Norland Cycles Project

Feb 8, 2010 at 0:06
Feb 8, 2010
by Maximilian-Peter Von Speyer  
 
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As my thesis project for Industrial Design, I decided to design and develop the best downhill frame ever made in Chile, by combining various rider's experiences with my own into sophisticated technologies software adopted from the aerospace industry. Inside you'll find a lot of information on my Industrial Design Thesis Project.

Editor's note - English is not Maximilian's first language, so please take this into consideration when reading his story about the creation of his bike. Enjoy the article.

I'm Maximilian-Peter Werner, a Chilean-German Industrial design Student.
I'm Maximilian-Peter Werner, a Chilean-German Industrial design Student.

I live with my girlfriend, what that means is that I have to do a lot with a low budget to survive, but god provides and I'm not dying of hunger hehe.

Since childhood I had my big passion were the military airplanes, and all the higher techology involved in the aeronautic world. Riding on bikes became a hobby when I was 12 with my first bike, and when I turned 15 I got introduced with Downhill & Freeride mountain biking which became my second passion until now.

As my thesis project I started thinking about developing something that I like, in a field that I should be familiar with, so I started thinking about Military Airplanes & bikes. Even as a thesis project, an airplane would be too complex of a project and impossible to create unless my dad was Donald Trump or Richard Branson, but because that is not the case, designing a bike would be a much realistic and possible thesis project for me.

Thinking on what to do to innovate on the design, I started looking for ideas. But what can you do to innovate on in this world of single pivots, VPP's, 4links etc?

Then airplanes came to my mind again! Jet fighters are normally associated to the top of the higher technologies, and in the other hand, who never wanted to fly one of those? Then I started thinking about those technologies, features, materials and sensations you find in a jet fighter and how to bring them to a downhill bike. With that Philosophy, I started working on the design board, the frame I was designing had to be simple, light as possible, strong and efficient.

Design evolution from the first ideas (Bike 001 & Bike 002) till the latest proposal (DA-3 Block 50)

Manufacturing a single frame for my own racing would not be as big of a deal as the thesis project would become. As a Thesis project for my industrial design career, I have not just to develop, design and build a product, I also have to develop a brand, and depending on the project, virtually and for real a company, company that could last as long as the thesis project is evaluated, to die with the graduation of the student, or to be a success, beyond the thesis project final evaluation, becoming a tool for the new professional designer, to succeed in the life with his own biz.

I believe on the second alternative, because extreme mountain biking is a phenomenon that is growing exponentially every single year in the whole world. In Chile there is just one brand that has its own designs and handmade production, but is orientated to the lower budget riders. Although I think this producer is like the Robin Hood of bike brands in Chile cause he gives the poor frames with characteristics that allow poor riders to practice Downhill with dignity, I think that in the region (and I mean all Latin America) the local handmade, artisan frames are less appreciated by riders. Come on! Most of the best products in the market are handmade, as Ferrari, Harley Davidson, Rolls Royce etc.

Of course in some processes are used last generation technologies. That's exactly what I want to do for my thesis project, in a first stage develop, and to be the first one in Latin America to develop a HI-TECH DH frame, with features improved also by first time in the region, such as dual-chain transmission, to eliminate the pedaling-suspension interference, and the protection of all the vulnerable transmission system, all without using an expensive and heavier g-boxx system and the incorporation of technologies adopted from the aerospace industry.




In the Marketing aspect, the Frames will have a Brand, that will Be NORLAND CYCLES and this brand will have initially two strategic markets. On one hand to be the choice for the Chilean elite riders, that are not sponsored yet, making frames not as cheap as the existent Chilean brand, but affordable for the private racer.

On the other hand the European and North American Market, that gave me the inspiration to call my brand Norland, where riders with bigger budgets that can afford a more expensive but specific taylor made frame. In fact the whole project has been seen already by a German DH club with Headquarters in Berlin ( www.downhillberlin.de ) producing much interest on them, that they offered to build my first prototype and two more for the club, with zero cost for me, to have simultaneous prototype tests in Chile as in Germany.



