A student design and a few links

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Stelian Tchapkanski is an industrial design student who is working on a concept for an electric assist bike. His goal is to change people’s perception of the bicycle and to make commuting a fashionable alternative for those who don’t currently ride. In his own words, the concepts are “not designed to replace the bike, but are more as an alternative to the car.”

My first reaction, which I already passed on to Stelian, is that the rider position in both of these form study renderings is way too aggressive for a commuter-oriented bike. The average casual commuter wants an upright riding position that is much more relaxed than that of a racing cyclist. Stelian agreed with that comment and would like to get more constructive criticism from all of you who read this blog. He is going to start working on a full size mock up soon, so leave a comment if any of you have feedback that might help him with his project.

Bike Portland mentioned the 2008 IDSA Western District Conference in a post yesterday. Designers at the conference will take part in a workshop titled, Yield! Bikes and cars, can’t we all just get along? The participants will be presented with two design issues; improving on street parking and the design of complete streets. Read more about the event and the questions they hope to address at the Bike Portland post. I am looking forward to seeing some of the solutions they come up with in the workshop, and I will be sure to pass those along.

I just updated one of my posts from last week with info about the Zipp podcast, so check that out if you are interested in hearing more about the new 1080 wheels.

Finally, I want to close this post with something that is not design related. I have mentioned before that Masiguy is one of the first bike blogs that I started reading and is one of a handful of blogs that prompted me to start this one. Tim (aka Masiguy) is a great guy, so I was upset to hear that he crashed pretty hard at the San Diego velodrome the other night and suffered a concussion, broken bones, and other injuries. As you can see from the picture at BikeBiz, the crash was definitely a nasty one. If you want to help out with Tim’s recovery, his friend Blue Squirrel has set up a Pay Pal “get well” fund. To contribute, follow the link from his post, where you can also read updates on Tim’s road to recovery. Get well Masiguy; I’m looking forward to some updates on that blog of yours soon.

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6 Comments

  1. thePig May 2, 2008 at 12:59 pm -  Reply

    Stelian certainly has a noble goal. From a geometry standpoint they may have some way to go but they do look flashy – and perhaps the less they look like normal bicycles the more people may adopt the concept as a replacement for the car.

  2. robb sutton (198) May 2, 2008 at 2:51 pm -  Reply

    I know it was probably just for mock-up purposes, but the wheels/tires wouldn’t work very well. Overall, great idea and design. Now the trick is making it functional and sell-able…which is a hard road for most concepts.

  3. Anonymous May 2, 2008 at 6:04 pm -  Reply

    looks like a motorized scooter

  4. bikesgonewild May 3, 2008 at 1:27 pm -  Reply

    …hey, i’m sticking w/ my pi electric…actually i keep forgetting to call & look those guys up as they’re somewhere in sf’s presidio…if they’re still around…

    …re: tim/masiguy…i’ll say it here, again for the benefit of anyone unfamiliar w/ this gentleman…tim jackson is an eloquent spokesman both w/ in & for the bicycle industry…i’ve never met the man but in listening to him speak during a podcast, i found myself wanting to hear more because of how well he expressed himself…
    …get healthy & get strong, masiguy…you’re needed…

  5. xavier novell May 5, 2008 at 12:22 am -  Reply

    good blog, company.
    from catalonia 1 bike’r.

    xavi .. salut!

  6. Peter May 25, 2008 at 9:54 am -  Reply

    Excellent designs, don’t alienate potential customers by going too futuristic (think ipod/functional) as some people will be embarrassed to ride a space rocket.

    Don’t forget to use a belt drive (as shown by Orange/Gate Industries).

    If the battery demounts easily to charge indoors thats another bonus.

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