Scott Daubert is the head of Trek Racing and he gave us the background on Trek’s Racing efforts and how they relate to product development. His department is immaculate, by the way. The Trek Racing department operates almost as a stand alone business-within-a-business with its own space, own staff, own budget and own game plan. The sponsored athletes are integral in the communication of what they need for their own racing needs, whether it be triathletes like Chris Lieto to Team Radio Shack to the Trek World Racing Team and more.
From the Racing department, we proceeded into the Fabrication area. However, due to some recent changes in certain processes (since the Discovery Channel was last in, apparently) all of us journalists had to surrender our cameras before entering and sign NDA forms of confidentiality. It really is a shame, because this truly was the highlight of the tour for me. Jim Cosgrove was our guide and he is THE MAN, when it comes to building with carbon fiber. His background is in aerospace and he answered all of our questions, and there were many. UD (unidirectional) vs. weave, 12k vs 3k, plans to recycle excess materials, approaching ultimate limits of the material, possible other materials….Jim had an answer for everything.
And the carbon fiber fabrication process was amazing! From the bundling of the fibers, to cutting the layers, to forming the shapes, to hand laying the material in the molds, to bonding, baking and finishing…it’s all done in house for the mid to upper end carbon fiber road and mountain frames and forks.