Delta 7 – Carbon IsoTruss Frames From Utah

We’re going to wrap up our week of Utah companies (we really could do a month of them if we had the time) with the Arantix MTB and Ascend road bikes from Delta 7. They’re located just down the road from the IndustryOutsider headquarters, in a little town called Payson, Utah.

Delta 7 Sports is known for their IsoTruss carbon fiber tubing. This “love it or hate” it design is eye-catching enough on its own, but the technology behind it will certainly hold your attention too. Oddly enough, the design was developed at BYU (Brigham Young University), as a project to address structural composites from a civil engineering standpoint, rather than really cool bicycle frames.  Utilizing carbon fiber filament, rather than woven cloth laid up in different directions, the tubing has a look like no other. Although they describe it as spider-web like, in real life it has more of a wire grater look to it. It’s actually quite smooth to the touch though. What’s most impressive is that despite being nearly see through, the tubes boast both light weight and high strength. In their own words, the “IsoTruss® achieves its incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio with a special geometry that uses longitudinal and helically wound members. The “iso” and “truss” in “IsoTruss” come from its efficient geometry; isosceles triangles that form a truss of pyramids which are what give the IsoTruss its unique strength and stiffness.”

Here’s some info on the Ascend:

Extremely efficient and light, the Ascend™maximizes the IsoTruss® tube structure proving to be the best carbon fiber bike available, weighing just 2.3 lbs (1050 grams). Truly stunning visually with ride qualities and features unmatched by any other tube structures. Unique carbon fiber frames are limited in production, handcrafted in the USA and have a lifetime warranty. Purchase the frame alone or select a build package.

Having held one of these frames at Interbike, I can attest to just how little they weigh. While it’s hard to convey just what 2.3  pounds is really like, in the context of a bicycle frame, “crazylightnothing” comes pretty close. Similar to the first time you pick up a large piece of anything titanium, your eyes and brain have a brief argument as your senses adjust. Of course, should you want one, expect your wallet to protest as well. With a frame running about $5,000, and a complete bike double that, it’s not for everyone. Then again, if you’re not careful with your component selection, you could run afoul of the UCI weight limit, as it’s not that hard to build one that comes in under 14 pounds complete.

While it’s expected that the Ascend owner is not likely to run into someone else sporting the same ride, the Arantix owner will surely be in rare company. Delta 7 is limiting production of their mountain bike frame to 200 units worldwide. At 2.74 pounds, it’s a sweet base for your cross country racer, although it should take more abuse than the average XC rider dishes out. We reported a few years ago about the dual slalom racer at the 2009 Sea Otter Classic whose bike was stolen. Delta 7 was kind enough to loan Chantel Shoemaker an Arantix, which she rode to a third place finish. Yes, 3rd place on an XC bike that she had never ridden before, raced on a dual slalom course. Shoemaker commented that it actually handled better than her own bike did. Not a bad endorsement.

If we’ve piqued your interest, and you want to learn more about the Delta 7 bikes, including the coolest cable routing ever, check them out at Delta7bikes.com

– Brian

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