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A new company offers ’Super Magnesium' alloy for bike frames and parts

Published September 13, 2018
Allite's new Super Magnesium is lightweight, recyclable and less expensive than carbon.
Allite's parent, UWHK Ltd., also owns Huffy Bicycles and recently built a factory in China to manufacture the alloys, which are said to be light, recyclable and less expensive than carbon.

DAYTON, Ohio (BRAIN) — Allite Inc., a new materials sciences company that manufactures metal alloys, has announced that its proprietary Super Magnesium alloy is now available to the cycling industry.

Magnesium has been used regularly in the bike industry for frames, rims and for most suspension fork legs. But Allite said its material is more versatile, allowing it to accommodate various manufacturing processes including forging, extruding, die casting and welding, and it can be finished in a number of ways.

According to Allite president Bruno Maier, the alloy can be used in place of carbon, aluminum and steel, and offers a strength-to-weight ratio that is appropriate for the cycling industry and other markets, including transportation and mobility, outdoor and sporting goods.

"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."

Allite's parent is UWHK Ltd., which also owns Huffy Bicycles. It recently built a factory in China to manufacture the alloys.

Magnesium is a common element that is extracted from seawater and magnesium-bearing minerals that offer unlimited reserves. It's lighter than aluminum, titanium and steel, and the company said Super Magnesium is the lightest of all structural metals. Pound for pound, it's stiffer and stronger than aluminum, and has already been used in some classified defense and aerospace applications. 

"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."

But carbon isn't recyclable and the Allite Super Magnesium alloy is, so the company is optimistic that will appeal to some suppliers. 

Cost-wise, Allite's alloy will be about 50 percent less expensive than carbon and on par with aluminum. Maier said Allite can work with OEs to manufacture finished product or deliver raw material and consult on the manufacturing process.

Allite will officially launch at Interbike next week in Reno-Tahoe. Look for more about Allite in Bicycle Retailer's Oct. 1 print issue.

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