3D-printed handlebar stem is stiff, lightweight – and costs £500
One of the advantages of 3D printing is the fact that instead of being cast as a solid piece of material, items can include material exactly where it's needed. The Elix bicycle handlebar stem takes this approach to a performance-boosting – and pocketbook-emptying – extreme.
Announced this Tuesday, the Elix is manufactured by British startup Mythos. It was designed by Dimitris Katsanis, who has previously created custom bicycle racing components via his additive engineering company Metron Advanced Equipment.
The device is built up in successive layers, by selectively laser-melting a powdered metal known as Scalmalloy – the latter is a 3D-printing-specific alloy that blends scandium, aluminum and magnesium. According to Mythos, the result is a stem that excels at absorbing road vibrations, offers excellent stiffness, and eliminates material in areas where it's not required, thus keeping its weight down … plus it looks pretty neat.
The Elix reportedly meets ISO 4210 stress-testing standards, and has been field-tested by professional road and gravel riders around the world. It's now available to UK consumers, in a choice of black or natural silver, for a whopping price of £500 (about US$627) – there's no word on upcoming availability in other markets.
It's being offered in lengths ranging from 100 to 130 mm, the former of which is claimed to tip the scales at 150 grams (5.3 oz). The Elix additionally features a rise angle of plus or minus 8 degrees, a 31.8-mm clamp diameter, titanium hardware, and internal cable routing compatibility.
Plans call for other 3D-printed components to be launched under the Mythos name.