Carbon nanotube bike now available
The 2005 Tour de France saw the first carbon nanotube frame bikes used in competition. Now the same technology is available to consumers with the new BMC SLC01 Pro Machine. The bike's frame weighs in at 1055 grams, or 2.33 pounds, which is less than the weight of 5 cellphones – that is, until they start making cellphones out of carbon nanotubes too.
According to Cadence Cycling:
This carbon work of art is the brainchild of Easton Composites and Swiss bike manufacturer, BMC. The SLC01 will be seen this year under the legs of Phonak Professional Cycling Team, one of the most visible and highly ranked of the UCI Pro Teams.
The SLC01 is the very first frameset in history to utilize 100% carbon nanotechnology throughout. Even the front and rear dropouts are made of carbon! Easton's proprietary CNT (carbon nanotechnology) deals with the manipulation of carbon fibers on an atomic scale measured in billionths of a meter (nanometers). Since the weakest areas in a traditional carbon-fiber component are the tiny spaces between the fibers that contain only resin, Easton's scientists developed an innovative Enhanced Resin System using carbon nanotubes (CNT).
Carbon nanotubes are an array of carbon atoms arranged in a pattern of hexagons and pentagons (similar to the pattern found on soccer balls). These structures can be manufactured in tubular shapes one billionth of a meter in diameter, hence the name nanotube. Carbon nanotubes have been called "the strongest fiber that will ever be made." Nanotubes have strength-to-weight ratio orders of magnitude greater than steel.
A result of this hyper-strong carbon technology is an increased strength to weight ratio which translates to a reduction in required construction materials. Hence, the SLC01 is one of the lightest and strongest framesets available, weighing in at just 1055 grams for a size 51 but with tubular strength 400 times greater than steel!