Interbike, Bike 2.0, and thoughts on imagination

Concept, Tradeshows & Events 11 33

It’s that time of year again, Interbike is getting underway today in Vegas (for the last time in a while at least). I had a great time at the show last year, but unfortunately I couldn’t fit it into my schedule this week. Instead of being there to see everything in person, I’ll have to rely on internet coverage like many of you. The good news is…there should be no shortage of great coverage on the web. My Twitter stream is already full of tweets and pics from people on the show floor, so I am counting on them to keep me informed. I’ll be checking all of my usual sources as well, including of course, the official Interbike blog. Look for a post about the show sometime early next week.

bike 2.0: Winner of the Seoul Cycle Design CompetitonToday, I want to point out the results of the Seoul Cycle Design Competition. The Grand prize went to Bike 2.0, a “one size fits all” e-bike designed by Nils Sveje of Inoda+Sveje Design Studio. Be sure to check out the “making of” the Bike 2.0 project page on their website for a bit of insight into the idea behind this concept bike. In you are interested, you can see all 190 of the shortlisted entries on designboom.

Speaking of concept bikes, I encourage you to read an excellent blog post by Sabinna Den titled, Bicycle Innovation, Bicycle Design, the Laws of Physics and Imagination. She starts off by referencing a folding bike concept that I posted last month. The concept was creative and interesting, but it did have pretty obvious issues indicating that the designer probably didn’t “know much about bicycle steering dynamics” as one commenter suggested. I occasionally hear from readers who tell me that I shouldn’t post “unrealistic” rendered concept bikes on the blog. I wrote a post on that subject last year, and I still follow the same guideline when it comes to deciding what to share here… basically, I just have to find something about the design that interests me.  In the 5 years that I have been writing this blog, I have found that the most controversial concepts are the ones that tend to generate the most comments. I like to see that discussion, so you can expect to continue seeing “blue sky” rendered concept bikes pop up here from time to time.

On that note, I would love to hear your thoughts on Sabinna’s post. Leave a comment here, or better yet over at her blog. If you don’t read Cycling Satin Cesena already, I encourage you to add it to your bookmarks. Sabinna’s thoughts on cycling, bicycle design and manufacturing, and the bike industry in general are always very interesting.

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11 Comments

  1. mommus September 23, 2010 at 5:07 am -  Reply

    I have to admit that Bike 2.0 is a very pretty-looking thing, it’s also (slightly) more realistic than some of the Seoul Bike entries, and the designer’s presentation is second to none.
    However I can’t help thinking that, as ever, structural integrity has been overlooked in favor of aesthetics. That spindly little head tube, for instance, would twist and bend all over the place were one to ride it with any vigor. It also looks like the head tube can be wound back and fourth to adjust the wheelbase of the bike, so that mechanism (which isn’t show in any of the material) would have to be amazingly strong.
    The electrical transmission seems to me to be just a convenient way of not having to deal with chains or belts. The efficiency losses and compromises incurred by using electrical transmission without a battery would mean that about half the rider’s energy would be transmitted to the road.
    I can add a new word to my design-speak vocabulary today… “feasibility catalysts”

  2. Binch Shin September 23, 2010 at 3:19 pm -  Reply

    I’m surprised by this post ! Very happy to know there are people who try to tell the truth.. this is a touching speech of James, really.. thank you..

    Today, in fact, I visited here to expose the strange judging, I hoped to let James know what happened finally,
    ① The Grand Prize Bicycle can’t exist in the real world because it is designed to use SUPERCONDUCTOR. There is no material which produces the superconductivity at room temperature. Its efficiency is the second problem.
    ② The Gold Prize Bicycle can’t work(run) in the real world because it is designed to be STEERED BY REAR-WHEEL. It can’t stand up while running.

    The organizer prepared a clear guideline on their call-for-entry,
    ① Evaluation will focus on how well the concepts are expressed, specified, and how practical they will be to produce.
    ② There should be an emphasis on practical designs that can be commercialized within five years.

    But how can we accept the results in Korea? Whose faults?
    As a Korean, I can’t see my tax will be paid for the ABSURD designs :'(

    And here I brought a hidden sad story: Mark Sanders tried to fix the wrong judging system. He warned the coming crisis to the organizer again and again from the beginning. But the organizer(and the other judges) continued as they did until they succeeded in collecting attractive drawings; very attractive but impossible to exist; or very attractive but impossible to work on this planet.

    This problem was reported to Korean government by bicycle riders including me.

  3. mommus September 24, 2010 at 5:20 am -  Reply

    @ Binch Shin

    I couldn’t agree more. The competition rules were broken by virtually every shortlisted bicycle. Some, as you say used technologies that the competitor had obviously seen on the discovery channel, and others were impossible to ride. Many of them had also been entered in other competitions previous to Seoul, or had been made public long ago.
    It’s a real shame because it could have brouight some genuinely creative solutions for the city, but is now becoming a joke.
    I hope the Korean govenment does something about it!

  4. mrmo September 24, 2010 at 10:57 am -  Reply

    NOT THE UBER COOL SUPERCONDUCTOR, on the designers website is says supercapacitor, must be a typo, using these batteries in connection with ultracapacitors is a very common solution in electronics and does the job descriped.

  5. Binch Shin September 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm -  Reply

    This one table encapsulates many of the critical issues caused by the wrong judging: http://twitpic.com/2rgm6e

  6. mommus September 27, 2010 at 5:44 am -  Reply

    @MrMo Supercapacitors aren’t much more sensible than superconductors. The weight, complexity and cost implications of supercapacitors (arranged in such a way as to work as described) would be hugely prohibitive.

  7. Torben Finn Laursen September 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

    Good Bicycle Design and design in general is about seeing possibilities instead of limitations…

    • Binch Shin September 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm -  Reply

      I agree with you basically :D
      Attractive designs what I used to click LiKE buttons on were telling me: “it might be more efficient”, “it might be more easy to use”, “it might be more comfortable”, “it might..”, “it might..”

      Designers have to show possibilities instead of limitations, to people.

  8. Lachie November 9, 2010 at 10:09 pm -  Reply

    Just wondering, is this bike being made, and if so when would it be released?

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