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This $18,600 fully 3D printed titanium road bike is stealing the show from Eurobike.

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Two stacks of high society burning a hole in your pocket? Dutch titanium frame manufacturer Pilot has released an exciting new bike.

3D-printed bicycles aren’t the hottest thing these days. However, there was one important milestone that had yet to be reached by this point. It was a fully 3D printed titanium frame.

That changed this week when Pilot unveiled a Seiren fully 3D printed titanium frame prototype at Eurobike. It’s turning heads to say the least.

Why did it take so long for fully 3D printed Ti frames to arrive? Well, there are many reasons, all ultimately related to cost.

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Printers that can make titanium products are expensive, especially printers large enough to make something the size of a bicycle frame. And titanium, in the form needed to print it, is incredibly hazardous outside of specialized facilities due to its flammable nature.

All of this serves to increase the cost of the final product.

Seiren will set you back €17,000 (approximately $18,625 USD) for a complete bike built with Dura-Ace, Corima wheels and all other high-end carbon parts. It will go on sale in 2024 and will initially be a full build with specifications similar to those showcased on Eurobikes.

For comparison, Pilot sells the Celes, a top-of-the-line titanium road frame traditionally welded and made of Dura-Ace, for €9,500.

Front derailleur braze temperature is printed. For customers who want 1x, the brand can opt out of it.

But suffice it to say that Seiren is expensive. After all, there’s an explanation for why it might not be that crazy. That means you’re reading this and are already willing to drop five digits on a road bike.

Some will protest that this bike is just an exercise in what it can build. However, 3D printing has some notable advantages, especially in terms of weight.

The frame on display at Eurobike weighs just 1,150 grams, and if you put it in a ballpark, it’s a carbon road bike that’ll make your nose bleed, at least at Dodger Stadium. This is because the pilot can slice the wall thickness as thin as needed and keep the weight to an absolute minimum, as structurally acceptable (as little as 0.6mm in this case). Butting existing titanium tubes is something only this department can do.

Pilot makes a variety of titanium models.

The pilot says it can do more and drop 100 grams more from it. The point is that getting below the UCI weighted minimum isn’t too hard using this frame as the focus.

At the same time, fully 3D printed frames are stronger than welded frames because they eliminate the stress points of welding. The strongest frame possible is printed in one piece. However, due to the size limitations of the 3D printer, Pilot had to divide the frame into three parts, print them all simultaneously on the same printer, and then glue them together. Even these bonds are much stronger than welds, says pilot marketing and communications manager Tim Blankers.

Close-up of where different frame sections are glued together.

Then there’s the argument that 3D printed frames look a lot nicer. Seiren has a carbon smooth joint to the metal frame. Also on a welded bike you definitely won’t get a seat tube, top tube junction.

And no, it’s not a Trek Madone homage or knockoff or whatever you want to call it. It’s a coincidence that Trek arrived at this shape because of aerodynamics, and because the Pilot was the only way to make the three parts of the frame connect properly to each other. The design isn’t exactly the same either. Trek has a hole through this section. Pilots don’t.

This section isn’t exactly the same as the Trek Madone.

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Another plus: if you’re mindful of the environment, titanium frames are completely recyclable at any time at the end of their lifespan, with very little wasted in production. The Pilot offers a 25-year warranty on your bike if you have confidence in the craftsmanship and materials.

Therefore, the cost that absurd. If you plan to own this bike for a long time, perhaps for the rest of your life, that’s a small amount compared to $14,000 (or more) for today’s top-of-the-line, off-the-shelf carbon road bikes. It will be outdated in less than three years, and if you ride it truly hard that whole time, it won’t last through the 25 years of the Pilot’s warranty.

Blankers won’t say what the warranty will be for Seiren just yet, as the bike is still undergoing final testing. He said that if they couldn’t offer the same guarantee, they wouldn’t be ready to market yet.

OK, so are you sold on it? Well, one problem is that it’s not for sale yet.

Despite the price tag attached by the Pilot, the bike is still a prototype.

How new is it?

According to Blankers, the model on display was only made on Friday.

But it could be in your hands next year at the earliest. Pilot warrants the bike for 25 years. What more do we have to wait for?

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