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2012 IBDC winners from Taipei

Concept, Electric bike, Shows & Events, Student Design 11 1440

Gold award- Larry Chen's Velocity

The winners of the 16th annual International Bicycle Design Competition (IBDC) were announced at the Taipei Cycle Show last week. From over 800 total entries and 20 finalists, Taiwanese designer Larry Chen took the Gold award this year for his Velocity electric bike design.  The pedal assist city bike features a “power core” consisting of a battery, motor, and control unit that slides into the vertical section of the frame from the top. The bike can be used as an e-bike with the power core inserted or as a standard bike with it removed (saving a lot of weight). You can read more about the Velocity, and see several photos of the prototype, at Cycling Satin Cesena.

Silver award- Tim Lee's City

The Silver award went to Chinese designer Tim Lee for his “City” bike. Compared to the Velocity, this design is very nontraditional, with a tiny front wheel that makes one wonder how practical it would really be for city riding. The Bronze winner was Paulus Maringka of New Zealand with his G2 cargo trike, which you can read more about at Yanko Design. Also, you can see additional images and read more about both of the 2nd and 3rd place designs at Cycling Satin Cesena.  That post features other prototypes on display in Taipei as well, including this one called Woody, which looks similar to my old bent-ply bike concept from about 5 years ago. It’s interesting how many laminated veneer frames like that I have seen in the last year or so.

Bronze award- Paulus Maringka's G2

In addition to the Gold, Silver, and Bronze award winners, you can see each of the runner up “Excellent and Merit award”winners on the IBDC website (I’m not sure why these are labeled as 2011 winners…they are the ones that were announced a few days ago). As always with this competition there are some rather strange designs, but that makes them all the more fun to look through.

Larry Chen's Velocity prototype- Image via

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  1. Erik March 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

    The silver medal winning bike doesn’t look very usable to me. It’s a pretty looking thing but the one size fits nobody design just doesn’t seem practical at all. And no carrying capacity? Not like the bronze that is like a transformer! Love how it can do so much from one basic platform! The gold medal winner seems like a pretty good idea and design but is just as hard to store as an other full sized ride. Smaller wheels and/or foldability would help out (though sacrificing speed with the smaller wheels).

    • James Thomas March 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

      Yeah, I agree about the the silver award winner. It looks very impractical and appears to have been judged mainly on aesthetics. The IBDC often tends to favor very strange concepts, but this year the 1st and 3rd place winners do seem to have some merit.

  2. Impossibly Stupid March 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm -  Reply

    Only one I really like is the cargo trike. Nobody needs an odd reverse mini-farthing, and nobody needs yet another electric bike that runs north of $5K.

    • butch March 20, 2012 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

      I hate this kind of reasoning – as far as I am concerned anybody may spend on any bike any amount he wants and it is always money better spent compared to other toys like skidoos and trailorqueens etc.

  3. Bubba Nicholson March 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm -  Reply

    Me, personally? I’m waiting for inflatable fairings.

  4. Larry CHEN March 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm -  Reply

    The reason why they are labeled as 2011 is that the competition was held at 2011( July for first round, November for final round), the ceremony was taken place in Taipei cycle show 2012, the result was announced at ceremony.

    • James Thomas March 14, 2012 at 8:52 am -  Reply

      Thanks for the explanation, Larry. That makes sense.

      …and congrats on the Gold Award. Nice job!

  5. Joe March 15, 2012 at 9:02 am -  Reply

    The silver award winner doesn’t even look ridable to me. I get frustrated with design “winners” that don’t actually improve functionality or easy of use.

  6. Bicyclist May 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm -  Reply

    I thing freedom of movement is a basic human right. Government need to give away free electric bicycles or to subsidy with 90% to help economy and people in the same time.
    We this action they will solve unemployment problem, pollution problem and expencive gas problem.

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