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.
Does free-improv ridding style work well with hardcountry?
This seems to carry over into stainless as well if this article is anything to go by www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/3d-printing-doubles-strength-stainless-steel (cited article here www.nature.com/articles/nmat5021)
And I remember reading somewhere that some materials scientists in Texas were successful in developing a technique for making the "strongest" steel in an additive machine, I don't remember what their parameter for "strong" was.
I know that a weld is not necessarily a failure point, if done correctly. But those are QC points and that means they're inherently prone to human error - before, during, and after welding.
sound REALLY inefficent. normal 3d printed metal parts are around 20% weaker than cnc cut parts, do to delamination or cracking
Tell me which ones!
Reduce manufacturing time, doing some custom geometry, give carbone frame design to steel/Ti frames are concrete benefits but not enough to make a real innovative scalable production.
About AM mechanical properties, we talk about bikes frames and not aircraft landing gear. Even if mechanical sollicitation are huge (especially when you are fat ), the mechanical properties are sufficient. Atherton guys ride ther Hard line with AM + carbon frames. I have more worries about the glue they use than the titanium AM parts...
don't kink shame your mom!
Of course we can :-)
If you use the additive manufacturing like @CASCAN said, the additive manufacturing steel can be stronger than traditional tube-to-tube welding systems. So, the additive manufacturing gives you the possibility to add strength to parts like a heavily loaded headtube. Because of that, we use it.
.... and yes, we like some aesthetic, too! :-)
Btw, absolutely gorgeous bike! Wish you guys the best!
Thank you for your feedback !
There are a lot of cases where 3d printing is great but not with a simple construction like the BB area of a bike, at least if you want a cost effective process.
At the end of the day though, Huhn is doing some dope looking shit. I dont know that its better from a materials properties sort of way, but they certainly are taking advantage of the printers ability to make nicely surfaced components. If they tried to cast those parts, they'd either be super heavy or they'd have a ton of porosity due to the thin wall nature of things like head tubes. There are some casting methods that would probably allow them to make parts like they have designed here at scale, but holy cow is the tooling expensive.
time to bring back 4X tracks, Cedric Gracia's backflips, and Blur 4X back from the dead
if you want to have one colour or a raw steel / titan look, drop us a message: firstname.lastname@example.org
it was a steel frame beast with NO suspension , but was a total blast to ride because i didn't care if i crashed it and stopping
was crap shoot . sometimes you were able to slow down enough to make a sharp curve and sometimes not . Of course the speeds we were traveling were nothing compared to today but thats all we knew and it was super fun.
He also has a big full squish bike for big mountain riding and serious EWS races. I have no idea how technical those tracks he raced on the HT were, but I bet they were not as rough as most of the EWS tracks.
To me that example really just proves my point. Some experienced riders have bikes like this for fun, but they are not a cheap substitute for a real big mountain bike which is how they are sometimes presented.
I suspect you wouldn't break this one.
+1 for use of the word portmanteau, which itself, is a portmanteau; like Orgasm.
This straight line from headtube to dropout just does NOT look good. Make it higher, and you don't need such a long seatpost. And who really needs to lower their saddle THAT low?!