After compiling the top ten picks from each juror, I am finally able to announce the finalists in the “commuter bike for the masses” design competition. Rather than elaborate on the entries, I am going to post the 6 finalists, in no particular order, along with the descriptions provided by the designers. I may post comments about each entry from the jurors later, but for now, I want to publish these just as we saw them so that you can all leave your comments. The jury will discuss further and we will select the one out of these six that will be awarded the grand prize, a Cannondale Bad Boy bike.
Before I get on with the finalists, I want to say thanks again to all of you who submitted entries to the competition. The choices were difficult to make and there were some really interesting designs that didn’t make it to the final six (out of 65 entries). I still think they are worth sharing though, so I will post many of the other entries after the winner is announced.
Now on to the finalists, each with a description by the designer:
Folding Commuter bike by Rick Marland
The bike’s designed around its lock, which becomes a handle when the bike’s folded. The lock’s big enough to go around a lamppost and if the locks broken the bike can’t be ridden away because the locks additional purpose is to hold the bike together. (Lock can rotate meaning it can lock to horizontal/vertical rails)
The seat and handle bars are fully adjustable in all directions (adjusts to fit most adults), and use a spring-loaded geared quick-release to easily adjust/Fold bike.
The bike wheels have puncture resistant/solid tyres, with dual suspension on single sided swing-arms, which give a slim folded profile (handlebars also fold in). The swing arms have a locking catch system for the various luggage/rack options, luggage can remain locked on the bike when it’s folded and the whole bike can easily be wheeled around with the lock/handle.
The bike’s easy to maintain with its low maintenance shaft drive and 8speed hub gearing, it also uses hydraulic discs, all cables are internally routed. The built in lights are auto on/off (with override switch) and the battery can be charged in the bike, or removed.
(Lock & Quick-release mechanisms are drawn on the incorrect side for illustration purposes)
This Way by Torkel Dohmers
I have made an emphasis on automotive qualities in the design, to attract non-previous cyclists used to cars and motorcycles.
Another selling point to attract more people riding a bike (especially here in Europe) is weather protection – the bike has a roof!
Built in composite materials (carbon or flax fibre) and hydro-formed aluminium, this vehicle is very lightweight (approximate 11-12kg). Has built-in LED lights front and rear powered by a rechargeable battery that gets its power from solar cells on roof. The bike has a built-in belt drive. Riding position is lower than a traditional bike to keep a low centre of gravity and for optimal aerodynamics.
In the rear of frame is a “luggage connector”, where the user plugs-in his/her e g attaché bag. The design also benefits of flexibility and comfort for riders of different sizes, as the crankset and seat is adjustable in length/height.
Although this design is more expensive to manufacture compared to its traditional rivals, it is still just a fraction of the buying price of cars and zero in running costs…
Untitled entry by Ian Clewett
My design takes the best elements of ‘traditional’ Dutch type commuting bikes – that easy, comfortable upright riding position, storage racks and baskets, balance and simplicity; then mixes in new technology and new thinking. The main frame and wheel covers/mudguards are a monocoque in moulded plastic – replacing the traditional tubular frame with a durable, cleaner structure which integrates greater rider safety, visibility, carrying and storage features. ‘Fold-flat’ handlebars and lockable folding pedals allow for unobtrusive storage in garage, corridors or confined space as well as built-in immobilising security. The cradle-style handlebars and low headset design allow for a ‘modular’ accessory system on easy mounting rails to tailor the bike to various needs, along with better weight distribution when laden.
Aesthetically, I also wanted the bike to make a statement of being something very ‘different and fresh’ but still recognisable as a bike. I feel that bicycles are often a jumble of components, rather than an integrated product. My design looks and works as a complete unit, resulting in cleaner lines and more built-in functionality. A bike that does what it promises and is a joy to use.
Untitled entry by Mark Huang
The design features I found to be relevant were easy/minimal maintenance, intuitive use, clean to use, reliable, utility: needs to have storage, upright seating position, comfortable seat, improved visibility/ safety, and appearance: not making user feel awkward.
With these parameters in mind, my design proposal is for casual cyclists and new bike commuters. The frame is constructed out of large diameter aluminum tubing, in an upright seating position, and without a top tube to allow for getting on and off the bicycle with ease. The saddle features a larger seating surface that is more integrated into the frame. The form is simple, with larger easy to clean smooth surfaces.
The enclosed-belt drive train connects the cranks to an internal rear hub, giving the user more gearing options in a clean and compact package with less required maintenance.
The hollow bottom bracket adds aesthetic appeal and another mount for locking the bike when parking it. The attached pannier rack detaches to become a U-lock, so a lock will always be with the bike.
The MuskOx Concept by Erik Nohlin
Is the theme of this commuter. The more You are seen, the safer You get,
-You simply can´t be seen enough.
All systems are integrated in the frame:
# Trip data in the frame as lcd panel. Distance today, this week, this month and this year. The parameters are fun to compare with colleagues and fellow commuters and gives instant feedback of your achievements. Max, average and current speed is shown as well as light status and time. There must be an instant reward for cyclists who normally don´t commute – the feedback is the reward – You reward Your body and the environment and get it in clear LCD numbers.
# Reflective paint. It glows in the dark and is highly visible in all weather conditions.
# Integrated front and rear led lights. 10 pcs of ledlights front and rear.
# Extra led lights in rear, pointing upwards. For trucks and high vehicles.
# Hubdynamo charged batteries.
# Hubgears or singlespeed.
# Integrated sturdy steering lock.
# Diskbrakes with integrated wires.
# Integrated brakehandles “reversed throttle”.
# Several rack and fender mounting options.
Muskox: Endures tough weather, Respectable, Muscular, Barrelshaped.
Choices at purchase similar to a car, materials, construction and design techniques similar to a car and above all comfort and ease of use – like a car.
No direct drive allows constant peddle speed and pressure regardless of bike speed (governed max. 15mph) or incline which in turn means getting sweaty and out of breath (modern mankinds worst enemy) is a thing of the past. Solar panels, front hub generator and mains power charge means there will always be power and the ‘engine’ can power your phone/ipod/satnav too (just like a car.). Integrated lighting and one touch brakes = simplicity and ease of use
The monoque is strong, light and reduces welding. The internal capacity contains all the mechanics/ electrics and gives large flat areas for the solar panels. The folding mechanism means you never need leave the bike at home whether traveling some of your journey by Train, Plane, Car or Boat.
Updated 1/26/09: The competition winner has now been announced. Read about it here.