Pole bikes to CNC frames in Finland

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  • Pole bikes to CNC frames in Finland
  • daern
    Member

    It’s great and all that, but if they have a problem with Chinese carbon manufacturing (and they may well have a point here) then why not consider bringing it in house and controlling the production process themselves? Hope have done this with their own carbon products and even the carbon sheets are being made nearby – Manchester, IIRC.

    The downside is cost, but these aren’t cheap things anyway.

    logan1989
    Member

    The issue that Pole have is that, there isn’t a way of recycling carbon in a clean way at the moment.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    And they’re going to solve it by turning 10’s of kg of aluminum into a load of heat and swarf.

    Is that really going to be more environmentally friendly?

    ehrob
    Member

    I’d wager it’s more environmentally friendly than dumping waste from Chinese carbon manufacture in the ocean, which apparently (according to the linked article/Pole) is what’s going on currently.

    So on that basis, yes.

    daver27
    Member

    swarf can be recycled into more material for making bikes easily.

    6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

    never going to buy one anyway

    daern
    Member

    The issue that Pole have is that, there isn’t a way of recycling carbon in a clean way at the moment.

    How many bikes are they really intending to sell and, given that most bikes bounce around the used market for 10-15 years after initial sale, then I really don’t think they are really getting their pants in a twist over not very much.

    It’s a similar example to F1 limiting the cars to 105kg of fuel in a race “for environmental reasons” and then using six 747s every week to move the whole lot around the world. Daft.

    The issue that Pole have is that, there isn’t a way of recycling carbon in a clean way at the moment making their bikes look anything other than pig ugly.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    swarf can be recycled into more material for making bikes easily.

    Yes, but then you have to melt it, cast it, ship it on the back of a lorry/ship to the factory, and run the machine for however many hours.

    That’s a LOT of electricity and diesel.

    Carbon has it’s drawbacks, but there’s plenty Pole could do if they wanted to offset the environmental aspects of frame production. Do what Hope do and bring it in house is just one example. Plant some trees to offset the energy used in smelting aluminium, use hemp rather than carbon, donate bikes to Africa.

    The truth is making a bike is probably a pretty horrible process regardless of material. You’d need blinkers on to think that their aluminium bikes are somehow environmentally friendly.

    And the truth behind their lack of carbon bikes is more likely a lack of investable cash to pay for tooling. Bit like saying I’m going to save the environment and not drive to a trail center this weekend, the reality is I haven’t got £50 to put petrol in the car.

    thepodge
    Member

    thisisnotaspoon – Do what Hope do and bring it in house is just one example.

    …is more likely a lack of investable cash to pay for tooling
    Excellent bit of contradiction there.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Fair point.

    No more contradictory than complaining about environmental impacts and then opting to CNC their frames.

    thepodge
    Member

    Probably true, I can’t really see either two being any better than the standard tube system they already use.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    The image looks a bit Salvador Dali, but it’ll be interesting to see how it comes out in terms of weight and ride.

    Missed a trick by not using steel?

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Depends where they’re getting their aluminium from, if it’s smelted in somewhere like the UK or Norway from a smelter powered by hydro electricity it’ll have a carbon footprint a small fraction of aluminium from a coal powered site in China for example.

    There’s a lot of confusion going on between carbon footprint and wider negative aspects of carbon fibre bike production anyway.

    It’s a similar example to F1 limiting the cars to 105kg of fuel in a race “for environmental reasons” and then using six 747s every week to move the whole lot around the world. Daft.

    Yeah but the fuel efficiency technologies developed in motorsport trickle down into production cars, which is a Good Thing.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Depends where they’re getting their aluminium from, if it’s smelted in somewhere like the UK or Norway from a smelter powered by hydro electricity it’ll have a carbon footprint a small fraction of aluminium from a coal powered site in China for example.

    I agree to an extent, but it’s not black and white, the aluminium smelters tend to be there because there is cheap electricity and they need a lot so it saves both on transmission costs/losses. Norsk Hydro for example have a smelting plant in Abu Dhabi (which has cheap electricity from gas).

