Time Bicycles has launched a performance gravel/all-road frame that it says is the first of its kind to incorporate the “world’s strongest fibre”, bio-based Dyneema, for increasing strength in the frame structure without compromising stiffness or weight.
The ADHX is designed for riders who want a top-performing fast gravel machine and is Time’s first performance offering for gravel/all-road riding.
The ADHX is also the brand’s first gravel-orientated frame to utilise braided carbon structure (BCS) manufacturing, which is Time’s exclusive technique that is claimed to outperform traditional carbon prepreg construction (using sheets of carbon pre-impregnated with resin) by incorporating several types of fibre into each multidirectional braid.
Among these fibres is Dyneema... but what's so special about Time's use of Dyneema?
Well, “[it’s] 15x stronger than steel at the same weight, with a tensile strength up to 43 cN/dtex,” says Time. Added to that, it's “so light that it floats on water and furthermore has a very high modulus (resistance against deformation)”.
“Dyneema has been making headlines in the cycling news for a few years now, but to date very few manufacturers have been able to incorporate this advanced material in their products,” Time notes.
The brand reckons this is due largely to prepreg carbon construction, with bike manufacturers being restricted to the common fibres offered by large carbon suppliers. “In addition, the high temperatures used for curing prepreg frames is above the recommended maximum for Dyneema fibres,” Time says. “The tight profitability of commodities dictates that unique or expensive products that are not in wide demand are simply not worth producing.”
As it weaves its own braided carbon structures (BCS) Time says it has been able to test strands of sustainable bio-based Dyneema fibres since they first became available from DSM. The use of its unique Resin Transfer Molding process, which works at a lower temperature to prepreg, also enables Time to incorporate bio-based Dyneema into the frame.
The Resin Transfer Moulding is the technique Time also uses to minimise defects in the frame structure.
“By laying up dry fibres and then injecting resin at high pressure between rigid external and internal molds, air pockets and voids are eliminated.
“Unlike the industry-standard prepreg layup and air bag moulding, RTM quality is uniform and consistent yielding a beautiful near-finished product.”
As well as using Dyneema, ADHX also uses Time’s Braided Carbon Structures (BCS).
“Braided Carbon Structure is the weaving of dry fibres into complex bi-directional ‘socks’,” Time explains. “These tubes of fibre are easy to tune with different materials.” Time says it currently choses from 16 filaments for tailoring the layups.
“This process also allows something that is unheard of in the cycling world; continuous fibres that run the full length of a structure,” Time claims. “With standard prepreg layup, fibres end where the sheets do, creating inherent weaknesses.”
Time certainly aims to be at the forefront of carbon fibre manufacturing with its exclusive technologies, but now let’s take a look at the other aspects of the ADHX...
It is designed to fit about 40mm tyres depending on rim and tyre choice. “This offers the optimal balance of speed, low weight and broad tire selection,” says Time.
To add some carrying capacity, the ADHX has a top tube mount for compatibility with bags which have easy access while riding.
Compatibility with both single and double chainring drivetrains doesn’t leave exposed frame holes or an empty derailleur mount, thanks to Time’s Single Cover for 1x setups.
With 20 times the fatigue life of steel or alloy, Time says it uses forged carbon where others spec heavier aluminum parts. “A 60% fibre content allows drilling and threading without cracking, processes that are much more challenging with prepreg construction,” Time explains.
Time says the size small (unpainted) frame weighs in at 1025g.
It is priced at £3,149.