We use Modular Monocoque construction. It allows us to build lighter frames that have a more complex shape. It also allows us to design for uninterrupted load paths in critical, high-stress areas. We could make a frame with fewer parts, but there’s a distinct advantage to using smaller parts. The smaller parts have larger openings, allowing access to the inside of each part. That access makes it possible to use perfectly form-fitting bladders, internal molds, and intensifiers. As a result, our parts have better material consolidation, increasing strength and fatigue life. It also gives us one more opportunity for quality control via a visual inspection of the inside of each part.
Bladder molding is the most sophisticated process currently used in lightweight hollow composite construction. Compacting the layers of material in the carbon fiber laminate is one of the keys to making a light, strong part.
Each frame is made up of multiple bladder molded parts. By making the front triangle in three parts, we have access to the inside of the part. This allows us to use perfectly form-fitting bladders, intensifiers, and internal molds to make sure every surface is perfectly flat, smooth, and compacted.
The dropouts have a job that is different from the rest of the frame. The dropouts, which also hold the rear brake, are drilled and counterbored for the brake, and drilled for the axles and the derailleur hanger. They are squeezed between the axle and the hub and machined so everything fits perfectly. All of which would compromise a long-fiber part. As a result, the dropouts require a different construction method.
To make the dropouts, we use a process called compression molding. Rather than using long fibers laid up in specific orientations, compression molding uses chopped fibers (confetti) that are randomly packed into a mold and cured under pressure..
Once all of the frame’s parts have been made, they are prepared for assembly. We remove all flash, trim extraneous material, check all specifications, and dry fit the parts. Next we prepare the parts for bonding, one of the most important steps of frame assembly.
The frame parts are bonded in a very precisely aligned frame fixture. After the frame has cured, we transfer it to an inspection plate to verify that its alignment is correct. Then we apply a non-structural carbon over-wrap at each of the joints to produce a smooth and seamless final frame.
"We are actively developing the Pursuit process that ensures each frame meets our design goals. In addition to recording typical quality measures, we’ve implemented several other processes to track key manufacturing metrics."
Tour the Framebuilding Process
Once the engineering and design work is done, the manufacturing begins. Our frames are made in-house and are built to order for each customer. We do all layups and molding here in Bozeman as well as final construction.
Below is a tour of a frame build. Although not complete, it gives a pretty good idea of just how much love and attention every single piece we make gets. Each frame is the center of our attention while we make it. There is no batch work and your frame is not just another number. It is made for you, with you in mind. And attention is paid to every little detail along the way.