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Oregon Manifest: Constructor’s Design Challenge

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“Custom bike builders and designers from around the nation are challenged to design the ultimate modern transportation bike.”

That is the challenge put forth by Oregon Manifest, a Portland based organization that promotes cycling and cycling lifestyle. According to Jocelyn SyCip, Oregon Manifest‘s Director, “The Constructor’s Design Challenge is the centerpiece of this year’s Oregon Manifest.” She explains, “If the bicycle is ever to realize its potential to change the urban transportation landscape – and mindset – it’ll take a bike that can multi-task the demands of everyday urban transport. The Constructor’s Design Challenge is a unique way to jump start the conversation about what constitutes a great, modern, all-around transportation bike.”

Participants in the Constructor’s Design Challenge will have to do more than create a nice looking bike. To prove the concepts, the bikes will be raced in the 77-mile Constructor’s race presented by Rapha. The course will include on and off road sections with “challenges inspired by the European one-day classics, such as Paris-Roubaix.” The bikes will face dirt, gravel, steep sections, technical urban sections and more on the route that is yet to be revealed.

The entries will be judged on Friday, October 2nd, by a panel which will include Rob Forbes, founder of Design Within Reach; Sky Yaeger, designer of Swobo bicycles; Ron Sutphin, president of United Bicycle Institute; and Brian Bainbridge, former director of R&D for Specialized Bicycles. Design considerations that the judges will consider, as outlined by Oregon Manifest, are listed below:

Amazing Solution: Devise a sensational, unique and innovative bike for transportation use.

Handling: Bikes must handle equally well with and without load. Both options will be tested against turning and straight pedaling.

Integration: Solutions should be integrated into a complete and harmonious whole, rather than a checklist of details.

Presentation + Execution: Fabrication refinement and final presentation are important indicators of skill and thoughtfulness. Extraordinary craftsmanship can be displayed in the simplest brazing or the fanciest lug. Individual design solutions should build to a single visual and functional whole.

Load Carrying: Bikes must accommodate and securely carry the rider’s award ceremony party attire, a provided 6-pack of beverage (in glass bottles), and a provided small container of party snacks.

Security: Since the bikes must be protected from theft while unattended, a smart, easy solution for securing the bike under different conditions is expected.

Utility: Bikes should handle changing weather, lighting conditions, and visibility.

Quality and Rattles: If bike components or parts are loose, rattling, or otherwise inoperable at the race finish, points will be deducted for each failure.

Portage: Bikes must be able to be carried by its rider over a section of the Constructor’s Race course.

Response to the Constructor’s Race Course: Entry bikes must take into consider all elements of the race course, the 10 design considerations and the overall challenges they present.

The winner of the Design Challenge will receive a bespoke 3-piece suit, a collaboration between Rapha and London tailor Timothy Everest. Points will be awarded in the 10 Design Consideration categories listed above, weighted into three points group. Top 12 winners (and the three race winners) will be displayed in the Oregon Manifest Bike Union storefront for five weeks.All entries will be on display for the public during the Design Challenge weekend. In addition, all participants will be featured in a coffee table book being produced around the event.

For another take on Oregon Manifest, check out this recent Red Kite Prayer post . If you are interested in entering the Constructor’s Design Challenge, visit the Oregon Manifest website for more information and to download a registration form. The deadline for entry is tomorrow, July 31, so you had better hurry.

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  1. Anonymous July 30, 2009 at 11:27 pm -  Reply

    James, thanks for posting this. I would never have known about it otherwise. Unfortunately I'm on vacation and won't have time to apply. Wish I would have known sooner.

  2. jimmythefly August 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm -  Reply

    I find it interesting that none of the requirements address the ability of your LBS to repair or at least order parts for the bike. Perhaps the organizers felt a requirement like that might stifle creativity and perhaps go against the requirement for an integrated solution. Also, no requirement as to price or feasibility in the "real world".

    I'd love to see some awesome one-offs built for this contest, but I suspect we're gonna get a bunch of lugged rando bikes instead.

  3. John October 2, 2009 at 7:28 am -  Reply

    Thanks for the post

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