Consumer Products

Quirk Cycles showcasing new frame with 3D printed stainless steel at Bespoked Bicycle Show 2019

Quirk Cycles, a bespoke bicycle framebuilding company based in London, will be showcasing its new bike frame utilizing 3D printing at the Bespoked 2019 UK Handmade Bicycle Show, which takes place in Bristol from the 3rd to the 5th of May.

The bicycle frame from Quirk Cycles will utilize a seat lug and dropouts 3D printed in stainless steel, equipping the build of the cycle with unique properties, which will be revealed this weekend at the Bespoked 2019 show.

Rob Quirk explaining 3D printing components in stainless steel frame. Screengrab via Francis Cade.
Rob Quirk explaining 3D printing components in stainless steel frame. Screengrab via Francis Cade.

Handmade bike frames with 3D printed parts

Quirk Cycles’ frames and bespoke bicycles are handmade by frame builder Rob Quirk, Director of Quirk Cycles, in London. Quirk’s designs have won him previous awards at the Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show, and frames from Quirk Cycles have been used in various races around the world like the Transcontinental Race.

The new frame that will be showcased by Quirk Cycles will take the spotlight on its stand at Bespoked 2019. 3D printing has been used to create smooth dropouts and a seamless seat lug in stainless steel, however specific details have not been revealed. The seat lug is a component in a cycle that conjoins several parts of the frame together, whereas the dropout is a slot in a bicycle frame where the wheel is attached.

Although not much is known about the upcoming frame from Quirk Cycles, Rob Quirk has revealed details on using 3D printing to craft bicycle frames in a video with professional cyclist Francis Cade. It is revealed that, initially beginning with plastic 3D printed parts, Rob Quirk has utilized 3D metal printing to create a stainless steel bolt and clamp system for the seatpost reportedly unique to steel bikes, enabling a seamless metal design in the process. Furthermore, 3D printed internal lattice structures have also been used to decrease the weight of the stainless steel parts. Rob Quirk also states he used an SLM/DSLM 3D printing method to produce the parts. It is reasonable to expect that the upcoming frame being showcased by Quirk Cycles at Bespoked 2019 will utilize similar 3D printing processes and parts highlighted by Quirk in the video. The conversation about 3D printing bike parts begins around the 07:10 mark, which you can watch below.

Cycling its way into additive manufacturing

At the Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show, 3D printing has already made an appearance amongst the various hand-crafted and custom designed frames that are showcased each year. Last year, Bicycle manufacturer Robot Bike Co showcased its bikes using 3D printed titanium lugs. The company has used 3D printed lugs in its R160 bike, and has used 3D printers from Renishaw to manufacture its customized bikes as well.

3D printing has been used in the manufacturing of bikes as it enables various advantages in the production of bicycles as well as potentially improving performance. AREVO, a Silicon Valley company dedicated to direct digital additive manufacturing of composite materials, has helped Californian boutique bike manufacturer Franco Bicycles deliver 3D printed carbon fiber frames under the Emery Bikes brand. Using 3D printing, the frame is made from a single part, leading to a significant reduction in product development costs.

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Featured image shows a bicycle from Quirk Cycles. Image via Quirk Cycles.