The 3D Printed Moorhuhn is Now Available in Full Titanium

Nov 17, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

What do you do when you've already made one of the most stunning lockdown projects of the year? The answer is probably to just make it again, except this time from titanium. That's exactly what Ralf Holleis did and the result is this fully titanium, 3D printed Moorhuhn trail bike.

When Ralf Holleis first showed off his 3-D printed stainless steel trail bike earlier in the year as part of the European Bike Challenge, it showed us a different way to build steel bikes with Reynolds 953 tubes for the front triangle, Columbus Zona for the rear triangle, and lugs made from either 17/4 PH or 316 L stainless steel. The bike was polished to a mirror finish and its lugs-and-tubes construction brought a swoopiness (that's the technical term) to steel frames that isn't often seen in the classic all-tubes style frame.
Details:

Frame Material: Titanium
Rear Travel: 129mm
Front travel: 140mm fork recommended
Head angle: 67°
Seat tube angle: 76°
Reach: 469.6mm
Chainstays: 434mm

For this version, all the lugs have been printed from Ti-6Al-4V and then they were connected by Grade 9 titanium in the front triangle and Grade 2 titanium in the swingarm, with all tubes supplied by Dedacciai . The bike was a collaborative effort with Mathias Scherer of Mawis BIkes, a frame builder with 10 years of experience working with titanium. Ralf doesn't have much experience working with the material but helped Mathias with a fork crown on one of his recent builds so, in return, Mathias was able to weld together this bike for Ralf.

Moorhuhn
The steel Moorhuhn from earlier in the year...
... vs his new Titanium model.

Why titanium? Well, not only is it a bit of frame builder exotica but it gives Ralf the ability to drop the weight of his creation without resorting to carbon. This frame sheds a whole kilogram - the weight drops from 3.6kg (7.9lb) to 2.6kg (5.7lb). On top of this benefit, Ralf prefers the fact that titanium has a reduced carbon footprint compared to the black weave and can be recycled at the end of its life. Finally, as titanium doesn't corrode, Ralf can be more creative with the finish of the bike and use anodising and sandblasting, rather than just painting.


Frame material aside, there aren't actually too many changes between the two bikes. Ralf has transferred over the same geometry, travel and kinematics from the steel bike and he's also settled on a similar build of mainly European parts including suspension from Intend, wheels from TrueBC and Extralite, and an Ingrid Components drivetrain.



The other big difference between the two bikes comes from the finish. Instead of polishing the whole frame, he anodized the frame the same color as the Intend BC Hero lowers, then masked it with stickers in the shape of feathers and sandblasted it.


Much like the steel version of the bike, Ralf will only be building 12 of these frames a year. The titanium frame costs € 4,900 while the steel frame goes for € 3,400.

Watch a video of the bike being built, here:

More info, here.


124 Comments

  • 70 0
 "Will accept bike related trades"?
  • 206 0
 Probably best to start with an offer of your abused RC car complete with all well worn parts and spare bodies, a snowboard and bindings from 2010, what you assure him is a genuine Rolex you got 8 years ago, and just to emphasize the point that your are offering more than the bike's value in trade, throw in your hobby MIG welder from Canadian Tire that has "minimal use" and is STILL IN THE BOX!

Then just sit back and wait for your new frame to arrive in the mail.
  • 6 1
 @tkrug: best comment of all time
  • 12 0
 @tkrug: What about my playstation?!?!?! That's worth something too - right?
  • 7 0
 @tkrug: you forgot used hockey sticks and last generation's videogame console
  • 1 0
 @tkrug: lmao - very well done!
  • 8 0
 @tkrug: and a Canon Camera that kinda works but with some minimal repairs will work great. And a 2012 Fox RP23 shock.
  • 2 0
 @tkrug: brilliant
  • 7 0
 @tkrug: And no half an oz? Come back to me when you're ready to make an actual deal.
  • 3 0
 @tkrug: and what about my mother in law?
  • 2 0
 @tkrug: if it were a quick negotiation I could offer perishable products such as, for example, hams, mortadella, parmesan (the real one) .......
  • 1 0
 @jaydubmah: PS2 or 3?
  • 2 0
 @tkrug: I was once offered a live pig and some reloading equipment for a moto I was selling.
  • 4 1
 I hear Danny Hart is looking to offload a Saracen Myst as fast as possible.
  • 2 0
 @jaydubmah: only if it's ps3 or older. xbox 360s are also acceptable.
  • 3 1
 Luckily only 12 frames a year will be hanging in a dentists office.
  • 1 0
 @tkrug: How about a used Babolat tennis racket, a single white couch cushion, and my friends lightly used Nintendo Wii U? I would even throw in a pair of half worn batteries just to be sure.
  • 1 3
 Ok we all need to stop. @tkrug had a super funny, original comment and everyone else is just getting annoying.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: this IS pinkbike
  • 42 5
 Fine, I'll be "that guy."

