If there's one thing German bicycle manufacturing company Urwahn likes more than a comfy saddle and an open road, it's experimenting with design. The company previously 3D printed the feather-light Schmolke Edition bike and now it's introducing another additively-manufactured delight called the Platzhirsch that includes hidden cabling, LED-lighting built right into the frame, and a range of up to 50 miles to a charge. Needless to say, we'd like to ride it.
Pre-order are open now and the Platzhirsch will ship in summer. If you want one, expect to pay €4,500 (around $4,900). But if you pre-order one you can shave €500 off the price to spend on equally hip coffees along your Sunday riding route.
It's called the Platzhirsch for a reason — I love digging into the etymology of products, and Urwahn's latest, the Platzhirsch, has a particularly fun and apt origin story. According to a translation from the Cambridge Dictionary, Platzhirsch roughly translates as "dominant stag" in zoological terms, or "alpha male" in figurative ones.
Urwahn's own description says the Platzhirsch "is bursting with strength and lives up to his name." We didn't know bicycles had genders, but sure, whatever. According to the German manufacturer, it's the "top dog [with] an unmistakable appearance." We're definitely getting big alpha-animal energy.
Sleek design — One of the things we like most about the Platzhirsch is its subtlety. The brake cabling is hidden in the frame, the dropouts are sealed and rounded, and little touches like the LED lights in the saddle post and handlebars make it look both thoroughly modern and timeless.
The 250 Wh battery is built into the down tube, and there's the option to add a range-extending 208 Wh battery to the bottle cage mount for an additional 37 miles between charges. For navigation, the Platzhirsch relies on the same Mahle app that lets riders check the remaining range and other pertinent data about their 3D-printed, two-wheeled steed.
3D innovation at the Olympics — Using 3D printing to build bicycles is having a moment right now. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will have a track bike from Great Britain's cycling team designed by theRenishaw, a company that specializes in 3D-printed metal. While Urwahn hasn't indicated it has any plans to help Germany win gold with its 3D e-bikes, the Platzhirsch will doubtless win plenty of adoring stares from German pedestrians. Also, we suspect you're not allowed batteries in Olympic bikes, no matter how stylishly they're concealed.