Guerrilla Gravity Improves Manufacturing Method for the Most Durable and Lightweight, High-performance Bikes
Guerrilla Gravity is a mountain bike manufacturing company based in Denver, Colorado. Its mission is to significantly improve mountain biking by building a community advocating for trail access, and creating innovative mountain bikes at democratized price points. Guerrilla Gravity’s most recent innovation is its Revved Carbon Technology, representing the most compelling combination of durable bikes that are also lightweight and high performance. Revved Carbon Technology combines a new bike frame material and a new patent-pending manufacturing method. The result is 300% more impact resistant than other frames on the market that use traditional carbon fiber materials, while maintaining equivalent weight and stiffness properties. “This new manufacturing method allows us to reduce labor times by over 80% compared to traditional carbon bike frame methods by introducing automated fiber placement techniques,” explains Will Montague, Co-Founder at Guerrilla Gravity.
To date, Guerrilla Gravity’s biggest challenge has been to scale production with increased demand. The manufacturing capacity has doubled year after year. The launch of Revved Carbon Technology brought an additional set of new challenges; pioneering a new material application and technology with no technology road map. With the risk of unknown problems arising, launch schedules were in jeopardy.
Altair OptiStruct™ Early in the Design Process
“Our philosophy is to develop the strongest frame possible for our chosen weight target,” notes Montague. Rather than waiting to use optimization late in the development cycle, Guerrilla Gravity was able to integrate OptiStruct into the initial design phase to arrive at a much more concise solution very early in the process. “Without Altair’s software we would have taken a more fundamentally basic approach to developing Revved Carbon Technology, such as iterating the carbon frame as black aluminum using isotropic material properties instead of jumping directly to 2D element orthotropic optimizations."
OptiStruct enabled Guerrilla Gravity to jump to a high-performance solution much quicker than a common iterative FEA process. The topology optimization capabilities allowed the designers to run multiple load cases and evaluate exactly where the plies were needed in the frame. This knowledge early on enabled Guerrilla Gravity to make critical decisions that influenced expensive manufacturing outcomes. Additionally, OptiStruct allowed the team to gain significant confidence going into physical testing; knowing that the frames had a high likelihood of passing the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards on the first try.