Header Image: 3D Printed Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D bike .
The ultimate benchmark for a cyclist, 60 minutes alone in a velodrome, suffering and draining any drop of energy left in the body. It’s the Hour record, the longest distance cycled in an hour from a stationary position.
From 1876, when the American Frank Dodds rode 26.508 km on a penny-farthing, the hour record has been held by the greatest cyclists in history from Fausto Coppi to Eddy Merckx, from Francesco Moser to Bradley Wiggins.
But the record is not just an incredible demonstration of human strength and endurance, it’s also the place to test and develop new cutting-edge technologies. In 1984 Francesco Moser smashed the record established 12 years before by Eddy Merckx using a revolutionary bike with composite lenticular wheels and a very peculiar frame shape.
38 years later the hour record is once again Italian, Filippo Ganna cycled 56,792 Km in an hour in the Swiss velodrome of Grenchen. The bike he rode is almost as impressive as the record itself. The Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D was the first metal 3D-printed bike. The company used a high permeance aluminum alloy (scalalloy) 3D printed in an EOS M400, an industrial scale powder bed fusion (PBF) system. This was a proof of concept and used all the advantages of 3D printing over traditional manufacturing techniques. Firstly, the flexibility in design, the scale-like pattern on the seat tube greatly helps with the aerodynamic, but this is only obtainable through additive manufacturing. But also, fast prototyping allows customizing the frame to the need of any individual athlete without the need of realizing expensive and time-consuming mold for carbon fiber frames.
 “Bolide F HR 3D | En | Pinarello Global.” Accessed October 21, 2022. https://pinarello.com/global/en/bikes/road/competition/bolide-f-hr-3d/bolide-f-1.
This article was written by Giulio Cavaliere as part of a series articles curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.
Giulio Cavaliere is investigating Additively manufactured biodegradable alloys for bone replacement at Uppsala University, Sweden.