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Filament create prototype Dyneema fibre frame

Is this new fibre, weaved into a frame by British custom frame builder Filament, the future for carbon bikes?

Josh Cunningham
9 Dec 2016

British custom carbon frame builder Filament has produced a prototype frame that includes what could be a revolutionary new fibre in its weave. 

The fibres, called Dyneema UHMwPE (Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) and made by Dutch multinational Royal DSM, are claimed to be the strongest fibre in the world, and could potentially have a huge impact on ductility, vibration dampening and impact resistance. As a consequence of their relative strength, the weight of frames also stands to be potentially reduced. 

'DSM Dyneema approached me to make a prototype frame to showcase their material to the bike industry,' says Richard Craddock of Filament Bikes. '[They] provided a dry fabric which combined Dyneema and carbon in a twill weave pattern. To showcase their material I used it as a final layer with a resin infusion process.

A closer look at this unusual fibre. Tough stuff.

A photo posted by @filament_by_craddock on

'The white Dyneema fibres are very strong and have phenomenal properties against cutting and abrasion, which are very desirable properties in the finished structure, but it’s more difficult to cut than carbon when making the frame and requires very sharp tools.'

The adaptable fibres have already seen use in the bike industry, for example in Etxeondo shorts and Specialized S-Works shoes, but the potential for further use is massive. 

'There is an interesting future for Dyneema in composite parts for bikes,' explains Craddock. 'In frames it could serve to toughen the structure and change the response during peak loads, as well as modify the failure mode in the event of impacts and crashes. It would be useful in the braking surface of carbon rims to resist abrasion wear, it could replace Aramid (Kevlar) in tyre beads and as the protective breaker layer, and perhaps it could even be used as a lightweight brake and gear cable.'

But despite a prototype being built it doesn't seem like anybody has actually had a ride on a Dyneema fibre bike yet, so the first ever Dyneema bike review will have to wait for now.

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