Italian Brand Pinarello Launches “World’s Fastest” 3D Printed Bike
Bolide F HR 3D is the new name of the bike developed by Pinarello that incorporates 3D printed parts. The Italian brand claims it’s the fastest 3D-printed bike in the world, designed specifically for Filippo Ganna and his Hour Record, the cycling challenge of covering the greatest distance possible in one hour. . The frame and fork of the bike were 3D printed on a metal machine from a Scandium-Aluminium-Magnesium alloy, traditionally used in the aerospace industry.
Additive manufacturing is often involved in cycling, enabling better performance for professional and amateur cyclists. The goal is to design optimized, lighter and more comfortable components to improve the racing experience, whatever the end goal. The technologies and materials used vary and it is not uncommon to use metal 3D printing or composite processes to provide maximum strength. This is Pinarello’s bet, who turned to this way of treating metal.
This process has allowed us to introduce new shapes and features that are impossible to replicate.
At the level of the frame and the fork of the bike, it is a laser fusion process on a powder bed which has been used. Pinarello has chosen a Scandium-Aluminium-Magnesium alloy, known for its high resistance. “The frame was only made up of five parts, with the front triangle being three pieces and the seatstays/chain rails being two other pieces,” the company said. “These parts were made individually and after meticulous cleaning and removal of supports. The parts were bonded together using an aerospace grade epoxy. As for the handlebar, it was also 3D printed but in titanium .
The teams behind this project were largely inspired by humpback whales, further proof that biomimicry and 3D printing go hand in hand. They relied on research carried out by the University of Adelaide since 2006, which shows that these whales are able to perform very sharp turns and large leaps out of the water thanks to their tubercles, that is- i.e. the protrusions located in front of their fins. These help them drain water better and therefore reduce drag and improve lift.
Inspired by the fins of these humpback whales, Adeläide researchers imagined a sinusoidal hydrofoil design on a bicycle frame. They realized that this would reduce the drag on the frame: the ridges mimicking the tubercles make it possible to generate sort of vortices between the bumps on the seat post, thus reducing the separation between the seat post and the frame. This design would allow the bike to go faster. For Pinarello, it’s an important but not sufficient design, so the brand worked with an aerodynamic R&D specialist, NablaFlow. This allowed Pinarello to come up with a unique AeroNodes design to dramatically improve the bike’s aerodynamics.
The new frame has been designed to reduce the frontal area as much as possible also taking advantage of the removal of the UCI 3:1 rule. There have been substantial gains by making the wheel hubs as well as the bottom bracket (BB) narrower than normal. The BB has been reduced to 54mm (instead of 70mm), the wheel hubs from 120mm to 89mm at the rear and from 100mm to 69mm at the front.