Titanium does, like all metals, indeed corrode.

Let the downvoting commence.
  • 17 1
 you're right. If you never wash your bike and leave it outside of your ocean front home for 20 years, it may be not be rideable.
  • 5 0
 Especially if the joints are not properly back-purged during welding, common place for that corrosion to start. I'm sure these were of course....
  • 4 22
flag skerby (Nov 17, 2020 at 13:36) (Below Threshold)
 @krka73: It says 3d printed in the title
  • 14 0
 @skerby: The parts are printed and then welded together.
  • 19 0
 @ssteve: I'm not here to vote, just to mention that gold doesn't corrode. Not saying I'd prefer that for a bike, I'm happy with carbon steel.
  • 40 0
 @vinay: Hello, I'm just here in the interest of pure pedantry!
Indeed gold doesn't corrode. But it would be more accurate to say that PURE gold doesn't corrode. Pure gold is soft and jewellers add other metals making it a gold alloy. These gold alloys technically can corrode. 24 carat is considered to be virtually pure gold and does not react with oxygen. Metals that don't react with oxygen are called 'noble' and so gold is the most noble of all metals!

I hope you have all enjoyed todays lesson! Join me again next week where we ask the question - Did Papa Shango have a club foot?!
  • 22 0
 @G-horseNoBrakes: Did someone say pedantry? I mean yes titanium corrodes, but it corrodes like stainless steel (or copper, or aluminum...) corrodes in that the corrosion is what keeps it from corroding. Then there's galvanic corrosion, but lets assume any titanium bike owner knows not to store their bike in a Steel or brass salt water tank...
  • 18 0
 @skeeple: haha as far as I know thats the only correct way to store a Ti bike


On a serious note galvanic corrosion is why it's a good idea to use brass spoke nipples rather than alloy, especially if you live and ride near the coast.

Really we should actually all be putting a tiny tiny bit of lube on each spoke nipple after every time you ride in wet... How many folk can say they have ever done this even once? Full disclaimer: I haven't done it once in my life

Other Disclaimer* Admit to having lubed a nipple once or twice when I was young. Wasnt a spoke nipple.
  • 7 0
 @G-horseNoBrakes: perhaps there is scope for a Zinc counter weight (to the valve) on rims - hence becoming a sacrificial anode + a wanky feature for pros and PinkBike to report on from the pits...?
  • 1 0
 @JosMaple: ooh, I like that idea!
  • 3 0
 @bikesareouchy: Done that with old steel Colnago. Doesn't work. It still rides..
  • 4 0
 @JosMaple: haha yes!

Imagine the peace of mind this would bring mid race as you float over a big double, in a split second you'd know that your wheels are balanced properly, theres no imperceptible up/down wobble and you wont even need to lube each spoke nipple after the race.

Its these small incremental psychological gains that win races
  • 1 0
 @G-horseNoBrakes: For the sake of pedantics everywhere, gold is used in electronics purely for the wow factor as silver is a better conductor of electricity (and is used in most aerospace applications) in fact silver oxide is still a better conductor than gold.
  • 2 0
 @OnTheRivet: I'll be honest my knowledge in electronics is limited but just to keep the pedantry going...

Silver is indeed the most conductive metal. But gold isn't used purely for wow factor, its used due to the aforementioned high resistance to corrosion. Silver tarnishes much much more than gold and when it tarnishes the outer surface actually becomes less conductive.

This is why copper and gold are more commonly used as copper is much cheaper and pure gold doesn't corrode.

