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EB15: THM’s High Tech Penny Farthing, plus Boost M3 cranks and a Road Disc Prototype Fork

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THM_Concept-1865_BASF_prototype-project-carbon-penny-farthing-e-bike_complete

THM worked with plastics specialists BASF over the past couple of years to develop the most technologically advanced Ordinary Bicycle we’ve ever seen. The Concept 1865 was a project to look at how modern materials would have shaped the development of the bicycle, had they been available 150 years ago at BASF’s founding. The 150th anniversary project brings BASF’s e-velocipede concept to reality.

Back on this planet THM have also refined their ultra-light Clavicula M3 mountain crankset by adding a bunch of new modular spiders from triples all the way down to XX1 versions with Boost chainlines. And not to be left out they had a prototype disc-brake road fork hanging on the prototype front triangle of AX Lightness’ forthcoming disc road bike.

Jump across the fold for some detail pics of the 1865, the full details and pricing on the M3s, and a first look at the upcoming Scapula Orbis fork…

THM_Concept-1865_BASF_prototype-project-carbon-penny-farthing-e-bike_rear-details THM_Concept-1865_BASF_prototype-project-carbon-penny-farthing-e-bike_front-details THM_Concept-1865_BASF_prototype-project-carbon-penny-farthing-e-bike_fork-detail

The concept bike was developed using a BASF Ultramid plastic rear wheel holding an electric motor and a unique carbon-spoked front wheel developed by THM. The frame and fork get integrated LED lighting throughout, and the saddle holds both the battery and some storage. The custom made tires use more BASF plastics with an expanded Infinergy polyurethane foam for shock absorption and an Elastollan polyurethane elastomer tread. It didn’t look rideable, but we were reassured it was, if you could afford it. In the end it was THM who built the custom carbon frame, fork, and big front wheel for the prototype. They told us that just 2 working bikes were built making the cost of each one well over €50,000 (just for their involvement), so don’t worry carbon e-penny farthings aren’t likely to be a trail access problem any time soon.

THM_Clavicula-M3_carbon-mountain-bike-crankset_direct-mount-30T-narrow-wide-chainring_complete THM_Clavicula-M3_carbon-mountain-bike-crankset_direct-mount-30T-narrow-wide-chainring_integrated-spider-detail THM_Clavicula-M3_carbon-mountain-bike-crankset_direct-mount-30T-narrow-wide-chainring_backside

Back to reality and something we as cyclists were actually happy to see, THM has worked to make their modular Clavicula M3 MTB crankset even more adaptable this year. That means that they have adopted single ring setups and tuned some of their spiders for Boost chainlines. The 397g, 740€ base carbon crankset pairs with any of seven different spider options, one of which is this Direct Mount machined 30T narrow-wide machined chainring that adds just 55g to the crank. No pricing was available yet for the single ring.

THM_Clavicula-M3_carbon-mountain-bike-crankset_modular-104BCD-triple-spider THM_Clavicula-M3_carbon-mountain-bike-crankset_modular-120-80BCD-SRAM-double-spider THM_Clavicula-M3_carbon-mountain-bike-crankset_modular-104-single-Boost-spider THM_Clavicula-M3_carbon-mountain-bike-crankset_modular-XX1-Boost-spider

To add to the ring, THM now offers a 104BCD triple (42g), SRAM 120BCD double (48g), standard 104BCD double (39g), 104 Boost single (37g), and XX1 spiders in Boost (29g) and standard (30g) versions. All of the machined spiders sell for 110€, and even the XX1 spiders get a design that integrates smoothly with the base M3 crank arm aesthetics.

THM_Scapula-Orbis_prototype-road-disc-fork_12mm-thru-axle_flat-mount-dsic-brake THM_Scapula-Orbis_prototype-road-disc-fork_12mm-thru-axle_flat-mount-dsic-brake_dropout

The ‘under progress’ road disc fork prototype looks to be close to production ready, and will likely become available at the same time AX Lightness announces their road/gravel disc-brake bike in the near future. The pairing of the THM fork and AX front triangle could be found in both companies’ booths at Eurobike. The full carbon Scapula Orbis fork has a claimed weight of just 285g, and will come with a 200mm long 1.25-1.125″ tapered steerer. It was designed to offer exceptionally high lateral stiffness and very high front-to-back comfort. The legs get a somewhat aero optimized shape, and a flat mount 140mm compatible dic brake mount. The axle standard looks like it will be a 12mm thru-axle. No tire was mounted, so we aren’t too sure about tire clearance, but a quick measurement suggested that 28s may be the maximum. Scapula Orbis availability is officially pegged at summer 2016 with an expected retail price of €940

THM-Carbones.com

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fergus
fergus
7 years ago

That sure is a waste of 50,000. Looks horrible and isnt even a proper size penny farthing, why not make something of an original shape and dynamic. If they had all those high end materials in the past they surely would also have gear and chain technology i.e. no need for the penny farthing design.
Should have gave that cash to that Graeme Obree chap he would have made something interesting not just old ideas rehashed in plastic.

RickyBob
RickyBob
7 years ago

Yeah, Kinda cool. I guess. But a waste of money and not relevant to any aspect of our sport. Outside of the circus of course.

Jeff McClintock
Jeff McClintock
11 months ago
Reply to  RickyBob

People do race penny farthings you know! See evandalevillagefair.com.

Velo
Velo
7 years ago

I think it’s cool. How much does it weigh?

Dub
Dub
7 years ago

Or, you know, they could be trying to apply different modern materials to the parts we make today. Something about technological progression, or something like that.

Joe
Joe
7 years ago

Cut the BS, dudes. It’s an art and design piece. I’m sure the engineers involved had a good time designing something out of the box rather than painstakingly seeking marginal gains in crankset and fork design.

Padrote
Padrote
7 years ago

you could make a literal clown bike out of carbon and people would still take it too seriously.

Stravarious
Stravarious
7 years ago

They lost a lot of pennies in blowing €100K just to show BASF/THM manufacturing ability in carbon & plastic.

evolvo
evolvo
7 years ago

1) Mistake embrocation for mustache wax!
2) “I’ll build an extraordinary ordinary!”
3) ????
4) Profit, old chap!

PsiSquared
PsiSquared
7 years ago

Someone probably should have told THM not to spend that €100,000 that belonged to THM like THM wanted. Instead they should have spent it in a way that blog commenters approved of.

Mike A
Mike A
7 years ago

OK guys, quit being so serious and lighten up a bit. Just because its silly doesn’t mean it isn’t cool. Sometimes art for art’s sake is cool.

Matthew
Matthew
7 years ago

I don’t think research is a waste of money.

Imnotacyclist
Imnotacyclist
7 years ago

That bike reminds me of Strida

Gazhopper
7 years ago

First I’ve heard from BASF since I stopped buying blank cassettes in the early 90’s..

Dex
Dex
7 years ago

It would have been cooler to take the 100k and throw it on the show room floor like confetti and watch the carnage that ensues.

Jack
Jack
7 years ago

Props to BASF and THM for building something we haven’t seen before… This is a whole lot less money than goes into a concept car at a big auto show.

Having wrestled with some Spinergy bladed wheels back in the 90’s however – I do wonder how much that mega wheel would push in a cross-wind!

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