This afternoon, I took a short break from a project that I am working on to browse through the design magazines on the corner of my desk. The stack included the December issue of Metropolis and the Jan/ Feb issue of ID Magazine. Bicycles are a pretty common site in design magazines these days, so I was not surprised to see a few of them as I flipped the pages of both mags. Metropolis mentioned the “Madonna” bike (pictured here) in the Observed section. The bike is a variation on the Electra Amsterdam model with a custom seat and grips, color coordinated rims, a matching bell, and illustrations by Alexander Girard on the fender skirt. Electra also has another women’s model that features illustrations by Girard. The “Tree of Life” bike can be seen here or here. Those of you who are not familiar with Girard by name are probably still familiar with some of his work. He is best known for the textile designs that he created for Herman Miller in the 50s, working with such notable furniture designers as George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames. Too bad Girard is not still around to see the application of his work on these two bikes. Personally, I think they both look great.
ID mentioned the Trek District, a belt drive single speed which you may remember from a post back in August. That bike has received a lot of press since it was unveiled at Trek World this summer, so I was not surprised to see it in ID. The District and the Electra bikes that I just mentioned certainly look different, but they do have something in common. All three bikes appears to be designed as complete products rather than as just frames with a standard component specs. Details like the color coordinated rims, grips, saddles, components, etc. that work with the frame graphics are nice touches on all these bikes. It is great to see that attention to detail on commuter/comfort oriented bikes. My guess is that we will continue to see more new bikes, which will appeal to people who are new to riding, with that holistic design approach. What do you think? Do designs like these three have potential to appeal to a wider audience than the average cruiser or comfort bike?
Photo credit: maXimo