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Totally CNCed Pole Machine enduro bike now available for pre-order

Pole's new Machine has a bonded and CNC machined aluminum frame
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Earlier this fall we covered the latest news regarding Pole Bicycles’ forthcoming Machine. Originally planned for Chinese production in full carbon, Pole later announced they decided to construct their new super-enduro & DH bike entirely of CNC machined aluminum. Citing uneasiness with the environmental impacts of carbon fiber production, and a desire to build their frames closer to home, Pole will now fabricate the all-aluminum bike in Finland.

Pole Machine, CNC machinedalloy enduro mountain bike

Pole's new Machine has a bonded and CNC machined aluminum frame

At first, a machined aluminum frame seems like an evolutionary step backwards. But Pole’s chief engineer Leo Kokkonen, makes a sound argument for this new direction. By machining their frame from 7075 T6 aluminum billet, they can better allocate material within each component to augment stiffness without excess weight. Even hydroforming can’t match the precision of CNC machining, nor is it as easy to modify tube shapes throughout the design process. Using a 7075 alloy keeps weight low without compromising rigidity. No frame weight numbers have been released as of yet to substantiate those claims.

This is not the first time a mountain bike frame has been CNC machined. But the Pole process claims to be the most advanced. Since 7075 aluminum can’t be welded, the various machined components must be bonded together. If this sounds like a less than durable means of tube joinery, these are the methods used in automotive and aerospace applications (and in Shimano cranks many of us ride), so it is proven technology.

Designed to do-it-all


For those of you who subscribe to the notion of the quiver-killer, Kokkonen designed his new enduro trail 29er to excel in ALL riding conditions. Biased towards proper enduro applications, 160mm travel at the rear pairs with 180mm up front.

It still features Pole’s crazy long geometry, said to have been empirically tested as faster down a technical track than almost any other bike in existence – no matter the price. We’ve ridden some Pole Evolink bikes, and were pleasantly surprised with how well they rode, and even how easily they navigated tight, techy trails.

An asymmetrical shock mount helps create more seat tube insertion. Cables routing stays externally to keep it simple. Anyway, the down tube features drilling for three bottle cages.

Pole's new Machine has a bonded and CNC machined aluminum frame

Pole made additional adjustments to their kinematics to improve on the existing Evolink system. By rotating the shock 90º, the Machine now has improved standover. Tire clearance within the swingarm was optimized as well, to accommodate a 3” tire. That  should provide ample latitude for a mud-choked 2.35” tire.

Pole indicated future models could be available in a variety of colors. But for now they’re content offering the Machine in raw aluminum to highlight the beauty of the machining process. Pre-sale orders begin today, check out the link below for more. Prices start at 3,450.00€ for the frame with complete bikes listed at 6,950.00€. 

PoleBicycles.com

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27 Comments
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Sevo
Sevo
5 years ago

Frame weight??

TheKaiser
5 years ago
Reply to  Sevo

I don’t know how reliable this is, but on another site I saw the figure 6.5lbs without shock.

Birdman
Birdman
5 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

Pole’s own website 3.2kg, quote: “~3,2 kg (size M including hardware WO shock)”

danhmcmahon
5 years ago

That just seems super wasteful

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
5 years ago
Reply to  danhmcmahon

Yup, this has gotta use way more raw material than hydraforming. Maybe they think sending a lot of aluminium to a recycling facility is better than not having waste to send to a recycling facility?

Dockboy
Dockboy
5 years ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

Compared to carbon, this is much better. Carbon isn’t recycled, so any waste goes in the landfill. Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, so yeah, this is better.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Dockboy

That’s a pretty simplistic analysis. Yeah Al can be recycled, doesn’t mean it’s “free” to do so.

And I’m not saying that cfrp is better, just that recycling isn’t a wastefree process and we shouldn’t needlessly generate waste because it can technically be recycled

Pinko
Pinko
5 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

Right, recycling on some instances pollutes more than not recycling. Because it is a filthy business, often run by people who could care less about environment. I think Chris king can recycle aluminum in house, that should be the example to follow.
The bike looks cool, reminds of Ancillotti (huge compliment).
I am curious to see how a 7075 cnc frame will hold up, from my little understanding it is prone to crack.

