More and more companies are entering the bike model with astonishing 3D printed components as key differentiating factor. Be it for races or for commercial purpose, we covered a lot of companies that ambition to make their mark on this market last year. Another one that we will add to this non-exhaustive list is Sturdy Cycles, a UK-based company created by Tom Sturdy that develops made-to-measure Titanium bicycles.

Titanium often arouses its share of pros and cons but in the bike industry, this material is often considered as more sustainable than other materials – especially when it is leveraged on a 3D printing process.

Sturdy Cycles’ bikes are equipped with drawn tubing welded and 3D printed junctions, fitted out with custom 3D-printed titanium parts including fork, stem, crankset and seat-post.

Sturdy explains that each crankset is very unique as he uses generative design to determines its form. “I actually draw quite heavily on generative design in the early stages of development and find it to be a really useful tool combined with physical testing to help determine how the material should be distributed. In line with my broader design philosophy, absolute minimum weight was not the headline but instead what I consider to be a well balanced set of mechanical characteristics (initially to complement the mechanical performance of my frames) whilst remaining competitive in the weight department. The printed alloy achieves very high strength compared to other materials used in crank manufacture which makes them very robust”, he explained to bikerumor.

Furthermore, custom road and mountain bike cranksets also vary from one to another as they should cater for the different clearance requirements at the stays. The engineer explains that each component requires the same load cases but extra material is added to the mountain bike to account for the less ‘predictable’ usage.

Image: Sturdy Cycles

The crank arms are usually left in their ‘raw’ state but it is also possible to achieve a range of striking finishes with anodizing or even mirror polishing.

Currently, riders should count at least £8,000 for a custom frameset, such as the Sturdy Cycles Fiadh Road Bike. They can also get their custom 3D-printed titanium crankset available as a standalone part, with crank length customizable well beyond the range of what is typically commercially available without compromising on the performance of the crank.

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