I previously talked about how Moots uses their onsite CAD designer and CNC machines to make custom aluminum jigs for frame building, like these:
(that one used for bending a tube) and these:
But…it’s not just aluminum that they CNC. They also make parts from titanium on the CNC machine. Some parts are made from DOM tubing, and some parts are made from solid blocks of Ti.
For example, these 44mm head tubes are CNC’d at Moots, starting out as one thicker, substantially heavier piece of tubing.
Here, you can see the original hunk of tubing, before being CNC’d down to the svelte head tube. The CNC process reduces weight by about two-thirds.
By doing the head-tube manufacturing on-site, Moots can do custom geometry from an itty-bitty bike for someone with…ahem…low clearance, up to incredibly huge head tubes on bikes for NBA all-stars.
That head tube is just as big as it looks. It was MASSIVE.
They also use the CNC to cut threads into the bottom brackets on english threaded BBs.
Solid block of Ti on the left, neatly CNC’d finished product on the right.
Here, you can see a CNC machine doing three separate operations on three sets of parts in various stages of completion.
The end result is not only finished products, but also piles and piles of Ti shavings, which are duly recycled.
Hey, don’t look over there. That’s just the custom, long-tail, 29+ Moots trail-building bike, freshly back from being loaned out to a trail advocacy group for actual use in building mountain bike trails. That has nothing to do with CNC. Oh, wait–there’s a CNC machine in the background. Carry on.
Clamp in progress:
Seriously. Walking the shop floor after hours was like being in an art installation.
E-gads the bikes.
They have the in-house capacity to design, test and build the parts…and the parts that make the parts. The gents we spoke with were talking about some of the recent bikes they’ve built, where they prototyped changes in tubing angles by 1/2 degree at a time, or where they’d change the bend in the down tube ever so slightly, and prototype over and over and over again. Moots has all of the prototyping capacities of the biggest manufacturers out there…and then they immediately translate the prototype into a finished product, once it’s perfect.
Seriously. It’s pretty damn impressive.
The whole Moots Series: