Last year, Ohio-based Allite announced what could be the next big thing in bikes: Super Magnesium, the alloy that’s 33% lighter than aluminum and as strong as carbon fiber. With bike makers always seeking to make their frames lighter without compromising strength, a material with those properties could be a winning recipe.
In fact, that is what bike makers have done over the past few decades: consistently sought out new materials that allow for lighter, faster bikes. Regular magnesium has been around since the 80’s, when has fallen out of favor (and then occasionally back in). It’s light and great at dampening the ride, but also soft; it’s more prone to bending than harder materials like steel and carbon fiber and also requires a massive amount of energy to manufacture.
Super Magnesium contains about 8% aluminum for extra strength, as well as zinc and rare earths like scandium and yttrium. Combined, they create a metal that’s supposed to be roughly as strong as aluminum, 50% lighter than titanium, and with 20 times aluminum’s shock-absorption abilities.
Bonus points: it’s also fully recyclable.
Needless to say, at least a few bike manufacturers should be interested in a material like that. Looks like Weis’ Manufacturing was the first.
Displayed at this year’s NAHBS in Sacramento, Weis’s Hammer Track Allite Super Magnesium Edition is based off their current Hammer Track, looks almost the same (though the stock tube is noticeably thicker) with a frame clocking in at exactly 2.4 lbs. After being put through 100,000 stress cycles during testing, it’s still holding up like new, too.
Exact details and dates surrounding the release of the Super Magnesium Hammer Track aren’t available yet – and neither is price. But the folks at Weis say it shouldn’t be too expensive (compared to carbon fiber frames) and aren’t too far from coming out.
Only time will tell how well the Super Magnesium Alloy will hold up, but we’ll be waiting patiently to find out.