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  1. Evan Solida January 21, 2011 at 10:38 am -  Reply

    How do the Italians do it? Seriously! Are they just born with an amazing since of style? This frame looks fantastic and I love the stem/handlebar area. Nicely done. About the only thing that I don’t care for is seeing the shifter cable running below the downtube. Almost reminds me of a SlingShot!

  2. Adam Rice January 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm -  Reply

    Picchio is (or was) a bicycle framebuilder. In fact, I found a reference to Angelo Picchio as having worked for Maserati before moving on to bikes. Perhaps he’s oscillated between the two.

    • James T January 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm -  Reply

      Thanks, Adam! Now that you say that, the name does sound familiar. I went to the late Sheldon Brown’s webpages and found this tandem that used to be in his collection of fixed gear bikes. Picchio Racing’s website seems to be down at the moment, but I would love to find out if the car maker and framebuilder are one and the same (or perhaps related). Maybe Nicola can shed some light on the subject.

      • Nicola January 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

        This is the first time for Picchio cars factory to develop a bicycle project. The tandem Picchio has only the same name, but I don’t know why.

  3. Mike January 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm -  Reply

    Hideous student CAD trash. Next please.

    • Erin January 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm -  Reply

      Hideous? Are you kidding. It is a beautiful form.

      • Mike January 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm -  Reply

        There are lots of aesthetically pleasing ways to connect the dots of wheels, cranks, handlebars, and saddle, but if designers want to make thinks that are merely pretty they should stick to runway fashion. This is a bicycle. The design is arbitrary and foolish. Next, please.

        • Nick F January 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm -  Reply

          And exactly what masterpiece have you contributed to the cycling industry, or even the world, that we should give your opinion any consideration at all?

          I think this is pretty impressive.

          Granted… the holes in the frame are pretty goofy. They are doing nothing but slowing you down, aerodynamically… but they do look fun.

          And I think that visually, he should have gone with some sort of minimal seatstay arrangement, OR an under-the-chainstay brake mount, because that brake nubbin mid seat tube looks lonely.

          Overall though, a really good job. And again, to Mike… have you ever even been to Yanko Design? If this makes you that upset… I would stay away. You might lose it completely.

          • Mike January 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm -  Reply

            I’m not here to measure resumes, but the things I design make it past the prototype stage.

            You seem to agree that this is impractical and poorly thought out, you’re just a nicer guy than I am. I simply don’t find it acceptable for a student’s final project to be something this unserious and ill-considered.

            I am not being facetious when I say that this person should consider a career in fashion rather than bicycles. He clearly likes to draw pretty things and has some talent for it, and he also clearly doesn’t have the slightest desire to bother with any aspect of design other than aesthetics. This set of skills and proclivities provides a living for thousands of people in the global fashion industry and exactly zero in the bicycle industry.

            Yanko Design is a marketing channel, its relationship to the actual work of designing things is the same as Wired magazine’s relationship with electrical engineering. I sincerely hope that nobody reading this blog needs to be told that.

        • Nick F January 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm -  Reply

          I think the issue here is whether or not this is an exemplary piece of student work.

          Having recently graduated from a design school myself, I can assure you that this is. While it may be unacceptable to you that this is a student’s final project, in reality, most (I’d say 90%+) student final projects are orders of magnitude less thought out, less finished, and less realizable, whatever their focus.

          Maybe that’s simply what you’re mad about. And honestly, I agree with you, as It’s extremely aggravating to have to sit through hours of critique for people who have done what seems like nothing for a final project. But that is the state of most design education, and nonetheless, a large number of those graduates now have jobs.

          Regarding your statement about the fashion vs design, engineering vs. styling… I think that styling has an extremely important role to play in cycling, as in truth, the differences between different brands top bikes are so immeasurable that aesthetics are really one of the most important things to set a brand apart. The UCI regulations don’t even allow the possibility for amazing innovation on technical terms. Hearing the Pinarello rep at interbike try to explain the shark-toothed ridges on their TT bike as something other than weird italian aesthetic sensibilities was enough to make me laugh outright.

          Maybe nobody will admit it, but at this point, carbon bikes aren’t allowed to get any lighter, and don’t need to get much stiffer – styling and hype are all that are left to sell new models.

        • Mick January 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm -  Reply

          So now we know Mike doesn’t like it…that revelation has failed to rock my world… your opinion carries no more weight than anyone else here…next…

  4. Steve A January 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm -  Reply

    Simply put; No seatstay means structurally inefficient since he’s got the chainstay in bending. Structurally inefficient means he went for looks before function. I’d bet that to work properly, the design would weigh more than a 70’s bike, even with modern components. Just because something CAN be done doesn’t mean it SHOULD be done.

    • Nick F January 21, 2011 at 10:54 pm -  Reply

      Maybe the chainstays need to be beefed up a bit, but I’ve got a Softride that totally lacks seatstays and it is pretty darn stiff. Moreover, Quintana Roo’s newest tri bike at Interbike also lacked a non-drive side seatstay, and I doubt they’ll get called out for being structurally inefficient.

      I’m not saying it would be stiff enough as is… probably not. But even with the rear end as is, seatstays only contribute to vertical stiffness, not lateral stiffness. And to me, it seems that most vertical flex in the rear wheel should get returned to the pedal stroke and not end up being all that inefficient, given that carbon fiber is a pretty efficient spring.

