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In five cities, Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle, design firms and bike builders were paired together and given the task of innovating bikes designed for daily use.
The Bike Design Project from Oregon Manifest and Levi’s launched earlier this year with five teams competing to create the ultimate utility bike. In five cities, Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle, design firms and bike builders were paired together and given the task of innovating bikes designed for daily use.
The competition aims to draw attention to a seemingly ignored part of the bicycle industry when it comes to innovation and design, city bikes. With a focus on the latest technologies including 3D printing and the pursuit of attractive yet functional designs, the five resulting utility bikes could provide a glimpse into the future of daily travel.
On Friday, July 25, 2014, the five bicycles were revealed and voting began the following Monday at oregonmanifest.com/vote. The winning design will become a production bicycle from Fuji Bikes with a retail debut in 2015.
From Chicago, MINIMAL and Method Bicycle have created the BLACKLINE – a bike for cruising during the summer months and still able to contend with the rugged Windy City winters. The stealthy design, the only one to feature a step-through frame, features integrated LED headlight and side blinkers that utilize GPS enabled turn-by-turn navigation. The steel frame is able to support a multi-configured cargo system and there is a double leg kickstand for loading groceries and gear.
In New York City, Pensa and Horse Cycles built MERGE – an update on the popular urban bicycle inspired by track racing, yet with an integrated USB phone charging station and a built-in retractable rear rack with advanced lighting.
On the West Coast, from Portland is the INDUSTRY and Ti Cycles SOLID. The frame is tig welded, 3D-printed Titanium and features integrated lighting and a Gates Carbon Drive. The handlebars feature electronic shifters and haptic GPS navigation that works in coordination with a DISCOVER MY CITY smartphone app with a Biologic dynamo supplying power.
EVO, from San Francisco’s Huge Design and 4130 Cycle Works, starts with a symmetrical frame that features multiple front and rear quick-connection accessories. There is a front wheel lockout system for loading and unloading and an integrated cable lock in the frame.
DENNY is the fifth and final design from Seattle’s TEAGUE and Sizemore Bicycle. The only bike in the competition to include electric-assist also features an onboard computer to smartly shift gears based on the ride conditions. Sensors provide always on lights that vary their brightness intensity based on natural light conditions.
Working prototypes of all five designs were revealed at parties hosted in each of the represented cities and are shown in the slideshow above along with videos explaining the features unique to each design. To vote in The Bike Design Project visit oregonmanifest.com/vote until August 3, 2015 when voting concludes.