Hampshire-based company Dassi Bikes is about to launch the first carbon moulded bike made entirely in the UK, and will be unveiling it at The London Bike Show this week.
Although other companies have designed frames or made elements of carbon bikes in the UK, most production then takes place overseas. Dassi says it's the first company to design, engineer, manufacture and assemble this type of bike entirely in Britain.
The company, which has already ignited global interest with bikes such as the Aero Road 6.2, is pushing its heritage and focus – and its ethos around bike design – under the banner #IndividuallyBritish.
Dassi has some distinct advantages when it comes to this approach. The first is its engineering pedigree, with founder and CEO Stuart Abbott moving into the bike industry from his previous role as an aerospace engineer with Rolls Royce.
Second, the company has close connections with Formula One in the UK, and has worked closely with leading racing engineers to perfect its framebuilding technique. Dassi also use Formula One grade carbon, and have their own production facility, creating carbon moulds for its frames rather than the standard alloy moulds used by most of the bike industry.
Carbon on carbon
According to Abbott, this carbon-on-carbon manufacturing technique has several specific advantages. Carbon and alloy expand at different rates, but carbon-on-carbon eliminates this variation for a less messy, far more precise process that also requires little post-production finishing (with hand operated sanders and grinders, for instance). All of this helps to eliminate human-influenced variation during production.
“We've aimed to innovate not just the production of the bike but the entire way [it's] brought to the end customer,” said Abbott. Criticising the existing 'broken' industry model, he added that manufacturers too often "start with a price point, margin and cost limit and build with that”.
The new mystery carbon bike will be unveiled at the London Bike Show at 5.45pm on Thursday 11th February
While the price of the new mystery bike is yet to be revealed, Dassi assures us it will be launching a frameset package that will compete with similar options from major brands such as a Pinarello, Cervélo and Specialized. That'll in part be down to a direct-sell approach.
The #IndividuallyBritish tag Dassi is using this week is meant to refer not only to the new bike, but also to its business model and customer service more generally. The company has a wide range of paint options, enabling customers to create their own individual look, and will create custom component specs based on a consultation to ensure the best setup for different riders' needs.
If you want to see the bike, you'll need to be at The London Bike Show for 5.45pm on Thursday 11 February. We've got a 10% discount off advanced adult tickets to the London Bike Show if you fancy going along – just enter the code 'BR1620' when registering at www.thelondonbikeshow.co.uk.