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Project 14 – Powder Coating Bicycle Frames
Did you know the bicycle is the primary transportation vehicle used by the human race. About 1.6 billion bicycles are in use throughout the world – in cosmopolitan cities, along remote country lanes, and in the smallest villages – and hundreds of millions of bikes are manufactured every year to meet the continuing demand for cheap wheeled transport.
Yet the bicycle is hardly a new vision of how humans can move. Historians speculate about Leonardo da Vinci’s 1490s drawings and a 1580s stained glass window in England that appears to depict a two-wheeler. The first widely recognized two-wheeler in actual use, however, was the pedal-less Celerifere, a toy of the French nobility in the 1790s. The more famous Draisienne followed that toy in 1816, still without pedals. The front wheel could be steered, and this two-wheeler was eventually mass-produced in Europe, particularly in England. Ernest Michaux added cranks to the two-wheeler in 1855. At the age of 14, Michaux copied the crank from a hand-grinding wheel in his father’s lock-smithy and started a revolution in human transportation – the Velocipede.
As the bicycle has evolved from a simple mode of transportation to the world of precision manufacturing so has the finish used to coat the frame work. With all the environmental benefits of powder coating, powder coating bicycle frames was a perfect fit for the worlds greenest form of transportation. But it was the durability and flexibility of powder coating that helped engineers cross the finish line.