Frace F160

If you are the type of biker that values a bike’s appearance as much as its performance and durability, the Frace F160 might be the bike for you. The F160, carved from a single massive block of aluminum, is without a doubt one of the most distinctive and beautiful motorcycles introduced in recent years. We’ll learn about the inner workings of this futuristic work of art in this post.

The evolution of the Frace F160

For numerous years, Bernd Iwanow, the engineer who built this bike, spent his days producing CNC components for the automotive industry through his company CNC Future Technic. A local bicycle company asked him to develop a folding electric bike that could fit in the trunk of a car for a small project. 

The concept came together quickly, but the bike manufacturer ran into financial difficulties, as it had done before, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. Iwanow, on the other hand, was so captivated by it that he decided, with a mix of defiance and desire, to design and build his own bike. It wasn’t for financial motives at first; he simply wanted to, and his company met all of the requirements, and Bernd Iwanow quickly determined the production procedure: the bike’s frame should be totally CNC-milled. 

This was a bold move on his part, considering very few milled mountain bikes have ever been entirely machined. In 1994, Cannondale debuted the futuristic CNC-machined V 4000. The magnificent project bike, created by engineering specialist Alex Pong to make the rivals look like unskilled backyard builders, remained a prototype. Adrian Summermatter of Switzerland presented a magnificent CNC-fully bike in 2014, but it quickly faded and vanished. 

However, when Iwanow discovered photographs of Summermatter’s ‘Ribisu’ on the internet, he was taken aback and determined that his bike would be similar to it. He also remarked that ‘even from ten meters away, it should be immediately obvious to everyone that the frame has been milled. That was important to me.

How is it produced?

The bike frame starts as a 70kg block of 7075 aluminum that quickly turns into the mainframe. It appears that a large amount of aluminum is lost in contrast to the ultimate result. 

On the other hand, the scrap material is recycled for other purposes. Eight distinct parts are machined and then joined together using titanium screws to produce the final bike.

It’s worth noting that Pole bikes also make milled aluminum frames, but these come in two parts that are glued together. Iwanow enlisted the help of cutting tools Ceratizit’s experts to help with this attempt. 

Because 7075 aluminum is not weldable and is relatively stiff, it is not common to use it in bicycle buildings. This allows Iwanow to create a latticework of holes on each tube without sacrificing its durability. 

Despite the fact that a large amount of aluminum is removed during the milling process, the finished product is not lightweight. The F160 weighs 16.3 kilograms (37 pounds), yet it is the most visually appealing.

Production Procedures

Step 1: The front triangle is refined after it is milled from the slab of 7075 aluminum.

Step 2: The machining groves are smoothed out even further.

Step 3: The stays are machined from the offcuts of the front triangle.

Step 4: Strength and fatigue tests are carried out.

After nearly two years of development and a few hiccups, Iwano’s Frace F160 was finally ready for mass production. The first challenge was building the little compartments for the frame. Though the structure itself was not complex, the machine would cut those pockets open. It was out-of-date technology that would require an awful lot of time. 

As a result, Iwanow’s Ceratizit representative advised him to use a trochoidal machining approach, including the CCR and milling cutter. As a result, the procedure and end product were both produced exceptionally quickly.

Furthermore, the cutting data left an indelible impression on the CNC specialist. “We’re running at a cutting speed of Vc 300 m/min and a feed speed of vf 2000 mm/min with a diameter of 6 mm; that’s pretty intense,” Iwanow marvels. 

He believes that the one-of-a-kind coating contributes to the high cutting values. Bernd Iwanow is especially pleased that this process is now much faster than it was previously. “With the CCR cutters, I save 40 minutes of pure machining time on the chainstay, which is enormous. When changing the machining of the seat stay to the CCR cutter, I expect a similarly positive result”. 

Bernd began constructing the concept in computer-aided design (CAD) and worked for several weeks with pro biker and test rider Fredrick Tobiasch. Fredrick was crucial in getting the Horst Link System up and running.

What makes the Frace F160 unique?

In addition to being totally CNC milled, the Frace F160 has a number of features that make it different from other mountain bikes. And here are some observations:

  • It is made from a 7075 aluminum block weighing 70kg.
  • The structure weighs 16.8 kg (37 pounds)
  • It has 27.5-inch wheels “in circumference
  • The seat has a 76-degree angle.
  • The head is at a 65.5-degree angle.
  • The reach is 455mm.
  • The chainstays are 440mm long.
  • The travel is 160mm in both directions.

The rear suspension on the F160 is a four-link system with no welding seams with outstanding maneuverability, toughness, and safety.

In conclusion

Iwanow would initially limit production to 30 bikes each year, with a frame costing €5000 and a complete bike costing around €7500. The price is high because of the tremendous amount of effort required to build the bike. 

In addition, Bernd Iwanow intends to construct the F160 on demand. Therefore, keep a lookout for Frace’s future releases. If you have always wanted something unique and if this is something you’ve always wanted to try, now is your chance. Make your order and be among the first few who will enjoy the Frace F160 bike.

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