      • Mike January 21, 2011 at 11:29 pm -  Reply

        “seatstays only contribute to vertical stiffness, not lateral stiffness”

        Would love to see that one proved on paper. Also, don’t forget about the torsion. When unstable chainstays are twisted relative to each other you get all kinds of weird effects, though the main problem is brake rub.

        “And to me, it seems that most vertical flex in the rear wheel should get returned to the pedal stroke and not end up being all that inefficient, given that carbon fiber is a pretty efficient spring.”

        You’d think so, but it doesn’t end up working out that way when you look at the interaction between the modulus of carbon, the period and force curve of the pedal stroke, and the dampening effects of a human rider. The equations are all there in the coupled oscillators chapter of a high school physics text, but if you want seat-of-the-pants proof go ride a bike with an underbuilt carbon fork. The frame-fork system constitutes a “spring” that eats a lot of energy on strong downward portion of the pedal stroke but returns it at the bottom of the stroke where the rider is ill-equipped to put it to any use.

        • Nick F January 22, 2011 at 12:05 am -  Reply

          Know of any studies or sources that talk about this? I’m not doubting you – I’m genuinely interested. It really does seem that even if the energy return wasn’t able to be utilized by an average pedal stroke, it would be easier to adapt your stroke to pick it up than it would be to say, learn to pedal biopace or q-rings.

        • Adam Rice January 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

          The Zipp 2001 and the Trek Y frame suggest you can build a bike without chainstays—or seat tubes. The UCI doesn’t like them, which is why we don’t see them anymore. That doesn’t mean they don’t work.

          • Mike January 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm -  Reply

            The Trek Y foil had seatstays, or at least a second set of stays that went to about halfway up what would be the seat tube on a conventional frame. The early softrides also had this design; all softrides are heavy. Note that almost all designs that have eliminated the seat stays were primarily for track or TT, which is of course in some sense natural since those are the places where aerodynamics matters the most, but also assures that durability is less of a concern.

            Nobody is arguing that you can’t make a bike with no seat stays, but given the strength advantages of a triangle versus a cantilever it’s incumbent on the designer to prove the advantage in doing so.

  5. Ross Nicholson January 22, 2011 at 12:21 am -  Reply

    This is a beautiful design. I wish the designer has thought about incorporating wires, cables, controls, and instrument panel within the frame and handlebars. Aerodynamic fenders (covering most of the wheel) would also be improvements–but what do I know?

  6. Edu January 22, 2011 at 8:02 am -  Reply

    You make a frame with those 3 big holes and design the cable routing that way?

    That’s funny

  7. mommus January 22, 2011 at 10:45 am -  Reply

    It’s very pretty, and it’s always good to see a bike that someone has actually started building, rather than just a 3d rendering… however I can’t help thinking that the design would not be very stiff. Looking at how that rear brake is fitted, one wonders whether you’d ever be able to get it to work properly. The narrow seat tube and lack of seat stays would probably make it quite flexive… unless the chain stays are very strong. But I’d probably still buy one.

  8. Nicola G. January 23, 2011 at 10:26 am -  Reply

    Thank all for talking about my project. I would like to explain that the rendering shown are only the lastest phase of a project. Before that images the project has passed various discussion with engineer and stress test computer simulation. This in not only a Cad exercise. It is a concept bycicle inspired by Picchio automotive design that need development before production step.This is not the only solution for the future but a possible future. bye

    • Mike January 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm -  Reply


      Welcome — we can be harsh, but we are sincere. Can you speak more to the advantages you think the design choices you’ve made here have over the more common ways of doing things? Beyond the issue of the seat stays, it seems your frame is made of 3 carbon modules that are then joined (head tube, seat tube, top tube + down tube + BB + stays). Carbon frames are traditionally built from either a single, monocoque layup or a modular system of joints and tubes. The former is thought to be the most efficient way to use the material, while the latter has significant advantages in ease of manufacture. A modular design where each piece would need to be specific for each size has no obvious advantage and clear disadvantages. What reasoning justifies this choice?

  9. mr.freehand January 26, 2011 at 4:47 am -  Reply

    Nicola, your work is impressive as design and that’s why it is posted on this website. With minor effort and changes this beauty can be done structurally flawless (read some of the “critics” above). Thanks to people like you we all enjoy positive changes in style, design, fashion, traditions and culture.

  10. Maria March 15, 2011 at 10:32 am -  Reply

    Can you recommend me some good industrial design schools or courses in order to work with bicycles and sport design?
    thank you

    • James Thomas March 15, 2011 at 10:39 am -  Reply

      Any good school that offers a degree in Industrial Design should be fine for getting into bicycle and sport design. It is really about gearing your portfolio toward the types of products that you are interested in. Here is a good list of ID schools in the U.S. I can’t really speak for the top schools in other countries.

  11. viktor June 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm -  Reply

    Come on, I will break the frame after 1 pedal stroke.
    Or it will break when it hits a hole on the road. What is stopping the chain stay from bending upwards?

  12. Habbo July 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm -  Reply

    C’mon people, bike is allready invented, there’s no need to reform it year after year, it WILL NOT COME better even that it might look pretty and candy. One thing is clear, weight wheenie rules are for a reason, to build safer bikes, not bikes that crack under pedaling. Saving weight is ridicilous, get rid of your fat instead !

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