Here are some highlights of this year’s winner and honorees at the 2015 Core77 Bicycle Design Awards.
Winner – The Merge by Pensa and Horse Cycles
Merge is inspired by the variety of cycling needs in New York City, and New York is a tough proving ground for an urban bike. The streets are packed with cars and pedestrians. Cyclists here must navigate tight spaces, both on the road (cars double parked in the bike lanes) and at home (a fifth floor walk up to a 500 square foot 1 bedroom). Our bike needed to be efficient, compact, and maneuverable. In some ways these attributes were at odds with the need for utility and cargo, but juxtaposing these opposing criteria led us to an exciting and integrated solution. Merge is a compact and nimble ride, offering its rider confidence when navigating tight spaces. At the same time there is necessary utility. Merge’s rear rack snaps open at a moment’s notice, but can also retract when not in use. Merge’s other thoughtfully designed features include cargo, lighting, security, and a USB charging port. They are seamlessly integrated and right where you need them, yet unobtrusive when not in use. Merge offers an elegant and integrated solution to the needs of a variety of urban cyclists.
Runner Up – EVO Urban Utility Bike
The EVO Urban Utility bike is a hybrid bicycle that leverages a modular accessory platform for ultimate flexibility. EVO blends the utility of a city bike with the robustness and geometry of a mountain bike to satisfy the city’s diverse lifestyle and terrain. It presents a one bike solution that can take on many different environments and activities.
Innovative quick-connect mounts on the front and rear enable users to rapidly attach or detach cargo accessories that are normally mounted permanently to a bike. This plug-and-play system is designed to be flexible for a rider’s daily needs, ranging from a child seat to different racks for carrying everything from groceries to surf boards. These EVO accessories quickly lock into the frame and are easily removed when not in use.
Inspired by San Francisco’s famous towers and bridges, the symmetrical frame has been developed to support cargo loads both on the front and rear of the bike. This “truss” frame geometry is as functional as it is iconic. 3D printed steel lugs allow for an efficient lug plus tube construction, thus reducing complex welding and man hours in production.
A front fork lockout allows users to securely lean the handlebars against a wall for stable loading and unloading. In addition, this concept includes front and rear lighting systems and a cable lock integrated into the frame.
EVO presents a one bike solution to meet the city’s diverse biking needs.
EVO – Evolve Your Ride.
Honoree – The SOLID by Industry
The SOLID is the first connected, 3D-printed titanium, lifestyle bike. SOLID is inspired by the diverse beauty and soul of Portland, Oregon. SOLID captures the essence of the city and the best of both worlds; hand-built craft meets modern manufacturing. This one-of-a-kind lifestyle bike was designed to inspire everyday cycling. This is the bike redefined.
In concert with SOLID, we created the “Discover My City” app that encourages riders to discover Portland through (5) curated journeys as seen through the eyes of influencers such as Tinker Hatfield of Nike, Duane Sorensen of Stumptown Coffee, and Sam Adams former Mayor of PDX. The app communicates with the bike via haptics in the handlebars to provide guided navigation – places to see, ride, eat, shop, and hear to truly experience Portland. SOLID provides a responsive, seamless ride, free of distractions; allowing riders to to look up and discover their city.
Honoree – Smartbike 2015 by Fabian Brees
Bike sharing has been around for a while. Since 2007 this lightweight form of public transport has exploded into a near-pandemic spread to major cities everywhere. Quicker than going on foot and easier than bringing your own bike, these public bicycle programmes are conquering the world at a rapid pace. Most bike sharing programmes today are ‘third generation systems’, meaning that they are equipped with failproof electronic user identification, by means of an identification code or a personal smartcard. However, a new generation is on its way. These ‘fourth generation’ programmes push general user comfort and increase use of digital technology in a variety of applications. This particular project is a study on how an existing bike sharing programme – Clear Channel’s Smartbike – could implement a fourth generation system in the course of 2015.
This study was my thesis project for the University of Antwerp, Master of Science in Product Development 2013-2014. I partnered up with Clear Channel’s Smartbike to upgrade their programme to a state-of-the-art bikesharing network, complete with electric bicycles. Instances of the Smartbike bikesharing program can be found in numerous cities worldwide including Antwerp, Barcelona, Stockholm and Mexico City.
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