What is FACT? Otherwise known as Functional Advanced Composite Technology, FACT represents our holistic approach to working with composites. Like any project at Specialized, FACT bikes 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 , 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 for the target rider.
STEP 1: Riders needs
Guided by the needs of the rider experience— Competitive Road, Triathlon, CX, etc.—we determine best combination of properties—including stiffness, compliance, strength, and weight—for each product.
STEP 2: DESIGN
Innovation and optimisation. 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 fibres, resins, and weaves for each bike. Just as important as the carbon we select is the fibre 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 down tube, bottom bracket, and top tube utilise a higher mixture of E390 high modulus carbon fibre, which is stiffer to prevent torsional flex for better power transfer. This area uses mostly 0-degree angle fibres to make it very stiff.
STEP 4: FABRICATION PROCESSES
We create the carbon layup for each bike, choose the appropriate manufacturing method, and bake the finished frame. For example, the Roubaix frame has seatstays constructed from E240, a lower modulus but higher tensile strength carbon that allows the stays to flex and absorb vibration, but remain strong over the life of the bike. These fibres are mainly orientated in 45-degree angles to allow vertical compliance, but maintain torsional stiffness.
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 on the road and trail. We lab-test frame prototypes at all load points, ride test them with our pros, then make multiple iterations until we're satisfied.