Revolutionizing Carbon Bikes with Guerrilla Gravity - The Inside Line Podcast 20

Four bikes in one! A new carbon material and an incredible amount of work have resulted in some exciting, affordable, USA-made bikes and what may be the way forward for bicycle manufacturing.

Revolutionizing Carbon Bikes with Guerrilla Gravity - The Inside Line Podcast

Guerrilla Gravity discovered their silver bullet. Though the exact name and material composition isn't being disclosed, they call it "Revved," which is short for revolutionized. It's a long-fiber carbon composite material that is more durable, more efficient to manufacture, easier to recycle, and they can do it all in-house at prices that compete with the top consumer-direct brands.

This is a monumental moment in Guerrilla Gravity's history. Listen in as we discuss how they made it happen in the latest episode of The Inside Line podcast:

"There has got to be a better way,
and we're going to find it." - Matt Giaraffa
Ben Bosworth, Composites Engineer
Matt Giaraffa, Chief Engineer
Will Montague, President

Behind the Scenes

"We never thought this was going to be easy," says Guerrilla Gravity. "Building a production line from scratch without a rule book has been a monumental challenge filled with late nights, precise planning, and a lot of good-old-fashioned grit."

Upon completing the automated layup process (a trade secret), the frames are placed into their mold. Once the mold is bolted shut it heads into the fusing machine dubbed the Frame Maker 3000, the second secret weapon of the Revved manufacturing process.

Unlike traditional carbon frames that are cured in a 3-4 hour cycle, Revved frames are fused during a fast and furious, 30-minute, high heat cycle. Straight out of the mold, the surface finish is said to be nearly perfect.

Guerrilla Gravity has specialized in aluminum frames since their beginning in 2011, and they'll continue to put that experience into 6061 aluminum rear triangles.

Impact Testing - Revved Carbon Versus Aluminum

As a counter to the Frame Maker 3000, Guerrilla Gravity built the Frame Breaker .3000 to see what would happen under a simulated impact. The photos depict the new material's ability to withstand blows that would severely dent most alloy frames.

At a drop height of 40-inches, the Revved carbon frame was undamaged. At 75.5-inches surface cracks were visible, but the frame did not yield under pressure.

We were also shown a video of a competitor's carbon frame undergoing the same test. It didn't fare well with a very large crack and deformation visible in the downtube. Guerrilla Gravity claims their frames are 300% tougher – the ability to absorb energy without fracturing – than leading traditional carbon frames.

Revved Carbon Versus Traditional Carbon Technology

 Similarities

 Differences

  • Continuous fibers
  • Impregnated resins
  • Requires bladders and molds
  • Requires heat to cure the resins
  • Patent pending manufacturing process
  • New resins build tougher frames
  • Automated fiber placement reduces labor time by ~80% while ensuring quality consistency
  • New fusing process requires 90% less post-processing (sanding, cutting)
  • High-temperature stability
  • Powder coat compatible
  • Material is manufactured in America
  • Environmentally responsible

Modular Frame Platform - Four Bikes in One

"What if, instead of buying a whole new bike, you could swap a few components to change your suspension travel, wheel size, and geometry?" That's the question Guerrilla Gravity asked as they set out to develop their Modular Frame Platform.

In around one hour, it's possible to convert the bike into four distinct models with varying travel and wheel sizes that will have you covered in every type of terrain.

Using a unified front triangle, chainstays, rocker link, and hardware between all of their models, $445 Seatstay Tuning Kits are used to define each model and are paired with a properly sized shock. Depending on the models you are swapping between, you may also want to change the fork, wheels, or lower GeoAdjust headset cup.

This means it's possible to swap from a 27.5-inch short-travel Shred Dogg to a big-hitting, 29-inch Smash with minimal effort. The seatstay and shock control the suspension, ride qualities, and geometry for each model, with frame-specific chainstay lengths across the range made possible by the Horst-link suspension design. As you might guess, the longer travel bikes feature added chainstay length for improved stability at speed.

2019 Model Overview

The Smash

29-inch wheels | 145mm rear travel | 150-170mm fork | 230x60mm shock

Complete weights ranging from 28.9 to 31.7-pounds (13.1 to 14.4kg, Size 3)

The Smash Geometry


Trail Pistol

29-inch wheels | 120mm rear travel | 120-140mm fork | 210x50mm shock

Complete weights ranging from 27.4 to 30.7-pounds (12.4 to 13.9kg, Size 3)

Trail Pistol Geometry


Megatrail

27.5-inch wheels | 155-165mm rear travel | 170-180mm fork | 230x65mm shock

Complete weights ranging from 28.3 to 30.9-pounds (12.8 to 14.0kg, Size 3)

Megatrail Geometry


Shred Dogg

27.5-inch wheels | 130-140mm rear travel | 140-160mm fork | 210x55mm shock

Complete weights ranging from 27.8 to 30.6-pounds (12.6 to 13.9kg, Size 3)

Shred Dogg Geometry


Geometry & Suspension Adjustments

An eccentric, angular-contact GeoAdjust headset provides 10mm of reach and wheelbase adjustment to fine-tune fit and handling. Lower cups are available in Zero Stack or +14mm to adjust bottom bracket height for wheel size or to customize your ride.

