VRZ: The Custom Track Bike You Can (Almost) 3D Print

Most people don’t realize that before buying a bike, you should make sure it fits your body. It probably didn’t matter when you were three feet tall, and just dying to get those training wheels off, but now that you’re an adult, a bike that’s a little too small, big, short, or long for you can cause some real issues.

Even the slightest angle change can affect the performance of professional riders, which is why designer Ralf Holleis is developing the VRZ. Using a combination of carbon fiber track bike frame, and 3D printed titanium lugs, Holleis has created a super-light, fixed-gear bike that can be customized for an individual rider in a very small period of time.

VRZ 2 Ralf Holleis

Image by Simon Markhof for Ralf Holleis

Normally obtaining a bike that’s custom built for your body takes a) a lot of money or b) a lot of welding know-how. With Holleis’ new hybrid method, however, the time and cost are reduced.

“You could change the geometry to what ever fits you best, then the lugs gets generated by a software,” explains Holleis on his website. “The generated 3D files are produced with laser-cuseing process. Afterwards the printed parts need to be finished and bonded to the tubes.”

Ok, so it still takes a fair bit of know-how. But considering how quickly 3D printing technology is disseminating through our culture, one can only expect that it will become easier and cheaper over time. And the benefits for bikers will be huge.

Not only is the VRZ safer and healthier because it’s created just for a specific person’s body, it’s also lighter than almost every bike we’ve ever seen. At a trim 4.9 kg (10 pounds 11 ounces) it’s the perfect vehicle for whipping around the track in style.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacob.wadsworth.961 Jacob Wadsworth

    The question is, will it last long? I mean, the parts that they use to make up the frame is not that high quality considering that it was just 3D-printed. Very interesting though. – http://www.dollhousejunction.com/

    • Human

      That’s a good question, those parts are most certainly not very durable.

      But I’m excited to start printing these parts and build my own bicycle nearly from scratch, one can always keep spare printed parts on their persons or in a pack on the bike :)