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Porsche concept bike by David Schultz

Commuter, Concept 30 3481

Porsche concept bike designed by David Schultz
Not too long ago, I posted a picture from a 20 year old copy of Bicycling Magazine, which featured two industrial designers at Specialized in the early 90s (two of the first in the bike industry). One of those young designers was current Specialized creative director Robert Egger, who I have mentioned on this blog a few times. The other designer, whose sculpted carbon mountain bike concept was featured on the cover of that “1992’s Hottest Bikes” issue, was David Schultz, who today owns a design consulting firm and works on a variety of products in the computer, medical and sporting goods industries is a design manager at Microsoft.
Porsche concept bike designed by David Schultz
You can browse through Schultz’s portfolio to see a few of his past designs for the bike industry, including the Mantis Screaming V from the mid 90s. Today I want to spotlight one of his recent bike designs though… a concept bike that was recently chosen as a finalist in the Fast Company / Porsche “Next Design Challenge”. As Schultz explained in his description of the concept, the belt-drive urban/commuter bike was designed to share the core attributes of the classic Porsche 911: “light, fast, simple, durable, timeless”. He goes on to point out that, “the Porsche iconic design details are all integrated, functional components of the design- not styling add-ons. The frame profile reflects the classic 911 glass silhouette, yet still forms a traditional double-diamond bike frame for strength, stiffness & low stand-over height. The belt drive & 8-speed hub deliver the performance expected of a Porsche-branded bike, without the maintenance issues of chains & derailleurs.”

In addition to the images shown here, you can find a few more renderings and the full description from his contest submission on Schultz’s Behance page for the project.


Porsche concept bike designed by David Schultz



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  1. Andy May 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm -  Reply

    “The Porsche iconic design details are all integrated, functional components of the design- not styling add-ons.”

    Oh, like the fender spoiler (is that the thinnest taillight ever?) or the chainring spike of death?

    “The belt drive & 8-speed hub deliver the performance expected of a Porsche-branded bike, without the maintenance issues of chains & derailleurs.”

    Belts and IGHs are actually less efficient than chains. That comment is like saying that an automatic car transmission car is better, cause you know, you don’t have to shift and all, even though we know that standard transmissions are more efficient.

    I’d point out that there are no brake cables (maybe they run internally) but more important seems to be the lack of brakes. Unless within the un-trueable wheels have roller brakes. No shifter necessary either? Yup.

  2. Nick F May 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

    I don’t want to be too critical, because this clearly isn’t a fully fleshed out project… but it’s pretty obvious that those tubing choices, joint details, and flaccid phallus of a stem don’t match anything that is going on visually in the 911 photos behind the bike…

  3. art May 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm -  Reply

    Four glaring technical issues:
    1) Brake levers, but no brakes.
    2) No break in the frame to actually instal that drive belt.
    3) Every tube on the frame other than the seatstays is way undersized.
    4) Not nearly enough tire clearance on the fenders.

  4. JeffS May 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm -  Reply

    It would look much better with some practical wheels on it.

    • art May 2, 2012 at 9:15 am -  Reply

      The front looks like a Rolf, but the back might be a bit spongy without some cross.

  5. Erik May 2, 2012 at 1:54 am -  Reply

    This concept is really strong and could actually be produced looking really close to this. Most all the parts actually exist looking almost exactly as the concept renders them. the bars and stem could be easily done too. I would personally go with a coaster brake and ditch the silly looking levers. Or even go with a rear only disk caliper. made to resemble a porsche 4 piston brake. Pedals need some consideration.

  6. Amoeba May 2, 2012 at 3:01 am -  Reply

    In the top picture, the front forks appear to be back to front.

  7. Bubba Nicholson May 2, 2012 at 3:38 am -  Reply

    I like handbrakes & gears that are bluetooth/wifi/radio operated. Why not fare the wheels completely within encompassing fenders? Only a road patch needs to show. Blow out holes would prevent side wind problems.
    A geared, free wheel motor rotating in the bottom bracket supplied from a low-slung aerodynamic battery beneath the down tube would be a nice touch, too. But I dream.

  8. Bubba Nicholson May 2, 2012 at 3:45 am -  Reply

    The imbedded handlebar turn signals & headlight could be enlarged a bit for safety. The brakes could be linked electronically to a helmet mounted stop running turn signal light set, too. A chin-strap actuated horn at the very front of the bike would be nice, too.

  9. Mike May 2, 2012 at 10:14 am -  Reply

    And this week’s Yanko™™™ award for artfully rendered vapor goes to…

    • Milessio May 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm -  Reply

      . . . somebody with almost 20 years practice, rather than the usual student/graduate.

  10. J.L.Garrett May 2, 2012 at 10:54 am -  Reply

    Sorry. Reminds me of Orange Country Choppers trying to copy a ’57 Chevy Bel Aire. I give it a 7.

  11. J.L.Garrett May 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm -  Reply

    The front sprocket should have been drawn up to look like the cooling fan in the motor compartment. Its the most obvious part when you open up the engine compartment.

  12. David Schultz May 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for the comments everyone (especially Nick F and Erik, whose links show that they work on designs for the bike industry). In my experience with Industrial Design, there are usually three key questions to ask of a concept sketch for a new product: “does the concept answer the assigned objective?”, “does the concept suggest a compelling product?” and “is there a reasonable path to production?”

    It seems to me that almost all of the responses are directed to the “path to production” question, I’d love to get some feedback on the first two questions (i.e. does this bike reflect the design details of the Porsche 911, and if it existed would you want one?). In terms of its appeal, a funny thing has happened by way of a pseudo “market test”- someone posted the concept on (I’d never heard of this site before but it’s apparently a social commerce site that is exploding in popularity), and over 4000 people have pinned it. I have no idea what that means, but it surprised the hell out of me.