    But if the smelting plant wasn’t there, that hydro plant would still be connected to the grid and there would be one less coal/gas/nuclear station.

    ehrob
    Member

    So to extend that logic, in order to have any environmentally friendly credentials, your organisation has to make bikes out of nothing.

    Sorted.

    What a load of bollocks.

    Dodgy Chinese environmental practices are one thing, but refusing to make a frame from carbon fibre because it can’t be recycled is a complete cop out.

    Look at your typical MTBer; do they look like they give a shit about the environment? It’s gotta be one of the less/least environmentally friendly hobbies going; before you even get on the bike, you need to drive your car, sorry Transporter T5.

    If he want’s to focus on the environment then he should make a fancy commuting bike, or a carbon fibre recycling bin.

    ATEOTD, people want to buy the best product out there, which should be made from carbon fibre.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    in order to have any environmentally friendly credentials, your organisation has to make bikes out of nothing.

    Sorted.

    No, that would be reductio ad absurdum.

    My gripe with the story is:
    a) they said they weren’t going CF due to environmental concerns and now plan to CNC frames which I sincerely doubt is any better.
    b) the argument over recycling or end of life disposal is a non-starter, back of a fag packet maths I reckon you’d burn more petrol driving it to the tip than you’d recover energy recycling it*.

    So to extend that logic,

    Well at least you admit it’s reductio ad absurdum.

    *this fact is actually almost always true for glass, the reason glass is recycled is that without a supply of old glass you cannot economically make new glass as molten glass forms the solvent for its production. Which is why a lot of councils don’t bother.

    neilforrow
    Member

    Missed a trick by not using steel?

    Have you seen the original prototype? It was made by BTR I think, quite likes that.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this new one builds up. And TBF using CNC in house where they can control the whole process will go a long way to sustainable manufacturing. Fair play to them. Big commitment.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    For my benefit, whats the benefit?

    Of a CNC frame I mean. sod the environment, shred factor and gnarpoonness wise?

    legend
    Member
    Premier Icon Kamakazie
    Subscriber

    I’d assume lighter or stiffer. Much like carbon you would be able to add material only where it is required rather than to allow for welding or general tube butting etc.

    ads678
    Member

    The video is funny.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I’d assume lighter or stiffer. Much like carbon you would be able to add material only where it is required rather than to allow for welding or general tube butting etc.

    The downside is the grain structure of the metal is all wrong, when you cast, forge or draw a tube you also alter the structure of the metal for the better (as long as you do it well). CNCing parts from a billet just leaves you with a random grain structure (or whatever you had in the billet). Which is IIRC why Hope hubs cracked a few years back, they started CNCing from billet rather than near net forged blanks.

    Which is part of the reason why when you look at a frame with CNC parts, they’re quite chunky bits of metal, where the tubes themselves are probably only 1.5mm of so thick.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
    Subscriber

    so its not a good thing?

    Premier Icon Kamakazie
    Subscriber

    Makes sense!

    Stevet1
    Member

    If they’re cnc’ing the whole front triangle you would think a truss like structure would be better like the cast empire frames rather than what looks like a cnc’d tube?

    legend
    Member

    Yup, the tooling to get the tube fully hollowed out (with BB and headtube already in place if it’s going 1 piece) will be interesting….

    ehrob
    Member

    So you’ve identified the CNC’ing aluminium as being an energetically expensive process that could potentially take away energy from the grid. Surely the same principle applies to the production of carbon?

    Just to reiterate again, Pole’s gripe from what that article says seems to be with the apparently nefarious waste disposal practices of some Chinese factories. Environmentally speaking, Pole CNC’ing their frames is better for the environment in the sense that they’re not dumping stuff in the sea. I’m assuming that Pole won’t chuck stuff in the sea here.

    I’m all for them pointing this out and boycotting the use of such factories. The act of doing this doesn’t do very much sure, and CNC’ing might not be much better, I’m no expert. But maybe in time smaller companies pointing this out might eventually cause the bigger ones to look at it. Good luck to them.

    steve_b77
    Member

    From what it seems they’re basically being hipster twonks trying to come up with a excuse to do what they perceive to be best for the planet.

