100% Limburg Bike: Customized smart racing bikedecember 3, 2019
A consortium of Limburg-based small and medium-sized enterprises and companies on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus is developing an innovative, customized lightweight racing bike that is built according to the wishes of the future user. The prototype will be ready in about six months. As soon as the fully personalized, unique and safe racing bike is ‘consumer-ready’, the consortium will market this bike from its base in Limburg.
By opting for the development of a racing bike, the consortium responds to the growing popularity of cycling and the positive health effects of exercise.
The innovations are mainly focused on material and production technology, sensor technology and IT for generating production data. The technology and innovation also have the potential to be used in manufacturing industries such as the security industry, aerospace, racing and motorsport.
The racing bike prototype is currently being finalized. This first version of the 100% Limburg Bike is expected to be presented within six months. The Brightlands Chemelot Campus brought together consortium partners CeraCarbon, Mullens Sports & Health Innovations, Belgian Cycling Factory, Eurocarbon, Kembit, Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Brightlands Materials Center and Chemelot Innovation and Learning Labs (CHILL).
The 100 % Limburg Bike distinguishes itself in terms of innovation:
-The racing bike was composed using various 3D printing technologies and developments. The materials used are titanium, sealed magnesium and carbon fiber. The frame is customized to the user's specifications and complies with ISO standards and UCI requirements. Each copy is unique and created in the user's desired shape, 3D printing and colors.
-The fork is unbreakable. The combination of carbon fibers and Dyneema® fibers ensures optimum strength and stiffness of the fork and thus, user safety. A special braiding technique (overbraiding) ensures the correct density and direction of fibers.
-The frame and the connections (lugs) are glued together, a technique that is also used in the aircraft and automotive industries. A sustainable biobased adhesive is being developed for this purpose. The development of thermoplastic resin will ensure that the carbon is recyclable.
- A sensing function is added to the materials, allowing continuous monitoring of the load the bike is subjected to. For example, sensing checks whether the racing bike has suffered invisible damage in the event of a minor collision.
It is yet to be determined when and where the sportive cyclist can order the 100% Limburg Bike and what the price tag will be.
The 100% Limburg Bike project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Province of Limburg. The ERDF finances projects that contribute to the development of the economy in the south of the Netherlands, and in this case the innovative capacity of SMEs in particular.
Innovation, sports and health
Project leader Menno Smeelen: “This will be a special Limburg knowledge product: conceived and made in Limburg and customized to the user in detail. We have responded to a need from the market, and this product fits perfectly with the knowledge and strength of the region."
Bert Kip, CEO Brightlands Chemelot Campus: “The 100% Limburg Bike project shows you that the cooperation between Brightlands and the business community in Limburg works as intended, leading to wonderful innovations. It also combines the top industries of Chemistry, HTSM*-ICT and Life Sciences/Health in a concrete product. In the future, these material innovations will also become particularly interesting for the aviation or automotive industry."
Deputy Joost van den Akker (economy, labor market, sports, Brightlands): “Many lines come together in this project. The province of Limburg particularly encourages sports because exercise can make us healthier, and cycling is considered one of the most important types of sport. It is great that small and medium-sized enterprises get to play a key role in this project, a prime example of the collaboration between Brightlands and SMEs!”
WEBSITE 100% LIMBURG BIKE: www.limburgbike.brightlands.com
*(HTSM: high tech systems and materials)