Another authority got interested on support with recommendation letters that are necessary in this thesis project, such as some congress members, the national technological development department, important designers, as for example, Carlos Hinrichsen who is the President of ICSID, the world association of industrial designers with Offices in Canada, Germany and Korea, and of course Sponsors who collaborate with goods.

My actual sponsors are:

-Elka Suspension from Canada, who will support my Project with one of their Stage 5 Rear shocks.


-Racooz Software from Hungary, with their full suspension frames analysis software Linkage

-Army Bikes From Perú, that offered to build one prototype in cromoly.

You can also visit in Facebook, My Thesis Project group, you have to look for Norland Cycles Project and check how many people From Chile, Canada, Germany and Scandinavian countries got interested.

It would be great to add more sponsor support to this project, I could introduce Chilean, Scandinavian and German riders to your products on the Demo-Tour around America and Europe for 2011. For the moment, I'm going to most of DH races that are not too far from me, including the Valparaiso Cerro Abajo Urban DH Race

Ammendings to the original designs and variants came by hundreds.



Nowadays my bigger challenge (to not say problem) on this project is to find the right design to make a frame with 203 mm travel (8") Using a 241.3 mm rear shock (kindfully donated by Elka suspension) so it's a frame with a 2.7:1 ratio. Finding the right position of the pivot, shock eyes and angles, seems to be easy, but is a real brain cracker process. After hours, days and weeks of working with Rhinoceros 3d & Linkage softwares, I found the right design for the single pivot style suspension, and I started working on finishing the newer design.


Now comes the part where I must re-design the double chain II system and place it on the Stealth frame in a harmonic way that will not hit the crank arms or chains will not rub each other. Lots to do, but for that, I've been studying for 4 years.

I hope all of you will get interested with my story and also I hope you will follow this story, that if god wants and everything works out will end with tomorrow's generation DH & FR frame and with a new Brand in the Extreme Mountain bike Market. The next step after having the definitive design done will be to send the plans to the construction team in Germany, that will take about month or two in the worst case to build the aluminum sub-frame. Then they will send me the frame to Chile where I'll make the aerospace materials skin, that will give the strength desired by everyone without rising the weight, being even lighter than thicker wall aluminum used on DH frames.

Well that's the theory, and hypothesis I want to prove on my thesis project.

See you all on the next release of the Norland Cycles Project.

For the moment I'll leave you with a review of all the proposals that passed on the Norland Cycles Project Design Board from the begining till now.


Coming Up soon:
-Definitive Design
-Aerospace materials test & comparison with another materials
-The delivery of plans to the construction team in Germany



BREAKING NEWS!!! - - - BREAKING NEWS!!! - - - BREAKING NEWS!!!
The first part of the story of my project (Task, first proposals and real scale model) was published in the bike magazine from Spain: El Mundo De la Mountainbike


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64 Comments

  • + 4
 if im not mistaken, thats what he said once in a chilean forum and here, looking at other bikes designs and getting "inspiration" on those bikes to work out a new frame, so its not wrong or bad to grab a few bikes and mix them up togeather.
Great design man, and hope it works well.

