Ahoy there, lovers of hi-tech gadgetry and alternative transportation modes! Today we bring you another one in a series of 3D printing breakthroughs fresh on the growing global market of innovative products – and you’ll have to admit, this one is truly made to stand out from the rest of the lot. An outcome of collaboration between two Portland-based companies, Solid is the world’s first connected 3D printed bike which promises to sweep up quite a pretty penny in case it goes on production, and here’s why.
The result of a joint endeavor conducted by design consultancy Industry and Ti Cycles bike-building team of experts due to run in the Bike Design Project competition, Solid draws on the Ti Cycles 25 years of heavy metal engineering experiences and Industry’s comprehensive design and prototyping knowledge to produce a sleek urban bike made from a durable titanium frame and sub-assemblies equipped with a sturdy, oil-free A Gates carbon belt, an internal hub for effortless gear shifting by a simple press of a button, a set of reliable hydraulic disk brakes for maximum rider safety, clever internal wiring, cool-looking fenders and sensor-activated front and rear lights powered by a built-in dynamo.
The Solid frame and sub-assemblies are 3D printed in titanium and then TIG welded for optimum structure integrity to make sure your bike stays fit and functional even on rocky rides. The handlebars are modeled after the Ti Cycle signature Double S bar geometry and packed with integrated haptic feedback servo motors to facilitate navigation around town. In other words, the handlebar grips send buzzing and vibrating alerts to let you know when you need to take a turn to the left or right or change direction to get to your destination. This means that with these smart handlebars, you will never have to stop and fumble around with your phone for maps, orientation charts and confusing route directions so you’ll be able to enjoy the ride to its fullest.
“SOLID is inspired by the diverse beauty and soul of Portland, OR. From the urban energy of East Burnside to the raw landscape of Forest Park, the SOLID bike captures the essence of the city and the best of both worlds; hand-built craft meets modern manufacturing. This one-of-a-kind lifestyle bike was designed to inspire everyday cycling. It inspires people to explore their city with a responsive, seamless, solid ride. This is the bike redefined,” say the two partner companies behind Solid.
On top of the innovative 3D printed streamlined frame design and navigation-made-easy handlebars, Solid packs a few more handy features in its accompanying smartphone applications. Namely, the bike itself is connected through Bluetooth module to the maintenance application named ‘My Bike’ which keeps you updated on your two-wheeler’s upkeep essentials, such as the need for brake repairs or light replacements. On top of that, the collaborators decided to throw in another neat smartphone application dubbed ‘Discover My City’ to honor their much-loved Portland hometown. The ‘My City’ app functions like your personal digital tour guide, packing five special cycling tours through the area, each of them designed with utmost care to pay tribute to famous Portland residents, including Nike legend Tinker Hatfield.
And last but not the least – despite all the tech crammed inside the titanium frame, this outstanding intuitive urban beast is light enough to carry up a flight of stairs without breaking a sweat, and it also comes with a modular rack so you can easily adjust it to suit your packing needs best.
That said, all we can do for now is keep our fingers crossed for Solid to win the approaching 2014 Oregon Manifest competition. In case it passes the test of the Bike Design Project jury with flying colors, a limited 100-piece edition of Solid will be assembled on the Fuji production line and with some luck and regular update checks, you’ll probably be able to get your hands on the world’s latest titanium bike as soon as it goes on sale. watch the video below
Subscribe to Jebiga for a dose of the best in gear, design, rides, tech and adventure.