Vote for the winner of the ISUDA bike share design competition

Commuter, Concept, Utility 30 40

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  1. Impossibly Stupid February 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Seems like I’m not alone in liking the Isuda Concept Bike. But what I like has very little to do with the bike! Instead, I really like the idea that a whole station of bikes can be moved from location to location, and essentially dropped in any parking lot. You can see it being tweaked to work with just about all of the standard ride share bikes that already exist.

    One thing I would do is better work out the ability to fold it up for transport. There is a lot of wasted space when it is just hauled around as a flat platform. You could probably halve or even quarter the volume if you could squeeze together and/or stack the bikes during transport.

  2. mommus February 6, 2013 at 3:21 am -  Reply

    They’re all batshit crazy!

    At least there are no superconductors in this group of entries.

    I rather like the balloon idea, though I suspect a trailer pulled behind a van, as they do in London and Paris, is a potentially less lethal method of distributing transport.

  3. Grego February 6, 2013 at 4:18 am -  Reply

    I *love* the ideas of having the bike itself being able to transport another bike or two or six (!), and having the users of the system be credited for moving bikes to empty stations. That’s brilliant. Merlion bike #10.

  4. logan February 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm -  Reply

    Putting the bicycle from entry #8 on the trailer of #7 would be the best design.
    Most of the rest either fail to satisfy the requirements of the design brief and/or could not be made in to functional bicycles.
    #1: balloon is not large enough to take off
    #2: massive BB rise, unusably low gear ratio, no transport system
    #3: unusably low gear ratio, dysfunctional steering geometry, no transport system
    #4: high maintenance transmission, difficult to ride, no transport system
    #5: not unisex, no transport system, rear fender too small
    #6: not unisex, power transfer to rear wheel by magic
    #7: impractical BB rise, no means of charging map system
    #8: no transport system
    #9: no transport system, no visible means of making fold happen
    #10: motors attach and operate by magic, if frame is to scale with 16″ wheels it would be unusable by adults, turning radius and inability to back up with 6 connected
    #11: too little detail to evaluate, BB rise

  5. Marc Gibeault February 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm -  Reply

    Very poor entries, worthy of 15 years old students.
    None are approaching is functionality or style the currently available systems like those in London or Montreal.

  6. Wim February 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Poor entries, nothing really worth voting for.

  7. steven fleming February 7, 2013 at 3:45 am -  Reply

    as an ideas competition this exercise has identified a lot of ideas that can be ruled out: folding, for instance. On the bright side, a structurally conservative bike borrowing aspects of 1, 5 and 10 could be quite brilliant. Good luck progressing toward an iconic design!

  8. Andy February 7, 2013 at 8:56 am -  Reply

    1. Interesting concept, but I can’t imagine hot air balloons with grapling hooks is going to work in real life. The design of the bikes is severly lacking too (the front fork is a rectangle?). At least the handlebar locking looks neat, though you’d need something more secure than a standard faceplate stem if you don’t want the bike stolen.

    2. Wheel size is a constraint, but then again, a rotating tread can’t possibly improve rolling resistance. Not quite sure how they expect it to hold that shape either, without a hugely beefy wheel/frame system to design (which they didn’t yet design?).

    3. As much as hubless wheels are silly, they actually used the space to be useful on this one. Solid tires and “integrated gears” will make this a pretty lousy ride for anything more than the last mile solution though.

    4. I’m missing how power is transferred to the wheels. Such tiny wheels and a very high center of gravity above them would yield some pretty wacky handling though!

    5. I’ve seen this before (not sure if from the same designer). It’s functional, but the overlap of briefcase carrying people with BMX riders isn’t likely to be very large.

    6. Neat locking design. The bike seems extremely narrow and I’d be surprised if it could be produced like that. Bike share bikes usually aim for wide durable tires, where this looks like a 23mm tire at most.

    7. Nice Dutch style bike with storage capacity in back. The bike share trailer idea is solid too.

    8. Also not bad, though I’m not seeing anything stand out as different from currently offered bike share systems.

    9. Another simple folder. Something similar just had a recal on the super long seatposts and steering tubes though, so I’m skeptical about using bikes designed like that.

    10. Interesting way to transport bikes. 6 might be a stretch for handling, but it is a neat feature to improve on.

    11. Good compact storage design.The bike leaves a bit to be desired though.

    • logan February 7, 2013 at 10:59 am -  Reply

      Andy – re: #4
      It looks like a pull string type system, similar to how you start a chain saw engine. Instead of a loop of chain constantly pulling forward on one side of a hub you have a chain or string on each side that pulls on the forward pedal stroke, then the slack has to be pulled back into a spring loaded take-up reel with each back stroke.

      Mechanical complexity aside, anatomically it doesn’t look practical. You’d end up propelling yourself with your quads instead of your larger leg muscles. It would be the opposite effort of walking or riding, pushing forward with your legs.