Awante el producto Chileno!!!! xD
  • + 2
 Así es! Se agradece mucho el apoyo Nacional!
  • + 2
 I'm currently planning on majoring in engineering, and maybe getting my masters in industrial design. It's great to know that somebody out there in the world is already attempting what I hope to work towards, and is doing a phenomenal job at it too! Keep up the great work, it's inspiring to me...
  • + 2
 Grande Loco Max!!! Te pasaste Master!!! Esperaba que brillarai mucho, pero nunca tanto. I'm so happy for you man, congratulations dude!!! Deja en alto tu nombre y la categoria de los chilenos biker en el mundo compadre. Te deseo lo mejor. Good Luck You can do it CrazyMax!!!
  • + 2
 it looks pretty amazing!!! nice iniciative dude, can't wait for see it with all the parts, great work!!! no doubt that we will see it in VCA series, saludos compare!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 5
 yeah!nice project dude and good luckWink
  • + 6
 Awesome story, and the English was Fantastic!
  • + 5
 Thanks for the comment, I hope U follow the story on next part that is comming soon, I have finished the 3d modelling of the final prototype skeleton, of the Stealth, and more surprises are waiting here. And about my English, I still must work a lot on it. Sometimes is hard when you talk in english, spanish and italian at same time, U add that I'm learning german and polish and U have a milkshake of language that makes easier confusions hehe Cheers man!
  • + 3
 cheers to that mate!! me too..born in Brazil, italian and american family and live in germany...speak portuguese, german, english, italian, spanish and understand a bit of french...now a days i dont even know anymore in wich leanguage im supposed to think...
  • - 1
 Anche Io. Inglês, português, espanhol e italino. Perdi pelo alemão e francês. Você morou aqui até que idade e em qual cidade?
  • + 0
 Fancy Single-pivot? not that cool...innovation is cool
  • - 1
 Innovation goes by design and implementation of aerospace Materials & technology
  • + 2
 Why aerospace materials & technology? Will go the bike to stratosphere? I would prefer ground technology, like Brooklyn Race Link. Always, I didn't see carbon fiber. I which language do you prefer to talk?
  • + 1
 In
  • + 2
 qq eh eder? ta duvidando q so brasileiro?..nasci em sp, sbc, morei ai ateh os 18..faz pouco menos de 3 anos q moro na alemanha..
  • + 1
 Not exactely Carbon skin, would be another material as similar as the one used on the airframe and wings of jetfighters, wich is a combination of glass fibers, epoxy, and some chemistry stuff. The ressult, lighter than custom DH aluminium trong enough for impact and abbusive stress. Saludos a meos Amigos do Brasil!
  • + 1
 Perini, eu não tô duvidando de nada. Apenas queria saber de onde você é. Tenho vários amigos de Sampa que andam de bike, o Barnero, o ET, o Serginho, o Porkys e outros. Abraços.
  • + 1
 Glass fiber in bikes. I know nothing about it. Saudações aos meus amgios da Alemanha também. ("Saludos" is Spanish).
  • + 1
 I am only thinking about your suspension design. It gets pretty complicated as for an single pivot. I am affraid that your design will come up more expensive than somethin looking as simple as Orange or old Cannondale Gemini (Sc Bullit?). With Orange I mean just the looks not the materials/manufacturing method Singlepiece swingarms usualy weigh a lot and are weaker comparing to spatial frames (if this is how it's professionaly called in engineering) It's not that simple I guess to get into the technology that Orange bikes use for swingarms.
I personaly wouldn't go for this kind of a swingarm, to me personaly the BIKE 001 is the best, but naturaly here you go with the complicated front triangle. Looking at your affordable principle I would also skip the complicated chain routing in all DA models. I guess the reason for using that was too big chain growth (eventual chain guiding advantage)

I guess it is harder to make some weak points in the front triangle rather than the swingarm. Most bike manufacturers struggle with swingarm failures rather than with FTs. I believe its safer to focus on swingarm.

Still, I personaly tried to sketch out some simple singlepivot bikes, and it feels damn harder than multilinkage ones! ehh...

Above was just something I hope is a constructive critique, I admire your ambitions and will to construct a prototype frame Smile

aaa... Im not an material/manufacturing cost expert but 1.5 steerer tube seems a pretty good solution for making the stuff simple and strong at the same time, with minimal weight gain.
  • + 1
 I also like your budget attitude. I believe we are over high-teched recently. Its to little authenticity around, things that are plain simple, just like Transition Bikes. It's fine that there are all those Trek Sessions, Intenses, they make the industry progress, but well, there's too little for people with smaller wallets. I love the Specialized for the latest Pitch though...
  • + 1
 "Not exactely Carbon skin, would be another material as similar as the one used on the airframe and wings of jetfighters, wich is a combination of glass fibers, epoxy, and some chemistry stuff."