This is why you see on some higher end Hi-Fi the speaker terminals and inputs are gold plated. It helps stop corrosion on the terminals.
  • 1 0
 @G-horseNoBrakes: I probably know even less about electronics but I noticed the jack plugs of high end guitar cables are gold plated too. Which makes little sense as guitar cables get connected and disconnected with every use so the soft gold will wear off soon enough. Not to mention any half decent guitar player smashes the guitar to little bitty pieces after having finished the tune.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGx4g5WxK68

Then again I recently read that this is done with the utmost care so that they can be glued back together in time for the next concert. At least I understand this is how The Who used to do it. If we finally get more money into mountainbiking, riders could integrate this into WC racing. As far as I understand road cycling already is getting more than enough money so let's start there.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I'm sure I knew that, but good catch. Everybody's wrong sometimes.
  • 1 0
 @ssteve: Good catch?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTlFk-chSh4

Indeed, the singer of the band above.
  • 32 6
 That is AWESOME... for sure it's kind of just Dentist fodder for the time being. But this tech will trickle down and get cheaper and cheaper till this kind of manufacturing is more common and affordable. Cool stuff!!
  • 49 3
 Titanium won't get cheaper
  • 9 0
 @spaced: I believe stiingya was referring to the manufacturing method not the material. But you're not incorrect titanium is far more scarce than aluminum and will never be cheap as a material.
  • 21 1
 @spaced: The cost of titanium bikes as I understand it isn't in the material (the 9th most abundant element on earth) but the work time and wear on tools involved because of the strength & toughness of the material. Improvements in 3D printing technology & speed for producing the more complicated frame pieces would be the way costs could fall using this method.
  • 4 0
 Titanium bikes have come wayyy down in price in the Road world, where they have been used for decades. You can get new Lynskey road frames for like $1500, and Kingdom Bikes fully enduro frames for under $3500 (USD). Thats actually not too bad.
  • 7 0
 @Bob-Agg: While titanium may be abundant, it needs a lot of time and energy to refine, so while it's abundant it's still an expensive material. It sure is more work and harder on tools than steel or aluminium, but not as time intensive as carbon fiber, especially for a traditional welded frame.
  • 4 1
 I love how it’s the running joke that dentists are flush with cash. I happen to know several and the ones that are flush with cash are generally in the third trimester, if you will, of their careers and not likely to be shredding the local trails. The younger ones are usually paying such huge sums toward their school loans that a fancy bike doesn’t factor in to their spending.
  • 2 0
 Thanks ????
  • 19 1
 Looks very cool aesthetically, but Grade 2 titanium (aka commercially pure titanium) isn't a great option for the rear end, it's very weak compared to grade 5 (Ti6Al4V) which is basically the alloy that titanium's reputation is built on as far as strength to weight ratios. www.makeitfrom.com/compare/Grade-2-3.7035-R50400-Titanium/Grade-5-Ti-6Al-4V-3.7165-R56400-Titanium. Even grade 9, whilst significantly better than Grade 2, is still not a great structural choice compared to grade 5. Might be cheaper and easier to work with, but at those specific strengths, so are aluminum and steel.

With that said, at 12 units a year, it's basically a collector's item rather than a production bike, and hanging it on the wall probably isn't going to break it.
  • 5 1
 "hanging it on the wall probably isn't going to break it"

haha laughed out loud at that. Its true though, these frames really are just pure bike jewellery. Even tho I know Titanium(not sure about those other grades though) is up to the job, they do look a wee bit flimsy.

I just cant imagine seeing someone absolutely shredding on one of these on a cold dark wet afternoon in Scotland covered in mud.

I feel like if I seen some one riding a bike like this rather than hanging it on the wall I'd almost be a bit annoyed.
  • 1 0
 The reason why the whole thing isn’t 6Al4V (Grade 5) is because of the limited tube sizes available. It’s why almost no frames are 6Al4V entirely. 3Al2.5V (Grade 9) has more tube size availability and the pure Grades 1 & 2 have the most.
  • 3 0
 @blanc: yeah but at 12 units a year, high unit prices and 3d printed lugs, limited tube availability seems like a bit of a cop-out.

