Flexible Hybrid Composite Rear for MTB Frames

The goal of FlexiFrame is the development of a new, driver individual bicycle frame design including an efficient process technology.

Hardtail or Fully (full-suspension-bike) is the crucial question in the cross-country and marathon mountain bike sector. Owing to the rigid rear end, hardtails are stiffer and at the same time lighter, whilst the rear suspension of a Fully provides comfort, downhill performance and traction. The FlexiFrame project targets a combination of the advantages of both frame designs. For this purpose, a flexible rear end is developed without bearings and spring-damper elements. Basis for this frame design is a newly developed hybrid laminate, which is a combination of carbon fiber reinforced layers and elastomer layers. The design enables the assigning of directional stiffness to the flexible rear end, which on the one hand will absorb vibrations and shocks to compensate bumps, and on the other hand maintain a direct driving experience. To ensure that the frame can still be adjusted to the driver, a highly flexible and fully automated process for driver-specific production is being developed. Therefore, a tape laying head for towpregs and a molding tool have to be designed. This process shall facilitate the production of hybrid laminate preforms for hollow components with small radii and strong curvatures.

Field of competence

Industry sectors

Project status

  • Current



Torsten Heydt

Scientific Staff Design of Composite Structures

Telephone: +49 631 2017 209


Room: 58/229


Tim Schmidt

Scientific Staff Impregnation & Preform Technologies

Telephone: +49 631 31607 32



The project FlexiFrame – Highly flexible hybrid composite rear for individual mountain bike frames; Design and process development for an individual mountain bike frame is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag (funding reference ZF4052316RE7).