The seatstays retain Guerrilla Gravity's Plush/Crush and Trail/Gravity mode flip chip adjustments located at the rear shock mount. Similar to previous models, Plush and Crush allow you to choose from a more linear or progressive suspension response. Trail and Gravity allow you to adjust rear wheel travel and geometry, depending on the frame. Combined with their Freedom Linkage this provides a wide range of tuning options for both air and coil shocks.

Additional Frame Features

  • Revved Carbon front triangle with 6061 aluminum rear triangle
  • Integrated-External cable routing
  • Frame Storage System with mounting bracket for tools and a tube
  • Water bottle mount
  • 8x20mm front and 8x35mm rear shock hardware
  • 30.9mm seatpost with stealth dropper routing and 37mm clamp
  • 73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket with removable ISCG05 chainguide mount
  • 12x148mm Boost rear hub, offset 3mm to the driveside for chain line and clearance
  • Universal Syntace X-12 Type 1 derailleur hanger
  • ISO brake mount
  • Six decal color options, black powder coat frame
  • Frame weight: 6.5-pounds (2.95kg, with hardware, Size 3, no shock)

Pricing & Warranty

  • Frame MSRP: $2,195 USD (without shock)
  • Complete builds priced from $3,595 to $5,995 USD
  • Several component customization options available
  • 30-day complete bike satisfaction guarantee, lifetime frame guarantee

First Impressions

We've ridden previous versions of Guerrilla Gravity's Trail Pistol and The Smash before, but there's something special going on with the way these new frames tackle the trail. We noted improved compliance in the rear end and better maneuverability across the board – two areas we previously saw some room for improvement.

Both the suspension and geometry adjustments make meaningful changes to the way the bikes ride. By simply flipping a set of chips in the rear shock mount you're able to adjust the kinematics in a noticeable way. Similarly, adding or subtracting 10mm of reach and wheelbase using the GeoAdjust headset can make the difference when your ride plans vary from rough, rowdy, steep terrain one day to more casual, poppy, and playful the next.

Paired with an air shock, Crush mode provides a progressive, racy, heavily-damped nature that yields big returns when pumping your way down smoother trails. The all-around, more linear performance of Plush mode was our jam while testing the bikes in Texas though, simply because it allowed the rear end to work more freely. The swap is quick and can be done in under a minute. It's a well-executed system with o-rings around the flip chips, helping to keep them in place.

Guerrilla Gravity likes to run their bikes quite big and has been proponents of the longer, more modern approach to geometry since their early days. As it says right on the top tube, these bikes "like goin' fast" and are most at home when speeds are high. The lengthy reach measurements help with overall stability, though you may have to readjust your riding style just a bit. In just one day we grew accustomed to the length and felt at home. Thanks to a very steep seat tube angle, climbing is quite comfortable and the seated position feels familiar.

What about that fancy carbon material? It rides like a good bike should, with no jarring feedback and a chassis feel that yielded no complaints. The frames have a unique look with their powder coat finish – something the crew tested the durability of during several shuttle mishaps and accidental bike drops. No scratches.

Swapping from the short-travel Trail Pistol one day to a long-travel Smash the next was remarkably easy to do. We applaud Guerrilla Gravity for coming up with such a flexible design. The Trail Pistol is an enjoyable, fun ride that is quite capable for having just 120mm of travel out back and 130mm up front. It's a bit rough in the rough but willing to get 'er done. The Smash is Guerrilla Gravity's best seller and it quickly shows why – this is a ripping ride that has enough travel and the composure to make some big moves. Picking up and seeing where you can land becomes a game on these bikes.

Thanks to the Modular Frame Platform and meaningful adjustments, these bikes provide the opportunity for endless customization. What Guerrilla Gravity has created truly is a tuner's dream. The ability to optimize geometry, leverage curve, travel, and even wheel size will allow riders to find their personal best with minimal effort and expense. Frame details throughout are more dialed than ever, and the bikes collectively form the best package Guerrilla Gravity has put together to date. We're excited to see where they go from here.

Size 3 frames are available now, with the remaining sizes coming by May. Visit www.ridegg.com for complete details.

Photos by Justin VanAlstyne


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