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NAHBS 2013

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show took place over the weekend, and there is no shortage of coverage around the web. As usual, Urban Velo has one of the best photo galleries from NAHBS, with nice side view profiles and detail shots of many of the bikes. There is also good show coverage at CyclingNews, Bike Rumor, and the Denver Post (for a local perspective on the event). For an adventure bike oriented report, be sure to see this post at Cyclelicious as well. As you can see from the various posts and photo galleries, there seems to be a greater variety of bicycle types at the show each year. All kinds of different frame materials and processes seemed to have been used this year as well, like this bamboo/titanium town bike and an interesting wooden 29er.

NAHBS-Rob_EnglishYesterday, on the last day of the show, the winners of the 2013 NAHBS Awards were announced. Rob English of English Cycles took the Best of Show Award with the time trial bike shown above.

NAHBS-MootsThe Best Theme Bike and People’s Choice Award went to Butch Boucher, Nate Bradley & Eric Hines of Moots for the Moots/IMBA Trail Maintenance bike (perfectly accessorized with a chainsaw and beer).

NAHBS-Shiko-MatsudaShiko Matsuda was able to take two awards back home to Japan, the President’s Choice Award and the Best Track Bike Award for his Level Keirin Racer.

NAHBS-Josh-CulbertsonThe Best New Builder Award this year went to Josh Culbertson of Avery County Cycles

NAHBS-Erik-EstlundErik Estlund of Winter Bicycles took home the Best Finish Award.

Those are just a few of the awards though, so be sure to see the NAHBS website for more. Also check out the photo galleries mentioned above, and feel free to share any others you have discovered  in the comments. There definitely seemed to be something for everybody in the variety of bikes shown this year. I would be curious to hear which one is your personal favorite.

Photo credits: by way of NAHBS

Posted in Events.

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An electric bike design competition from eBikeTec

eBikeTec-design-contest“Are Electric Bicycles the Future of Cycling?”

Bicycling magazine asked that question recently on Twitter in reference to an article on the growth of e-bikes as a category. The article by David Howard quotes Pat Hus of Interbike, who estimates that “there are now 150 million e-bikes in use worldwide, mostly in China. By 2025, industry officials believe there will be 650 million in circulation and will make up 50 percent of all bike sales.”  I have mentioned before that I believe e-bikes have the potential to introduce cycling to many people who have never considered riding a bicycle as adults. Getting more and more people on bikes is the key to changing attitudes about transportational cycling in the United States (and elsewhere) and I think e-bikes can play a significant role in achieving that goal.

From a design standpoint, electric bikes interest me partly because they have a serious image problem to overcome in order to gain wider acceptance in the U.S. (and presumably in other western cultures). For that reason, I am interested in a design competition that is currently being run by the organizers of the eBikeTec Exhibition & Conference, which will be held in Paris, France April 16th through 18th.

Gaëtan Bayle of ExtraEnergy France, one of the sponsors of the B to B event, explains the idea behind the competition;

“We decided this year to set up a design contest with a short term vision: concepts ready for going to production, not design for a future vision. We want to boost the local manufacturing, so small scale production units, niche markets…

The goal of eBikeTec this year is to develop the e-2 wheels manufacturing in France, so the design contest is to bring fresh ideas, ready to use, to local manufacturing”

The deadline for the competition is March 5th, and after the entries are in the jury will decide on the winners in each of three categories- students, independent, and business. In addition to the jury picks, they hope to have public online voting  for an extra award. The organizers want to get the winning entries in production soon, perhaps for the next  Eurobike or Bike-Expo, so it is a good opportunity to see your design become a reality quickly.

More information about the competition is available at The deadline is only a couple weeks away, so get your entries in soon.

Speaking of design competitions, you still have time to vote for your top pick in the Isuda mobile bike share competition staged here at Bicycle Design. So far, our jury pick is not leading in the reader’s choice poll, but the leader could change before voting closes a week from today.

Update 2/26: As I mentioned in the post, this is a topic that interests me greatly, so I am happy to say that I will now be participating on the jury for this competition. Along with the other jurors, I am looking forward to reviewing your entries in a few weeks.

Posted in Concept, E-bike, Events.

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Backbrat bike grill by Mathias Hintermann

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.


Posted in Concept.

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The Dream Machine by Jonny Mole

DREAM-2-HRThe 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 qDREAM-1-HRuick 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…”

DREAM-7The 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.

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Vote for the winner of the ISUDA bike share design competition

The ISUDA Bike Share Design Competition ended about a month ago, and I am long overdue in posting the entries to be judged and discussed by all of you who read this blog. We didn’t get as much participation as we hoped for (far fewer than the previous design competition held at Bicycle Design), but as a jury we have been discussing the pros and cons of the few entries that we did receive. I don’t want to influence you with our comments just yet though, so I am posting all of the entries and descriptions below in the order that they were received. Actually, we received 13 entries total, but two of them did not include the required boards and a written description, so you will be voting on the 11 concepts that met the basic entry criteria.

