During the pandemic, sales of bicycles increased exponentially in our country. It’s healthy and good for the environment, but the high demand also caused supply problems of bicycle parts from outside Europe. The young Leuven-based REIN4CED, manufacturer of composite bicycle frames for example, wants to start producing closer to the European market.
Win-win for everyone
In a recent news release on REIN4CED's website, CEO Michaël Callens explains who the winners are from local production of bicycle parts, as close to the market as possible: "Covid causes a lot of supply problems. Therefore, bicycle manufacturers accelerated their strategic search to centralize their operations. They looked at how they could get their production closer to the outlets." REIN4CED capitalized on this. It develops strong, lightweight composite materials to produce bicycle frames, among other things. The flexible production process is automated, close to European bicycle manufacturers.
Not only is the logistics chain for the bicycle parts shorter and production closer to home, it also increases the durability of the product. The material combines properties of traditional carbon fibers such as stiffness and lightness with the toughness and ductility of steel. When the other bicycle parts wear out, the composite frame can be reused for other applications.
Investors are now also showing clear interest in REIN4CED's sustainable ambitions. Under the guidance of a specialized investment firm, REIN4CED recently carried out a capital increase of 7 million euros. With this extra capital, the company can increase production capacity and at the same time invest in research into new sustainable materials. Not only for the bicycle industry, but also for the automotive and aviation sectors.