Tuesday, December 12th 2017 at 11:39AM GMT
Plastic Innovation of Austria is hoping to resurrect the 1980s idea of injection-molded cycle frames. Such frames used to snap, made by companies which flopped in more ways than one.
“The business model of Plastic Innovation GmbH combines two major innovations,” claims the company. “The implementation of the bicycle industry’s new method of manufacturing frames using injection molding together with the innovative business model of rethinking bicycle design.”
In fact, injection moulding has a long history in bicycle manufacturing. One of the first was made from injection-molded Lexan in 1973. The Original Plastic Bike Inc had been founded in 1971, and took out magazine adverts, but it sold very few, if any, of its proposed products.
The most famous plastic bicycle (if we discount carbon composite bicycle frames, that is) was the Itera bicycle of Sweden. This was born from a massive 1978 grant from the Swedish National Board for Technical Development. By 1980 a rideable bicycle – of sorts – was demonstrated by the Itera Development Center AB, and in the following year the first mass-produced Itera bikes were shown to prospective retailers and to the press.