IF THE RIGHT BIKE
YOU HAVE TO
MAKE IT YOURSELF.
Building a bike from scratch is not a simple task. We have used our unique composites knowledge to build the perfect tool for the job. A bike that offers ruthless speed, rapid acceleration and real innovation.
A bike that changes your holiday plans from seaside to mountain side. A bike that has you planning even longer routes to work. A bike built on enormous passion and detailed technical know-how.
Thirty years ago Marc wasn’t allowed a BMX bike, so he made his own. Aged just 9 years old, with his grandfather’s tools, he stripped down a rusty old barn-find to the last nut and bolt. With a bit of cold forging and some simple artistic flourishes, it was ready to hit the jumps. He was hooked on cycling and hooked on engineering.
A few hundred miles away, and a few years later, Andreas was fighting his way up a mountain pass; stamping on the pedals, swaying from side to side, fast running out of energy. His father told him to relax, to sit down, to save energy and to pedal smoothly. His old dad made it look so easy. A painful lesson in efficiency that he has never forgotten.
Jump to 2013, Marc and Andreas became design engineers at Caterham Composites, leaders in lightweight race engineering. The team were busy designing parts for motorsport, marine racing and aerospace, but talk naturally turned to cycling.
From Marc’s hand-me-down tools and Andreas’ pep-talk on efficiency, through all the combined enthusiasm, skills and experience of Caterham, it was the start of a gruelling 18-month journey
and it has been their most challenging ride yet; full of steep climbs, rough terrain and some incredible scenery.
Sketches were drawn. Midnight oil was burned. Pizza was eaten. Coffee and energy drinks were drunk. The pace of ideas generation was relentless, but the end product is the culmination of decades of composites lightweight experience and a true passion for cycling. We know that detail matters.
A EUROPEAN BIKE.
British heritage, Italian passion, German engineering.
Rebranding a blank frame is very tempting if you just want to make money. We decided to do things differently. We wanted a completely European bike, and quality had to be key. With this as a concept, the list of suppliers grew quickly.
The Campagnolo EPS system was a must. We think it is simply the best system money can buy. The frame was designed around it, not just bolted on.
Relationships with other suppliers were struck up after visiting the companies on our wish list.
They quickly realised our vision for the bikes, our passion for innovation and fresh-thinking and were excited to be a part of it. This often resulted in us being the first to use their newest components.
Our partners understood the enthusiasm and engineering expertise, lacking sometimes when car brands venture into the world of road bikes. They were all convinced very quickly that we were out to create the best bike possible. In a saturated bike market, we’ve proven that attention to detail can produce something outstanding.
The wait was agonising. But worth every second.
Turning sketches and ideas into factory-ready designs is our stock-in trade; but it never gets any easier. You can’t make something out of composites without first breaking an awful lot of the stuff and we’ve broken more than anyone. Our knowledge is unrivalled but this knowledge brings its own challenge – we examine every last detail to the Nth degree.
After many rounds of changes, more drawings, more coffee and more designs, we sent the first request to our UK based composites department.After a few minor adjustments, we took our first tentative ride around the car park. Thirty years of dreams and hard work, culminating in just a few turns of the pedals, before we sent it back for some more adjustments. The concept was proven.
All new consumer products have to pass stringent safety tests, but we’re used to making composite components that travel at 200 mph and more, under huge loads. When designing high-speed racing components, you soon get used to going way beyond the scope of official tests. So we decided to treat a few of our early bikes very badly indeed, over thousands of miles.
We tested frames to destruction under lab conditions and pushed them hard on some of the most difficult rides in Europe. Cranks strained under unforgiving riders on roads that most cyclists would actively avoid. All our bikes have been put through their paces, on the toughest roads and in extremes of weather. They all passed with flying Caterham colours.
CATERHAM ADVANCED LIGHTWEIGHT INNOVATION