The S-class of the brand’s bike offerings is the carbon fiber road bike created in cooperation with Shimano Dura Ace components, coming in at a price of 2990 EUR ($3,669 USD). From there MB moves down to a more leisurely vehicle, complete with automatic “transmission” (aka automatic shifting system) and sensor-controlled lighting system. Pricing for this’un range from 1690 to 1890 EUR ($2,073 to $2,319 USD).
18.3 lbs without pedals? With Dura-Ace? Crazy. That frame is entirely too heavy. You could get that weight using steel for christ sake. With D/A you should be at sub-17 levels at least with a carbon frame… sub-15 even with some manufacturers. Plus they didn’t use D/A wheels either. Just goes to show you that car manufacturers should stick to designing cars, rather than bikes.
Their “Mountain Bike” is a complete knock-off of the horrible Trek Y bikes from a few years ago that bombed horribly.
what about the price?
Yes, it is cheap. However so is the Trek Madone 5.5 Full Carbon. Full Dura-Ace. And a much nicer wheelset for the exact same price: 3699.
Should be a touch lighter as well. The the frame design is substantially better than the Mercedes. If you are looking for exclusivity however, the Madone is not for you. Everyone and their brother has one of those these days thanks to Lance Armstrong.
do you think if mercedes could sign armstrong they would design a bike for him? or is mercedes making a generic bike for someone who has at least one mercedes car and couldnt care much about what’s going on in tracks and competitions because it wont be worth while?
BMW, Volvo, MB etc do concept bikes to project their brand. It doesn’t mean they make bikes i would want to ride races with. Sure, I might feel special inside while riding two blocks to get coffee and let the thing sit there while materialistic people like myself oogle at it.
maybe there’s a prospect future market for it. i mean some pro racers or enthusiasts buy these bikes for the brand reason then modify it by a pro shop or their tech team and reride what’s a completely redone bike. kinda like tuning a street racer.
no one can say you can’t cut holes in carbonfibre if you know what you’re doing.
it might even be a long term goal for companies who actually see a future in this kinda approach by users and seek to reserve a footing in its development.
I didn’t see where it gave the weight of the frame. But modern road frames play a very insignificant role in the weight of a bike anyway. The weight of a bike built around a 2.5 lb. frame is only going to be a pound lighter than a bike with identical components built on a 3.5 lb. frame. And 3.5 lbs. is heavy for a road frame. So when you see a complete bike that weighs 14 lbs., its silly to compare just the frame to a bike that weighs something like 17. There’s 50 other parts on the bike, which combined will contribute way more to the total weight than the frame.
Besides, that MB road frame is awfully pretty, even though it MIGHT be heavy, and even though DaimlerChrysler probably played no role in its design or manufacture. In most cases, I’d sacrifice a half pound or more to have a unique and/or beautiful bike. That weave in the carbon is nice.
As for the price of the road bike, I’d say its downright affordable considering the limited production run. But maybe not, going back to the fact that some other company probably already makes and sells this frame anyway.[/i]
Absolutely, 100%, no possible way Mercedes manufactured this bike.
If MB wanted to get into Bikes they would not make 199 examples. What is even weirder, is that there is no pro shop named to see one of them.
Any racer would be laughed off his team if he showed up with a MB badged bike. Most teams work with a shop for some sort of pseudo pro-deal. Racers are cheap and ride what they can get for a deal.
Bike enthusiasts at the high end oogle over each part. One look at that wheelset with michelin tire combo and no name parts(bar stem, post,saddle) shows that this is a kit from QBP matched to a generic carbon frame.
The other dead giveaway that MB did not make this bike is that high end bikes are sold with a size chart. No high end buyer in the world will trust a car dealer to fit him properly.
hi, I design bikes. I can tell you that bike was mfg’d by either Martec or Tentech in China or Taiwan. They are really great people and have their shi*t together. They make frames for Scott and Merckxxx among others.
My issue with the frame is that it isn’t anything new. The Trek 5000series of US made OCLV came out almost 12 years ago and that MB bike just looks like a 5000 series bike. So what. You can mold any shape you want. I would expect more from MB than buying something off the shelf.
Also whoever said the Trek Y frame bombed was totally wrong. TheOCLV, Y frame, Y-foil and 5000’s put Trek on the map. When the Y frame mtb came out it sold like crazy gang busters. They couldn’t even make enough of them to meet demand!
That said the MB bike does look like the trek mtb Y bike all the way down to the suspension technology which is really old school. The only people I can see buying those bikes are people who don’t actually ride them much.
But that is ok. Anyone who buys a bike is dandy in my book.
Remember, most of what anyone says is 90percent feeling and maybe 10percent fact.
