1 of 2
The popular Perspex rings
2 of 2
Element has received many photographs of customers wearing the rings. (Image from Element's Pinterest page)
In the 101st Tour De France, the composite material was king of the track, with its superior properties including lightweight, design and structural flexibility.
But in honour of the event’s start in Yorkshire back in July, plastic was used in a very different way when a contemporary local jeweller created Perspex acrylic bicycle ‘rings’ for spectators to wear during Le Tour.
Element, based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, designed and produced hundreds of non-official Tour de France bike rings, and asked customers to take photos of them wearing their rings while out and about.
With Perspex cast acrylic offering a material easy to fabricate and available in a number of different yellows and thicknesses, Nick Shields, Element’s in-house designer, saw potential in the material to capture the festive fun of the event in a colourful, simple design. He chose 3mm thick Perspex opaque yellow 261 and transparent yellow 2202.
Element worked closely with a local fabricator, The Laser Hive. Several designs were sketched and paper prototypes were made before the artwork for the laser cutter was produced. A small batch of samples was created before perfecting cutting techniques, and then the rings went into production.
Nick commented, “The interest in the Perspex rings has taken us by surprise. In the weeks preceding the event we sold nearly a thousand rings, I suspect that’s not just to do with the TDF, our customers love the colourful and fun aspect of these rings too. It doesn’t stop here, we are already designing our next Perspex jewellery collections, watch this space!”
*Element is making a donation to the Alzheimers Society from their profits from selling its TDF rings.