Yeehaw. Carbondale, Colorado-based Revel Bikes has had an affinity for the West that runs through some of their model names, like the Ranger and El Jefe, coupled with carbon fiber technologies like their FusionFiber wheels. Now, Revel has released details on a bike that incorporates both.
The Rodeo is a prototype downhill bike that Revel says is the world’s first fully 3D-printed carbon fiber downhill bike; a passion project of Revel’s founders and engineers. It was manufactured in partnership with Arevo Inc., a 3D printing “pioneer.”
Revel says that through their FusionFiber journey, they discovered the potential of the Rodeo. The idea then came as Adam Miller, founder of Revel, and Chris Canfield, the inventor of Canfield Balance Formula (Revel’s suspension platform), were waiting for the rain to pass before a ride. Then, the brand was introduced to Arevo Inc., which had already used its 3D printing tech to bring a bike to market. When Revel realized it could use the tech to develop one of their own frames, they sought to create a 3D printed downhill frame. Revel senior engineer Jordan Haffener worked with Arevo at their Silicon Valley facility to develop “dozens” of prototypes before they found one worthy of undertaking the rigors of a downhill trail and the stresses placed on a frame.
Revel chose to start with a downhill bike to learn more about the R&D process with Arevo’s tech and to make it more efficient for potential future large-scale production of other models. Downhill bikes are also a good starting point, since the brand doesn’t have to be as mindful of weight considerations, says Revel.
For now, the Rodeo is just a concept, but “it serves as an example of conviction, innovation, and what is possible with current technology and what could be a reality in the future.” Of course, if the technology does prove itself over time, it may have an impact on reducing the amount of bikes that are produced overseas and “the ramifications could mean incredibly improved prototyping and development processes for bike brands, safer conditions in production facilities, significant environmental benefits, and greater customization for the rider at better costs.”
Revel notes that in its current state the process is far too expensive and unrealistic to bring the Rodeo to production, but with the rise of 3D printing, Revel had to try out Arevo’s latest technology and see how it could potentially be used for the future.