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Backbrat bike grill by Mathias Hintermann

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Bratpack-by-Mathias-Hinterm“The joy of cycling, now with brat and beer.” That is the tagline at the bottom of Mathias Hintermann’s  webpage for his Backbrat design, a portable grill that attached to a rack on the back of your bike. Mathias explains the idea behind his design.

 “In Germany we love cycling, and we love to grill in the park. Backbrat allows you to take a break during your bike trip and enjoy a brat and a beer. Backbrat is seamless. The bike mount gets locked onto the bike rack. This locks the grill, which is all you need for a great day on your bicycle. It gives you a comfortable, efficient and unique experience. Now, you can grill a bratwurst, wherever and whenever you go.”

I have seen DIY bike mounted grills before, like the one in the background of this shot that I took at the Bicycle Film Festival in New York several years ago.  Mathias’ design for Bern is the first grill I know of that it is actually designed to mount on a bike though.  Obviously, some thought went into the concept, and it is very interesting to see the research, sketches, renderings, and prototypes on Mathias’ site.  It is a well documented product design project that is definitely worth checking out…even if you don’t usually crave brats when you ride.


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  1. Mike February 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

    Chicago’s own Rat Patrol has always had a couple of grill bikes in circulation, always with the radically-less-safe front mounted design. In winter the trick is to be going the right speed so that you stay warm but don’t inhale too much smoke. Firewood produces less ash and burns slower than charcoal once you get the venting right.

    • James Thomas February 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm -  Reply

      Nice! I know who to look for next time I’m in Chicago.

  2. J.L.Garrett February 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

    Ahh… My fellow German designers do it again. The Americans invented it, the Germans perfected it.

  3. Erik Eagleman February 18, 2013 at 3:15 am -  Reply

    this is great. I could have used this multiple times this last summer. Get Bern on board, and do it!!

  4. Nick F February 19, 2013 at 1:34 am -  Reply

    As someone who has crossed town with their (full sized) grill on their (normal sized) bike, I love the concept of this product.

    As someone who loves to grill, though, I wonder… is it too small to be any good? I wonder, if, in trying to be so sleek and so minimal, it might instead be making itself meek and ineffective as a grill? I think I would prefer committing to something larger on my bike for the improved grilling experience. I’m not concerned about brat space, I’m concerned that there isn’t enough volume to get strong, even coals…. or any distance from the coals.

    Also… the ‘material breakdown’ is just crazy. Forget about the fact that it wouldn’t work at all thermally – the idea of grilling your meat in a plastic container is simply disgusting. Just make the thing out of metal. Why would you try to “save weight” on a bike-mounted grill? It’s not relevant to the purpose of the object. Is it ANT+ compatible too? How about GPS-enabled?

    It’s unfortunate, because looking at the original mockups, it was probably a lot closer to being something functional in the initial prototype… and seems to have been forced in to this zoomy, sleek, mini-THULE-rack direction despite the functional dissonance it exudes. Maybe it’s the Art Center Effect…?

    Anyway, this product does need to exist. Kickstarter, Mathias?

  5. Patrick C February 19, 2013 at 11:39 pm -  Reply

    A bike grill is only as good as the accompanying kickstand.

  6. Ken Pendergrass February 21, 2013 at 10:11 am -  Reply

    I’m laughing, this is a pretty good practical joke, no? The ice box for the beer and potato salad mounts on the fork and doubles as a stand to keep the bike level while the fire is in use? I’ll wait for the propane version before I put one on the Madone.

  7. michael March 26, 2013 at 12:03 pm -  Reply

    Hmmm. I am not convinced. Sounds like a solution looking for a problem. There are any number of portable grills that could be strapped to the carrier or stuffed in a pannier that would allow the user more flexibility. What if you wanted to BBQ somewhere with limited access for bikes? I could think of any number of scenarios where having a tiny grill bolted to your bicycle would be less than ideal. Plus you have a vinyl covered, foam filled and highly flammable saddle in close proximity to the heat source. Impractical and dangerous…….. I can’t wait for the YouTube videos of flaming bicycles.

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