Urwahn, a German pioneer of 3D printed bicycles, has collaborated with Schmolke Carbon, a specialist in carbon-fiber-reinforced bike components, to design a stunning copper-coated 3D printed bicycle. The impressive two-wheeler was tested by Track Bike World Champion Stefan Bötticher, who gave it rave reviews.
3D printing is becoming pretty well established in the world of cycling. While your average road bike might not be equipped with any 3D printed components, more specialist cycling brands are appealing to competitive cyclists with 3D printing, using it to create highly custom and lightweight components.
In the case of Urwahn and Schmolke Carbon’s collaboration, 3D printing was employed to create the entire frame of the bicycle. The frame was 3D printed from steel before being coated in copper for a luxurious and eye-catching effect. The frame’s design is also noteworthy, as it integrates elastic suspension at the rear wheel to provide additional comfort to the rider without compromising bottom bracket stiffness.
Urwahn has honed its bicycle production technique over the years, choosing to work with metal (and specifically, steel) additive manufacturing. The company does all of its production locally in Germany, which it says enables it to meet the quality standards it targets for its steel-frame bikes.
“We see ourselves as technology pioneers, combining traditional manufacturing techniques with additive manufacturing to create an uncompromising product design with the highest levels of functionality and performance,” Urwahn says on its website. “Therefore, we use the phase-oriented process model of integrated design engineering to develop and implement complex products in the shortest possible time using state-of-the-art tools and creative techniques.”
Schmolke Carbon, for its part, contributed to the bicycle’s design and production with a number of lightweight, carbon-fiber components. The bike is kitted out with a TLO Evo handlebar and TLO saddle, which have both been trimmed for optimal weight reduction. Other features, such as the aerodynamic 45mm high profile SL Series carbon clinchers, ensure maximum directional stability. The bike also features a wireless shifting system from SRAM that reportedly recreates the feeling of shifting gears in a sports car.
The copper-plated 3D printed bike, which weighs only 9 kg (for size M), recently went for a test ride at the Velodrom in Berlin. There, professional track cyclist Stefan Bötticher took the innovative bicycle for a spin. After his test ride, Bötticher stated: “Once you let this tiger out of its cage, the only way out is to go forward.”
The special bike built by Urwahn and Schmolke Carbon is available in five sizes and is priced starting at €7,142.