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.
"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.
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.
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