Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com - 30/11/2021 - Commercial - British Cycling - Verve Infocrank - HSBC National Cycling Centre, Manchester, England - Verve titanium Infocrank.

Verve Cycling announces a £4,740 3D-printed titanium power meter

The Infocrank 3D Ti is said to offer the same robust and accurate power meter as before, in a lighter 3D-printed crankset.

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Verve Cycling has announced the world’s first commercially available 3D-printed titanium power meter. Developed in partnership with Metron Additive Manufacturing, the Infocrank 3D Ti is said to be the “first crank in the world to combine true measurement with a cutting edge 3D-printed Titanium crank arm.”

Verve Cycling first launched the Infocrank power meter in 2014. Built into an alloy crank, the power meter gained a reputation for reliability and accuracy. The Infocrank was one of the first cranksets to include a power meter in both left and right cranks for “true left: right” power measurement. Measuring cadence to 1/1000th of a second, only the tangential loads applied to the crank, and torque from directly within the crank arm at 256 times per second, Verve Cycling claims the Infocrank is the most accurate power meter available.

In 2016 Verve Cycling partnered with British Cycling and developed a track-specific power meter. The track has become the Infocrank’s home in recent years, with a claimed 30% of Toyko medalists using an Infocrank in training for the Games. But despite the claimed accuracy and true left/right power, the Infocrank’s alloy crank and weighty design have not proved as popular on the road where, barring firmware updates, the Infocrank has remained relatively unchanged throughout its existence.

Fast forward to 2021 when Verve Cycling partnered with Dimitris Katsanis of Metron Additive Manufacturing with the ambition of developing a new Infocrank. Katsanis has developed a reputation for cutting-edge design, having worked with British Cycling, Team Sky, and Pinarello in designing some of the most successful equipment of the past two decades. Metron Additive Manufacturing, as the name suggests, specialise in 3D printing and together the two brands developed the new 3D-printed power meter crankset.

The new Infocrank 3D Ti incorporates the Verve Cycling power meter into a new crank arm 3D-printed with Ti6Al4V titanium and with a polished mirror finish. The decision to utilise 3D printing in the manufacturing of the new cranks is said to offer several key advantages. There are of course the standard “lighter and stiffer” claims we expect of any updated cycling product. But Verve also claims the additive manufacturing process is much better for power meter manufacturing. The additive manufacturing process is said to offer greater flexibility in crank design enabling Verve and Metron to create the ‘ideal shape” for a power meter crank.

“Traditionally in manufacturing you can only design for areas that you can access – essentially the outside. However for cranks the ideal shape is a closed box with some internal structures and varying wall thickness. This is very difficult to achieve with traditional manufacturing as you generally can’t get to the inside faces. 3D printing means you can design exactly what you need.”

Bryan Taylor, Verve Cycling CEO

While keen not to spill too many design secrets, Dave Parsons of Verve Cycling said, “it is possible to build cranks with complex geometry that would be impossible to replicate through traditional manufacturing methods. This allows us to ensure that our unmatched accuracy is in no way compromised, and we can now deliver that accuracy in a crank arm that is fully optimised for its intended usage whilst still passing the toughest conditions stipulated by the ISO standard for cranks fatigue tests.”

“Ti6Al4V titanium is melted by a high power electron beam under high vacuum conditions, at a facility that is aerospace qualified (AS9100 Rev D) – about as high tech as it can be in terms of manufacturing. It is then equipped with the most accurate power measuring system – creating a product that is simply unrivalled.”

Dimitris Katsanis, founder and CEO of Metron Advanced Engineering

3D printing each crank also means Verve Cycling can offer individually customisable crank arm lengths of almost any size. Customisable crank length options far surpasses the traditional 165-180 mm range with 2.5 mm increases offered as standard on most cranks but does get me thinking how I would decide which size to choose given an unlimited choice. Furthermore, Verve will offer the new Infocrank 3D Ti in different sizes left and right to meet individual rider requirements.

British Cycling is already using a track variant of the 3D-printed power meter. A road variant of the Infocrank 3D Ti will follow later this spring, featuring a 24 mm spindle plus four- and five-arm spiders. Furthermore, the additive manufacturing process means Verve is already ready to offer MTB and BMX power meters.

All this accuracy and customisation comes at a price, though. Although listed as “price available on request” on the Infocrank website, CyclingTips understands an Infocrank 3D Ti Track could set you back £3,950 +VAT. That’s £4,740 including VAT to anyone in the UK (approximatelys US$6,450 / AU$8,970 / €5,700). Thankfully there is also a waiting list, so I have time to get saving.

The VAT exclusive pricing perhaps gives an indication of the biggest market for the Infocrank 3D Ti – teams and national federations. Verve Cycling has assured us the Infocrank 3D Ti is available to the public and will not become a marginal gain saved for only the best of Olympic hopefuls. Although there is currently that waiting list, the team at Verve are working through it and welcoming more riders to discuss designs and plan their 3D-printed power meter.

Further information on the Infocrank 3D Ti is available at Infocrank.cc.

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