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Bike Check, a true one-off: The Black Tech FreeRide

The EWS events are often a showcase for all that is new and cutting edge, space age materials suspended with technology so sophisticated that it would not be out of place on a F1 car. The industry has come a long way, computer aided linkage design packages and rapid prototyping allow huge leaps in progress. Carbon bikes normally require big design and development budgets, traditionally not the the material of choice for smaller independent designers. However if you watched rider number 473, Giampaolo Gambelunghe at the Finale Ligure EWS charging through the rocks, you would be surprised to hear that his frame is a one off design, hand built by Mirco Cetra. The Black Tech free ride.

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The Black Tech Free Ride, 185mm travel enduro machine!

Mirco has been building carbon frames (road frames, MTB XC and free ride frames) since 2000, and has finished around 20 frames in that time. Most of the frames were for Mirco’s personal use or for friends and just for fun. With 185mm of travel and using a four bar Horst linkage, the bikes intentions are clear – hard hitting action. The numbers all add up well, with a 350mm bottom bracket height, 66 degree head angle and 74.5 degree seat angle the bike should be well suited to enduro action.

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185mm of travel, using a four bar Horst linkage

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The tried and tested FOX DHX5 Airshock provides the rear damping!

It is not easy to fabricate carbon frames that work, and this bike uses two techniques in its construction. The front triangle has an inner core of polystyrene foam, wrapped with UD carbon and then a carbon sleeve before curing in a vacuum bag. The rear triangle was manufactured in moulded carbon. Using these techniques Mirco has kept the frame weight down to a very respectable 2.8kg.

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RockShox’s Lyric fork handles the front action, dropped to 170 mm!

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The old DH workhorse Saint brakes permit aggressive deceleration

There is no better testing ground than tough trails of Finale Ligure and Giampaolo Gambelunghe was full of praise for the bike, particularly in the steeper downhill sections. Mirco has plans to develop the bike further, looking to lighten it a little to improve its performance, and look at making the frame fit for 27,5 (650B) wheels 1×11.

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Giampaolo Gambelunghe and the Black Tech!

Mirco works for www.doktorbike.it fixing carbon frames and also components

We look forward to seeing this bike at next years races!

Words: Trev Worsey | Photos: Manne Schmitt

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