Cool, a bike that's invisible to radar, for those big air days.
  • + 1
 estimado, leyendo algunos comentarios sobre el sistema de suspension.... criticas y weas asi, no has pensado en probar el sistema de suspension de las motos de cross???? no digo que sea malo ni apoyo las criticas, pero viendo la moto de un tío me acordé de tu proyecto y pensé que si existía alguna cleta con un sistema de suspension similar....onda, podrias modificar uno y peude que se venda aun mejor, o también hacer ambos, como 2 sistemas distintos. solo decia por cuando vi la moto de mi tio me acorde jejeje saludos y suerte Smile
  • + 1
 Men si puede porfa mandeme las fotos al e-mail, face o subelas por acá y me das el link, me interesa mucho eso, pero por tratarse de un proyecto que está mas centrado en los temas materiales y transmisión, voy a matar al toro por ese flanco, y ya aprobado el título, con cartoncito en mano y todo lo demás, me pongo a investigar sistemas motolink, vpp y demáses para así desarrollar los modelos que vendrán.
Saludos, gracias por tu idea y espero las fotos.
  • + 2
 Cool thesis project. Is that the prototype pictured? what is pictured in the cad drawing? Are you sure you want to run a 67 degree head angle on a downhill bike??
  • + 1
 sorry for my english
your project is amazing keep going you have gone so far to give up and when your bikes goes to the market (and if i have money ) i think i should buy one
hello from México
  • + 1
 Gracias amigo! Puedes hablarme en español. soy de Chile
  • + 0
 that looks exactly like an old Brooklyn tmx, similar shock angle, swingarm and the pulley system is not to different, the other one is kinda like a Santa Cruz Bullet.
here is a picture of one www.pinkbike.com/photo/4340710
great design but nothing new
  • + 4
 in his defence, there aint really that much you can do with a single-pivot to make it original any more man...pivot positions and chain-drives, its pretty much all been sussed out. so if you wanna make a decent single-pivot frame, its obviously gonna look like something else. but then, we could say that absolutely anything on the market looks like something else out there...unless you look at RaceBike Wink
  • + 2
 Nope Nope... Isn't inspired a TMX at all except in the double chain system, that is also very different than in the TMX or Racelink, some of the first porposals were in that style, but shown to be heavy, and complex to fix and overhaul. On mine, the design is different, remember this is the skeleton of the frame, and the final model will be covered by an aerospace materials skin. I'm not uploading images that way, because will be an experimental prototype, that is not built yet, a technology never used yet on a frame, so it's something that needs to be tested. If works, Wellcome to the aerospace era on extreme mountainbiking. if not, I still will have a light aluminium frame to present on my thesis.
  • + 2
 First of all, great project and the best of luck to you getting the prototype up and running! Admittedly I did think about the Brooklyn too, probably cause of the drivetrain, however i do know the brooklyns are very heavy so if you can make this design work with good weight savings i think your onto a winner!
  • + 2
 i like the concept of bonding the material to the frame...i assume you mean a carbonfiber lay-up? tricky and fiddly, but thats where this frame could really stand out from the crowd!
  • + 1
 madm3chanic I can think of a a bunch of single pivot bikes that look and work nothing like each other. Balfa BB7,brooklyn tmx,racelink,hitman, orange, gt fury,gt dhi (Idrive but still single pivot), chumba f4/f5, foes 2:1 and so on.....yes there is only so many spots to put a main pivot but there are a ton of spots for shock placement and swingarm styles. This pulley style is not used on any single pivot bike either just the brooklyn as far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong).... DA1 still looks like a tmx to me except the shock placement is a little more horizontal. I'm sure all angles are different. annimaxdh I mean no harm I think what your doing is a awesome thing and I'm sure your finished product will look different but what I see here looks like a tmx from over 10 years ago. Brooklyns were never made to be light, they were made to last. My comparison was based on appearance and over all design thats all.
  • + 1
 haha keep it to singlepivots, not linkage driven singles and annoying GT dogbone things...there's really only two pivot locations (based on if you have a chainjack isolator or not) and two shock locations if you wanna make a decent singlepivot frame. swingarm appearance, tubing choice etc is just semantics in this arguament.
its kinda hard to make something look heaps different when you're stuck to fairly limited positions for the important points of the frame, and want to make the most simple (i.e light) swingarm that will actually work well. doesnt mean it couldnt feel fantastic though.
  • + 2
 Brilliant Project, your work is very impressive....I'm attempting a similar project, albeit at a slightly more junior level Smile
  • + 4
 Good luck, señor. Respect to what you are doing and best wishes!
  • + 1
 Well done, keep up the hard work, and I hope your thesis project pays off for you. I would happily test (and keep Wink !) any frames you want to send me!! Smile
  • + 3
 cheers and props, keep going, can't stand to see it done !! Wink
  • + 1
 Primero te felicito Max, (hoy anduvimos en el sporting soy Rodrigo de la Kona) Me parece fabuloso el proyecto, te deseo lo mejor de verdad!! viva la innovación!!
  • + 3
 sounds awesome ;]]] cant wait to see it done ;]]] good luck mate
  • + 1
 Join the Norland Cycles group in facebook