Please review each of the entries below and vote for your top choice by using the poll at the bottom of this post (keep in mind the original brief as you vote). The poll will remain open until February 28th at which time we will announce the reader’s choice winner who will receive the compact folding bike prize from ISUDA . Comments and criticism of the entries are welcome, but please try to be constructive and offer ideas to improve and build on the designs (or elements within them). We are looking forward to reading your comments and seeing the results of your votes soon!

1. BalloonBikes by Marcus Burnam

marcus-burnamBalloonBikes is designed to be fun and to draw attention. By having the bikes attached to a hot air balloon, it allows the bikes not only to be transported but also advertised to a portion of the city.

The bikes will be transported between locations by increasing the heat pumped into the balloon so that it may float into the sky with the rack of bikes connected. Once the balloon is at a suitable height a grappling rope can by discharged down to its next docking station using GPS tracking. A member of staff will then connect the grappling rope to the docks winch, so that the balloon can release some of its heat and be slowly drawn down to its next destination.

Once the balloon is docked, customers can come and collect a bike by placing their credit/debit card into the bike and entering their pin code, this will release the locking mechanism on the bike allowing the customer to take it away for a ride.

When the bike is returned, the customer must place the bike back in its rack, which will activate pressure pads and cause the locking mechanism to close. The customer’s card is then released.


2. Untitled by Abhimanyu Rajvanshi

abhimanyu-rajvanshiThe main constraint in folding of the bike is the wheel. The wheel size cannot be considerably reduced as it will lead slow pace and more stress on the rider .  Here I tried to introduce a new type of wheel which is only an arc length, less than half a circle. This would tremendously help in further folding of the bike.

Another unique feature of the tier is that in the calamity of a puncture only a that unit of the tier is replace which is punctured. Thus reducing the efforts of changing the whole tier.


3. Hubert by Matt Juhani Pekkanen

matt-juhani-pekkanenHubert is a compact bicycle, which hubless rearwheel design allows it to fold in to an easily transportable and stored piece. It has an easy-to-use locknut on a swivel, which when operated allows the front work to slide to the left, and turn backwards allowing frontwheel to slip inside the rearwheel. Rear frame is built from to equal pieces, and the tire is fastened with small bearings on the inner side. Gear is integrated inside the rearwheel, allowing very simple design with less elements.


4. Wabing by Marcelo Martinelli

marcelo-martinelliWalk is one of the most satisfactory activities for people … also bicycling

Can we fuse both activities in a single object?

WAlking + BIcycling = WABING solution

An efficient and light aluminum frame allows a

natural movement with a typical bicycle displacement

Also, their geometric configuration, is adaptive to different ages and uses

Their small size (100 x 115 x 55, and 25 cms wheels) allows to be used in the vehicular streets, in the pedestrians areas , in a park, tracks, etc…

WABING is the simple way of the city movement


5. Luna bike by Trixon Lab

trixon-labLuna is a bike designed for the urban environment. Italian design, made out of aluminium alloy tube with an integrated compartment for laptop/hand bag. Luna is light, nimble, ideal to move freely.


6. Foldable and easy transportable city bike design concept by  Zhang Ting Ting

zhang-ting-tingDesign use environment

My Bike is design for modern international city like Singapore. It suitable for public park such as garden by the bay or east cost, the tourists can rent from bike store for their short distance ride(3-5 km).

Design use group

20-40 young people who like out door exercise.

Design description

1). Rear wheel supposed to rotate 180 degree, handle bar can be rotate 90 and the foot step should be foldable, so the whole bike can fold like picture visualize, good point is save space.

2). Light system is consist of handle light, rear light and rim light, more safety consideration when night ride.

3). After fold the bike can deposit as a group with the support shelf like picture show. Its easy to maintain and transport.

4). Modern and simple styling is loveable to young people, color can be multiple change.


7. Isuda Concept Bike by Mathew Boobyer

mathew-boobyerThis bike sharing system is designed to be transported around the city to best fit the location requirements of its everyday users, the commuters. The trailer has a detachable tow bar and four drop down stabilising wheels so it can easily be moved into the desired location.  The station has a simplistic double-sided interface with easy to follow instructions to ensure ease of use. The interface includes a live map that is updated daily to show the locations of the portable stations around the city. The trailer has at each end a lighting system that allows travellers to see from a distance away wether the station has a free bike, or bike space depending on their needs.  All four sides of the trailer have drop down panels, with the end two sides having hidden panels that can be pulled out if the space is available.

The bike is a simplistic and sleek designed especially for short distance commutes. It includes a generous carry case at the back with umbrella holder, a simplistic one gear system, concealed brakes and integrated mudguards.  The handle bars include a map that shows the mobile locations for the day, an LED light and a bell.


8. Roda by Niall O’Loughlin, Robert McKenna, Mark McGuinness

steve-oneill Roda is a public bike share system designed specifically to fit the dense urban landscape of Singapore. The concept was created to compliment the city’s ultra-modern landscape and design culture. The concept is realistic and cost efficient.

