Erstellt von Rosie Burgin, von BIKE Europe
FRANKFURT, Germany - Weber Fibertech, a specialist in the development and manufacture of long fibre-reinforced thermoplastic parts is expanding its activities in the bike industry. With roots firmly in the automotive segment, the company has created the Fi.Bi.Tech division to focus on the growing interest from the bicycle industry for close to market frames and other components.
For more than 25 years Weber Fibertech has been “developing and manufacturing very lightweight components with high strength, maximum stiffness and excellent mechanical properties”. Customers include well-known companies from the automotive, mechanical engineering, construction and agricultural industries. Now the company has set up a new division Fi.Bi.Tec (Fibretech Bike Technology) to serve the bicycle industry. This new division is able to support OEMs from a feasibility study to large-scale production in Germany.
'High standards belong in bike industry'
“We wanted to show that for us the bicycle industry has the same importance as automotive,” managing director of Weber Fibertech, Friedbert Schmitt told Bike Europe during Eurobike. “All industries are looking towards automotive because of its strong, quality-driven production processes and these high standards should be brought to the bike industry.”
Weber Fibertech can currently count 10 bicycle OEM’s as clients, but business is growing. “Our technologies enable an extremely short cycle time, which, in combination with a 100% degree of automation, enables a previously unattainable cost-effectiveness in production. In addition, with these technologies, there are no longer any limits to the design. Forms can be realized that could not previously be produced, including integration of functions,” explains Friedbert.
Competitive production in Europe
Fi.Bi.Tec can produce high-performance bike parts using its technology for thermoplastic, carbon fiber-reinforced plastics components. A special injection molding process enables the process-stable production of very long, hollow-molded thermoplastic components. Currently the manufacturer is focused on frames but will begin with cockpits next year. “Short cycle times, high process stability, no rejects, no reworking of parts in conjunction with a 100% level of automation open up the possibility of competitive production in Europe,” concludes Friedbert.
li:on bikes launches prototype of kids bike with Weber Fibertech frame
Ex-road racers Marcel Kittel and Tony Martin have teamed up to create a new kids bike brand. Launched at Eurobike, li:on bikes aims to set a new standard for kids bikes in terms of safety but also focuses on sustainable production processes. Together with co-founder Franz Blechschmidt, Kittel and Martin developed the brand over two years. Newly developed safety features include an oversized lighting system with daytime running light, which is completely integrated into the frame, and special paint technology which can reflect three times more light, increasing brightness and visibility.
The frame and fork are made of a high-performance polymer with recycled carbon fibers by Weber Fibertech. Because the frame and fork of all li:on bikes are ‘Made in Germany’, the brands states that the CO2 emissions for each bike produced are 67% lower compared to conventional bike production.
After the prototype presentation at the Eurobike, serial production of the innovative frames and forks will start in Germany this year. To keep transport distances as short as possible and the footprint as small as possible, final assembly of all li:on bikes takes place in Belgium. li:on bikes will be offered in the Discover series as 24" and 27.5" variants to appeal to cyclists aged 7 and up. The first li:on bikes will be delivered in time for Easter 2024.