Fair play to the guy though, easy for me to sit and criticise but he actually built a pretty cool looking bike.
  • 2 0
 @Socket: Oh, I mean, 6Al4V is only made in a few diameters, and wall thicknesses mostly as tubing for oil and gas industries. Not, that it’s hard to get.
  • 7 0
 You are right! These are butted tubes from Dedacciai next TI frame is planed in grade 5 tubes with continuous wall thickness. That makes it cheaper as well and I have the same grade on tubes as well as print parts
  • 18 2
 Titanium bikes are a just a completely different kind of sexy. Sensible trail bike geometry and gorgeous looks. I really want one
  • 3 0
 I randomly clicked this link and saw the nicest bike ever made
  • 11 2
 Cornelius Kapfinger is doing everything I don't have the balls to do as an engineer. its like building a go kart in your garage and saying you wanna compete with Chrysler, difference is, he build a mclaren F1... the talent and execution is sooo insane,
  • 12 1
 Shut up and take my money!
  • 2 1
 Hell yes, mine too.
  • 33 0
 The mind is willing, but the wallet is weak...
  • 3 0
 @BenTheSwabian: a spare kidney ought to fortify the wallet.. no?
  • 4 0
 @SanD-blkrider: i only have one left lol
  • 1 0
 Is this the dentist subsection of the comment section?
  • 7 0
 "More environmentally friendly" and "reduced carbon footprint over (carbon)" is misleading.

Titanium takes an incredibly large amount of energy to produce. How much less than carbon, Al or Fe... would be nteresting to know.

Provoking question: why not a "return deposit" on recyclable sporting goods?
  • 7 0
 Take a trip to your local supermarket to experience environmentally damaging waste. Carbon frames must be a micro fraction of the amount of garbage SUV driving suburban consumers are spewing into the universe.
  • 5 0
 @blackthorne: If you're genuinely interested, check out the book titled: How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything
  • 5 0
 $15K custom bike using the best of European manufacturers and he is installing the swing arm pivot bolts with an adjustable wrench rather than a Crombie socket on a ratchet or a torque wrench!!!
  • 6 0
 I usually enjoy being a cheapskate.....but we all have a breaking point right?
  • 6 0
 if the T1000 & a rubber tree made a love child.
  • 6 0
 Love it. Dare I say it but could be slacker tho
  • 4 1
 I want to revieve mine like in the picture of it all laid out on the floor (and by that I mean separated) it would be soooo fun as a put-it-together-yourself. Or I think so.
  • 2 0
 Maybe one of you engineer type folk can answer, what is the benefit of the 3D printed lug vs a cast lug. Is there any beyond it’s kinda cool and because we can?

That said, it’s a good looking ride.
  • 3 0
 The honeycomb structure inside the lugs cannot be cast or machined, it can only be printed.
  • 1 0
 @krka73: Also low volume is easier printed.
  • 4 3
 Its much easier to invent a problem and then solve it with 3d printing. When you do investment casting it forces you to actually think weather their was a problem that needed solving in the first place. With 3d print you just add "additive manufacturing" to your sales pitch and the mindless consumers scream "BUY BUY BUY"
  • 2 0
 @gotohe11carolina Very specialised equipment is required to cast titanium. You need non-reactive refractory materials and the furnace to be under vacuum. It would cost an order of magnitude more than 3D printing. Anyone can send a CAD file to a supplier and have something 3D printed in titanium for relatively low cost.
  • 1 0
 @blanc: Depends on what you call relatively low. Titanium requires a DMLS printer, Not every 3d printing company have DMLS printers and not every DMLS printer is capable of printing titanium. Ive had quotes for very small parts (smaller than my fist) at around $900USD for a single unit printed in titanium, one quote for the same part was over $2000. It was cheaper in the long run for me to revert to Investment casting.
  • 4 0
 3D printed lugs can offer more design freedom than casting. There are obviously limitations to all processes but theoretically 3D printing can bring unique design approaches for making novel lightweight shapes and structures that casting can't do. Using certain design software you can really explore and optimise designs without having to worry as much about manufacturing limitations with casting. The aerospace industry has taken to it big time as it can build lighter parts quicker/easier. Also can offer the opportunity (within reason) of customization, changing angles sizes easily within batch production (exactly what Atherton bikes are doing).

Just using 3D printing for the sake of it (by replicating an easily cast part for example) unless you are taking advantage of the above doesn't make sense.
  • 1 0
 @conhayes: Production with 3DP isn't very good especially on large or complex parts. The machine time is too long and thats what drives cost per unit. Its good for rapid prototyping, adding internal features that is impossible otherwise and thats about it.
  • 1 0
 @JoshieK: Yeah agree part cost is very prohibitive at the moment so only worth going down this route if it justifies the cost. I've developed thermally optimized conformal cooling channels for blow mold tooling with complex internal cooling using EOS DMLS system. The conformal cooling channel shapes were optimised to reduce cooling times of bottles in mass production.