    To your comments:
    1. Obviously it would have brakes in production, it didn’t seem necessary to render them for the purposes of a design competition, as implementing them would be trivial
    2. LEDs mounted flat on a circuit board can be under 2mm thick, a dozen of them would fit easily in the ducktail spoiler
    3. Belts are less efficient than chains, as is every other design detail of a non-time trial bike. This is intended to be a city / commuter bike, not a racing bike
    4. The wheels are very similar to Rolf / crankbrothers / Roval wheels, which are ride-able and true-able
    5. The chainstay could break to allow the belt, as it’s done on the Budnitz bikes- again, I thought it wasn’t necessary to render that level of detail to express the concept
    6. Tubing sizes- I chose small diameter tubes to have the frame express the character of the 911 window trim, but the tubing is typical for steel or titanium frame bikes (again, check out the Budnitz- which I just discovered). The downtube would grow a bit, but I don’t think that would hurt the design
    7. This is just a rendering, because that’s what was necessary to enter the Fast Company contest. I’ve considered partnering with a framebuilder to put it on Kickstarter if there is interest, if not it was a fun exercise
    8. On the motor cooling fan- check out the bar end caps

    • David Schultz May 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm -  Reply

      Oh, and you guys missed my biggest concern: how do you take the rear wheel off? Right now, you would have to remove the skewer, does anyone have a suggestion that is easier? Or would you guys make it a security feature: i.e. have a special key to remove the quick release, and pull the skewer out?

    • Nick F May 3, 2012 at 12:39 am -  Reply

      Yeah, that turned in to a bit of a feeding frenzy. I love the concept though, and the execution of “curvaceous minimalism”… definitely something lacking in today’s glut of over-beefed carbon BB’s and DT’s. I just feel like those head tube joints are begging for something a little more lush – like cinelli laser, landshark carbon, or even the modest curve of some fillet blended titanium. And, like I said, the curves on that stem are more organic than elegant.

      Tail light is great, feels right at home with the concept of a Porsche commuter.

  13. Dave May 3, 2012 at 12:37 am -  Reply

    David, I like your design but there are a few things I’d like to suggest:

    1. I’m guessing that the extrusion ahead of the bottom bracket is meant to create a visual link to complete the “greenhouse”, but in true Porsche spirit, that would have been utilized for some function. Did you have anything in mind for that?
    2. I would have liked to see the crankset have orange details to call out its similarity to the Porsche’s wheels (one of the Porsches have red-orange wheels as well) instead of a silver color. Love the paint scheme on the bike, though. And nice touch with the spokes mimicking the wheels as well.
    3. It would have been cool, too, if the rear fender mimicked the rear wheel opening on the Porsche. Perhaps it’d be impractical, but if you make a version two, I’d love to see a compromise between an exact copy and a circular fender.
    4. Last one is nitpicking: the Porsche’s duck tail was odd AND perfect because of how low it was and how it was angled towards the center of the rear wheel. Although for practical reasons the bike light should be high, it’d be a nice detail if it also angled toward the center of the rear wheel. Maybe you would consider using the entire bottom surface of the “tail” for LED lights?

    Otherwise, very cool design. Thanks for sharing your work and entering the contest.

  14. Mike May 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm -  Reply

    “does the concept suggest a compelling product?”

    Most of the framebuilders who spent the last 5 years doing artsy high-concept commuter bikes are now out of business. As far as I can tell Moots only ever sold one $8000 “Comooter”. Does that answer your question?

    • James Thomas May 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm -  Reply

      I have no idea how many Comooters Moots sold, but there are many framebuilders doing quite well making expensive commuter oriented bikes these days. Vanillas like these are pushing the $8,000 mark, and there is currently a 5+ year waiting list for those frames.

      • Mike May 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm -  Reply

        Don’t let what shows up a NAHBS fool you. Yes, Sacha still has a waiting list, but commuters aren’t the core of his business. Same goes for all the other independent framebuilders who haven’t closed up, they all have a couple of porteurs for eye candy but most of the money is in bikes people actually ride. Click through any of the builders’ web galleries if you don’t believe me – I’d suggest Ahearne, Bilenky, Hunter, Humble, Inglis, Sycip, Walker, or any of the other full time builders who have a solid business, not the random hipsters who took a class and bought a booth at NAHBS. Handsome does do some commuters but their pricepoint isn’t as high, and Mike at ANT has his own thing around utility bikes, but nobody is really paying the bills making high-zoot commuters. They’re fun bikes to look at, but what’s the point of a commuter that you’re scared to lock up?

      • art May 7, 2012 at 9:30 am -  Reply

        Sacha White also brought a $10k child’s tricycle to NAHBS a few years ago. It was, like most of these commuters, a stunt project (and gift for his daughter) built to show what’s possible. He has a waiting list for the same reason as Richard Sachs; weapons grade cross bikes sold to racers who love them so much they feel compelled to buy three more.

    • Milessio May 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

      A Porsche is no Bugatti, Bentley etc, so in theory as a bike it could/should be priced below the stratospheric (being in series/mass production). Then it could be used for daily commuting & not just posing on.

  15. butch gaudy May 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm -  Reply

    I like the looks and all, but except for unobtainium, I do not know of any other material, that would work to build it.

  16. The Daily Cycle May 14, 2012 at 8:48 pm -  Reply

    An interesting look for sure. Handlebars are definitely where it’s at! Art and Andy have good points that I would agree with!

  17. okokno January 9, 2014 at 2:26 pm -  Reply

    The rear stays of the this design work very nicely, with the nice added touch of the contrasting colour on the back!

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