Braňo Mereš, a Slovakian engineer, is known for creating bicycle frames made from rather interesting materials. In the past, he has used strips of titanium that are riveted together, carbon fibre rods and composites made of bamboo and epoxy resin.
Now, Braňo has created a bicycle frame using Aramid, a tough synthetic fibre that is also used in body armour. The new bicycle, called the X-9 Nighthawk, is a single-speed bike made of panels that have aramid cores and carbon fibre skins.
The panels used for the X-9 are made in an open honeycomb pattern, which gives it more strength per unit weight. Such materials are used in making modern aircraft, so the strength of the material is well-documented.
The X-9’s frame alone weighs around 1.4 Kg. The handlebar, fork and stem are made of carbon fibre. The wheels, disc brakes and belt-drive are all off-the-shelf and not custom-designed for the X-9.
At first glance, the X-9 gives the appearance of a “stealth” device, perhaps because of the carbon fibre. It was displayed at the Berlin Bicycle Show in March, where it is believed to have received a positive response.