Behind the Curtain
3.31.2020 – Words by Ben Farver
SOPWAMTOS – NAHBS 2019
A quick history lesson for those that aren’t familiar….. when I switched from making steel frames to working with carbon I didn’t have the expertise or equipment to make carbon frames at the level I wanted. I got very lucky when I found an outstanding supplier just up the Columbia River from my small shop in Portland – Innovative Composite Engineering (or ICE) based in White Salmon, WA. It was with the help of ICE that I developed the first Argonaut carbon road frame, and from 2012 on we have had a great relationship. I am extremely grateful for everything that Steve Maier and the team at ICE helped me accomplish and taught me over these last eight years.
Walk-in freezer for prepreg storage.
It has always been my dream to own my own composite production and control every step of the manufacturing process from mold design and machining to laying up composite frame components.
Today, the Argonaut team and I are ready to pull back the curtain on everything we’ve been working on for the last year. Our “showroom” here in Bend that we debuted last summer is actually much more than that. The front space is where we receive customers and build complete bikes, but the back is where the magic happens. Equipped with a walk-in freezer for prepreg storage, an Automatrix automated plotting machine, and a HAAS VM-3 CNC we are now a fully functional composite manufacturing facility controlling every aspect of the Argonaut bicycle from design to final assembly.
HAAS VM-3 CNC
Automatrix automated plotting machine
Over the next few months we’ll be doing a deep dive into every aspect of our manufacturing process, revealing all the painstaking work that goes into an Argonaut custom bicycle. Next week I’ll introduce the team that makes this possible. Stay safe and stay healthy, and by the time we get back to Weekly Rollout and pictures of purdy bicycles hopefully the world will look much brighter than it does today.
Behind the Curtain
Thanks for reading.