Designers at a company which makes mountain bikes describe some of the processes and techniques used to construct their range of bike frames.

In the workshop, designers punch out a template for the bike frame from lightweight sheets of aluminium using AutoCAD drawings. They then bend the frame into a three-dimensional shape, before cutting, mitring, belt notching the components to get a clean joint to weld. After all the parts have been welded into place, the frame is cleaned in an acid etch bath, sprayed with an electro-static powder paint, and finished in an oven.

This clip is from:
First broadcast:
5 March 2009

This clip could be used for the study of product development and the importance of modifying and improving designs. In this case a standard ‘road-type’ bike frame has become more and more specialised for downhill racing.
Students could work in groups to come up with briefs for a range of different bikes; road race, commuter, downhill. As well as different uses, the groups should consider the technology used to make their bikes, and the likelihood that they will in part use existing components in some areas. The groups could then come together to see where their ideas overlap, and where each has specific requirements.
This could be a starting point for a product remodelling activity leading to the production of a new product.