“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.
Posted in Concept.
– February 15, 2013
The Dream Machine, a futuristic racing bike by Italian design studio Jonny Mole Design, recently was selected as a winning entry for the Bicycles category in the Taipei Cycle D&I awards 2013, an event organized by iF DESIGN to reward the best projects in the bike industry. The award will be presented on March 23rd at the Taipei Cycle Show, where the Dream Machine will be on display along with winners in the components and parts, peripherals and accessories, and e-bikes and pedelecs categories.
A quick glance at the design section of their website indicates that Jonny Mole is not a newcomer to the bicycle industry. In addition to the products and advertisements shown on the site, the agency was responsible for the design the design of the maglia rosa for the 2011 Giro d’Italia. Founder Jonny Moletta explains the vision behind this latest concept bike:
I believe my choices and experience over the years have led to this acknowledgement: we can no longer afford a provincial approach or lack of curiosity; to innovate you need to be both visionary and practical. My team and I have tried to analyse the possible points where we can work to realize a project that is perhaps futuristic, but feasible and useful: even the name we have chosen plays on these contrasts:
”The Dream Machine” counters the usefulness and solidity of a machine with the abstract idea of the liberty of a dream…”
The prototype was built in cooperation with four major partners, Vision, FSA, Selle Italia, and Vittoria. The fork, stem, and handlebars (reminiscent of the old Scott Drop-In design) are integrated the sculpted form of the frame. It won’t please the UCI to see that a custom water bottle is integrated into the downtube of the frame. Also integrated into the downtube is a “tech box” designed to hold an electronic shifting battery. Another tech feature is a space in the stem for “ a ciclocomputer or other navigation or training instruments.”
A few additional images of the Dream Machine can be seen below, but check out Jonny Mole’s website for many more, including a few shots of the prototype coming together. It is definitely an interesting project, and I am looking forward to hearing more about it when it debuts in Taipei next month.
Image credits: Jonny Mole Design
Posted in Concept, Events, Road.
– February 11, 2013
According to industrial designer Douglas Schaller, “the bicycle theft industry is at least $393 million annually in the United States and the crime costs Americans between $800 and $1 billion.” That problem was the reason for the Bicycle Lock Dock, a 2009 team student design project led by Schaller along with Cassie Tweed, Seung Kim, Mike Koplaw, Andrew Waterbury, and Jun Imaizumi. The design was created for San Jose State University, and the idea was to “emphasize security through positioning in open areas, creating available and convenient locking locations.”
The curved racks allow for multiple locking points, and the central towers feature LED lights for visibility and security. The towers can also be used as informational kiosks to inform students of campus happenings, and/or can be used as a source of revenue, with two approximately 280 square inch ads.
There is more information about the Bicycle Lock Dock on Schaller’s website, and team member Cassie Tweed has a few interesting presentation boards from the project as well.
I have noticed a few other security focused projects on the web lately. Interlock (seen in a rendering above) is a project on Kickstarter for a cable lock that hides inside of a bike’s frame through the seat post.
Saddle Lock, by Lee Sang Hwa, Kim Jin Ho and Yeo Min Gu, is another integrated lock concept which uses a locking seat and pivoting seatpost to secure the rear wheel (you definitely don’t want that hinge to drop back while you are riding…ouch).
I know that I have seen a few other interesting locking concepts recently, but didn’t bookmark them all. If you know of any, feel free to leave a link in the comments.
Edited 1/31: This Poa street furniture series by Studio BrichetZiegler is one of the links that I forgot initially, but I think these designs are quite nice. I like the connection between public furniture and bike racks.
Posted in Concept, Student Design.
– January 29, 2013
At first glance, the Clarity bike by designaffairs studio looks like a typical fixie or singlespeed road bike. Closer inspection though reveals a transparent frame that appears to be made of glass. Actually, the material is an advanced polymer that, according to the designers, “combines high impact resistance, lightweight properties and a gentle flexibility that usually would only be expected on an old Italian steel frame.” The polymer is injected molded, and can be tinted for different color combinations. It has a lower density than polycarbonate or acrylic, and is exceptionally impact resistant, as well as chemical resistant and thermally stable. That is why designaffairs believes that it is the “perfect material match for creating a low cost bicycle characterized by convenience and an unmatched unique style.”
Pro Bike Roma was the place where I first saw the Clarity bike, and that website is also the source for this 36er concept by Paolo De Giusti. Based on the wheel diameter, the bike is called XXXVI DG, and according to the Pro Bike post, the “frame takes its shape from a simple desire for asymmetric aesthetics, while at the same time providing a stable cave-like covering for the wheels and preserving the bicycle’s ergonomic features.”
Speaking of large diameter wheels, you may recognize Joey Ruiter’s name for the City Simplicity bike that he designed a few years ago. Like that earlier design, his latest concept bike is generating a lot of attention on the web. On the transport section of his website, you can see his latest bike, which was designed around a Growler from the local pub. Overall, the bike has an updated retro aesthetic that I like, and I think the form works well with the “One Horse” electric moto version based on the same frame. While you are on the website, take a look at some of the furniture and products designs as well…overall a very interesting body of design work.
nCycle is an concept by Marin Myftiu and Skyrill.com that aims to “revolutionize the future of e-bikes.” The feature that stands out most is the “nlock system”, which uses the handlebars as an integrated locking device. Read much more about the bike, and see quite a few renderings and development sketches, on the Behance project page.
