While a student at the Bicycle Academy in Somerset, England in 2017, Evan Gray decided that he wanted to create his own sustainable, custom components for his bike builds. That year, he founded Frame Cycles in Glasgow, Scotland, and started the development of a special kind of saddle.
Working in collaboration with friend and industrial designer Matthew MacIndoe, Gray created the prototype for a cork saddle he dubbed the FR-1.
Using 3D printed titanium and CNC machined cork, the first iteration of the saddle was completed in 2019, and from there it was tested over a period of two years.
According to Gray, it’s an exceptionally green material that’s harvested sustainably using a method that doesn’t harm the tree. In particular, cork farmers in Portugal pass on their knowledge of sustainable cork harvesting from parent to child. Apart from preserving the trees, this practice also allows cork forests to thrive and support rich ecosystems. So, partnering with Portuguese farmers to source cork was a natural choice for Gray.
In addition to its sustainable properties, cork is lightweight, sturdy and durable. The material is also elastic, thus providing natural cushioning.
Molded in Portugal and then assembled and finished in Scotland, the reconstituted cork saddle features a stamped titanium shell and grade 5 titanium rails, a water-based adhesive and a weather-resistant lacquer coating. Moreover, the saddle is also completely plastic-free, as well as its packaging.
Frame Cycles will debut the first 25 saddles at the Bespoked Bike Show in London in October, 2022. Afterwards, the first limited series of the FR-1 saddles will be available for purchase online for $120.
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