While steel maybe “real” in the eyes of many cycling enthusiasts, magnesium may prove to be an equally magnanimous material that’s both lighter and more sustainable than its metal counterpart.
At least that’s what Allite is hoping with the introduction of its latest Super Magnesium alloy.
The use of magnesium in the manufacturing of frames and parts is nothing new to the bike industry. However, Allite is claiming its new Super Magnesium is a much more versatile form of the alloy, allowing for various manufacturing processes including forging, extruding, die casting and welding, which can also be finished in a number of ways over traditional magnesium.
According to Allite’s CEO Bruno Maier, Super Magnesium is so versatile that in many instances it can replace carbon fiber, aluminum and steel, while offering a strength-to-weight ratio that is on par with any of the aforementioned materials.
“By using different formulas, we can come up with different properties. If we need to increase strength or shock absorption or elongation or reduce those, we can change formulas,” Maier said. “There are a lot of market benefits and there is an opportunity to build OEM components like cranks, rims and frames out of our material.”
Additionally, magnesium is an abundant element, which is extracted from seawater and magnesium-bearing minerals. Moreover, it’s lighter than aluminum, titanium and steel.
“When you want light weight and strength, it’s a good material. High-performance cars have more magnesium,” said Morten Kristiansen, director of marketing and product development at Allite. “Its capacity to dampen vibrations is about 20 times higher than aluminum and it absorbs vibrations more or less on the level of carbon.”
Last, but not least, like most metals Super Magnesium is recyclable, whereas the industry’s leading material, carbon fiber, is not.
Furthermore, Allite says, cost-wise Super Magnesium is about 50% less expensive to manufacture than carbon, putting it on par with aluminum.
Allite’s parent is UWHK Ltd., which also owns Huffy Bicycles, recently built a new factory in China to manufacture the alloy.
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