In 2019, the Leuven-based start-up REIN4CED opened a production facility for the automated manufacture of bicycle frames. REIN4CED uses a revolutionary material that is unbreakable, unlike current bicycle frames made of carbon. The company is supported by the essenscia Innovation Fund.
REIN4CED, founded in 2015 as a spin-off of KU Leuven, has developed a revolutionary material for road bike frames. Although Europe is the birthplace of cycling, nowadays all the bikes ridden in the Tour de France are made in Asia. Moreover, today’s carbon frames are very fragile with the risk of frame fractures and heavy falls.
REIN4CED’s new bike frames are stronger, making them virtually unbreakable, yet ultra-light, which is essential for top performance. The company uses a carbon composite material reinforced with wafer-thin steel fibres. Not only is the plastic material revolutionary, the robotised and fully automated production process is also ground-breaking.
REIN4CED will supply bicycle frames to many well-known bicycle brands. Automated production in the heart of Europe offers many logistic advantages, also in terms of e-commerce. The goal is to achieve an annual production of 20,000 bicycle frames for road and mountain bikes as early as 2020.
In time, this promising material could also be used in car chassis and in aircraft components. The high impact resistance of the ultra-light material makes vehicles lighter and therefore more economical.