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Road to NAHBS 2015: Ventus Customs Reinvents

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Ventus Customs NAHBS 2015 junctions carbon
Mark Kargol of Ventus Customs has been a new builder to watch for several years now. For his debut NAHBS in 2012, he rolled up to the show with a gorgeous carbon and titanium frame fitted with an immaculately modified component kit. He followed that up in 2013 with stainless steel lugs that had been investment cast from 3D printed wax parts, a process that allowed him not only to control the angles of his tubes but also the surface detailing in the lugs. Mark loves process, and he loves to reinterpret traditional design themes through exploring opportunities in new fabrication processes. Be sure to quiz him at this show about the process for this year’s machine- you won’t be disappointed. Techy teasers after the jump.

BIKERUMOR: What are your main building materials?

Mark: Carbon Fiber over 3D printed high impact polystyrene. After curing the polystyrene is dissolved out leaving a carbon shell. The carbon tubes and lugs are then joined to make the frame.

Ventus Customs NAHBS 2015 HIPE

BIKERUMOR: What’s new with your company since NAHBS last year?

Mark: I took last year off from NAHBS due to my commitments with graduate school. I am finishing up my Master’s Degree in Industrial Design at Iowa State University this spring where I am the instructor for a class that is designing a campus bike share system from ground up. This will be a completely student designed project including the bike design, the locking mechanism and docking station design, and the software and check out system. The class has involved 11 different departments and over 100 students over the three semesters of the class, making this the largest interdisciplinary project in school history. With the continued interest in bicycle, and electric vehicles, by students, the Industrial Design department is planning to launch a series of sustainable transportation design projects.

BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds in that time?

Mark: Nothing killer, I have been working on my Master’s degree program which has consumed much of my time.

BIKERUMOR: What were some of your newer inspirations for recent bikes?

Mark: I have been exploring the aesthetics of bike design through history and how they affect the performance of the bike. Looking at the design and materiality of the bicycles and the resulting characteristics of the bicycle it is possible to begin to create a design matrix that will yield predictable outcomes with regard to performance of the bike. This combined with advanced manufacturing processes has led me to the bike for this year’s NAHBS.

Ventus Customs NAHBS 2015 frame

BIKERUMOR: What are you building this year that’ll draw a crowd?

Mark: The bike I am building has a striking design that uses a specially designed continuous top tube/seat stay to help reduce the transmission of road vibrations to the rider. There is significant evidence that constant vibrations from the road or other sources will cause diminished nerve activity thus resulting in less power output over a long ride. The bike is 100% carbon fiber composite.

Ventus Customs NAHBS 2015 stays carbon

BIKERUMOR: If you had to build a bike for a Kentucky Derby style race (think short, all out effort on deep, loose dirt), what would you build and why?

Mark: I would approach this build by looking at tire technology and designing around that. The bike would likely use a 29’r rim with a tire in the 700×34 or wider range. As for the frame I would use a compact frame design to keep things nice and stiff as and stiffen up the bottom bracket and chainstay area.

Ventus Customs NAHBS 2015 rendering

BIKERUMOR: Bourbon or beer?

Mark: When in Kentucky it’s gotta be Bourbon.

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mateo
mateo
8 years ago

I like the looks of that last pic!

Patrick McIntyre
8 years ago

Go Cyclones!!

Antoine
Antoine
8 years ago

wow that is such a nice progression. I’m really enthusiast on this work.

Dan
Dan
8 years ago

Am I the only one annoyed by the bourbon or beer question? Who gives a flying what they like to drink…asking “23c or 35c?” would be more telling of a builder.

Rico
Rico
8 years ago

I don’t drink much, but I like reading the answer for some reason. Honestly, I’d also like to know if my builder is religious or not. I’d bet atheists don’t do as many weird curves in the frames.

greg
greg
8 years ago

decoupling the seat tube from the top tube/seat stays isnt new, but the way he makes it look is absolutely fantastic.

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
8 years ago

I’d say the correlation coefficient for the artistic vs. atheism relationship is near zero.

Drew Diller
8 years ago

Psi Squared, thank you for putting that more succinctly than I would have.

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