Supporting a good friend
Paul 'Paddles' Paddle, good friend Dean McGeary whom Paddles has been riding with for quite a few years now, was a founding partner in a highly innovative 3D printed bike.
Paddles was always going to support him through this new business; ‘They could have made a 3 wheel trike with big fat boy tyres and I would have bought it and spec'd it out to the max but thankfully they have built a beautiful tool.”
Five years between bikes
So after 5 years of owning a Cervelo R3 it was time to find that new bike.
Getting it right with a bike fit first
“I really wanted to have a a bike fit first given it’s fully customised and it’s amazing how ‘out’ I was and how many little long ride pain points in the lower back, my left knee and a few traction things disappeared with the right fit. So I imagine with the transfer of the new specifications it's going to be a far more comfortable and enjoyable ride.”
A highly enjoyable customisation experience
“The process of ordering the bike online was very enjoyable and for someone like me, being the weekend warrior or MAMMIL, it's been quite an education in terms of the bike's geometry and various components that go together to make a bike that is well balanced.
Initially it was, perhaps overwhelming, but the Bastion team where very supportive and guided you through showing you the limits of what you are trying to build so you don't end up with a Frankenbike. Overall a highly enjoyable customisation experience.”
Designing the bike
After heading to bastion-cycles.com you can open the design interface to start with the base geometry. If you know your frame size you can then use the online tools to manipulate the frame millimetre by millimetre and get the exact frame specification.Image courtesy of Bastion bikes
Image courtesy of Bastion bikes
Alternatively you can use the specifications from a bike fit as Paddles did. In the background things like the toe, ground and tyre clearances are calculated to make sure everything is feasible.
More detail is available through the benchmarking graphs which commences with the handling of the bike, the steering versus response factor (i.e. head tube angle, bottom bracket etc) for either a more agile or stable bike, or somewhere in-between. This can then be compared and benchmarked against other bikes in the market such as Paul's Cervelo or a Trek Madone (my bike - Ed) for example to match the handling and viewed against the recommended zone.
Next is the bike’s stiffness; regular, stiff or extra stiff and you can see the difference between torsional stiffness and vertical compliance so anywhere from a full-on race bike with optimal power transfer through the pedals to a more comfortable bike for longer rides.
Choosing the components
You can next choose all the bits and pieces from rim and spokes to seats, handles and group set. The options are endless so you can choose the individual components one by one, supply your own parts or Bastion can procure the parts on your behalf such as one customer who ordered light weight wheels and a whole host of German components.
Then the colour and frame detail
The last part is choosing the colour, any decals and even custom text printed into the rear drop outs as every frame set is individually 3D printed in titanium.
Plus an engineer’s report & 3D drawing blueprint
Based on all of the specifications, an engineer’s report is generated and a 3D CAD drawing which is what the bike’s production is based on.
And you can preview the bike on a 3D app
Image courtesy of Bastion bikes
The most amazing part of the process is being able to see the completed bike in a full 3D simulator via an App - zoom in, spin it around plus the traditional 2D drawing.
The parts are 3D printed
Once the parts are received after being printed in aerospace grade titanium, the surfaces are prepared to transform the raw surface to a matte/satin finish. The carbon tubes are ordered, cut to length, prepared and finished while some of the carbon tube filament winding is done on-site by Bastion.
The final process is gluing the parts together on the jig and then it’s just a normal type of bike build.
New technology - I have no qualms or hesitation
Being new technology leads to some questions in the back of your mind like - what if this fails on me while descending the hill in Kinglake? But knowing what the Bastion Team have gone through, all of the specifications, the rigorous testing, ensuring it meets international standards and knowing that they are all engineers first, is reassuring. I have no qualms or concerns on sitting on this bike and riding down a steep hill in the future.
“So what happened to build #3, 2 and 1, (Laughing) no it's a nice touch to feel part of the journey and that makes the bike so special. I will treat it far more carefully than I have with my Cervelo. I'II probably, at first, never ride it in the rain, clean it after every single ride and we'II see how long that lasts for (laughing).”
The bike is personal
“It's me, it's mine, it fits me like a glove, the people who engineered it, being hand built, seeing the bike being built through the photos and email updates, there is nothing like it.”
Now cheeky boulevard laps
With Paddles’ hectic schedule in the medical field, it's been a many a morning in the garage with his trainer, Zwift (Online connected trainer) and Sufferlandia (Sufferfest Videos) for training so the new Bastion is the catalyst to get back out there. At the start it will be cheeky Boulevard laps (Kew Boulevard near Melbourne), up to Kinglake and the Danedongs with his friends.
Testing my limits
To test the limit, it will be a trip to Kinglake and smashing those hills followed by taking that descent to test his limits and the bike’s limits.
Truly a piece of art, standing still & in motion
The moment I first saw the bike was literally like the first time I got a bike, I remember when I got a Lawrencia road bike when I was 7, it was too big for me but I was nervous and the same thing today. Nervous but excited, but it's really good, it's a good feeling.”
The first ride
“My new Bastion has a different balancing point, compliance and stiffness to my last bike but within 10 - 15 minutes it felt like it was made for me. It was far more responsive, stiffer and more pliable under your hands and seat.
We rode over some rough terrain and I want to feel the road, feel every little bump and get the feedback through the handlebars, which is to my liking and taste.”
Paddles personalised tech support on inaugural ride
With a few little sprints on our inaugural ride, Paddles found it transferred the power very easily.
A big thank you to James Woolcock and Benjamin Schultz for their time in producing this story.
If you would like to know more, check out http://bastion-cycles.com/