Martin with the prototype of the igus bicycle frame
In the igus:bike project, there are many colleagues working on bicycles and bicycle components both behind the scenes and on stage – and of course, they deserve to have their say here. After Sven, Martin, the first developer at igus to deal exclusively with the subject of bicycles and bicycle components, has his say.
Hello, Martin. Would you mind introducing yourself briefly?
Hi, my name is Martin Kuske and I joined igus last December as Development Engineer for bike topics.
Can you remember the first bike you bought yourself?
Phew, that was a long time ago, but I think it was a mountain bike from Bocholt, a Rose Dr. Z.
I’ve heard that you spend a lot of time on you MTB, is that right?
Yes, that’s right. I’ve been mountain-biking since I was a child, and I’m still regularly drawn to the trails. In the meantime, however, I’ve really developed a liking for e-bikes. For me, there is no better way of relaxing than riding along the home trails.
When did you join igus, and why did you decide to come here?
I’ve been with igus for almost a year now. I joined the company on 1st December 2022. Before that, I worked as an Aerodynamics Development Engineer at KTM Motorrad in Austria. However, personal reasons made me move back home. It was my passion for everything that has two wheels that made me apply for a job at igus:bike.
Martin works on the frame prototype
What are your tasks at igus?
My field of activity is quite diverse. We are currently working on various projects with our partner company Coleo Design in Cologne, among other things. These include handlebars, frames, but also many other topics. Of course, everything that is developed must also be tested on test rigs. Testing plays an important role at igus, and we are constantly expanding the test laboratory. For this purpose, I design test rigs and develop test requirements and processes.
Which plastic components are currently being tested at igus?
By now, quite a lot has accumulated. Basically, we test practically anything that is part of a bicycle. From handlebars and cranks to wheels and frames, everything is included.
Does igus also have bicycle components tested by third parties?
Yes, there are several institutes we work with. First, we test everything internally with increased loads to make sure that the product passes the tests, and then we have it officially “approved”.
Why don’t you tell us about the plastic components you co-developed?
The first project was the modular frame, which was also presented at Eurobike. The aim was to be able to produce a frame in various frame sizes with the lowest possible tool costs*. The project is fascinating, and is still undergoing further development.
The same goes for the handlebars, which were also shown. I think we have been able to generate the most knowledge from the project so far and have realised that some components need to be thought of in a more “plastic” way. By this I mean, for example, benefiting from the advantages or necessity of a freer design and adapting it to the material properties.
*For the production of a frame (or other parts), specially made tools or injection moulds are used. For a complete bicycle frame, a large tool would be required for each frame size. The innovative manufacturing approach of igus optimises the costs for different frame sizes.
Which project are you currently focussing on?
We are still in the early stages of several projects, so I can’t say too much about them yet. It certainly won’t be boring. However, the test rigs are certainly an ongoing project. We want to become even better in this area and continue to expand.
Martin with the prototype of the igus plastic bicycle frame