Carbon fibers represented a lightweight revolution in the bicycle industry. Because of the carbon fibers, we see bikes currently under 5 kg. The Trek Emdoa SLR 10 weighs 4.6 kg and the Merida Sculture reaches an amazing 4.55 kg, the two lighter bicycles in the world.
Now, imagine a metal 100 times lighter than Styrofoam… This is the Microlattice, created by Boeing. It is a network of metal tubes of microscopic diameter that at the same time is extremely resistant and has the capacity to absorb large amount of kinetic energy. The walls of the metal tubes of Microlattice are 1,000 times thinner than a hair, so 99.99% of the structure of such metal is air. Therefore, when receiving an impact, the frame deforms and returns to its original shape after absorbing the energy.
According to the team that developed the Microlattice, the goal is to include it in commercial applications such as airplanes, rockets, cars, buildings and quite possibly bicycles! “You can see a bicycle frame in the Tour de France made from this technology even before an airplane flies with it. Implementing these new technologies in space vehicles and cars requires a lot of time and effort, since there are small margins for errors, “says Richard Sachleben, a Cambridge researcher. With the bike, being smaller and less demanding, can be a good way to start using and testing the material. More light bicycle in TRAVELATIONARY.