We’re thyssenkrupp. We’re well known as an industrial producer of steel. So why have we decided to make a bicycle? It’s simple: we genuinely believe that steel is the perfect material for a road bike. And we wanted to break with convention and make the most out of steel with high-tech engineering.
So are we just showing off? Perhaps. But we already have a great deal of experience making high-quality steel for the automotive industry. You wouldn’t think a car and a bike had much in common, however. Yet in our case, we used the expertise gained in efficient automotive engineering and applied this to the construction of steelworks.
From car body engineering to powertrain, chassis and steering components, we develop solutions that reduce weight, cost and environmental impacts while increasing performance at the same time. And all that is in our steelworks bike as well.
We’ve used the inherent DNA of steel, such as a 210GPa level of Young modulus and a yield stress level of 330 MPa, as well as its unique and magnetic properties to make a better road bike. Many other frames are made of aluminium or carbon, but these have their own disadvantages: aluminium has relatively low tensile strength and the critical areas are welded by hand, and carbon frames can be susceptible to cracks invisible to the human eye. steelworks is made by automatically welding two half shells by laser, with the welds away from stressed zones.
Steel also has advantages in terms of design. The formability of thin sheets of steel enables us to transform it into a beautiful bicycle frame with a complex and fluid shape. As form follows function, there is extreme stiffness in the bottom bracket area, which enables higher biomechanical power transmission. Then there's the high flexibility in the seat tube, which makes your ride more comfortable. Each of these details has been thought through and comprehensively engineered. Out of steel.
For over 200 years thyssenkrupp has been synonymous with this fascinating material. 27,000 employees work tirelessly to produce around 12 million tons of high-quality flat steel per year. And nothing can stop us to innovate steel over and over again.
It’s not just steelworks that’s made of steel. We are.
We use what we call inbike® technology, which comes from our experience in engineering components for high performance automotive applications. This revolutionary technical process consists of hitting the sweet spot with three fundamental technologies: high strength steel, half-shell technology and automatic laser welding.
The first element, the material, is one of our highest grades and most resilient steels. DP-K® steel is ideal for cold forming with a high stretch-forming component for the production of complex structural elements. Furthermore, dual-phase steel is also ideal for physically stressed components as well.
With half-shell technology, we are able to punch a sheet of high strength steel as thin as 0.7mm into a complex shape that provides a tensile strength of 590MPa and a yield strength of 330MPa. This means it is nearly unbreakable and comfortably elastic at the same time.
The two half shells then come together with a special fixture that is capable of eliminating gaps over 6 metres of contact length – a pre-condition for the application of laser welding. We then weld the frame with high-precision laser technology by using machines and automation. It is not as easy as welding in a straight line on a 2D plane. We laser weld the complex shape of the frame by following a very sophisticated trajectory in 3 dimensional space.
This is what’s measurable and what goes into your bike. What we can’t quantify, however, is the pleasure you’ll experience from enjoying your ride, your way.