Ralf Holleis and his Huhn Cycles brand shot to prominence last year when he built his 3D printed Moorhuhn frames
for the European Bike Challenge
. Using additive manufacturing, he connected steel (and later titanium
) tubes with 3-D printed lugs to create full-suspension frames with silhouettes simply not possible with traditional tubes-joined-to-tubes construction.
His work picked up plenty of fans and one of them has now commissioned him to design a custom hardtail that combines additive manufacturing with traditional bike building methods.
steel (Reynolds 853/ 316L)Intended Use:
27.5"Head Tube Angle:
64° (static)Seat Tube Angle:
€2,400 (custom geo plus 2 colour paint)More info: huhncycles.com
The result is La Fleche (The Arrow) a short travel, hardcore hardtail that is designed for trails, pumptracks and bike park riding - we'd call it hardcountry or downcore but we can't decide which portmanteau is more painful so we'll stick with the wordier description for now.
Ralf had been hoping to build a hardtail for a while so was delighted when the former 4X racer customer contacted him. The wheel size and travel were set by the customer and then Ralf sat down with him to discuss the geometry that would best fit his specification. They settled on a 64° head tube angle, 72° seat tube angle and reach of 453mm. Of course, this is at static and the bike will steepen up when it is sagged
Whereas most of the joints were 3D printed on Ralf's other projects, on this bike only the seatube junction and headtube use that method, the rest of the bike is fillet brazed. Ralf says that these two areas make the biggest difference in terms of strength and they allow him to create a more swoopy aesthetic.
The Huhn feather graphics return on this hardtail frame
Ralf is taking more custom orders at the moment although there is currently a five-month waiting list for a frame. The frame with custom geometry and 2 colour paint comes in at €2,400 with an €800 deposit.