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Belgian company uses 3D printing to give bikes a covert electric boost
Posted by 3DP4E
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By Alec | 3Ders

It's a problem everyone will face at some time or another. Either through age or infirmity, our muscles won't always perform the way we'd like them to. Fortunately, this doesn't have to completely hamper us in daily lives and in our hobbies. Cycling enthusiasts have long since had access to electronic assistance to make their lives a bit easier and give them the support needed to race up that hill.

However, it's completely understandable that concept alone is insulting and embarrassing. Many of these bikes look and feel very differently, often thanks to a large, unsightly and heavy motor that quickly betrays its nature.

That's why Austrian bicycle manufacturer Vivax Assist has been so successful recently. They have produced a range of bikes that not only have a sporty look, but also feature a sleek, lightweight motor that only weighs some 1.8 kg. Furthermore, the motor and wiring have been neatly tucked away into a small pouch underneath the saddle. This design doesn't scream 'electric bike' at everyone around you, and is therefore a big success in stores all over Europe.

As Bart, owner of Belgian company Wieleke stated, 'For customers wanting to cycle in a sportive surrounding, Vivax is the ultimate dream. It combines state of the art technology with an intelligent, electronic control system. Communication between the motor and the cyclist is extraordinary. The engine adds power when your own decreases and vice versa.'

However, that same Belgian company has also used 3D printing to improve upon the design a little, having come up with a clever construction that even does away with the saddle pouch. Using ABS filament and an unknown type of extrusion 3D printer, the cycling enthusiasts behind Wieleke have prototyped a water- and accident proof container holding all the necessary hardware for Vivax's product.

Disguised as a typical cyclists' water bottle and holder, their ingenious improvement will now not even hint at the presence of an electronic extra: perfect for all those cyclists who want to keep up and blend in.

Check out their production process here:

Their successful 3D printed prototype has since been cast in Polyethylene (or PE), which is both durable and flexible. Looking for a hidden upgrade? You can contact the guys of Wieleke here.

Also check out these Vivax bikes in action:

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