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Monocoque Frame Construction

Monocoque (French for "single shell") or unibody is a construction technique that uses the external skin of an object to support some or most of the load on the structure. This is as opposed to using an internal framework (or spaceframe) that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin. Monocoque construction was first widely used in aircraft, starting in the 1930s, and is the predominant automobile construction technology today.

Many brands claim their frame is monocoque. In fact they are alloy lugged frames with the joints inside the tubes with material wrapped over the joint to hide it. The beauty of the Galileo frame is that it employs all the strength features of a lugged frame, without the weakness problems of a one piece monocoque frame. We join the frame using our own precision made carbon lugs and tubing.

Ironically, a one-piece design requires two different construction processes. Due to the immense complexity of the structure being formed, it is virtually impossible to thread a bicycle frame entirely with bladders. This is demonstrated with the fact that a single inflated bladder running through the down tube will not "split" into the two chain stays. The result- loss of compaction. Therefore, a one piece design necessitates both the bladder moulding (front triangle) and foam core injection (rear end) methods.

Consequently, due to various techniques employed during the construction process, a product's end result can vary significantly. This creates inconsistent strength, particularly in high stress areas such as the bottom bracket and seat tube/seat stay areas. Another problem with one piece design is the inability to accurately control frame alignment.

The most important problem is that one piece also means you cannot control or predict the durability. This is due to the one piece construction technique incorporating a "clamshell" of lay-up, where a "left" half of the frame is bonded to the other "right" half during the moulding process.

Two things can happen here...

  • Misalignment of the two halves requires extensive post production machining and alteration of the dropout hangers to compensate for frame misalignment.
  • The two frame halves are inevitably held together by a resin seam, thus creating an inherent seam line around the periphery of the frame. It is a known fact that a seam line of such proportion jeopardizes the structural integrity throughout the entire frame.

The advantage of Pro-Lite construction is the ability to sculpt the tubes into very aerodynamic and structurally strong shapes that are designed to achieve the ultimate ride quality, comfort and stiffness. Hence PBS, the power, body and soul of the bike is born.

Pro-lite construction provides a more comfortable frame, with tubes shaped to slip through the wind better than traditional frames. It is a proven fact that over every 100 km ridden the amount of energy used is reduced to maintain the same level of speed that would require much more energy on a conventional shaped tube frame. These frames have proven to be great stage-racing frames as well as helping reduce time over distance in time trials.

Other important features include:

  • Multi-Shaped Tubing which allows for the perfect blend of lateral stiffness and vertical compliance. The unique top tube not only creates and incredibly stiff head tube joint, but ensures the frame does not twist like most frames when being ridden under heavy load, such as climbing or sprinting. Our years of experience as riders and engineers ensure the tubes are designed and engineered to prevent the tubes from twisting and flexing, which can rob the rider of energy and efficiency. The shaping we use to create these tubes makes the tubing stiffer while saving weight and increasing efficiency.
  • Multi-Directional Fiber which results in a more efficient tube set can add strength in specific stress points of the frame where it is needed most. Knowing where to apply these can only come from years of experience as a rider and that's exactly what we do, we make the frame to give the rider what he needs, when he needs it.
  • Pro-Lite PBS carbon tubing is derived from our philosophy of Power, Body & Soul. That's what a frame has to be and the means by which we have designed this frame means that tubes are designed to provide optimal stiffness for each size of frame we produce. This means that regardless of the rider's size the frame is designed to provide optimal performance from the tubes and frame.
  • Each frame is made completely out of carbon fiber, with the exception of the dropouts. The dropouts are one-piece cnc machined units that are specifically designed to withstand the rigours of being used by top professional riders. They possess a very high degree of strength and are designed to withstand many thousands of wheel changes.

In order to provide performance and durability in a great frame, our designers sought an entirely different approach to the construction design of a full carbon frame. With some very strange manufacturing philosophies currently in use, we chose to produce frames utilizing the Pro-lite construction technique. Our sole intention is to produce perfectly aligned frames that are consistent throughout in terms of material content, compaction ratio and overall structural integrity. This would is achieved by forming all parts of the frame through constant construction methods. As a result, Pro-Lite frames are made from seamless tubes of continuous fibres that are identical in regards to pattern and compaction method. This strategic approach guarantee's consistent frame performance, durability and precise alignment. This is all accomplished in our own factory.

Using our design approach, which comes from literally thousands upon thousands of kilometres of racing and by remaining in touch with some of the best pro riders in the world today, we accomplish consistent performance by working to the highest of standards in use in the industry.

Furthermore, the rigorous testing both in the lab and on the road means that Pro-Lite frames produce maximum durability. The end result is a true carbon frame that delivers optimal performance.

Employing our methods and experience, we also produce frames for many famous names around the world. We are proud that we not only produce our own fine range of products but are also trusted to design, develop and produce for some of the best brands in the industry today.

Today, Pro-Lite is a company of truly skilled and dedicated craftspeople. We are devoted to providing our customers all over the world with the very best bicycle parts. Our rich experience coupled with advanced materials, race-proven technology, craftsmanship, exceptional quality, performance, durability, and value, means that we will continue to lead the way in an ever growing competitive market. Every Pro-Lite frame features the highest grade materials, one person construction, and total craftsmanship in order to keep Pro-Lite at the pinnacle of high performance.

All our frames feature the finest commitments to our customers- a 5 year guarantee and 5 year crash replacement program.