A folding performance bike? Preposterous! And yet Montague Bikes have created a no-compromise folding bike with 3D printing technology.
Montague Bikes have launched a new performance folding bike that was rapidly prototyped with 3D printing. The company is keen to emphasise that absolutely no compromise has been made on the stability of the bicycle, despite the fact that it folds in half.
David Montague, founding member and president, explained to Sports Illustrated: “We make full size bikes that fold, not folding bikes. You don’t miss out on any of the benefits of high end componentry, but you have the added benefit of being able to take it with you.”
The company stems from humble beginnings in a garage in Washington D.C., owned by David’s dad Harry. The passion project has since blossomed into a global company; nearly thirty years later, they offer more than 10 models of folding performance bike.
In 2010, their first street bike was launched. Over five years later, 3D printing helped with the complete overhaul of the folding frame design.
Benefits of the Folding Performance Bike
The new DirectConnect folding system works extremely easily, requiring just one quick release on the wheel and one lever on the frame to fold the bike in half.
Montague said: “The beauty of DirectConnect is that it’s totally hidden. It’s tailor-made for its use and it was very valuable to use 3D printing to design the prototype and have something in our hands in a matter of hours or days.”
The DirectConnect prototypes were first printed in plastic with the help of Shapeways, and these were used to get a sense of the scaling as well as testing various elements of fit and finish.
Once the team were sure that everything worked properly, a DirectConnect frame was printed in aluminium and then welded so the bike could be tested properly.
“What used to be a months-long process that cost thousands of dollars can now be done in a week for a couple hundred dollars,” Montague said.
Along with the new DirectConnect system, Montague Bikes launched a new road bicycle geared specifically towards fitness riders called the FIT bike, which you can check out here.
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