Today we’ve catched up with Cesar Rojo to ask him few questions about UNNO Bikes.
Hey Cesar, what is your technical and downhill background?
I studied industrial engineering specialized in design, I always liked bikes, so early in my studies tried to works towards bikes. I started racing DH in 96 and raced until 01, being the highlights a few top 10s in the worldcup an 11th overall in 2001 and a few Spanish national champs. Also raced the Unno to be fastest Master world champs in 05.
Why did you decide to run your own company? There are so many nice frames already on the market.
You can always make things better, there are many nice frames, but in the end all lack things, I believe right now there is not any company that is able to do what we do, be so innovative with new good ideas, able to do completely frames in-house, design, engineering, producing from molds, to frames, cnc parts, painting, complete testing… I believe only Trek is doing this in the whole world and not anymore in mtb as I heard they moved their DH to Asia. Basically the reason is because we can do it better.
What is unique value preposition for Unno? Why are you better than the frames that are already here on the market?
Well this goes along with the question before. We already demonstrated with Mondraker that we can produce amazing bikes, now add onto that way more and better testing, completely controlled manufacturing process and finally no brand restrictions. We can’t wait to have customers with our bikes because that is going to be the best marketing campaign.
How many labour hours and how many specialists are needed to produce one frame?
We are estimating our frames to be completed in around 80 to 100 working hours. We have right now 4 time employees on the production side.
On the tech side we are over 40 designers and engineers at Cero that is the parent company.
When the fames will be available for sale?
We are aiming for May with our 130mm 29” and shortly after the endure 27.5 160mm. From that the DH and others will follow, now we have already produced some of the initial frames, but we are waiting to have our painting booth delivered.
Can you tell us more about the stiffness/fatigue testing of Unno frames?
Well I cannot talk about loads and cases of use, because that is our know how, but we are not approaching like any brand with the EN standard loads and so on. We have used strain gauges on the bikes to determine riding loads, cycles and with that we can produce the best testing for strength. Regarding stiffness, our goal was to match some alloy bikes, most carbon bikes we have tested work very different than alloy, that is why some people take time to get used to carbon, ourselves we focused not in maximum stiffness, but in a very nice bike behavior.
Can you give us some insight into Unno’s offer for 2017? What bikes, what prices etc?
We will be offering 5 bikes, 130mm 29”, 160mm 27.5”, 200mm 27” DH and later this year the two XC frames that are going to be the lightest in the market. Prices for the full suspension frames will range from 5.500€ for the DH with seat post, 5.000€ for the full suspension bikes and 4.000€ for the hardtail. All the bikes will be limited to 25 units during 2017, but every year will be also, making it the most exclusive brand doing this type of bikes.
What do you mean by „limited edition”? How many frames are you going to produce?
I answered before, but 25 in 2017 and every year a small increase until we settle around 50 to 100, but also we want to limit them by country.
Why the carbon used in UNNO is so special and pricey?
You have so many modules of carbon, the most usual is T300 in normal models and T700/800 on SL models. We use a fiber that is 45% stronger than T700, 42% stiffer than T700 and 5% more elongation, so you can have an idea that we are not talking small improvements, this is something huge in strength that is our main goal.
Will there be any color options for the frames or just shinny carbon finish?
We will be offering some options and even custom designs to customers willing to have something unique. As I mentioned we are getting an automotive painting booth in-house, this means we can paint in-house and also develop special products. So for sure expect special things coming out of Unno.