      I don’t get the power transfer of #6. Either some magical hidden shaft drive within the frame or maybe they forgot to include it in the drawing?

  9. James Thomas February 7, 2013 at 9:11 am -  Reply

    Thanks for the comments…especially to Logan and Andy for taking the time to share thoughts on each entry. We are very interested in your opinions, so please keep the discussion going.

    To those of you who feel that these entries are not worth evaluating, I wish you had submitted a concept too. More participation in the competition would have been great. Maybe next time.

    • Marc Gibeault February 7, 2013 at 9:19 am -  Reply

      Hi James,
      I would have liked to participate but was not aware of it.
      Was the contest publicized in the industrial design circles like Core77?
      At what time it was announced?

      • James Thomas February 7, 2013 at 9:31 am -  Reply

        Hi Marc, I sent it to Core back in September and they posted it on their events calendar. I mentioned it on the forum there as well. A few other design sites mentioned the competition in the fall too, but I obviously need to figure out a better way to publicize and promote before staging another one. Perhaps the period between the initial announcement and the deadline was too long. Not sure…but I am open to ideas for the next competition.

        • Marc Gibeault February 7, 2013 at 9:50 am -  Reply

          Hi James,
          I missed it. I don’t think it’s the long deadline but a few reminders would have help keep it in the mind of the interested.
          It’s not that I would have submitted a better proposition, but with such a great subject and an international audience…

  10. Nick F February 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm -  Reply

    I voted for the BalloonBikes entry – even though it may never be practical, I think it’s one of the few entries that makes a novel and conceptually interesting attempt at solving one of bikesharing’s big problems.

    Regarding the lack of entries, I feel that to some extent, the design brief itself may have prevented people from entering, or led them in the wrong direction if they did enter. The “list of details to think about for a transit oriented share bike” was not only very specific (it nearly designed a bike on its own) but also very contradictory towards the stated purpose of the contest (bikesharing). Of the near half-million or so bikesharing bikes in the world, few or none have chosen to make the design decisions requested by that “list of details” (small wheels, solid tires, belt drive, etc…).

    The previous contest posed a huge question and accepted an equally huge range of answers… this contest asked an equally large question – but only wanted a very specific type of answer.

    I really like the Foldable City Bike by Asta Sad, btw. Maybe not right for a bikesharing system, but nice style for a folding bike.

    • James Thomas February 8, 2013 at 8:30 am -  Reply

      “The previous contest posed a huge question and accepted an equally huge range of answers… this contest asked an equally large question – but only wanted a very specific type of answer.”

      Good point, Nick. I have been think about that since the deadline passed, and I do agree that the brief probably should have been more general. The parameters listed were really meant to be guidelines, but in retrospect I believe that a more general brief stating the problem and asking for open-ended solutions might have been more effective. Oh well…as always, I’m learning as I go with the blog. Thanks for your input!

  11. pierre fabre February 8, 2013 at 5:53 am -  Reply

    # 8 (currently leading) is merely a re-styling exercise of existing shared bikes models. Nothing new in it! It certainly doesn’t deserve such interest.
    #5 is nothing new, #3 and #6 although appealing are definitely too fragile structuraly for shared use bikes and probably too costly to produce becaus of the special features and articulations they show.
    I love the idea, as in # 11, of towing the rack of bikes with another bike and not wirh any motorized véhicule. I have myselfl built trailers that can carry up to 12 bikes (regular sized ones making total weight close to 150 kg)… on flat grounds it is remains possible to pull that even without any electric asist.. A bike trailer could pull up to 30 lightweight folding bikes… such as #9

    To me the best concept is #9 because of it’s elegant simplicity, lightness and frame strurdyness. Even though the folding mechanism and it’s locking are not shown at this stage it seems perfectly feasible. This concept meets the requests of the competition.

    That # 9, adapted to the bike trailer idea of # 11 would be the best solution in my opinion!

    • Impossibly Stupid February 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm -  Reply

      “# 8 (currently leading) is merely a re-styling exercise of existing shared bikes models. Nothing new in it! It certainly doesn’t deserve such interest.”

      That’s the same kind of short sighted thinking that said the iPod would never succeed. The simple fact is that bike share programs don’t need BIG new things, just smarter new things. 90% of the reason I don’t use our local one (beside owning my own bikes) is because all of their stations are located far away from where I am, and far away from where I’m going. And they’re in those locations because those where the only places they could get to do the special installations.

      The simple idea to make the stations portable opens up a lot of possibilities to experiment with placement locations in order to determine which ones are most useful. It also allows for use in temporary events, such as sports/concerts, state fairs, and countless other locations. You shift the stations to where the traffic is, not where you merely hope it will be.

