Inside Cape Town's cSixx Components
Founder Mark Hopkins is no stranger to innovation in the mountain biking industry having established an impressive resume. Highlights include establishing renowned neck brace and protectives brand Leatt, with Dr. Chris Leatt, and later co-founding Pyga Industries with Patrick Morewood.
The company roots trace back to Mark’s own riding experience where a dropped chain at World Champs in 2000 prompted him to design and produce a carbon chain guide under the brand name MHD. The cSixx brand would only come to life after Hopkins' time at Leatt when as a rider he still struggled to find a good chain guide in the market.
With a life long interest in designing and making with carbon, Mark launched cSixx in 2008 with a range of chain guides for gravity and cross country riding (just as the one-by revolution began). Fast forward to 2016, with 100% focus on cSixx, Mark and his team set about expanding the range to include wheels, bars, stems, and now boast over two hundred chainring options.
A critical element for Mark and cSixx is their local manufacturing capability. This allows for complete control of the end-to-end process, ensuring every item meets their requirements and quality standards.
Thanks to a fleet of CNC milling machines alongside a team of designers and engineers, cSixx now manufactures all of their aluminium components in house. Everything from design, prototyping, production, anodising, laser etching and testing is done at their HQ in Cape Town.
Above: CNC machines doing duty (1 & 2). 3D printers allow the cSixx team to preview designs and test (3). From a sketch to a finished product, cSixx does it all in house. Photos: Gary Perkin
As for carbon, while a number of their carbon components are currently manufactured abroad, cSixx have begun setting up their in-house composites department. On our recent visit we spotted a handle bar or two fresh out of the mould. Watch this space.
Above: Having moved all aluminium production in-house, cSixx are doing the same with carbon: Design, production and testing, right here in Cape Town. Photos: Gary Perkin.
The team at cSixx love spending time on their bikes and their collective passion for riding is a key to their meticulous attention to detail in perfecting their products. It might sound like a bit of a cliche, but it’s a true case of components made “by riders for riders”.
Riding bikes is all part of the process for the team at cSixx. Whether it's the initial idea for a product or some real-world product testing, it typically starts and ends on a bike. Photos: Gary Perkin.
The end result
From a real-world problem to a custom solution, a great example and a more recent addition to the cSixx catalogue is "The Cage". The demanding riding style of many the cSixx team team kept pushing standard SRAM/Shimano derailleur cages too far and led them to go about making a better version. Said to be a "Stiffer, Stronger and more Precise" bolt on replacement for your derailleur, the cSixx Cage offers better impact protection and more precise shifting. It's CNC machined from 6082 aluminium and is available with cSixx's custom sealed bearing pulley wheels.
Head over to https://csixx.com for a look at their full range and follow @csixx_products and https://www.facebook.com/cSixxproducts to stay updated.