The way we will make things better
Part 2: Enter the VOID
The Kingdom VOID is a new project and venture in which we are trialling the latest in manufacturing techniques to help us make better bikes.

Our goal for the future of Kingdom is to reduce harm to the planet. Because what’s the point in making bikes if there’s nowhere left to ride them?

Over the next 6 months or so — who knows how long it takes to come to a verdict — we will be riding a number of prototype VOID bikes created using additive manufacturing (AM) techniques.

They may or may not end up on sale at the end of the process as this is all about experimenting and learning.

At this point, very few bike companies have tried to create major pivotal suspension parts in AM like this before, especially not in titanium.


To us, better means more fun, versatile, and reliable. But above all it stands for a commitment to improve the way our company functions and manufactures and its impact on the environment.

Additive manufacturing — which is essentially 3D printing, although the trendy people now call it AM — is already used in the cycling industry, but mostly to make small frame components such as connecting lugs, head tubes or dropouts.

Specifically, we are using electron beam melting (EBM) to produce major frame parts. Compared to laser powder bed fusion, which is more widely used, the EBM process offers greater strength-cost effectiveness and makes more sense for larger components.

Our aim with VOID is to form major, stress-laden moving parts that would be impossible using traditional manufacturing methods. Additive manufacturing should also help us reduce wastage during construction.

We already have prototypes in our hands and are testing them on a range of terrain and conditions (we’re spread around the world — these bikes are simultaneously experiencing a filthy European winter and the glorious Australian summer).

The VOID is based around a core single-pivot platform we began sketching early 2020 with input from our friends at TF Tuned in the UK.

Single-pivot because we enjoy simplicity (this might be read as irony — running a bike company is a mountain of switchback turns from straightforward). The plan for the final bike is something low-slung and throwable; pretty much a more forgiving Vendetta.

The VOID Trail 275
Kingdom’s lead engineer Dean faced a number of challenges in dreaming up a bike that would fit the spec. Reflecting on the process, Dean explains:
“The hardest part about designing a single pivot is you’re far more limited in terms of layout. Designing a suspension platform is a balancing act — you’re limited be the shock you’re using, target travel and endless other design factors. On a linkage bike, it is possible to make a small adjustment to one small component in order to realise comparably large change in how the bike reacts. With the single pivot, major parts might need amending to achieve desired handling or suspension targets. This means that, traditionally, the simpler the layout, the more compromise required. Which is where additive manufacturing comes in — we are now able to create components exactly as needed, expanding the possibilities of a single pivot layout.”

Inspired by the great work of Sturdy and Ralf Holleis, among others, we joined forces with Nick at US company Form 3D. He helped us create the most complicated components that form the backbone of the VOID’s design.

These key parts are critical in helping the VOID tick all our ‘make things better’ boxes. They either allow us to create otherwise impossible to manufacture parts or ones we’d have to make in high volumes using excessively wasteful CNC machining.

We have to say a big thank you to Nick — his depth of experience has enabled us to make the VOID reality.

Of all AM parts we created for the VOID, only one was non-functional; it has become known lovingly as the ‘prosthetic nose’ or ‘codpiece’. We added this seat tube support as a playful example of external mesh printing — then we kept it on the prototypes as a reminder never to be overly serious.

If the VOID reaches production, we will probably replace the codpiece with either classic tubing or a similarly shaped titanium component. (The codpiece has become a bit of a Marmite discussion point.)

Nick at Form 3D shares his thoughts on working with us on this project:
"At Form 3D, we have been a long time manufacturer of bike components, but we have never 3D printed bike parts as large, unique, and complex as we did for Kingdom Bike's new frame. We worked together with their design team to overcome some challenges of 3D printing like powder removal while taking advantage of the creativity that additive manufacturing has to offer. These benefits can be seen in every bike component, from the chainstay yoke customization to the complex net structure in the showcasing seat brace. This is by far the most additive manufactured parts we have seen in a full titanium bike frame, and we are thrilled to see and ride the final result."

At the end of the VOID testing, we hope to offer four full-suspension options. These will be 130 and 160mm-travel bikes in 27.5 or 29in wheels.

But, as we said, this is all about trial and potential error. If it turns out the frames fail or don’t meet our expectations, we’ll rethink the designs or the entire manufacturing process.

While we don’t know exactly where this is going, one thing is certain and that is we’ll be having a lot of fun along the way.

The VOID Mountain 29