A team of Dutch designers have given biking a new groove. For Liat Azulay, Merel Slootheer, and Pieter Frank de Jong, "it all started with a dream: what if you would be able to bike to work, while playing music on your wheels?"
Their dream made its debut at the Dezeen platform of the London Design Festival 2011. Although of limited practicality in stop-and-go traffic, if you want to draw attention to how much fun can be had on a bike, why not build a bike that plays music while you ride?
Bike Plays on Words
The name of the bike, Feats per Minute, is a play on the Dutch word "fiets" which means bicycle. Maintaining steady rpms for the best playback presents a challenge, but the sound quality is not bad, as you can hear in the video.
The team started with a 30 year old bike, changing out the forks to enable records to be replaced. Keeping the needle in the groove posed a technical challenge, which the team resolved by reverse-engineering two vertical record players. A nine-volt battery powers an amplifier, with further projection power added by the speaker horn.
Low Tech and Lower Tech Record BikesIt turns out the idea is not new. The Dutch team "wanted the bike to be as low tech as possible," but Japanese art school student Akikoorito comments on the Feats per Minute with a link to her own design, an even more primitive version of a record-playing bike with a beautiful (if slightly beaten up) brass horn blaring music out from the front wheel of the bike.
The Future of Record-playing BikesSo what is the future of record-playing bicycles? The designers of Feats per Minute want to cut their own LPs with play-back tailored to the rpms typical during a bike commute. We envisage politicians and their supporters peddling about, blaring their messages of change on bicycles -- after election reforms take PAC money out of the race! What would you do with a record-playing bike?
More on Bikes and Music: