Charge Bikes has revealed a collaboration with the European Aeronautic Defence and Space centre, which will now see the production of 50 Freezer complete bikes with some very unique 'printed titanum dropouts'.
Fans of Charge Bikes and followers of head honcho Nick Larsen may have spotted tweets referring to titanium printing over the past few months and the firm has today told BikeBiz: "I think we are, for once, ahead of everyone else in tech."
The process, dictated by a three dimensional CAD model, 'slices' the design into a series of very fine layers, which are then selectively melted in a bed of powder to form a solid form.
So, what does it all mean? At present Charge have created some complex dropouts with their logo protruding, (which some may have spotted at the recent CSG shows at both Manchetser Velodrome and Mercedes Benz World in Surrey) but in the long term, Larsen says: "It opens up so much potential. We're going to start working on some other bits."
The process is new, however, which does mean that at present it's on the cost prohibitive side, with the 50 limited edition Freezer models costing £400 more than the conventional design.
"It will become affordable," though says Larsen. "The cost has come down in the last year alone. Much like rapid prototyping was ridiculously expensive only a matter of years ago, now you can by a machine for under £1,000..."