      “I love the idea, as in # 11, of towing the rack of bikes with another bike and not wirh any motorized véhicule.”

      Yeah, it’s a lovely idea, but the reality is that it just doesn’t scale up when you have to do a large redistribution. In fact, having to do any frequent redistribution is a good sign of a poorly planned system. Shuttling around bikes all day, every day is moronic regardless of the type of vehicle that is doing the job. At the very least you should have something that can survive the week without fuss, and which can then be reset, if necessary, over the weekend.

      • Androo February 11, 2013 at 11:32 pm -  Reply

        Not to interrupt your rant, but you’re referring to #7 which I agree is a great idea. #8 really is the exact same model as existing bikeshare systems, both in terms of the bicycle itself and the system that surrounds it…

        • Impossibly Stupid February 12, 2013 at 10:53 am -  Reply

          My mistake. #7 was in the lead when last I checked, so I got mixed up. Seems there was a huge influx in votes over a short period of time (or my browser just didn’t update the poll). Thanks for point it out. Sorry for the misplaced rant, pierre!

  12. Greg Walsh February 8, 2013 at 7:52 am -  Reply

    Team #8. great idea

  13. 10. Merlion Bike- Vincent Pommel February 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm -  Reply

    Hi James, let me give you my feedback on the design brief:
    If I summarize: some specifications are common: durable (one of the return of experience of current bike share programs), seat post: adaptable height, basket, element of the city of Singapore,…
    But extremely important is the vision of Isuda: they have identify a new function, they want to breakthrough, to go to the next generation of bike share programs: „the bikes need to be redistributed throughout the day. Bikes (…) should be lightweight and easily transportable (possibly by another bike)“. Tell me if I’m wrong, but they are the first to go so far. And a new function means a new design, so the question is actually great.

    Moreover, and as you said, „This is a chance to design a bike that is likely to actually be produced“

    For this two reasons I’m very enthousiastic: the design has to combine the respect of the design brief, innovation, and realism. (let me this time quote Jonny Moletta: „to innovate you need to be both visionary and practical „). The surprise for me is maybe that some entries didn’t make the choice to get the best of this vision from Isuda.

    One more word to Grego, steven fleming (I agree), and Andy (I agree): this is a nice feeling to see that we are on the same wavelength, thank you for that!

    Last word to the commentators which are disappointed: guys, you should have a look again to the design brief and the entries: the quality is good, the eleven entries have all some interesting elements, they really have!

  14. Philippe de Bersuder February 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    … In France we have public bikes t that people can rent in several towns (price in Paris about 1$/hour), that are quite heavy and ugly (because they have to be strong) but it works.
    if you’re curious,

    http://www.velib.paris.fr/ or http://www.metrovelo.fr/

    From what I’ve seen above and my experience in a bike rent shop, foldable bikes are not easily usable and they’ll be destroyed fast. Also you can be sure to get accidents with people if the lock system fails, and removable accessories will be lost fast also

    also forget the idea of a slanted platform, that can be sweepy and dangerous because of the proximity of the road and cars (and difficult to reach for old people). Safety first !
    so keep it simple , usable, strong (have to carry 2 people or heavy people, shocks, kids “free style” and so on, that means heavy tires) and light, and looks like a traditional bike if you want to reach other people than kids and geeks!
    Electric bykes are in expansion here, but still quite expensive and some progress has to be done on batteries duration… that’s mean to have fixed bike station with power to charge the batteries.

    but that, interesting challenge !

  15. Marta K. February 16, 2013 at 7:55 am -  Reply

    voting is not working.. –> failed to verify referrer..

  16. up up and away February 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm -  Reply

    These are all hilarious; you must have had some fun reviewing these ‘concepts’ eh James? The balloon concept must have been conceived under the influence of LSD and I think you’d need to be a circus performer to ride some of the other contraptions. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

  17. Vincent February 24, 2013 at 4:17 pm -  Reply

    James, I think that this would be extremely interesting for the participants to get a kind of feedback from the jury members Francis Chu, Mark Sanders, Yap Fook Fah, and (of course) yourself. What is your opinion? Maybe you have already planned something in this direction?

    • James Thomas February 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm -  Reply

      Hi Vincent, we discussed sharing the jury comments in a post…but only after the reader voting ended. It will be a little bit longer, but I can say that your concept was one that I personally liked a lot.

  18. Carl February 25, 2013 at 4:26 am -  Reply

    I vote for the #5 (Luna) because i find it beautiful, simple and functional.

  19. s.deiveegan February 26, 2013 at 11:53 am -  Reply

    I like the concept of new type of wheel ( which we understand only a circular object) with further scope of folding of the bike and replacement of the unit of the tier which got punctured which mitigate the labour.

  20. ducasse March 9, 2013 at 12:09 pm -  Reply

    10

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