U must look for: Norland Cycles Project
  • + 1
 pretty sick draw ups. please message me. i have a few questions to ask and ideas to BS about. see have 3 frames engineered and ready to go. and working on prototypes
  • + 1
 67 is kinda steep tho it's just 2 degrees to 65 which has been proven in many bikes. For me something between 65-66 sounds perfect
  • + 2
 Yep, the design was upgraded to 65º
But I want to see if would be possible to use the excentric ht to variate the angle.
  • + 2
 some companies are going that route today dude. i would stick between 65-66 if you are looking for a race geo...nice job on the project, frame design looks great. good luck!
  • - 1
 for race gro u need 64 head angle and bb heigth 358
  • + 1
 depends on the type of course, ajustibility would be a good idea?
  • - 1
 yea for sure, adjustable h/a at least
  • + 1
 That maybe for another prototype, because on this one the main target is to try newer materials never used before in a dh-fr bike
  • + 1
 er.... tell me what materials HAVENT been used?

i can't name very many LOW COST ones that havnt been used...


buT! it looks sweet , maybe aim fer low weight?
  • + 1
 The materials that haven't been used yet that will be used on the frame skin, will be aerospace composites, similar than the ones U find in advanced jetfighters as F-16, EF Typhoon, F-22, that are mostly complex epoxy solvents, chemistry stuff, glass & carbon fibers combinations that are classified to most of people. But who knows how to look on the web and has contacts & friends at the air force, can have access to that privilegiated info.
I got important info, but the combination of materials should be tested in different formats and proportions to find the perfect balance point between strenght and lightweight to make a frame strong enough for extreme riding and abbuse, and lightweight to make it fast and maneuverable.
  • + 2
 Great read thank you, nice CAD skills.
  • + 2
 looks sick, but also like a less complicated brookelyn machine works bike.
  • + 1
 What type/how much of FEA are you doing on the frame design during the design phase?
  • + 0
 tut tut, on msn messanger in the office lol. Looks like a cross between an old karpiel and an iron horse yakuza
  • - 1
 whats up with single pivit bikes anyway they look terrible, but they must ride ok because lots of people like them. more so in europe
  • + 1
 no maintenance, snappier off jumps. I have not rode many multi pivot I prefer single but I hear multi pivot are better with the small bumps, no brake jack (floater will fix that). Its all just preference. If your good it does not matter what your on.
  • + 1
 I'm still setting the headtube angle.
Any suggestion?
  • + 1
 La zorra!!!
  • + 1
 nice!!!
  • - 1
 looks like a Trek VRX or Cannondale Raven
  • - 1
 Looks like an old specialized bighit to be honest...
  • - 1
 or an old skool Vario
  • + 0
 I'm thinking bits here and there of some older Nicolai DH frames. And Brooklyn, of course.
  • + 0
 poland powah xD

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