The bicycle is designed to be used many times a day. It has been made to withstand harsh weather conditions and vandalism. The aesthetic is smooth, sleek and modern while the bike retains its properties of being robust, durable, light, efficient to cycle and a unisex design. It is also cost effective and designed for mass manufacture and assembly.

The mechanical components including the Shimano Nexus 3 internally geared hubs are enclosed by the polypropylene body on the bike frame which is all injection moulded. The steel frame is cost effective, easy to manufacture and is designed to accommodate all users.

The docking stations for the bikes are small, unobtrusive and match the theme of the Roda design. They can easily be removed/added to different parts of the city.

The user interface includes integration with EZ-Link card, Roda app and a unique key pad. The interaction station matches the “wavy”, flowing shape which gives the system a unique design identity to suit Singapore.


9. Foldable City Bike for Isuda by Asta Sad

asta-sadThis bike is a compact urban model, which is unisex, light and elegant.

The short characteristics:
16” wheels, bell drive, adaptable seat post, with the possibility to integrate the battery in the back of the bike’s solid frame. It is durable and weather resistant, easily transportable.

The bike is good for short distance journeys.


10. Merlion Bike by Vincent Pommel

vincent-pommelThe Merlion, a lion head with a fish tail, is a symbol of Singapore. It is the driver for the appearance and the concept of the “Merlion bike”. One bike can transport up to 6 bikes without adding any trailer. The basket refers to the lion and the transported bikes to the tail.

The “Merlion bike” system is self-organized, without external intervention. The bicycles are the trailers. The users have the possibility to take several bicycles from a full station to bring them to a station with a deficit of bicycles. By doing that, they recover gradually the price of their subscription.

A power-assist finds all its sense for the cyclist-citizen bringing 1+6 bicycles to an empty station. One or two removable motor drive units can be connected to the ends of the rear shaft. The electrical power is 250W with one unit and 500W with two.

Technical features of the bike are: a saddle mounted on a gas cylinder; robust frame, tires and wheels; shielded mechanical components (brakes, cables, transmission, lights…).

The unique vision of bicycles trailing bicycles in a self-organized system could become a next modern symbol of the city of Singapore!


11. Untitled folding bike by Marcel Pater

marcel-paterThis concept uses a simple cart design in combination with foldable bikes. The cart is designed to use minimal materials and be very open, it is essentially just a bike rack. The bicycle is designed to be folded in half, to reduce the space it needs during transportation. The bike’s seat and steering can be adjusted in height. The steer of the bike is outfitted with a hook, which is used to hang the bike on the cart. A simple bar is then closed, to keep the bike in place, and prevent theft.

The cart can be outfitted with a billboard for recognition or commercial use. The design inspiration for the cart comes from the classical bike racks, which use a simple design of bended steel pipes.


Posted in Commuter, Concept, Utility.

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Google Currents and other ways to connect with Bicycle Design

Bicycle Design on Google Currents

Many of you may already subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed. If you usually read Bicycle Design from a computer or large tablet, a feed reader is probably the best way to be alerted when new content is available. Increasingly though, many of you are visiting the blog from smaller mobile devices.  I don’t know the exact breakdown of phones vs. tablets, but overall about 17% of this site’s traffic now comes from iOS or Android devices (not to mention the 1% that comes from Blackberry and Windows Phones).  Viewing the blog on a small screen is not ideal, but now, if you use Google Currents on your phone or tablet, you can subscribe to Bicycle Design there as well. If you don’t use Currents, I encourage you to check it out. It is a great way to see news and other content all in one place on your phone.

While I am posting about a new way to connect with Bicycle Design, I will list the other ways as well. There is a Bicycle Design page on Google +, and also a G+ community where members can directly share designs and post links that they find interesting. You can also find Bicycle Design on Facebook, where you are welcome to share links directly on the wall. Last but not least, you can follow and interact with Bicycle Design on Twitter (and you can follow my personal Twitter account too if you are interested in general design related content).

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Bicycle Lock Dock and other locking concepts

Douglas-Schaller-bicycle-lock-dockAccording 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.”

bicycle-lock-dock-nightThe 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.

Interlock-integrated-bike-lockI 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-lockSaddle 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.

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Bike sketches- fast and slow

The deadline to submit entries for the  ISUDA Bike Share Design Competition passed while I was traveling home from Asia over the weekend.  We didn’t receive as many entries as the last design competition staged here at Bicycle Design, but it is still going to take a while to discuss them with the jury and post the finalists here. It should be a couple of weeks before voting begins, so stay tuned. Thanks to those of you who submitted entries. On behalf of the other jury members, I can say that we are really am looking forward to your comments about the concepts once they are posted.

Cinelli-Lazer_ConceptNot long ago, I posted a few interesting concept bike sketches by Russian designer, Ilya Vostrikov. Lately, he has added a few new sketches like the angular Cinelli Laser Pista concept above, and the much less agressive tweed run bike below. I like Ilya’s sketching style, so I enjoy seeing his quick “blue sky” concepts.  Check out his blog for more sketches and renderings of these two bikes, and many others.


Posted in Concept, Road.

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