Works well in this case, a relatively expensive single part can provide big cost savings in the long run. German automotive guys are using this technique for years, and Lego apparently too.
  • 3 0
 Builds an uber-expensive bike with only uber-expensive parts... still uses a hardware style bearing press and no torque wrench in sight. PUNK ROCK!
  • 1 0
 Form the drip feed of information of Kingdom Bikes Facebook/Instgram feed, they are working on something very similar (additive print titanium shortish travel trail bike) ,for release early next year. Hoping it should be a bit cheaper to buy that this.
  • 4 0
 Waiting for the water bottle warriors to show up...
  • 3 0
 Wow, the price has come down a lot! In June, the plan was for steel to cost 6000 Euro and Ti to cost 6500 Euro.
  • 3 3
 Thats probably for all the blasting he took for using a manufacturing technique that is completely unnecessary the price for what is otherwise a very unremarkable bike. Having said that, construction is identical to the steel variant, the extra 500euros is just passing on the cost of Ti to the customer.
  • 4 1
 There's more to life than bloody carbon firbre.....thankfully!!
  • 2 0
 Remember that south park episode where the internet goes out......and the ectoplasm.....and the sploosh......
  • 3 0
 It was a spooky ghost!
  • 3 0
 Guess I should be looking into some titanium stock for the future
  • 3 0
 No Bottle mount, no sale. And a 67* HA?
  • 1 0
 Well love the build but honestly this pivot design made in titanium will transform this bike in the bigges “bender” since Shaun Palmer in his best days
  • 5 2
 Looks like an Amp
  • 1 0
 OMG flashback dosis
  • 3 0
 Sweet bike
  • 1 2
 "This frame sheds a whole kilogram - the weight drops from 3.6kg (7.9lb) to 2.6kg (5.7lb)."
Previously Ralph had told us the Steel bike was 3.9kg, Some revisionist history going on here.
  • 1 1
 Beautiful bike, but please just one pic with the seat pushed down, seatposts in the high position ruins the look of a gravity oriented bike!
  • 1 0
 These bikes are unreal. Awesome to see steel/Ti FS bikes stealing the limelight from the plastic bikes
  • 2 0
 Tiiiitaaaanium!
  • 3 2
 Oh...Oh, be still my beating heart! Such a looker!
  • 4 2
 b e a uuuuu tiful!
  • 3 1
 Looks like an ICB2.0
  • 3 2
 So this Is like, "I own Aspen Dentistry" Bike
  • 2 0
 His name is Dr. Turchin. For real
  • 1 0
 must be a typo - reach should read 368.99mm
  • 1 0
 This is amazing. Breathtaking.
  • 1 0
 Okay, now don't ride it, ever!
  • 2 1
 Meh... looks like a session... (don't mind me, I'll show myself out)
  • 1 0
 that other guy, "carbon version of that would be sweet!"
  • 1 0
 No torque wrench?
Wow such a beautiful bike
  • 1 3
 why on earth did he weld on the front shock mount when it was 3d printed?? It should have been incorporated in the print rather than adding all the issues of welding with heat effected zones to something that did not need it
  • 2 0
 Only the lugs have been 3D printed. The tubes between the lugs are just regular tubes that are welded to the printed lugs.
  • 1 1
 @blanc: you are right... seems like a wasted opportunity.

I didnt look that closely... saw 67 HA and the rest got hazy
  • 1 0
 @MrZ32: 3d printing anything bigger than the size of a cricket ball is economically inefficient, has been that way since its inception and there appears to be no end to that trend in sight.
  • 1 0
 @JoshieK: granted.. however what part of this bike reads economically efficient?
  • 2 0
 @MrZ32: Well the frame manufacture must involve a trip to the ski field for Ralph otherwise I cannot see how one would justify the price of the frame, as for the rest of the bike its mostly other overpriced and overhyped "german" engineering, which at this point simply means EXPENSIVE.
  • 1 0
 Looks like my mom’s hybrid
  • 1 0
 Single speed Slope/4X version....
  • 1 0
 €4900 frame. Puts Kenda tyres on it. Good one.
  • 1 0
 Heard a crowd funding page next week is opening
  • 1 0
 I'd crash just thinking about that fork.
  • 1 0
 Moorhuhn ... Swamp chicken. Too awesome!
  • 1 0
 Looks expensive!
  • 1 0
 no thanks
  • 1 0
 Porn
  • 1 0
 Amazing rear Derailleur
  • 1 0
 Nice bike.
  • 2 3
 RELEASE THE KRAKEN

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