CNC machining has some serious potential to shake up the way mountain bikes are manufactured. Frames could now be manufactured at plants locally, rather than being shipped around the world after production in East Asia. Plus, there's potential for frames made custom to riders with sizing and geometry to precisely suit their needs. There's just one problem at this point, it comes with a cost.
Currently, only a few brands are trying producing frames this way, most notably Atherton Bikes
using the lugs and tubes method and Pole
creating fully CNC'd frames. The latest brand to try the latter method is Alutech. The German brand has produced a CNC version of its eFanes eMTB, and if you thought the other brands listed were expensive then hold on to your hat, because this one is on sale at €16,000 ($19,000 USD).
170mm front and rearWheelsize:
29" front / 27.5" rearHead Angle:
Shimano with 504Wh internal batteryWeight:
21.15 kg / 46lbs (claimed)Price:
€15,999.90More info: alutech-cycles.com
So what do you get for the price of a down payment on a house?
The main advantage, Alutech says, is lightness. Shedding weight is still the holy grail for eMTBs and by machining special structures within the aluminum of the frame, the German brand can reduce the amount of material needed vs a conventional aluminum construction. The weight of the full bike is listed at 21.15 kg (46lbs), which isn't exactly what we'd call featherweight, but it is significantly lighter than, for example, the similarly specced Focus Sam2 we recently reviewed
. That bike weighs 25.89 kg (57 lbs) but does have a larger capacity battery, which will account for some of that weight.
Alutech claim this bike is made using "aerospace technology" and this gives the bike a smooth finish that you might not normally see on bikes milled fully from aluminum. Apparently these machines have much smaller tolerances than the machines used by other brands and this allows for a smoother finish. The other difference in construction is that Alutech aren't using bonding or titanium bolts to hold their frame halves together, but welding. Alutech uses a shielding gas that allows them to weld at a lower temperature and therefore not distort the material around the join. The weld has been left visible on the top of the downtube, but Alutech has mirror-polished to the top tube to keep the smoothness of the machining and hide the seam.
Article updated for clarity
The 170mm frame is specced as a mullet bike with a 29" wheel in the front and a 27.5" rear wheel. The motor comes from Shimano and it's powered by a 504 Wh battery with the option to upgrade to a 630Wh battery for an extra €250 ($296 USD). Only one spec level is available and it comes with full Fox Factory suspension, a Shimano XTR drivetrain and DT Swiss HXC wheels. Finishing kit comes from Bike Yoke and SQ Lab and there are Maxxis Minion tires fitted front and rear.
The bike is available in medium and large for €15,999.90. More info, here
just some weeks ago everybody (and everybody include me!) went bananas for Paul Aston's hyper-costum Nicolai G1, that doesn't even come with a motor! :-D
What do you guys think would be MRSP for that bike?
On Vital's article it was listed at "> 10000".
Let's guess maybe around 12/13K?
16K for this e-bike still sound absurd?
My point is that mtb crowd craves everyday for 9/10k bikes straight outta Vietnam, and even Aston's Nicolai received nothing but praises despite a MRSP well above 10k (and a weight probably in the same ballpark with some e-bikes :-P).
I just find a little uneven (albeit funny) price jokes on this e-bike as I see it more an exercise in style than a mass market product
Love the shapes of the organic/bone like parts,... keeping the weight only where needed.
One in Titanium for me please! I bet that will easily beat 16 grand of €
@RonSauce It's your right to spend thousands of dollars on bikes you find ugly... I don't but you can.
"Come on guys, im so hoarney to go for a bike ride..."
Well obviously not the correct length shock bolt
... And perhaps one of these bikes in the garage.
"Hey, let's think of the least efficient, largest waste of energy, outdated, heavy piece of utter shit design we can. Then let's sell it to absolute knob heads for a f*cking outrageous sum of money."
I'm actually offended.
This line "It could significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the industry with frames being manufactured at plants locally, rather than being shipped around the world after production in East Asia" is wrong on so many levels and lacks understanding of globalized manufacturing and shipping infrastructures. And that's before we even talk about how hydroforming alum creates a stronger structure than the same thing done with CNC.
Edit: I didn't even consider price, milling is well developed, this won't get cheaper any time soon
Ok, who's up for the job?? (BYOB - Bring your own bike)
I love badass machined components as much as anyone but this is an exercise in futility and selecting the wrong manufacturing method for the project at hand.
The bike is expensive because of the likely full week of machining time that when into make the components and then additional time to fixture and weld them together.
Cool bike but not sure where the author or the company things this is more environmental friendly or efficient than carbon.
Hydroformed Aluminum is the way to go for lightweight/thin-walled functional organic shapes of any complexity with near minimal material waste.
For 16k I'll be passing this by on my fully modded Beta 500RR-S or KTM 500 EXC.
Surely you know the stealth bombers and fighter planes that look like a monoplane, right? Guess who invented this design long before other nations even had a clue how to design or build something like that. There are still plenty of examples that one could list.
Did you know that German was THE language of science until the first world war?
And there is no need to talk about German cars here ;-).
Even though all cars, the newer they are, get more and more shitty. Everything adapts to the low globalisum standard.
However, I have to admit that I am a bit sceptical about this bike, although it is certainly a very interesting concept, apart from the price :-).
Apparently while germany was designing the Horton 229 the rest of the world was picking their noses? And yet despite all the "plenty of examples that one could list" you chose to reference a plane which never got past the prototype stage from 80 years ago...
Nothing worth 20k. Trying to make their standard mfg processes "special" is weak. Guy"s expression says how many of you are stupid enough to believe this bullshit?
I'm finding it hard to see how CNC is more a more efficient way to build bikes. If it were everyone would do it. Fact is its not.
So true this kind of egregious shit is everything wrong with the world today.
We love aluminium and forge, hydroform and weld bike frames since 20 years. We believe that we really understand the material and know exactly how to work with it - at least our customers seem to be happy ???? This project is about what is possible, having in mind to reduce the dependency on asia as the bike industries workshop, especially as a small bike brand, too. Local value creation? Short development cycles? New production processes? Quality control? Life cycle/circular economy? That kind of questions are the backdrop for this bike. Like a Porsche 918 Spyder, of course the CNC eFanes is not for everyone, that´s why we offer other (hydroforming) bikes. And, just for you guys: one element of the magic of the frame is that there is a proper bottle mount ????
I realize the average consumer will not be buying this bike. But hopefully over time the technology will trickle down so the average Joe can afford one.
Thats $25,000 CDN. I'm sure my wife would think up many ways to kill me if I bought one.
cool bike though
What great mind came up with the idea, that was saving any thing?
Marketing bull shit?
They forgot to mention it that you can charge your phone and play PS4 on it :-) Is dropper wireless?
Strange though, that it has been removed from the website today. (was still available yesterday)
Rather go for the other German Bike called...BMW GS1250 Adventure...and its cheaper.
Great looking bike...but very very very very very (NICHE) market!!!
Funding much? Just sayin'
Sorry I like to ride nimble bicycles not plough and squirt machines. Sod trying to lift that thing throughout the day at any point.
**ShOuLd I rUn mUlLeT?**
Where do you think the aluminum comes from?? Shopping a 60lb block of aluminum has a carbon footprint larger than shipping a 4lb carbon frame ....
Also, the idea of taking a 50lb billet of aluminum and turning 45lbs of it into chips on a cnc is hardly what I would call "less waste" or less carbon footprint than sending half of a short can of freight on a ship. Remember how the aluminum got there? Probably on a ship. No aluminum mines in Germany.