Exept R&D Approach

We abandoned old-fashioned tube-to-tube frame connection methods in our approach to research and development and instead introduced technology and engineering in their place.

We draw from aerospace and automotive technologies, which afford us greater freedom to design more complex shapes focused on performance while at the same time maximizing the structural properties unique to carbon fiber.

Our aim is to fully exploit the performance potential of carbon fiber while at the same time to allow for total customization freedom.

Step 1

Design

Our frame design takes advantage of the monocoque structure, which we construct according to parameters defined by advanced engineering and technology. To achieve this, we adopted CATIA as our Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program, which is more commonly used in the automotive industry, given its demand for more complex and structurally sound carbon fiber shapes.

We are free to focus more deeply on the performance.

By designing a bike with the sophisticated tools typically afforded to aerospace and automotive, we are free to focus more on the performance characteristics and performance features of our frame design.

Step 2

Simulation

Simulation testing for carbon fiber bicycle frames should ideally be an imitation of real-world applications over time to verify and validate design and material configurations and their performance behaviors.

We use two programs for simulation testing: Femap with NX Nastran to conduct finite element (FE) analyses, and Laminate Tools to define carbon fiber layups. We run a wide range of checks in Femap with NX Nastran, such as comparing tube cross sections to see which one yields the best frame stiffness. In order to conduct a structural analysis based on the carbon fiber layup, we define a layup in Laminate Tools and import that data into our FE analysis. The analysis would identify for example, which bottom bracket layup is the stiffest, or which seatstay layup would give the most comfort to the rider.

The greatest advantage we’ve found in our simulation testing is the ability to minutely determine the optimal carbon fiber layup for its intended purpose and above all, to tailor it to each customer’s riding style and customization demands.

Each customer-specified ride has its very own ply book based on the rider’s unique riding style and bike fit.

All this carbon fiber simulation firepower has a second task, which is to make sure that the analyses’ results can actually be produced and transformed into a bike. Simulation testing gives us the ply book, which is the production manual that details how to cut the carbon fiber pieces and where to lay them up to meet performance parameters defined in simulation. Each customer-specified ride has its very own ply book based on the rider’s unique riding style and bike fit.

Step 3

Production

Our production process is at the core of EXEPT, it’s what sets us apart from other custom builders. We invented and patented a process that allows us to create a custom monocoque frame through a set of variable molds. Thanks to this variability we can adjust the geometry of your ride to fit you precisely. First we measure and trim carbon fiber tubes according to data gathered during bike fitting. Next we connect the frame inside patented molds to produce a monocoque structure.

We can adjust the geometry of your ride to fit you precisely.

This way we can both rely on the performance characteristics of monocoque in a sophisticated performance frame design, and offer our customers the possibility to shape their frame according to their geometry and riding style.

Tube lay-up and connection lay-up are tailored to each customer’s unique requirements, thus ensuring that the bike rides as desired and is best suited to each individual’s riding style.

Step 4

Testing

Most artisanal custom frames rely on testing and verification that are subject to the eye of the frame builder. Instead we rely on rigorous industry benchmark testing for our custom rides. The baseline for our lab testing is the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) protocol, to which we’ve added an extra safety margin. Performance testing is done on the road by our test pilots and in collaboration with the famous Zedler Institute in Germany.

We benchmark our frames in terms of safety and performance.

Thorough testing procedures are topped off by an established, in-house real-life protocol, which — among other checks — tests the frame’s finish its resistance to ultraviolet radiation and abrasion, or how the frame reacts if the seat clamp is over-tightened. We benchmark our frames in terms of safety and performance against only the best of our rivals in the category of performance carbon fiber frames. Once our frames have been tested during production, we don’t stop there.

Testing continues post-production to guarantee consistent quality both during the manufacturing process and after the complete frame has left the production line.

Step 5

Riding style

Riding styles differ as much as color preferences do. Some riders race, some race for fun, some ride for fun and others just ride. For us a true custom bike reflects the riding style of its owner.

Each EXEPT road ride is offered in either race or endurance configurations. Each riding style is reflected in three points:

Fit

We precisely calculate your fit to the mm and customize the frame’s reach and stack accordingly. We can either process your existing bike fit data or we can calculate your ideal fit based on your body measurements. In order to do so, and in collaboration with our friends at Fit4Bike in Bilbao, Spain and our local Italian artisan frame builder, Fante, we have developed a system that calculates each frame’s ideal race or endurance reach and stack using desired body angles.

Ride character

Based on each individual reach and stack result, we define the rest of the frame’s geometry, such as tube angles, fork trail, and chainstay length in order to achieve either a lively race bike or a balanced endurance bike.

Build kit

We finish off the riding style with dedicated components. Saddle, bar tape and tire width options are prompted by the chosen riding style. Stem and crank length are calculated for the best fit.