04 November, 2008

WMML: Circular Competiton In Cycle Design

Let's say the design of the bicycle is outmoded, outdated, hopelessly retro, and hasn't seen a serious visual design makeover in several centuries.  Which is true, the bicycle is about as stagnant as the filament light bulb was a few short years ago.

Now let's assume that you're holding a competition to get people's ideas for the best redesign of the good ole bike as a commuter vehicle.  (Found at Treehugger)  What would you offer as the grand prize?

Why oh why?  By entering the competition I'm basically admitting that I think contemporary bikes are crap, I'm showing that I have an interest in a new design in commuter bikes.  So why would I want an old regulation design bike?  Oh come on!

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James said...

If I could, I would give the winner a custom prototype of his or her winning design. Of course as an average individual with a free blogger blog, I obviously don't have the budget for that.

I am grateful to Cannondale for providing a bike for a prize when I asked. The fact that they are willing to do so shows that they are serious about new new ideas for transportation oriented bikes.

teddlesruss dat who! said...

Yes I suppose my article is a bit short about the prize - but I stand by it - I wouldn't ride the Cannondale any more than I'd ride a carbon fibre racing bike for the work commute.

And Cannondale are probably going to be quite interested in the designs that arise from the competition, to them the potential of some new blood designs is easily worth one machine. Hopefully they'll get a few good machine ideas, lord knows we need 'em, and I wish you the best of luck in garnering ideas and designs.

Here's mine - just from a general point of view - I notice that many bike commuters would like to use the train but that's when bikes are banned from trains, the peak commute times. If the bike folded to a backpack or briefcase size, it would be easy enough to take. What limits the minimum size? The wheels. They have to be large enough to be comfortable riding over road features. But with today's materials and technology, why not use wheels the size of skateboard wheels - a LOT of them in line, with a flexible chassis for steering - each wheel with an electric motor inside? A small lithium ion battery pack and pedalled generator supply the juice. The many wheels smooth out road features, and because they're small, the folding mechanism can fold this up pretty compact...

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