For many design of bike, be it cargo, urban, sports; igus has presented new components made with high-performance plastic technology. Triboplastics have already been dubbed as an alternative to metal solutions for the e-bike industry moving forward. These new plastics can be used for light and lubricant-free polymer bearings, wear-resistant gears for motors, and durable rod ends. The polymer they use is iglidur M210.
In most suspension systems, manufacturers rely on metallic solutions, however, In Frankfurt, igus announced they have “Lubrication-free plain bearings made of high-performance plastic prove to be more maintenance-friendly, up to 80 percent lighter and dirt-resistant.” igus showcased a new line of bearings made of the iglidur M210 polymer – the result being bearings that can replaced much quicker, with many other benefits.
Due to their higher flexibility and resistance to tension, polymer bearings also dampen vibrations more effectively than that of a metal-based solution, ensuring better absorption of shocks and greater comfort for the rider.
Polymer bearings are also ideal for the bicycle industry for their dirt-resistance. The outer coating of the part is applied with a technology that is more resistant to daily stress – meaning it will be in better condition far longer than usual.
For even more dirt protection, igus also presented the new iglidur ‘SG03 series’ plain bearings with felt seals. These bearings provide additional protection against dirt that is smoother running compared to metal bearings. They also showed the plastic plain bearings of the iglidur E series. igus has specifically developed these for use in suspension forks. The bearings are exceptionally suitable for linear movements.
At the exhibition, igus showed improvements for the heart of the bike itself – the motor. They presented high-performance gears for planetary gearboxes made from iglidur, which they claim, “Significantly outperform other plastic alternatives in terms of service life.” These gears are also quieter and lighter than those made with metal solutions, and more often than not, can be delivered faster (due to the advancement of 3D printing technology and injection molding, designers can now create and commission gears in a matter of minutes).
Finally, igus shared the ‘igubal 2.0 series’ metal-plastic hybrid rods for cargo bikes. These components combine the advantages of stainless steel and plastic ensuring high-stability and excellent vibration dampening. To ensure high stability and vibration dampening, these hybrid rods combine the advantages of being lubrication-free, maintenance-free and dirt-resistant. Furthermore, igus also shared a rattle free solution that can be used to manufacture cargo bikes’ sliding doors; yet further innovation from the German company.
The “igus:bike project” shows further innovation from the Germany company, the concept being a bicycle that consists of over 90% plastic - from the frame to the bearings, up to the toothed belt. Now recycling plastic waste can be reused to forge a high proportion of the required raw materials for this product.
As a partner of igus, the Dutch startup “mtrl” presented their first model. They will start producing and selling the ‘mtrl.bike’ by the end of this year.
igus is a family-run company based in Cologne, Germany, represented in 35 countries and employs 4,500 people across the globe.