Otherwise known as Functional Advanced Composite Technology, FACT represents our holistic approach to working with composites. Like any project at Specialized, FACT frames and equipment are based on the needs of the rider, then we apply critical disciplines to achieve the design targets that will best serve those rider needs: Design & Engineering, Material Selection, Fabrication Process, and Testing. What’s the result of the FACT process? Superior carbon bikes and equipment that deliver real-world performance benefits to the rider.
STEP 1: Riders needs
Guided by the needs of the rider experience (Competitive Road, Triathlon, CX, etc.) we determine the best combination of properties – including stiffness, compliance, strength, and weight – for each product.
Step 2: Design & Engineering
Innovation and optimization. This is where we dream up new technologies to make each bike the best of its breed. For example, the one-piece BB/chainstay design resists deflection under pedal loads for improved power transfer, and was an innovation born from this process.
STEP 3: MATERIAL SELECTION
Before manufacturing begins, we select the specific fibers, resins, and weaves for each bike. Just as important as the carbon we select is the fiber orientation or Layup Schedule Development (how the carbon is wrapped or placed on the frame). A good example is our S-Works Roubaix, where the downtube, bottom bracket, and toptube utilize a higher mixture of E390 high modulus carbon fiber, which is stiffer, to prevent bending flex for better power transfer. This area uses mostly zero-degree-angle fibers to make it very stiff.
STEP 4: FABRICATION PROCESSES
The most advanced materials in the world are nothing without proper construction and execution. By creating frames from multiple monocoque structures for the headtube/toptube/downtube, seat tube, seatstays, and one piece bottom bracket chainstay, the carbon fibers are able to run continuously from tube to tube, offering advantages in weight, stiffness, and strength.
STEP 5: TESTING
Testing is a crucial part of the FACT carbon development cycle. To be sure that our bikes live up to your (and our) expectations, all of our bikes undergo extensive testing in the lab, as well as on the road and trail. We lab-test frame prototypes at all load points, test ride them with our pros, then make multiple iterations until we’re satisfied. The results speak for themselves.