    I presume he has no far eastern manufactured products in use in every day life?

    I don’t understand how you can CNC machine that to be hollow in one piece. I guess you could CNC the outside of a hollow extrusion but then how can you bend it into that shape? I am very curious.

    If you want to maximise the strength of an aluminium frame then the best thing to do is get rid of the welds. If you can get rid of the welding then you can save a ton of time and cost on all the alignment and heat treating processes. But how the hell do you do that?

    thepodge
    Member

    Adhesives (I think) will be the next revolution in frame manufacture.

    Hope glue the back end of their bikes
    I think Cotic glue their front shock mount
    Robot glue all their tubes to lugs

    Yes it was tried in the 90s and it was rubbish but most technological things in the 90s were.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Subscriber

    It’s a similar example to F1 limiting the cars to 105kg of fuel in a race “for environmental reasons” and then using six 747s every week to move the whole lot around the world. Daft.

    You’ve totally missed the point there.

    No, given the excesses of the F1 ‘circus’ making the teams save 50Kgs of fuel or whatever it was each just for the sake of it would have been “daft”, but that wasn’t the the point at all.

    F1 has some of the best minds in the motor industry, some of the biggest R&D budgets in the industry and they move at a pace that means they can do in weeks what the big car makers might do in years, if at all.

    If you set that sort of brain power towards making an engine more efficient, which is all it is – forget they’re making 900Bhp or whatever, a lot of the science that goes into making an F1 car make 900Bhp from a 1.6 V6 Turbo Hybrid can be applied to road cars – so we see new cars arriving that have smaller, more efficient engines, but also make the same, or more power than the previous generation.

    It’s a win-win – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda don’t have to try to justify their massive F1 budgets purely for marketing, because they share tech with their road engine and we get more efficient engines for our cars.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    Weighing environmental concerns against one another is almost impossible.
    e.g. Organic veg vs extra transport miles

    So in the end you have to just go with what feels best and be glad that you are at least paying attention.
    Good luck to them.

    otsdr
    Member

    like the cast empire frames

    The headtube is machined from billet and then welded to what seem to be regular aluminium tubes. Only the seat tube and the swingarm are cast.

    I do wonder about using extrusions which you then butt externally and shape the ends for perfect joints by CNC machining and then glue everything together.

    Stevet1
    Member

    like the cast empire frames

    The headtube is machined from billet and then welded to what seem to be regular aluminium tubes. Only the seat tube and the swingarm are cast.

    My mistake, was thinking of the older ones

    ctk
    Member

    Slightly random question:
    What is it that stops aluminum frames being repairable in the same way that steel and Ti ones are?

    T1000
    Member

    Regardless of the material choices, they should be lauded for moving their manufacturing to a place where the employees rights and environmental standards will be adhered to.

    daern
    Member

    It’s a win-win – Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda don’t have to try to justify their massive F1 budgets purely for marketing, because they share tech with their road engine and we get more efficient engines for our cars.

    Slightly off topic here, but no, the new engine formula is one of the silliest and poorest decisions ever made by F1’s governing body. Yes, stuff like this about “transferring technology to the road” sounds great in principle, but the reality is that these engines cost around $17m dollars per year, per team for four engines. The technology in these engines will simply never be seen outside of F1, with the possible exception of a very few $1m+ hypercars, as the cost will never permit it.

    The basic concept of hybrids wasn’t a bad one, but without spending limits, the teams just went bananas and the resulting engines, while a technological marvel, simply have no relevance to the real world. None whatsoever.

    You’ve totally missed the point there.

    No, I really haven’t. In fact, I probably didn’t emphasise it strongly enough – they burnt a huge amount of resource, a massive amount of money and the net result is a formula where all but the very richest teams are perpetually on the brink of bankruptcy due to the massive cost of keeping up with Mercedes’ massive engineering budget and Ferrari and Red Bull’s massive marketing and merchandising budget. And the net result? They save a few kg of fuel per race using technology that will never make the jump to any real world car. It’s daft, and I am pretty sure that the 2020 rule changes will see the engine formula being heavily rewritten to drive the costs back down into the real world.

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