The journey of the cycling shorts

The CX ONE Cycling Shorts from CANNATHO are an invention for cyclists who like to sit comfortably on their bike, who also like to plan a bike tour at the weekend. The CX ONE can be worn under trousers or with normal pants underneath. Thus, the CX ONE figures new fields of application.

The CX ONE is knitted from a composite of hemp and polyamide in an automated process. Many cycling shorts are knitted together on one long piece of fabric and the cycling shorts can be easily detached from each other. In addition, the cycling shorts do not have a seam. This means that little manual work is required in the production process. The Cycling Shorts are the beginning of a journey towards an impressive transformation chain of the shorts as a faithful companion on new tours by bike.

video of Fridolin’s presentation
Fridolin Richter
project:full circle
examined bioplastic:
material expert support:

Dr. Sandra Richter
Fraunhofer IMWS

full concept text

The Cycling Shorts are made from the renewable raw material hemp because it is environmentally friendly and symbolises a cycle. Hemp is hard-wearing and moisture-resistant, which is why it was used for hemp ropes in shipping. It is also allergy-friendly and kind to the skin, which is why hemp socks, for example, are made from it.

The second material is polyamide. It provides tear and abrasion resistance and the thermoplastic property becomes an advantage for the next metamorphosis.

In each case, the positive properties of the hemp and the polyamide are combined to form a new composite with ultimate properties.

The textile is a knitted fabric because it conforms well to the moving body shapes and can expand in specific directions or be firm. This effect is realised by partially inserted weft threads.

The CX ONE is knitted into rolls on automated knitting machines. The advantage is the speed of this process. Individual stitches are then separated between the Cycling Shorts and through the principle of a running stitch, they separate from each other.

When the shorts are separated, they are packed and sent to the buyer. There, the cycling shorts provide a lot of riding pleasure on the bike. They provide great padding for the sit bones and protect the nerve pathways that run through the buttocks. As a faithful companion for every bike tour, they can be worn until indicators show wear. The indicators are discolouring lines on the trousers. The time has come to send the CX ONE to the cooperating company SATHO.

These transform the trousers into a unique personal saddle. The saddle has the same requirements for sitting comfortably on a bicycle as the trousers. At SATHO, the trousers are further processed. The trousers are separated into three parts on pre-prepared lines. The parts are separated again using the principle of the running stitch. There is very little waste.

The three parts are placed in a mould. At the edges of the parts there is a small bead, this is inserted into a groove in the tool. This facilitates quick and accurate fitting. Then the tool mould is closed and the three layers are pressed together by heat and pressure to form a seat shell for the saddle.

The knitted-in polyamide thread in the trouser panels acts as a matrix material for the composite. In addition, the attributes of a knitted fabric provide drapability on the tool mould.

With the CX ONE, the transformation and the life cycle are thought through. Hemp is broken and the fibre is extracted. The result is a strong twisted yarn. The second material, polyamide, is processed into thread. Both together are made into a high-quality knitted fabric from which the Cycling Shorts are made. When the saddle is pressed out of the worn Cycling Shorts, the shives, the woody part of the hemp plant is used as a heat source.

In addition, something else can also be created from the seat shell, if the seat shells are defective. So, these seat shells can be shredded and ground. The recycled material is used in injection moulding machines to make pedals and mudguards.

Chemical recycling can re-synthesize the polyamide and thus new Cycling Shorts can be made again. This completes the cycle of the CX ONE’s long journey.

Every process of transformation and production requires the input of new energy. For CANNATHO, it is therefore not acceptable to buy new products because the tastes of the users have changed. The new product is to be played on a mobile phone by swiping left or right. Swipe left if the product is not liked and swipe right if it is liked and loved. Then a heart appears in the app and two lucky users have someone opposite them with whom they can swap the CANNATHO product.