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Oct 4, 2011

The Edge Factor TV Show Chronicles SolidWorks-Designed Bike Parts in Gnarly Competition

Episode Showcases Performance of Straitline Components’ Custom Hydraulic Brake Line Detangler in JumpShip Competition.

Slopestyle mountain biking, a genre that combines big-air, stunt-filled freeride with BMX-style tricks, is growing in popularity. As the sport grows, so does the catalogue of products designed for participants. To showcase both the sport and the gear, The Edge Factor Show has produced a new episode entitled “Gnarly Metal,” which chronicles the design and development of cutting-edge bicycle parts by Straitline Components. The parts were designed with SolidWorks® 3D design software and tested at the JumpShip Invitational Dirt Jump Competition in the inner harbor of Victoria, British Columbia.

Slopestyle riding puts enormous pressure on bikes, and if the equipment doesn’t hold up, riders can sustain serious injuries. With this in mind, Straitline Components has developed a slopestyle-grade bike pedal built to withstand the enormous pressure of riding which is being used in competition today.

This innovation is what led slopestyle rider Mike Montgomery to approach Straitline Components to design a hydraulic brake line detangler, which allows handlebars to spin without tangling brake lines. Existing hydraulic brake line detanglers are not currently effective due to weak seals, so Straitline Components looked to combat this challenge by designing one to withstand the rigors of competitive slopestyle riding. Using SolidWorks® Simulation software, Straitline tested the new design to ensure the seals were leak proof and the prototype was ready for competition. Edge Factor highlights the development and testing of this design, as well as the competition itself, including commentary from designers and riders.

“We knew that the seals caused problems with existing hydraulic brake line detangler designs,” said Dennis Paulson, head engineer of Straitline Components. “With the new design development coming so close to the Jump Dirt competition, we didn’t have time to build and test a prototype. The SolidWorks Simulation capabilities allowed us to put the hydraulic brake line detangler through its paces—all on a computer screen—ensuring that the product was safe and effective before Mike Montgomery attempted his first stunt, jump or ride.”

Using the new design from Straitline, Montgomery placed first in the Jump Dirt competition. In a three-month span, riders using the Straitline hydraulic brake line detangler have captured five first-place awards and one second-place award in North American competitions, according to the episode.

“This was a cool project from start to finish—to be able to actually design, prototype, and develop an effective new product just days away from a major competition was amazing. To have the rider win the Jump Dirt competition was even better, and speaks to the quality of SolidWorks’ software and Straitline Components’ design,” said Jeremy Bout, producer of The Edge Factor Show.

The Edge Factor show is designed to provide an inside look at how manufacturing affects consumers’ lives. It highlights real people doing ordinary things, demonstrates the diversity and interest points of manufacturing in a new way and engages the manufacturing community with the most current technology. The show’s mission is to profile existing manufacturing stars and to stir interest in the industry for a new audience, and “Gnarly Metal” marries extreme sports and manufacturing in a way that will interest both types of viewers.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks is the exclusive CAD sponsor of “Gnarly Metal.” The episode can be viewed here: http://www.edgefactor.com/ef_ep2. A behind the scenes look at Straitline’s use of SolidWorks is also available at: http://www.edgefactor.com/EF_EP2_PARTNER3 .