Design Competition: A Commuter Bike for the Masses

bike design competition image

Industrial designer James Thomas loves bikes, and blogs about them at Bicycle Design. He thinks that most bike designs fail for people taking up cycling as a serious mode of transportation.

In contrast to cycling enthusiasts like myself though, the average person who may just be starting to entertain the thought of bike commuting to save money or reduce their carbon footprint, isn’t looking for a hard workout or a personal best time to the office. That potential bike commuter wants a bike that is comfortable, practical, and easy to use. They don’t want or need a trickle down version of a racing bike; they are looking for something that is specifically designed to meet their transportation needs- a bike that is easy to use, comfortable, and efficient, but also fun.

He is running a design competition to find it.

cannondale bike image

There is a shiny new Cannondale as a prize. Here is the brief in brief:

Do you have an idea for a bicycle that might persuade the average person, with no prior interest in cycling, to park the car and pedal to work? That is the main idea behind this competition. The scope is up to you- choose to come up with a whole new form factor for a pedal powered machine, or focus on specific details that you consider key to accomplishing the goal of getting the average non-cyclist to consider riding a bike for transportation. Don’t be constrained by products that are currently on the market, but do make sure that your concepts are based in reality (don’t break the laws of physics, etc) and that they are manufacturable using existing technology.

I would love to see a bike with the portability of my Strida, a built in very secure locking system, gears so that I can actually get up a hill, and a reasonable price.

Competition ends on December 5. More information at Bicycle Design
More on bike design in TreeHugger
11th International Bicycle Design Competition
International Bicycle Design Competition
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Meet the Cardboard Bicycle
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