The Ironman in Kona, Hawaii, is one of the greatest challenges the sport of triathlon has to offer. Extreme weather conditions and incredible heat make this competition a real ordeal for athletes and equipment. The German athlete Patrik Lange is one of the best triathletes and knows exactly what is important at the top of the world. Absolute physical fitness and mental strength are just as essential as the best material to become the triathlon world champion.
Together with the bike manufacturer Canyon and our colleagues from Swiss SIDE, we have developed an aerodynamically optimized handlebar stem, a so-called aero cockpit, and produced it using additive metal manufacturing. Not only was the design of the handlebar stem trimmed for aerodynamic performance, but it was also adapted to Patrik Lange’s forearms. This helps the athlete to get the best out of the 180 km long bike course.
For the 3D scanning of the forearms, Patrik Lange visited us in Hinwil, and we were then able to start with the re-design. Afterwards we designed, calculated and simulated the cockpit before we manufactured the handlebar outriggers in titanium using metallic 3d printing. Only about 6 weeks after his visit to Hinwil, Patrik set the new Ironman world record in Hawaii in 2018 and excelled especially on the bike course.
The speed of development and the quality of production have proven how successfully Formula 1 technology can be applied to other industries.