MAXX Bicycles customers no longer have to select from among the bikes on hand at the local bike shop. When cyclists choose a bike they work with a dealer who helps them select the size and components that are right for them and their budget.
From there expert technicians assemble the bike and send it to the dealer in about a week. If the dimensions of a premade frame don’t fit a rider, MAXX can make a custom frame in about four weeks.
Based in Rosenheim, Germany, MAXX’s four frame designers use AutoCAD LT software for all their drafting and detailing needs.
As ideal as the MAXX approach sounds, it is not without challenges for the company. Uwe Matthies, general manager and head of research and development, explains, “We have to respond to orders for custom frames very quickly. Otherwise, the individual bike solution we offer might be less appealing than an off-the-shelf compromise.
“To keep our custom frames competitive, our processes and tools must support both productivity and communication.”
Using CAD the designers have custom frames down to a science. “Even at very busy times of the year, we have no problem meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
“We can configure a premade frame with individualised components in a little more than a week, and customers are often surprised to learn that it doesn’t take much longer to get a bike that includes a frame made just for them.”
It begins when measurements for the frame arrive from a dealer, then a designer opens an existing frame design that closely matches the request before modifying the model in AutoCAD to meet the customer’s measurements.
“AutoCAD LT allows us to draft and detail each custom frame quickly no matter how unusual the customer’s measurements,” says Matthies. “For example, we just designed a frame for a man who is 2.15 meters tall.
“I don’t think any premade frame available would be comfortable for him.”
Communicating the details
When the frame design is complete, the designer publishes it as a PDF for the customer and dealer to review and approve. After approval the DWG file is forwarded to the frame manufacturing resource.
Following the design details exactly, a skilled craftsman cuts and welds each piece by hand. When complete, the maker sends the frame to the MAXX facility in Germany where the frame is painted and varnished and the components specified by the customer assembled.
From order to final delivery, the entire process takes only about four weeks.
“We can create a drawing of a completely new frame in about two hours,” explains Matthies. “The process is so simple that even new employees can become productive quickly. New employees who know a bit about drafting and bikes can learn our process in only a day.”
Whatever the dimensions of the rider they are sure to be quickly on two-wheels as a result of some speedy design.
Tall or short, it doesn’t matter; MAXX Bikes is changing the way people buy their bicycles