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The Unbreakable Carbon Bicycle Frame Is Coming

REIN4CED and Dieffenbacher are collaborating to accelerate large-scale production of thermoplastic carbon bicycle frames that, they say, are unbreakable.

Stephen Moore

February 9, 2024

2 Min Read
Dieffenbacher's Fibercon system
Image courtesy of Dieffenbacher

At a Glance

  • Conventional carbon composites used in high-end bikes are light, strong, and stiff, but brittle
  • REIN4CED’s solution is to strategically incorporate small quantities of steel fibers
  • Dieffenbacher furnishes the hardware for tape-laying and part consolidation

A shared vision for using thermoplastic manufacturing to produce more durable and sustainable carbon bicycle frames has led Dieffenbacher, the Germany-based manufacturer of turnkey composite systems, and REIN4CED, the Belgian developer of a new, patented impact-resistant composite material, to announce a strategic partnership. Traditional carbon used in high-end bicycle frames is light, strong, and stiff, but highly impact-sensitive. REIN4CED resolved brittle fracture issues by adding small amounts of steel fibers to specific locations inside the carbon material.

“The partnership with our longtime supplier Dieffenbacher seeks to make thermoplastic manufacturing the go-to method for producing unbreakable carbon bicycle frames,” says REIN4CED CEO Johan Miermans. “Together, we’ll accelerate and enhance process efficiency, robustness, and flexibility to move toward our shared vision,” states CTO Michaël Callens.

Combined tape-laying and consolidation solution

REIN4CED’s ongoing cooperation with Dieffenbacher resulted in the world’s first serial production line for thermoplastic bicycle frames based on Dieffenbacher’s Tailored Blank Line, which consists of the Fiberforge tape-laying system and the Fibercon consolidation system.

Dieffenbacher's Fiberforge is the fastest unidirectional (UD) tape-laying system in the world. The Fibercon system consolidates the continuous fiber-reinforced tape layups into near-net-shape laminates with excellent quality. Fiberforge and Fibercon can be used to manufacture structural composite components or to provide local reinforcements. This provides components with excellent deflection behavior, strength, and impact resistance, all essential properties of bicycle frames.


“REIN4CED’s feedback provides valuable insights into how our technology is used and its potential for further development,” says Georg Obermaier, who leads Dieffenbacher’s forming business. “In the form of further product developments and process improvements, this will ultimately benefit all our partners and customers.”

Press systems for auto, aerospace, and more

Dieffenbacher is a leading manufacturer of press systems and complete production plants for the forming industry. The company helps manufacturers produce complex and robust composite components used in the automotive, aerospace, e-mobility, and lightweight construction industries. The sports and leisure industry, which includes bicycle frame manufacturers, is another growing market for the composite components produced using Dieffenbacher technology.  

“Long-term, trusting partnerships with our customers are one of our core values and the basis of our entrepreneurial success,” says Dieffenbacher CEO Christian Dieffenbacher. Obermaier explains that partnerships like the one with REIN4CED help Dieffenbacher advance technology innovation across its customer base. “The bicycle frame project is an ideal example of a cooperation that benefits both parties but can also help move the forming industry ahead,” he says.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Moore

Stephen has been with PlasticsToday and its preceding publications Modern Plastics and Injection Molding since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and a proud dachshund owner.

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