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        IMA

Bicycle Sector: Nothing like riding a bike

The warmer weather and more relaxed pandemic restrictions are drawing people outside – and more of them onto their bikes. There are plenty of reasons for this: exercise and fitness, fresh air and the opportunity to get out of the house. This has seen the growth of bicycle sales.

Taking to cycling

FCS’s two-colour machine

In the context of abnormal climate brought about by global warming, the European Union has set a target of reducing carbon emissions by 40%. Most vehicle manufacturers are pursuing “lightweight development”, and the bicycle and electric vehicle industries have made certain progress in this regard.

Generally speaking, steel accounts for over 70% of the raw materials for automobiles. According to Nomura Research Institute, it is estimated that the proportion of steel will drop to 62% by 2025, with the rest being replaced by composite plastics, carbon fibres and other materials to reduce the weight of the car body and interior decoration. Traditional automobile manufacturers, as well as the government-assisted electric vehicle and bicycle industries, all play an important role in lightweight development.

commuters have changed to riding bikes to avoid the risk

Under the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, commuters have changed to riding bikes to avoid the risk of infection by public transportation. The European and American governments have introduced bicycle purchase and repair subsidies, and even expanded or built exclusive bicycle lanes and parking spaces, prompting a surge in market demand. In the US in Brooklyn, New York City, bicycle sales this year have increased by more than 600% over the same period.

Machinery for the sector

FCS’s rotary table two-component FB-R series

Taiwanese machinery firm Fu Chun Shin (FCS), with 45 years of effort and experience in the R&D of injection moulding machines, offers its two-colour injection moulding machinery for the production of bicycles, electric vehicles, automobiles and other industries.

The (FA Series) is an advanced model in the elbow oil pressure category. It upgrades the injection unit and the clamping unit in an all-round way to create diversified products with stable quality. Besides, it offers differentiated technology integration and services based on product characteristics of various industries, which can widely be used in the production of bicycle accessories, 3C, even thin food packaging containers, etc.

In addition, the two-colour machine is matched with a specific mould to form more than two-colour products one or more times according to the injection process.

Airless bicycle tyres

Air Fom offers a solution for deflated tyres

Going shopping by bike or exploring one’s surroundings could be a joy if it weren’t for the many stones, shards of glass, nails and other sharp objects that will turn a perfectly good tyre into a flat mess. Taiwanese company Air Fom is now offering a patented solution for airless tyres that overcomes the drawbacks of previous airless products. It is based on an expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (eTPU) from German materials firm Covestro.

Solid rubber tyres have been on the market for quite a while now, but just like earlier puncture-proof products, they have their shortcomings: they do not produce the typically light driving feel of their air-filled counterparts, are often real heavyweights and, moreover, are very expensive. Today’s bicycles often have highly complex superstructures, such as sports bikes with multi-speed transmissions or e-bikes. Their assembly therefore requires time and some skill – a for bicycle rental companies. Moreover, the plastics that have been used up to now are often not recyclable and therefore do not represent a permanent solution.

Air Fom is now using a special technology combined with an innovative material. With the help of particle foam casting, expanded TPU is moulded into the specified shape and exhibits precisely the desired properties on the rim. The tyre insert is just as lightweight and elastic as an air-filled tyre, can be fitted quickly and firmly on standard rims, is maintenance-free and, most importantly, recyclable, unlike the butyl rubber tubes that are used in conventional tyres.

The material solution can also benefit bicycle rental companies for whom a constant operational readiness of their vehicles is important. The independent ACT Lab LLC confirmed that the product meets the latest safety requirements for use in bicycles.

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(IMA)


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