The process of 3D printing has entered the news cycle in the past few years both for its revolutionary applications and its more dubious ones. The cycling world has begun to reap the benefits of the process recently as builders produce components from tried-and-true materials. Now, 3Dprint.com reports that Bradley Wiggins appears to be using a custom 3D-printed titanium handlebar on his hour-record bike, bringing this relatively new process to the forefront of racing tech.
3D printing allows builders to create intricate designs that are otherwise difficult or impossible to build via more conventional means, not to mention completely custom products to fit a cyclist’s body and riding style. This opens up new possibilities for aerodynamics, fit, and strength. The manufacturing process is much quicker than conventional means as well, so it would come as no surprise to see more 3D-printed titanium components hit the market after Wiggins attempts the hour record.
The one-piece bars on Wiggins’ Pinarello are sculpted to his forearms, perhaps to improve both stability and comfort. With Wiggins’ lofty aspirations to ride 55 kilometers during his hour record attempt on June 7, his 3D-printed bars may very well provide a much-needed advantage.
Specific details about the titanium bars are scarce at best. A two-second, grainy video has surfaced showing Wiggins practicing on his Pinarello Bolide HR with what appear to be custom handlebars, but otherwise, the specs and details of the bars remain a mystery.
While the bars themselves are an interesting addition to the Pinarello, we’re willing to bet there will be other noteworthy customizations to the Bolide. Unfortunately, we may have to wait until June 7 to get our first, up-close glimpse of Wiggins’ machine.