Leggero 2016 Detail

HANDMADE HAS A NEW FAST

The new Leggero and Leggero SL

Leggero 2016 in white blue

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Leggero SL R&D version

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Let's start with the carbon...

 

Not all carbon is created equal. Imagine two cooks in a kitchen with both having access to the same ingredients but only one knows how to blend the them in the best possible way. The same is true for a carbon frame. A single carbon tube is actually made up of thousands of layers. The Leggero and Leggero SL use our most sophisticated carbon. Our carbon tubes are made for us using three different types of carbon within each layer. We use three types per layer to provide unique properties: unidirectional carbon fibre (for strength), high modulus carbon fibre (to add stiffness) and ultra high modulus carbon (adds both strength and stiffness whilst being lighter than the previous two, but would be too stiff if used alone). The tube is wrapped in 1k weave for impact protection and toughness.

 

Blended with nano particles

 

The fibres in our carbon are bound together with resins featuring nano particles. Construction using nano particles requires less resin, resulting in an overall frame weight reduction. Since nano resin's microscopic particles are elongated rather than round, the bond between resin and fibre is stronger due to the increased surface area that the nano particles have with the carbon fibre.

 

Raw frame in the Condor factory

 

Test tested page break
Kristian House on Leggero SL Ed Clancy and the new Condor Leggero
The myth of modulus

High modulus has often been used to describe how light and strong a bicycle frame is. Often stiffness and strength are used interchangeably. But neither stiffness nor lightness address the key characteristic: comfort. Strength is the amount of force applied to a material before it breaks. Stiffness is the amount by which a material deforms when force is applied.

Thomas Young developed Young's Modulus in 1807. It is an engineering term and it classifies the stiffness of a material and is where the term 'high modulus' originates. A rubber band has high strength because it can be stretched out of shape but is difficult to break. It is not stiff because just a tiny amount of force will deform it.

A plastic school ruler, however, is much stiffer as it requires more force to bend it out of shape. However, the strength of the ruler is lower. When force is applied in the right place it snaps and cannot return to shape.


Real world testing

Choosing the right material for a bike is not just about selecting the stiffest frame or the frame that performs best in a lab test. Ultimately, it must be a pleasure to ride and to race. We use real world testing with our athletes to design high performance frames with the right fibres in the right places. The aim is to create something that is smooth on harsh cobbles and dampens fatigue-inducing road buzz.

Kristian House on the Leggero SL at the Tour of Britain
Aerodynamics page break

The Kamm-tail tube and seat post creates an improved aerodynamic flow, saving precious rider watts.

“Aero drag is 80-90% of the overall resistance affecting a rider on flatter roads and routes", explains JLT Condor pro rider, Ed Clancy. "In a 4km pursuit, 2% of power is spent overcoming drivetrain friction, 5% rolling resistance, 7% kinetic energy (change in acceleration), and 86% aerodynamic drag. That’s on a flat, windless velodrome, with high acceleration at the standing start. Imagine the effect of drag on the bike and rider outside."

 

Wunibald Kamm

 

Born in Basel in 1893, Kamm was an aerodynamicist, engineer and designer. He is best known for his research into drag and his breakthrough in reducing car turbulence at high speeds. The shape he created has come to be known as the Kamm-tail.

 

Beat the wind with the new Leggero

 

Utilising aerodynamic principles, key tubes of the Leggero have been remodelled to reduce drag and put every watt a rider can create towards demolishing the competition. The Kamm-tail tube and seat post creates an improved aerodynamic flow, saving precious rider watts. The trailing edge of a tear-drop shape is sliced off at an optimal point, leaving a profile as aerodynamic as a tear-drop but with a weight saving from removing excess material. The deeper and flatter rear stays allow a smoother flow of turbulent air around the rear of the bike compared with round stays.

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 Leggero kamm-tail tube

Leggero SL is featherlite

On climbs steeper than 5%, that is when weight becomes a more important factor than drag.

Leggero SL slimline rear stays

Weighing in at just under 850g per frame (55cm), the Leggero SL "super-light" is the lightest frame in the Condor range. The frame is constructed from the same carbon fibre as the new Leggero and bonded with nano resins.
We adjust where and how we use each type of fibre to create a superbly light frame.

The tube shapes of the SL are different to that of the new aero-focused Leggero. The thinner rear stays and a round seat tube are optimised for low weight. 
The higher modulus material when paired with elongated nano resins has an increased fibre-to-resin ratio, which allows us to design frames using thin-walled tubing without sacrificing strength.

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