by Marc Basiliere
April 30, 2014
The IsoTruss is back!
Every few years, someone decides to try to bring the material-efficient concept of truss construction to bicycles. This year, it’s Razik that’s taken over the carbon fibre IsoTruss patents from Delta7, hoping to bring the unique looking structures to a wider audience. Traditionally very labour-intensive, truss-type construction uses less material than traditional tube-type construction while improving stiffness and impact-resistance. At the same time, the network of straight sections and nodes is said to disperse high-frequency vibration by dividing it among an exponentially increasing number of members.
While the tubes’ performance in a crosswind is said to be much better than traditional carbon fibre tubes, it’s the aforementioned vibration dispersal and IsoTruss’ high impact strength that should make friends in the mountain bike world. Above, two carbon fibre tube sections of similar weight are placed under a truck tyre and the truck lowered onto each. Though to quantify, it is clear that the IsoTruss design does hold up better under this sort of abuse. Where many lightweight carbon frame walls will flex alarmingly when squeezed, Razik’s IsoTruss sections are noticeably stiffer and more confidence-inspiring in person.
With a mountain bike hardtail frame is in the works for release this autumn, the company says that non-round sections are also possible- which could open up a world of possibilities for suspension frames. If the manufacturing process can successfully be automated, look for some interesting designs going forward.