You can hardly say "bikes" and "design" in the same sentence without finding something green behind the discussion. That is why we wait with great anticipation each year to learn the winners of the annual Eurobike Awards. This year, 269 entries from 27 lands made going tough for the judges at the Eurobike International Bike Conference.
Top honors went to the GreenMachine, a recumbent from a small dutch company, Flevobike. This is the all-round, maintenance free bike you've been looking for. The drive train is completely enclosed, to keep your suit greaseless and your chains mud-free. A Rohloff hub ensures years of shifting with ease, under load or at a standstill. Fitted out with bags and carriers, the GreenMachine is a mean touring machine (see photos over the fold). Although we can't see quite how, the manufacturers also claim simple and user-friendly disassembly and compact stowaway. We'll be looking this one up in person to check it out. Dealers are in the Netherlands, Belgium, Danemark, Germany, Scotland, and Switzerland.
The GreenMachine on Tour.
On the other end of the spectrum from the small, family owned Flevobike is Giant, the huge Taiwan-based company. Giant's "City Storm" took gold for ushering a new era of integration in bike design. The City Storm has lights, lock and bag carrier integrated into the frame for a sleek, clean look. Even the bags will make Janice in cubicle 13 rethink her urban mobility concept.
Rounding out the gold medals was accessory manufacturer Topeak with their own frame design, the Jango, and an accessory: the Lumotec IQ FLy by Busch & Müller.
More than just a platform for neat Topeak stuff, the Jango is a novel concept in its own right. It is designed for the user to accessorize without tools or complications. The security concepts integrated in the Jango include a locking system for the disk brakes and an integrated and sealed personal identity card to deter thieves.
The Lumotech IQ Fly is the real star of the show for bicyclists though. Lighting as a safety necessity has been a priority for auto manufacturers for... hmm, decades. It is about time bike lighting technology catches up. The slogan Busch & Müller chose for the Lumotech IQ Fly is "nothing but light", with a subtle second meaning. The light uses an indirect LED as a light source, so when you look into the center of the reflector, there is no bulb there. Doesn't stop the Lumotech IQ Fly from casting 40 lux, twice as bright and twice as wide as the next best lighting solution. Maybe it is time for a dynamo lights comeback.
Tune in tomorrow for the Eurobike Silver award winners. They might have placed second, but there is some real picks in the lot. If you can't wait 'til then, entertain yourself with previous Eurobike Awards.