REIN4CED will manufacture impact-resistant and lightweight bicycle frames for bicycle brands wishing to offer their cyclists maximum performance with enhanced safety and durability. Carbon fiber composites, known from Formula 1 and race bikes, are light and strong but face sudden, brittle and dramatic fracture behavior. To tackle this problem, REIN4CED has developed and patented a brand new composite material. With this new material, and a completely new fully automated production process, REIN4CED will offer safe, durable and lightweight bicycle frames. The initial focus is on the bicycle market, followed by automotive and aerospace.
The introduction of carbon fiber composites in the bicycle, automotive and aerospace industry created a revolution where a low weight and a high stiffness were the primary drivers. However, over the years dramatic breaking of carbon frames has resulted to a large number of dangerous accidents. To counter this, the focus moved from lightweight towards safety and strong quality controls, higher design limits and improved production techniques were implemented. However, the root of the problems – the intrinsic brittle fracture behavior of carbon and limitations in production quality – was never changed until now.
REIN4CED is well connected with all major players in the bicycle market (initial market) and assessed the market size, the supply of carbon fibre in the industry and the supply of subcomponents for the assembly of bicycles. The global market of carbon frames (sales of bicycles with a carbon frame) is estimated to be 3 million bicycles yearly, with a CAGR of 4%. The European market is estimated to be 1.5 million bicycles yearly of which 300.000 are high end racing bicycles (market segment).
After successful introduction in the bicycle market, the automotive and aerospace market will follow, in which relevant connections with mayor players has been established as well.
New generation reinforced, impact-resistant and lightweight composites
REIN4CED is a spin-off of KU Leuven, EIT RawMaterials partner, and developed a new hybrid material, relevant for bicycle, automotive and aerospace markets as well as for the nautical and equipment manufacturing markets and thus relevant for many partners active in these markets.