Three years ago I wrote an article titled “Is 3D Printing the Future for Mountain Bikes?” Well, if you ask Robot Bike Co., the answer is yes!
Robot Bike Co. is a new company in the UK that’s producing its first bike frame, a 160mm trail bike called the R160 that’s unlike any other bike on the market. The carbon-tubed, titanium-lugged frame can be completely customized by the consumer thanks to the fact that the lugs are effectively 3D printed on demand.
The company says the lugs are “printed” from the ground up using a process called Selective Laser Melting, which fuses titanium powder into place. After building up the lugs, the parts are CNC machined to fit bottom brackets and headsets. Robot Bike Co. points out that the process should not be confused with “normal” 3D printing which most consumers are familiar with.
To construct the frame, uni-directional fiber carbon tubes are inserted into the titanium lugs and epoxied into place. According to their website, the company works closely with suspension design master Dave Weagle and has been honing the design and production process since 2013.
Custom mountain bikes never come cheap, and the R160 is no exception. The frame retails for about $6,400 (£4395). Check out the video below to see the R160 in action!