Bicycles

Weis unveils world's first "marketable" bike to be made of Super Magnesium

Weis unveils world's first "ma...
The prototype Weis Hammer Track Allite Super Magnesium Edition, on display at NAHBS
The prototype Weis Hammer Track Allite Super Magnesium Edition, on display at NAHBS
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The prototype Weis Hammer Track Allite Super Magnesium Edition, on display at NAHBS
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The prototype Weis Hammer Track Allite Super Magnesium Edition, on display at NAHBS
A proprietary magnesium filler metal is used when welding the material
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A proprietary magnesium filler metal is used when welding the material
Super Magnesium is reportedly 33 percent lighter than aluminum, 50 percent lighter than titanium, 75 percent lighter than steel, and yet not at costly as carbon fiber
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Super Magnesium is reportedly 33 percent lighter than aluminum, 50 percent lighter than titanium, 75 percent lighter than steel, and yet not at costly as carbon fiber
The bike features Weis' distinctive asymmetric seat stays, which are designed to stiffen the frame's drive side, allowing for more efficient power transfer
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The bike features Weis' distinctive asymmetric seat stays, which are designed to stiffen the frame's drive side, allowing for more efficient power transfer

Yesterday the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) wrapped up for another year, held once again in Sacramento, California. Among the many fascinating bikes that we checked out was a model that's built from Allite's revolutionary new Super Magnesium.

Announced last September, the high-strength alloy is reportedly 33 percent lighter than aluminum, 50 percent lighter than titanium, 75 percent lighter than steel, and yet not as costly as carbon fiber. It's also said to offer 20 times the shock absorption of aluminum, while having a low carbon footprint, and being 100-percent recyclable.

At last year's Interbike show, Allite displayed a prototype bike made from the metal. Given that the Ohio-based company doesn't plan on actually manufacturing bicycles itself, though, it has partnered with Brooklyn-based Weis Manufacturing to begin making ones that people can actually buy. The bike on display at NAHBS, which was based on Weis' existing Hammer Track model, represents that company's first foray into using the new alloy.

A proprietary magnesium filler metal is used when welding the material
A proprietary magnesium filler metal is used when welding the material

"It machines very well – the welding of it is a little more challenging than aluminum, you use a proprietary magnesium filler metal," Weis co-founder Robert Bezrutczyk told us. "It's just [a matter of] understanding how much heat does it need, how fast do you weld it to get the clean welds."

The resulting bike has been tested at the Allite factory, with its frame standing up to 100,000 stress cycles without failing. That frame weighs 1,100 grams (2.4 lb), although that figure should go down in future models that incorporate variable-thickness butted tubing – the prototype utilizes straight-gauge tubing.

Super Magnesium is reportedly 33 percent lighter than aluminum, 50 percent lighter than titanium, 75 percent lighter than steel, and yet not at costly as carbon fiber
Super Magnesium is reportedly 33 percent lighter than aluminum, 50 percent lighter than titanium, 75 percent lighter than steel, and yet not at costly as carbon fiber

For many potential buyers, though, it'll all come down to dollars and cents. And while Bezrutczyk didn't have an exact price estimate, he did tell us that bikes made with Allite's new alloy shouldn't be crazy-expensive. They should also be available soon.

"They say that it's going to come in pretty close to what aluminum tubing would cost," he said. "So, we don't have it on the market yet, but it's getting very close."

Checkout Allite's Super Magnesium in the video below.

Company websites: Weis Manufacturing, Allite

Weis Hammer Track - Allite® Super Magnesium™ Edition

4 comments
paul314
How much is 100,000 stress cycles in real terms? On a bumpy road could that be maybe a few hundred hours or less? (Or is roads with bumps simply not the target market for these frames?)
minivini
This specific bike is said to be a track bike, so think about a circular bowling alley floor with banked turns. No bumps.
Martin Hone
So is Super Magnesium actually ? How is it made or is it really just regular magnesium with rare earth elements added ?
Bruce R
The best I could find as to the actual composition is from https://hackaday.com/2018/09/18/super-magnesium-lighter-than-aluminum-cheaper-than-carbon-fiber/#more-324983 quoting: "It’s a material that comes in three grades. AE81 is optimized for welding, ZE62 is better suited for forging, while WE54 is made for casting processes. Those names might sound like made up stock numbers, but they aren’t, as magnesium allows typically have names that indicate the material used to mix with the magnesium. A stands for aluminum, Z is for zirconium zinc, W is for yttrium, and E stands for rare earths. So AE81 is a mix of magnesium, aluminum, and some rare earth material. The numbers indicate the approximate amount of each addition, so AE81 is 8% aluminum and 1% rare earth."