Watch in 3D how this Ghost Lector may be the first production mountain bike off Rein4ced’s unique steel-reinforced carbon production line in Belgium later this year! Belgian composite materials technology startup Rein4ced has partnered with Ghost’s Dutch parent Accell Group, and has promised to deliver European-made carbon mountain bike hardtails by the middle of 2020…
Accell/Ghost + Rein4ced carbon frame production in Belgium
We’ve been following Belgian carbon composites startup Rein4ced for a few years now. They’ve developed a unique automated method of manufacturing carbon bikes with a lattice of thin steel fibers embedded inside, that they say makes their bikes almost unbreakable.
Originally developed to eliminate the catastrophic failure mode that carbon typical see in a crash (and more mimic a steel bike failure mode), the automated process has also resulted in labor efficiency that can provide competitive pricing to Taiwanese-made frames.
The latest generation of their automated carbon+steel matrix is called Feather, as well as featuring unique thermoplastic composite resins. They’ve been shopping themselves as a potential European contract manufactured with this prototype carbon road bike since at least early last summer.
And now when Rein4ced was showing it off at the Velofollies bike show in Kortrijk last week, they were also displaying a yellow prototype of the Ghost Lector featuring their reinforced construction. We first spotted the latest Ghost Lector prototype in camouflage wrap last summer before it saw an official release later in the autumn.
Together, the Accell Group and Rein4ced recently released a statement solidifying their partnership:
Today Accell Group and REIN4CED announced their collaboration on the automated production of high-end carbon fiber bicycle frames for Accell. Mid 2020 the first hardtail mountain bikes with the new technology for Accell’s brand Ghost will be available in Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Czech [sic]. REIN4CED set up a brand new automated manufacturing facility in Belgium. With the production shift from Asia to Belgium, Accell benefits from significant logistic and sustainability advantages as well as increased supply chain flexibility and efficiency. Local manufacturing in Europe drastically reduces overseas shipments and storage, resulting in a positive contribution to CO2 emission, faster deliveries and cost savings.
CEO Accell Group Ton Anbeek: “This collaboration matches Accell Group’s global innovation strategy and ambition to increase sustainability in its products. With enhanced durability and safety through local production and maximum performance for our cyclists with the new FEATHER technology. In two words: this innovation is smart and green”.
Rein4ced says they already have had the first bikes roll off their state-of-the-art automated production line in Winksele, Belgium late last year. And they are geared up to be able to produce 200,000 frames in the facility in 2020 (not just for Ghost). CEO of Rein4ced Michaël Callens says, “Our hybrid carbon-and-steel fiber composite will deliver the confidence that cyclists deserve in high-end composite bicycle frames. The FEATHER material combines the stiffness and lightweight characteristics of carbon with the toughness of steel”.
What does that mean for Accell Group & North America?
Besides European carbon production… in other, related Accell Group news, the cycling industry giant has repositioned itself quite a bit to move away from traditional North American brands. Effectively, selling off all of their US-based brands since they weren’t profitable (i.e. Diamondback & Redline), Accell has establishing an exclusive 2-year US distribution deal with private equity firm Regent LP (who also acquired Mavic last July) to bring Raleigh, Haibike & Ghost to American buyers. So US buyers can expect to see some more Euro-brand bikes making their way stateside starting in 2020.