At its very core, and from its very beginnings, the bicycle has delivered sustainable efficiency. As well as the environmental benefits of travelling by bike, it brings with it proven physical and mental health benefits.
But in the world of performance cycling, and a search for speed above all else, the quest for performance efficiency has shifted focus away from the original and inherently sustainable aspects of cycling to become more resource intensive.
This constant push in the world of performance cycling to find where the limits of possibility lie has driven technology further and further, but material choice has been driven by performance characteristics alone. We thought it was time to challenge this way of thinking.
We wanted to explore if it was possible to harness a more sustainable approach while still focusing on performance. A way to utilise methods and technologies that enable performance and sustainable thinking to go together.
In developing the Elicit Ti, we sought to find a way to deliver all the benefits needed to stay at the cutting edge of performance cycling while being considerate of the resources we use.
We think we found a way.
Still relatively new to the world of cycling, additive manufacturing is used and trusted for its precision and quality.
The process allows for very precise constructions, and ensures there is no excess material usage, no cut-offs from the edges of a mold that go to waste.
Here, we saw an opportunity.
Working together with additive manufacturing specialists Aim Sweden, we explored how this process could be applied to the development of high-performance sunglasses: a product where rigidity and flexibility need to be perfectly in balance so that a rider can see every detail of what lies ahead in absolute comfort.
We concluded that residual medical-grade titanium would provide the rigidity and lightness needed for comfort and performance. Being left over from other manufacturing processes, this also helps us minimise the use of virgin materials.
To construct the Elicit Ti, we used an Electron Beam Melting process, a form of additive manufacturing where the fine titanium powder is melted with a laser to build up the temples layer by layer. Once complete, the leftover titanium powder is recovered and reformed so it can be used once more.
The process resulted in the creation of the Elicit Ti, whose open truss structure gives strength and rigidity and keeps the weight down to just 22g, making them our lightest-ever sunglasses.
They show it is possible to create the highest-performance pieces without having to compromise and while thinking sustainably. They prove that anything is possible when you think differently.