Do some homework before making statements that you really don’t know much about.
no one can say you can’t cut holes in carbonfibre if you know what you’re doing.
uhh, dude I am. If you want to commit suicide/murder then tell others to cut holes in their frames.
First, if you didn’t design the layup, the carbon layer sequence, then you won’t know what you are doing…I bet a million freakin’ dollars you don’t know what you are doing so don’t do it!
Second, if you did design the layup you wouldn’t cut holes in the frame cause you would know you designed it to be as light as possible to pass structural testing. The carbon guru’s I work with would never drill holes in their frame because holes cause microfractures that can cause part failure.
Third, holy crap, are you kidding!!! UFO you never cease to amaze me with your words of “i-really-dont-know-what-I-am-talking-about” wisdom.
Kids, please don’t follow UFO’s advice. If you drill your frame up you will endanger your life -period. Also, you will invalidate your mfg’ers warranty which means that when it breaks they will just tell you that you are a dumb ass for drilling holes in it and then they will say, wow you are lucky to be alive.
If you want to lose some weight for God’s sake try a diet. Losing 5 pounds will make you healthier and faster than shaving 200 grams out of your frame.
UFO, why you try to endanger people???
those who know what they’re doing, like pro engineers, first off they get all the technical info, second they just won’t take a drill and start cutting holes in the frame as you suggest!! third they do the FEA analysis on programs before risking a structural failure. making several prototypes, testing each, then going on to the final phase is the usual process.
i guess your arguement is micro-fractures can escape accurate FEA. then you’re paranoid because we live in 21st century not 19th and there’re equipment that you can attach the frame on to physically do the stress test.
also remember, holes or cavities don’t have to go all the way through!
and who the hell are kids? this’s not a teeny forum!!
If you want to commit suicide/murder then tell others to cut holes in their frames.
Hey, don’t knock speed holes. They work. I’m always winning races against people whose frames break after drilling holes in them.
But seriously, wasn’t the whole hole thing done back in the 70s or 80s? There were still some things being sold by companies in standard versions and drilled versions back in the mid- to late-90s. But the weight they had to add to the things to make them still sturdy with holes in them offset any weight savings from the holes. And for folks that drilled their own, they pretty much ensured that their stuff would break under the kinds of conditions where you’d want the weight savings to begin with. So it was a pretty dumb idea.
And for putting holes in a carbon frame? I’m not doing it to mine, I can tell you that. If holes (or even dimples) would help with weight on these bikes, they’d be molded in to begin with. With most frames, the material is already so thin that most every square cm of material relies on the next cm to keep it together. If you start messing with that structure, you’re asking for trouble.
Basically, if you want a custom bike, you buy a frame, maybe paint it, and put whatever parts you want on it. Or you make a mold and lay the carbon up yourself or have someone else do it ($$$). [/quote]
btw the upcoming 2008 boeing 787 dreamliner is %50 carbon fibre and raptor around %30.
so get your carbon fast before they run out or just buy a boeing with your dad’s credit card and take it apart, kids.
true true Ufo on carbon shortages. this has been an issue for the last 3 years running and it is due primarily to aero and defensive buying the largest quantities.
as far as holes in the 70-80’s. those holes were drilled into aluminum, ti or steel. people don’t drill anymore because users were literally getting hurt or killed and suing and advances in material sciences and CAD packages makes it such that people don’t need to drill anymore.
as far as the “its the 21st century” comment that UFO made…and FEA and all that.
Who do you think works on carbon fiber bicycles??? Monkeys?
No, they are ex aero space or defense carbon gurus that got sick of thinking about their products killing people. They are really the smartest engineers I have ever met and they use the latest engineering tools including FEA and fluid dynamics to determine what is right for the structure. Not only that, the CAD data is sync’d with real world test beds to get the optimum feedback reality.
I know you seem excited about it but drilling holes, even the “correct” places can and will cause failure. You don’t see production bikes with holes or dimples for that reason…plus the hand labor to finish a dimple or drilled frame would make the frame cost prohibitive…the cost of carbon fiber is due to the fact that a bunch of people have to hand sand them…that is true for all bicycles.
Other thing to note, the only holes machined into frames are the water bottle mounts, seat collar slot and a drain near the bottom bracket. These cause water and condensation to get into the frame. A lot of cyclists will be carrying a half pound of water by the end of the summer.
Now, I can say that creativity with FEA and layup (the layer sequence) can net lighter frames. However, most if not all advances in weight has come from with the type of carbon used (density of fibers) not holes, dimples or the like and the processing method (molding, compaction, heat cycle times etc).
