First 3D Printed Thermoplastic Mountain Bike: Revel Rodeo

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Revel, the Colorado brand behind Revel Bikes and Wheels, has been experimenting with 3D printing in order to make a FusionFiber bike. This is a type of thermoplastic, and using it can avoid the epoxies needed to use carbon fibre layups. In the longer term, it’s hoped that this might make it possible to recycle frames and components made from this material. For now, it’s an experiment in what’s possible (and an opportunity for some publicity). Read on for the full PR, plus Singletrack Members get to read some extra questions that we put to Revel.

Here’s the PR:

Revel’s’ enthusiasm for innovation doesn’t stop at the frames, and in 2020 they introduced the world to the next generation of carbon wheels with the RW30 FusionFibertm wheels. Embracing the latest aerospace engineering practices, Revel launched the world’s first fully recyclable and environmentally responsible method of producing a carbon wheelset using a unique thermoplastic engineering process developed by CSS Composites. The FusionFiber RW30 can be produced without the need for harmful, brittle epoxy, and the result is a recyclable, high-performance composite rim that is significantly more durable, lighter, and overall a better riding wheel than other carbon wheels on the market.

Implementing FusionFiber for components manufacturing redefines what is possible when you look outside of the industry standards for production, and that is just what Revel is doing with their newest passion project – The Rodeo.

What started as a conversation between Adam Miller (Revel Bikes) and Chris Canfield (Inventor of CBF) in a coffee shop while waiting out a rain spell before a ride soon became tangible as they explored options to create a fully functional carbon downhill bike without the typical methods of manufacturing. Ignited with fire to bring something new to the cycling industry, Revel was introduced to Arevo Inc. – Pioneers in the additive manufacturing space and has already brought their own fully functional 3D printed bike to market. When the opportunity presented itself to begin the development of Revel’s own 3D-printed frame – they saddled up and got to work on a prototype Downhill frame. Jordan Haffener (Revel Bikes Senior Engineer) worked closely with Arevo at their facility in Silicon Valley to develop dozens of prototypes before landing on a design that passed muster. Designing a Downhill bike is one of the most ambitious undertakings for any brand because they experience abuse unlike any other, from massive drops, high-speed G-outs, and lateral stress from aggressive cornering; they demand durability and reliability to withstand seasons of riding. 

The Rodeo is just a concept for now. Still, it serves as an example of conviction, innovation, and what is possible with current technology and what could be a reality in the future. It’s hard not to get excited about the prospect of a 3D-printed carbon bike made here in the United States, and the ramifications could mean incredibly improved prototyping and development processes for bike brands, safer conditions in production facilities, significant environmental benefits, and greater customization for the rider at better costs. Revel believes that this method of frame production could be the future for carbon bicycle manufacturing, and the Rodeo is proof that this is a real possibility that could become more of a reality for practical, reasonable-cost full suspension mountain bikes with continued technological advancements. A 3D-printed carbon mountain bike is doable, and with further innovation, there is even the potential for this thermoplastic composite material to be fully recyclable.

For now, this technology is too new to bring this bike to the masses. The entire process is incredibly time and energy-consuming, not to mention prohibitively expensive, and it is not realistic to bring The Rodeo to production at this time. But as innovations in additive manufacturing and thermoplastic technology continue, the possibilities of mountain bikes like this coming to market become very real.

Why a DH Bike? 

Starting with a DH bike will allow Revel to trickle down what they learn during the R&D process to make the entire process more efficient for future large-scale production of other models, and they hope that starting with such a daunting task will encourage other brands in the industry to explore the potential that this method has to offer. 

A Downhill bike needs to be overbuilt – the construction can have no compromises, but weight is also not a huge factor to consider. Although having a lightweight bike will aid in maneuverability, a fine line must be navigated between weight and structural integrity, which kept Jordan and the design team at Arevo hard at work while developing a bike that Revel felt comfortable putting to the test.

A World’s First

3D printing is being used everywhere. Most recently, there has been a huge surge of companies taking the additive manufacturing route for various components and even tube junctions on frames. Revel sought out Arevo and their technology because they have developed a method of 3D printing structurally sound composite products for the intended use. Revel jumped at the chance to see their dream materialize and push the limits of innovation. The Rodeo is the world’s first 3D-printed, thermoplastic carbon fiber mountain bike and the world’s first carbon CBFtm suspension downhill bike. Although just a concept, the Rodeo is proving what is possible. 

Why The Rodeo?

Revel Bikes is based in Carbondale, Colorado. During the summer months, Carbondale hosts a weekly rodeo event every Thursday, and the Revel crew is often found hanging out at the rodeo after a post-workday bike ride. They even have an official company party at the rodeo every summer, and a downhill bike made in America just made sense to be named the Rodeo.

If you’re still intrigued after that, Members can read on for a few questions that we had…

While you’re here…

Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • First 3D Printed Thermoplastic Mountain Bike: Revel Rodeo
  • dyna-ti
    Full Member

    I’d hope thermoplastic has improved since its GT days.

    Full Member

    My sts is still good, on is second frame though.
    I wonder if they can replace parts of the frame when it cracks

    Full Member

    I’ve a feeling this is goign to end up being a promo/hype thing mostly, like 3d printed titanium bikes (useful for small parts, not a sensible way to make a whole bike) or cnc frames etc. But it’s pretty cool. I think they’re playing fairly fast and loose with the terminology, though, or at least how it’s normally understood.

    Full Member

    Look! We can make bike frames recyclable! How new-fangled. Woohoo!

    Once upon a time they’d have said that the new construction type would make the trails come alive 😁😂

    Full Member

    What’s the polymer?

    Full Member

    This is still in the early concept phase when it comes to recyclability, but we believe it can be done, and done economically in the future!

    Pessimist on me reads this as ‘in theory could be, but it cannot currently be done’…

    Full Member

    Hope the thermoplastics improved over time, I went through 3 gt sts 1 I drive I’ve been happy with my gt xizang for the last 27 yrs still going strong

    Full Member

    Hope the thermoplastics improved over time

    Thermoplastic covers alot of different plastics and properties from PETG bottles to super plastics like PEEK. I believe this process uses Nylon. Using nylon instead of epoxy isn’t new, that’s what Guerrilla Gravity use for their production frames. Being able to lay down and control the individual strands of carbon fibre is the interesting bit.
    Anyway it’s good to see Revel being honest about what this project is and how far off being a production process it is.

    There’s far too much smoke and mirrors BS in both the bike and the additive manufacturing industry. Have all look at Arevo’s own attempt at a bike using this technology to see such BS the promise the reality the review

    Free Member

    Strange name choice, hopefully you don’t get bucked off as soon as you sit on it, they totally dodged the 2 halves question. Basically yet another inovative way to create a frame then charge silly money for cos it’s unique, I’d like to see a hybrid of GT’s STS and Atherton bikes, CNC’d shiny aluminium lugs with carbon tubes epoxied in, but carbon with the beautiful weave like Unno or Hope frames, that would be stunning, especially if you anodised the frame lugs.

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