These bikes were a joint
venture with GT bicycles to develop "thermoplastic carbon" bikes.
This is a different way of building carbon bicycles that uses heat to
melt a nylon based resin (glue) and wet the carbon fibers. When the
mold and nylon resin cools it holds the carbon in the shape of a bike.
This technique is different from nearly all other modern carbon bikes
where an epoxy resin is used to hold carbon fibers in their desired
orientation and shape. Epoxy uses a chemical reaction to go from liquid
to solid state not heat like in thermoplastic construction.
The other key difference is epoxy doesn't have very good "impact resistance" and is susceptible to shattering or cracking when hit or impacted like the forces you often see in a crash (not a good trait for bikes).
Thermoplastics on the other hand have exceptional impact characteristics.
They bend or deform even better than steel and then return to their original shape due to the nylon base. This makes for a much more durable bike material, but unfortunately there's a catch. They were never able to find ways to get the weight down to the same levels or stiffness of other popular construction techniques. They were also a lot more expensive to build.
Yeti Cycles was the first to show a rideable Thermo bike (1994 at Mammoth?). GT and Mantis in their joint effort were next and really the first to do a "production" thermo bicycle. After that ProFlex followed with their Thermo FS bike with smart shocks and then Cannondale with their second edition carbon Super V. After that, the use of Thermo for frames pretty much died out. Some thermo plastic products are starting to pop up again recently but not in frames (Easton seat post clamp as one example).
I have seen varying production figures for the bikes but it has usually been in the 25 -50 range. The highest serial number so far has been 22. Many of the bikes were rumored to have been sent to Italy so there are likely only a handful in the US.
Click on thumbnails below for larger images:
|Rims||WTB Power Beam|
|Spokes||DT Stainless steel, double butted, alloy nipples|
|Crank||Titus with Profile rings and alloy chain ring bolts|
|Rear Cogs||Shimano XTR 8 speed cassette|
|Bottom Bracket||SRP Titanium|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano XTR|
|Rear Derailleur||Sachs Quarz|
|Brake set||Shimano Deore XT "V" brakes|
|Saddle||Selle San Marco Squadra HDP, Ti rails|
|Seat Post||Critical Racing lay back|
|Serial #||96SVA006 (chain stay) 96SVC002 (seat stays) and 96SV007 (main frame)|
More MOMBAT-themed resources.