CXisFun
CXisFun
5 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

“I think Chris king can recycle aluminum in house”

Nope.

boom
boom
5 years ago
Reply to  Dockboy

Carbon can for sure be recycled. While it may not be as cheap or convenient as aluminum, the options exist and at least one company is doing the right thing and being sustainable and hopefully more are doing the same. Check the link, learn more about better options.

Greg
Greg
5 years ago
Reply to  boom

Carbon excess can be reused and downcycled, but not exactly recycled. High quality aluminum chips can be recycled to be another block of the same high quality aluminum.

Dodo
Dodo
5 years ago
Reply to  Dockboy

You are wrong. Look at serious studies comparing Carbon vs Aluminum. The environmental footprint is about the same. No idea about CNC but it has to be more wasteful. Than of course there is the weight: count about 1 Kg penalty. For a frame that costs MORE than a carbon one.

Steev
Steev
5 years ago

Does e-battery recycle???

jxjjd
jxjjd
5 years ago
Reply to  Steev

Nope

S
S
5 years ago

I would not feel that comfortable with an aluminium frame that relied on glue to stick together. Surely it would be ok, but not feeling that ok.
A 3d printing production process would be ideal for the hollow parts but I am not sure whether there can be used such strong alloys as 7075
I would like though a frame that has been produced by a human hand, eventually it will lead to much cheaper frames.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  S

Bonding is reliable when done correctly. Most of the time the bond strength of the adhesive exceeds the material strength, especially when one is bonding like or very similar materials. So it’s not even a weak point

Pinko
Pinko
5 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

As far as i know, all mtbikes bonded in the past had a failure rate much higher than welded frames.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

Is there actual data on this? Dates (as in there have been improvements in epoxy tech)?

Ultimately, one has to question why 7075 is required (driving CNC) above other alloy grades. Its not going to make a noticeably stronger frame and its not like this is a lightweight option to begin with.

Honestly, its seems like a prestige product that is manufactured in a certain way to differentiate it from other frames, not to actually make it better. But that is fine. People pay for a lot of things and the most important thing is that you like your bike.

AngryBikeWrench
5 years ago
Reply to  S

Bonded construction is incredibly reliable if done properly (not saying the bike industry necessarily does it right). Aerospace bonds extensively. I forget the exact plane, I think the Boeing 777, but it’s mostly put together with glue.

i
i
5 years ago
Reply to  S

“I would not feel that comfortable with an aluminium frame that relied on glue to stick together. Surely it would be ok, but not feeling that ok.”

think about that next time you’re in an airplane…

Dave
Dave
5 years ago

Cold drawn tubes are superior in terms of grain alignment vs CNC’d structures. Also don’t understand how they can be confident of long term consistency as the tooling wears?
Bonded approach is nothing new – Trek used to bond their 6000, 7000, and 8000 series models until around 20 years ago.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Agree. Also not sure on their comments regarding hydroforming. Hydroforming is pretty dimensionally accurate when managed correctly.

Maxx
Maxx
5 years ago

They probably kept out of hydroforming due to the upfront mold and equipment costs and maybe they wanted to keep manufacturing in-house. Basic 3-axis CNC’s are cheaper and more flexible comparatively.

Turtlehead
Turtlehead
5 years ago

For a company that put out a screed against carbon this seems extremely wasteful. Recycling and machine time aren’t energy free. I suppose neither is post weld heat treat–although it would be hard to imagine a 7075 hollow structure not needing post machining heat treat. Hard to imagine they couldn’t contract or buy off-the-shelf hydroformed aluminum that could meet the geometry requirements of the frame. As others have pointed out the structure in tubing would probably have better mechanical properties than a cncd structure.

Nothing about this bike makes sense.

Antipodean G
5 years ago
Reply to  Turtlehead

It looks cool. It’s made with ‘cool’ machines. That’s usually enough for something in the bike industry to make ‘sense’.

CXisFun
CXisFun
5 years ago
Reply to  Antipodean G

There are plenty of bikes that don’t even have ‘cool looks’ going for them yet still go into production. Go figure.

ed
ed
5 years ago

Seems to me the pivots are so close together the frame will end up flexing pretty bad as soon as there is some play in the bearings shafts pockets.
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