When the 2020 Tokyo Olympics roll around, Australia’s cycling team will be mounted on some fairly high-tech bikes. Constructed in partnership with Australian bike brand Bastion, the bikes each feature a set of three 3D printed titanium components: the stems, Madison handlebars and cranksets.
Bastion is arguably as well known in the cycling world as it is in the additive manufacturing world. The company, founded in 2014 by Ben Schultz, James Woolcock and Dean McGeary, pioneered the use of titanium 3D printing for its bikes with the integration of 3D printed titanium lugs. Paired with strong and lightweight carbon fiber tubing, the titanium lugs enabled Bastion to offer a modular bike frame.
For years, the company worked with external 3D printing services to produce the lugs, although it recently brought metal 3D printing in house with the acquisition of Renishaw’s AM250 3D printer. Since bringing 3D printing technology in house, Bastion has made its AM services available to others in the cycling industry.
Cycling Australia is one of its recent partners. Together, the Australian’s cycling team and bike manufacturing brand designed 3D printed stems, handlebars and cranksets that would fit the Olympic team’s existing Argon 18 Electron Pro bikes.
The 3D printed components, as reported by Cycling Tips, have each been customized to the cyclist. In other words, every stem, handlebar and crank part has been tailored to the rider in question, making for a truly customized and optimized bike. The parts also exploit the design freedom afforded by AM through the integration of internal lattices (for lightweighting) and variable wall thicknesses.
The 3D printed sprint stems were customized to fit the fork of the Electron Pro bike as well as to the size of rider. For instance, the part is reportedly available in lengths up to 160 mm with varying stack heights and angles. The Madison bars, for their part, are characterized by a double-drop shape that gives riders the option of several riding positions. The handlebars, customized for length and angle, also improve the bike’s aerodynamics. Last but not least, the 3D printed track crank offers superior aerodynamics and blends seamlessly into the bike frame.
Cycling Australia will debut the new bikes with 3D printed components at the upcoming Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup series, after which they will hopefully be approved for racing at the Olympics next year.