Scottish company Frame Cycles has debuted its first product: the FR-1 Bike Saddle made of cork. The mission of this new company is to create beautiful and sustainable bicycle parts and accessories, and we’d say they’re off to a great start. What could make a bike saddle seat more attractive and comfortable while using sustainable materials? Cork.
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The FR-1 Bike Saddle was made with cork to make the most of its sustainability and its natural properties. Cork is lightweight, durable and elastic. It’s also water resistant and better cushioning than many other bike seat materials.
The durability and water resistance was our first question when considering cork for a bike seat. Frame Cycles achieved these qualities on top of the natural tendencies of cork by exploring different densities of cork and different formulas for the lacquer to avoid polymer-based materials. This writer is allergic to petroleum-based products. Therefore, sustainable and healthy materials become a matter of health and safety for some people as well.
Frame Cycles used titanium for the substructure of the saddle because of its strength-to-weight ratio. Titanium is also super strong and relatively lightweight compared with steel. The substructure of the seat is made of a stamped titanium shell and grade five titanium rails.
Additionally, the lacquer is water-based to create more weather resistance. The cork pieces are molded in Portugal, and assembly is finished in Scotland for a three-year warranty. As for the price, the seats will cost about $120. Meanwhile, these seats weigh 320 grams and are 270 millimeters (10.6 inches) long and 135 millimeters (5.3 inches) wide. Because the cork parts are molded in Portugal, the bike seats support sustainable and historic Portugal cork farming.
Frame Cycles created their first prototype of the FR-1 Saddle in 2017, which was made from 3D-printed titanium and CNC-machined cork. The products were completed by 2019 and tested over the following two years. Currently, models are in production. The first 25 saddles made are on display at the handmade bike show Bespoked in London for October 2022.
Images via Frame Cycles