Finally, I will mention a home-built bike project by David Lightbourne. David designed and built the wooden frame that you see above in 2011, and since then has used it “regularly for training, time trials and triathlons with some pleasing results.” It’s a great looking bike, and I am sure that it garners quite a bit of (well deserved) attention at the races.
Posted in Commuter, Concept, E-bike, Road.
– January 23, 2013
Not all that far from where I live, a small group of people are building innovative solar/pedal powered velomobile trikes in a former furniture warehouse in downtown Durham, North Carolina. I have been meaning to discuss the Organic Transit ELF for a while now, but it is one of the many posts that I just never got around to writing. Now is as good a time as any to mention it though. They have a campaign on Kickstarter that ends in a couple of days, and the page is full of great information about the vehicles, their design and development, and how they are made (also check out the video on the page for an overview of the ELF).
As I mention this made in the USA eco-friendly vehicle, I am looking out my hotel window in Shanghai, a city where cars and trucks are increasing doing work that was done by human power not all that many years ago. Car use in China is still growing at an incredible rate, but hopefully we have already started passing peak car use in the United States and are staring to see a real change in attitudes about personal transportation. I would love to see hybrid electric/ human powered vehicles like the ELF play a significant role in that inevitable change. I don’t have time to elaborate today, but I will get into my thoughts on this design, and the vehicle category in general, in a future post. Hopefully I will get a chance to go up to Durham and check out the Organic Transit vehicles in person some time soon as well.
While I am posting, I want to remind you that the deadline for the ISUDA Bike Share Design Competition is tomorrow, Friday, June 11th. If you haven’t submitted an entry yet, it’s time to get it finalized and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be traveling home from Asia most of the day tomorrow, so it will be a few days before I can collect all the entries and review them with the other judges. We are really looking forwarding to discussing all the concepts though.
Posted in Commuter, Concept, E-bike, Events.
– January 10, 2013
Another year has come to a close, and that means that it’s time for the annual recap post for this blog. Compared to 2011, traffic was up slightly with 1,236,847 page views in 2012. About 30% of the visitors in the past year came from the United States (where this blog is based). The United Kingdom was 2nd on the list of countries that sent traffic to Bicycle Design accounting for around 8% of total visitors. Germany, Canada, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Japan rounded out the top 10 proving that this blog truly does have an international following.
As usual, the biggest referrers were Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but Reddit also moved up the list significantly this year. Separate from Google search, Google + moved up as a major referrer as well. Not including search and social media though, the top 15 websites that sent traffic to Bicycle Design in 2012 were;
- London Cyclist
- Fat Cyclist
- People for Bikes.org
As has been the case in previous years, the 15 posts with the most views in 2012 were mostly new, but also included a few older ones. In order, the most popular posts here at Bicycle Design in 2012 were:
- The design of SRAM Red 2012
- The Smart ebike by Hussein Al-Attar
- Specialized Turbo e-bike
- Drymer: a Dutch electric assist trike
- Shimano Alfine 11 speed
- Is TJ Tollakson the Graeme Obree of triathlon?
- ISUDA Bike Share Design Competition
- SR Suntour Swing Shock
- E-bikes from Lexus and VW
- Mando Footloose: a chainless hybrid e-bike
- Road bikes with disc brakes
- Urban Arrow- an electric assist bakfiets design
- Porsche concept bike by David Schultz
- Mohsen Saleh’s RWS recumbent
- An electric trials bike from Audi?
So there you have it…the year in review at Bicycle Design. Check back for more interesting design related content in 2013 starting with the results of the ISUDA Bike Share Design Competition that will be ending soon. Remember, the last day to submit a concept will be Friday, June11th, so get those entries finished and submitted. We are looking forward to seeing your ideas, and sharing them with all of the readers here at Bicycle Design.
Posted in Commuter, Concept, E-bike, MTB, Road, Utility.
– January 2, 2013
I posted about Antoine Fritsch’s B2O bamboo frame bike in 2009. Since that time, he has continued his work using laminated bamboo with an electric scooter and the bamboo cargo trike that you see above.
Italian designer Luca Feletti recently graduated from the University of Ferrara. For his thesis project, Luca designed an electric modular cargo bike. He points out that the “bike is designed to permit three different configurations (bicycle, transport bicycle, transport tricycle) but the possibilities of customizing are endless thanks to the coupling of the different modules.” The three configurations can be seen in his rendering above and in a short animated clip on Youtube.
You may remember David Schultz’s Porsche concept bike from a post earlier this year. Dutch designer Bastiaan Kok also has a concept for a bike inspired by the classic line of the Porsche 911.
The Z-Fixie is a concept bike by transportation designer Jeonghe Yoon. There is not a lot of information on the site, so I assume it is just a styling exercise.
Working with Taiwanese bicycle brand, Gusto, designer Sheng-Chieh Chang created a concept for a “future urban E-bike”. This was his graduation project at TU Delft in the Netherlands as he was pursuing a double master degree in Integrated Product Design and Strategic Product Design. Chang explains;
“The assignment of this project was to design a next generation bicycle for future urban mobility for Chinese region. It started from design researches, giving vision statement and ended as a result of a smart and full size folding E-bike. At the end, a full-scaled semi-working prototype was built by myself for the evaluations.”
You can see much of his development work and images of the prototype on his website. The concept sketches immediately caught my attention as I scanned the page, so I am sharing those here.
Posted in Concept, E-bike, Student Design, Utility.
– December 20, 2012