Italy's Olympia Bikes has secured a U.S. Importer for their new 949 cross-country 29er race bike. Stage Race Distribution will be representing the bikes that will range from $4435 to $7499.
Here is the company's news release...
In the world of bike racing, numbers have always had a strong appeal and evoke famous tracks and high technology. At Expobici Padova, Olympia presented the model 949 that, in truth, is inspired by the target-weight of its new XC 29er frame: a small jewel 100% Made in Italy, really hi-tech.
It is 100% Made in Italy (nowadays this is not so common) and its name is 949. The 949, a peculiar name, a number easy to remember, a weight not easy to reach: in facts, 949 is the target-weight of the new XC frame by Olympia, for a bike that, in its super-top configuration, must weigh less than 8kg. And if you think that we are talking about a 29”.
From a design point of view, the new 949 features very linear shapes with a minimal design, studied to guarantee the maximum lightness and a “super racing” configuration, oriented to the maximum competition in XC. A piece that, in its racing trim, features a rigid DT fork, just to make things clear.
The manufacturing process of the new Olympia frame is instead much more complex.
The 949 is 100% Made in Italy, made monocoque in one seamless mould using the so-called “vacuum bag” technique. It differs from that made in Taiwan because is made in autoclave and, as far as we know, there are no suppliers from the Far East that makes products with this procedure. The “vacuum bag” technique pumps air inside the frame mould (which is indeed sealed in a bag). In this way, the pressure on the mould’s external walls is no longer balanced and creates the vacuum. The air thrust (up to 6 bars) compresses against the mould’s walls the various layers of carbon fibre. By doing so, the resin in excess (i.e. the resin that glues the composite fabrics between them) spills out along with the air bubbles. Then the bag is put in the autoclave for the polymerization cycle. This is performed in two steps: heating and pressure. A first heating makes the remaining resin more fluid, so that it fills the gaps between the fibres, eliminating any empty space. A further increase of the temperature causes the resin template to harden, thus obtaining the final consolidation of the structure. The ensuing pressure cycle further increases the thrust on the layers of fibre. Then the piece is gradually cooled to prevent internal stresses.
The benefits? A structure super-compact in all its sections is a structure that reacts to stresses better. The frame is lighter (less air + less impregnating agent = less weight). We must point out that the resin template has no mechanical strength tasks: its sole purpose is to guarantee the cohesion between the fibres of the same layer and between adjacent layers. So, after the “vacuum bag”, the structure’s mechanical characteristics remain the same. Finally, the entire process is computer-controlled, i.e. absolutely verifiable and checked.
From a point of view of the material, the new 949 uses three different types of fibres carbon, strategically placed in function of the various sections of the frame. We use UD M30 fabric to provide longitudinal strength, T700 multi-axial fabric to improve torsional strength, and Kevlar/Carbon fabric (twill) to best absorb vibrations. The 949 is available in the sizes S – M – L and in the Carbon colours with Silver finishing.