. Firstly, its carbon yarn is picked from over 50 types of fibers available on the market, which it says makes it possible to "optimize tubes with unrivalled freedom." Secondly, the layup is done via automation using Robot-Assisted Fiber Laying (RAFL) and the tubes are created with Integrated Loop Technology (ILT), where the joint and tube are made from one piece of carbon fiber.
Compotech explains, "In principle, you can take one fiber tow, which is continuously impregnated, and 'wind' it, using a robot arm, around the mandrel-tool with the unique and precise end adaptors, forming a loop diameter, thus connection for other tubes in the frame." In short, the way this frame differs from other additive manufactured frames, such as the Moorhuhn
or the Atherton Bikes
, is that instead of having separate lugs and tubes joined together, they are all one piece on the Cduro.
Compotech lists a number of advantages to this system. Firstly it makes assembly easier as it's effectively just a case of putting a jigsaw together. They also claim it is, "exceptionally stiff, strong and reliable as there is no fiber cut, joint or hand lamination." Finally, automating the process means it's cheaper as there's less labour and it removes any quality issues caused by human error.
So, why has nobody tried this before? Well, Compotech believes the bike industry to be very conservative, relying on technology developed in the 1970s and hand lamination. They think that the bike industry is missing its Elon Musk to move it into its next phase of carbon production.
Compotech first began exploring ILT in 1995 in co-operation with CTU Prague, in return they have been able to use the university's FEM analysis and strain measurement equipment to validate its bike.
As for the bike itself, it's a single pivot design to keep it simple and reliable. Thanks to the long reach of the bike, Compotech had plenty of space to move the main pivot around and have ended up satisfied with its characteristics, the suspension graphs are below:
Inspired by bikes from the likes of Pole and Nicolai, it's no surprise that this bike has some serious length to it with a reach of 500mm in size medium. The following chart is based on a 29er with 150mm but it can also be run as a mullet with 160mm travel with a longer stroke shock.
Compotech is hoping to have the bike on sale by early next year and expect the price to be competitive thanks to the automated nature of its construction. It is also apparently working on other mountain bike projects but is keeping its cards close to its chest for the time being. For more information, click here
If, however, this is an article about a unique approach to a a non-existent problem, my opinion still stands. In the modern capitalist world, there are low-wage workers in countries far from where you live that are quite proficient at laying up carbon frames with continuous fiber across tube junction points. It's shocking how little they are paid, but they are adept at consistently following layup directions per spec from western world bike engineers. As shipping costs increase, there is absolute outrage from pinkbike readers. Can you imagine if bikes were actually constructed by workers with a living wage? Or high-priced engineers programming robots to do the same? Who is going to pay a premium for this idea?
I'm not against progress. That's literally my point. This is a parallel, unnecessary path that solves no common problem that already exists. Cool tech. love robots. I will not see this on the trail, and my head tube will never shear off due to bonded lugs instead of continuous fibers.
To me it also seems like there should be less waste material using this process, seeing that the carbon fibres are used from a thread like thing, rather than pre-woven sheets cut to shape.
Not unnecessary path, because you get just a strong product as no, but gain lighter and cheaper.
However to refer to having no Elon Musk in the industry... kinda short sells Elon - As his new product is always a push for better at all levels, I feel like these guys are still in need of the final 20% effort to polish the finished product and make it look like the best quality frame aesthetically
-Less waste: Benefits of pre-preg straight from the roll with no cutting and throwing away useless pieces
-Fewer error points: Once you have the program for your robot set there's way less manufacturing variability
-Humanitarian: Over the long-term you don't have humans doing rote, repetitive jobs that suck more
-Molds are hard to make (whereas you could do this process easily without CNC)
-Potentially cheaper from a materials standpoint
-Repeatable, plug-and-play nature is (more) marketable and implementable for others
On the other side,
-Robots are expensive, and tooling is still required
-Thus initial payback period is likely longer
-Potentially LESS FLEXIBLE with design (big one)
-Worse if you hate the environment and love providing meaningless jobs
Looks like a badass bike.
So glad to be of service what what!
But, I've Absolutely No Problem with other materials, used appropriately, and, made well!
These, look good. And, boys and girls, check on this company and you'll see they do a huge amount more than just their Bicycle frames.
It's a clever use of 'tubes' (without them being, strictly, Tubes). Quite a joint solution, the 'banding' around other tubes.
But, over and above that, It's Great to see a Single Pivot bike, Not going straight into Falling Rate. It may towards the end of the travel, but, without a full on side view, I can't be sure if it does, or doesn't.
It looks like they could also have the potential to have a small idler wheel / roller on the Swingarm pivot, if they wanted to try it / offer another aspect to the design.
I'm sure compotech placed the pivot really far forward of the BB to allow for a falling leverage rate (more progression), but the increase in antisquat deeper in the travel is a nice side effect.
With "only" 150mm of travel its going to be a very, very rare occurrence.
The idea is too much antisquat will cause pedal bob as surely as too little- you just bob up instead of bobbing down. This doesn't really matter deeper into your travel- either you aren't pedaling anyways, or if you do put some power down the high antisquat will pull the bike back towards the sag point. If your antisquat decreases as you approach the sag point, then if its tuned right it will be at that "equilibrium" level of antisquat, and on the next pedal stroke it won't bob up.
High antisquat in traditional designs is closely related to chain growth, as chain tension is the primary cause of antisquat. Excessive chain growth will drag on the suspension performance (as seen with the famous chainless run) and pedal kickback (but only at very, very slow speeds or rear wheel lockout). The most important part of your travel for ultimate grip is roughly around the sag point. Deeper into your travel the primary function of the travel is no longer to maximize grip but to deal with high speed, large impacts, and return the rider to the sag point without bucking them forward from too high rebound speeds. In this design, the increase in antisquat, since its highly correlated with chaingrowth, means the axle path is slightly less forward, deeper in the travel. The wheelbase shrinks slightly less, and the wheel moves over square edge hits slightly better.
All these effects aren't huge. It isn't that big a difference. if you look at the new rear axle path of the new Session, its not much different. A few mm here and there, but its noticeable enough that the riders want to race it now, and not wait for a carbon version.
As I said before, with only 150mm of rear travel is isn't that dramatic of an effect.
Since we've all been on single rings for a while, idler pulleys can solve both these issues and if Forbidden is anything to go by it works on shorter travel bikes that need an efficient drivetrain.
Its true, bucking mostly comes from bouncing off the bottom out, but controlled rebound helps. Also, with too fast rebound deep in your travel it can shift your weight forward after g-outs (once again, try a rapid rise rear shock).
On Rampage sized hits, yes, then probably rebound can't save you, but for us lesser mortals who can get bucked without really bottoming out hard it matters.
Says a company that uses a very conservative single pivot design