Also the weave used on the MB frame is cosmetic only. Thus it only adds weight. All of the weaves that people think of as “carbon” are cosmetic and add weight. Other thing to note, if you buy a painted frame you get extra weight. If it is half painted and half a weave like the MB bike then you are adding more weight.
please don’t drill your frames! it is a bad idea even if UFO thinks he knows what he is talking about!
and could you please explain how they do that?
i understand it’s not a cheap process. it’s completely prohibitive for regular or even high interest. it’s for those who seek the personalised, optimum performance and have a load of cash which eventually will give them the edge if they work with the right people but they should have patience with it. it’s a customised redesign process based on original design layout.
it also has to do with the way intended biker uses the bike. even if you optimise a bike in weight it might not be the right shape.
same with motorbikes. if you go on race tracks and see all the hondas upclose for instance they’re all the same load/size even look but so many different modifications, you need a magnifying glass style of detection to see what’s really going on! sometimes it’s so diminutive (like milimeters) you won’t even notice. it’s really complex.
bicycles have less parts and much thinner frames but that doesn’t mean they can’t be modified for better use.
so when i say drilling holes, cavities, or grooves it’s just a figure of speech for the weight reduction process.i didn’t say it in a literal sense. that makes better sense?
if you meant how they sync real world with CAD I will give an example. take the front fork of a motor cycle for instance. the actual fork is loaded with data acquisition sensors that measure stress, strain, loads and movement, etc. The bike is ridden and the ride is collected. The data is then replayed and analyzed. the original CAD part is “overlayed” over the real world data. the FEA data is baselined against the real world feedback. the data from the ride is used to create test equipment that mimics the world criteria. The FEA variables are sync’d to mimic the real world data.
as far as modifications, ditto. People do dial in parts for performance but the difference between cars and bicycles is this: racing is about the person, not the bike. the bike is a part of the equation but the most modifications are to the person and the training method. most racers I have met will race anything they don’t have to pay for…getting free parts from shops or cosponsors. but they spend a crazy amount of time and money on their bodies. find a serious road racer and in their house you will find thousands of dollars worth of vitamins, protein drinks and training feedback equipment. they all think they are fat even though they weigh only 145. they don’t talk about the bike after group rides or training sessions they talk about who dropped who, who looked strong, who pulled the group etc. -just another way to think about the idea of modifications because in the racer’s world it is about the body because the body is the engine —this is the opposite for the cars. while the racing spirit is the same they are very different cultures.
That’s really interesting, never thought about it like that.
i guess you’re right. i was thinking about methods used in F1 racing.
_…While certainly a devotee of composites, Savage points out that despite many advantages, composites are limited by relatively poor interlaminar properties. “The energy-absorbing capability of composites is a consequence of the ‘work of fracture,’” he explains. “The increased work of fracture obtained from higher-strength fibers increases energy absorption, but this can only be achieved if you can reduce the tendency to delaminate under load â€” the resin’s toughness plays a significant role in optimizing the part’s ability to absorb energy.”…
…Savage’s team developed a testing regime to qualify the new prepreg’s performance improvements. Using the short beam shear test on a three-point flexure test fixture (see “Testing Tech,” HPC September 2005, p. 9), test coupons made with 2035 and 2020 resins were prepared and tested for interlaminar shear strength. Interlaminar fracture toughness was determined with a double cantilever beam test, using coupons that had a “crack initiator” or small piece of aluminum foil, coated with release agent, placed between the central plies; crack length measurement was made with small gauges on one side of the test specimens. Tests were conducted in the Honda team’s in-house laboratory, with Instron Corp. (Norwood, Mass.) test machines. The machines are 5582 (100kN) and 5584 (200kN) floor-standing universal test machine fitted with hydraulic grips and an Instron SFL environmental chamber…
…When compared to the original aluminum version, the current 2006 composite gearbox is 30 percent lighter, has 14 percent more torsional rigidity and 19 percent greater lateral stiffness. According to Savage, fatigue life has improved by 500 percent, compared to aluminum, and fewer than half the number of gearboxes are needed, despite increased mileage. Individual composite gearboxes, so far, have lasted more than 40,000 km (about 24,850 miles). “They may have an unlimited life compared to the aluminum version,” Savage speculates, “although we probably won’t know for sure, because the parts are obsolete before they wear out as a consequence of the pace of development within the sport.” Such developmental changes will undoubtedly lead to even greater innovations for lower weight and higher performance, in a sport where the cars are already more than 85 percent composite.
sorry. i didn’t mean to offend anyone’s intelligence, or ever endanger any bike riders!
lol, np, I was just afraid people might go hog wild with the drill press!
also thanks for the testing article. we have done similar tests with carbon to metal. the coupon tests are pretty cool! carbon and titanium are awe inspiring materials!