If there was ever a company that prides itself on doing things differently, it’s Melbourne-based Bastion Cycles. Since its inception in 2015, the brand has been trying to distinguish itself as a disruptor in the industry. It released the first commercially available bike with 3D-printed titanium lugs seven years ago, with the aim of creating ample design flexibility when it comes to tuning ride quality. For the past four years, the brand has relied solely on in-house 3D-printing capabilities and has recently begun 3D-printing its own forks and cockpits too. Bastion Cycles’ latest release, the ArchAngel, is said to present the pinnacle of Bastion design and engineering.
The bike is inspired by the world's first titanium-skinned aircraft, the A-12 ArchAngel. It’s a plane which was capable of Mach 3 (flying at Mach 3 produces oven-like skin temperatures and requires aircraft with exotic propulsion systems) and outrunning missiles. Bastion took inspiration from the aircraft’s sleek lines, as well as the precise attention to detail and teamwork that went into creating it.
James Woolcock, Bastion Co-founder and COO, explained: “The design of the A-12 ArchAngel was instrumental in inspiring me towards my engineering career. More than just the technology, the way “Kelly” Johnson led the Skunkworks projects with cross-functional team members working together at the same time to solve problems had a big impact on me and drives how we conduct projects today, including this one.”
Influences from the A-12 ArchAngel can be seen throughout the design of Bastion’s ArchAngel bike. The Cerakote finish – said to be a durable coating that weighs less than paint – on the bike is an ode to the ceramic coating used to prevent the A-23 from melting at Mach 3. For the first time, Bastion has also added artwork of angel wings on the bike’s lugs which is a literal representation of the inspiration behind the bike. These logos are hand smoothed and finished in chrome, a feature which Bastion Cycles says takes five times as long and is five times as hard to perfect. This finish is almost identical to that of polished titanium and ties the logo to the artwork. Ben Schultz, Bastion's co-founder and CEO said: “The challenge was how do we respect such an iconic aircraft, yet still enhance the design with artistic features which tell the story of the project without needing words.”
With no cost spared or corners cut, Bastion describes the ArchAngel as “the most highly specified production bike ever released”. The brand says that every component has been curated to contribute to the bike's enhanced aesthetic and performance, with the aim of elevating the ride experience. It features Bastion’s ArchAngel fork, bar and stem with a Ceramicspeed SLT headset. Buyers can choose from Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, SRAM Red AXS or Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupsets to go alongside Bastion’s BC01 crankset. The ArchAngel also has a Ceramicspeed T47 bottom bracket and Ceramicspeed 3D Printed Titanium oversized pulley wheel with a Cerakote finish on the pulley wheels.
Riders will have a choice between Lightweight Meilenstein EVO Schwarz Ed wheels or Obermayer EVO Schwarz Ed wheels, dressed with Pirelli P-Zero tyres. The bike’s finishing touches include King Titanium bottle cages with a Cerakote finish, plus the buyer's saddle and bar tape of choice which will then be re-upholstered by bespoke handmade leatherwork company, Busyman. There will be eight different colour options for the bike which will be matched across the cages, cranks and pulleys, with the artwork always remaining exposed titanium.
Bastion explains that the ArchAngel bike is a strictly limited release, with the price only available upon request. Each ArchAngel bike made is individually numbered with priority given to the brand’s existing clients. 25% of the 88 units which will be made are already allocated. It’s said to be a bicycle created for those who want iconic style, unrivalled performance and exclusivity, described as a collector's item and a “piece of cycling history.”