IV-2 Plastic Bike prototype rendering

Last week we brought you the IV-1 prototype, Matt is now working on Version 2.0, here’s his rendering:

Matt’s current goal is to use more reinforced material in strategical places, making the bike stiffer, yet lighter. We want to thank Matt for updating us on his project, I’m looking forward to riding his production bike to work!


33 Comments

  1. RobertD July 23, 2008 9:58 am 

    This is a very cool looking bike – just from the drawing. Commuting usually means you have to carry some stuff – where does the rack go on this bike? I would also be wary of trying to fit a u-lock around one of the wide “tubes” to lock it to a bike rack or signpost.
    It might be worth carrying a bag just to see the double takes as you ride down the street though.

  2. Franklin July 23, 2008 10:40 am 

    Both conceptions look great. As stated above where would a rack go, alos what about fenders? What is he guesstimating the price is going to be?

  3. Paul July 23, 2008 11:18 am 

    Wow! That’s one ugly beast, but maybe I’m just used to slim steel frames.

  4. Ghost Rider July 23, 2008 11:44 am 

    Is there a way to mix phosphorescent paint in the the plastic so that it glows in the dark? That would be badass!

  5. cafn8 July 23, 2008 11:53 am 

    I still like the concept. I’m curious about the angles on the chain stays and seat stays. Visually they’re unique and interesting, but speaking as a rider who’s bent his share of axles, I’m thinking that those areas look a little vulnerable, considering the amount of tension that the chain is under while climbing and sprinting.

  6. tadster July 23, 2008 12:01 pm 

    Does the high chainwheel only function to make this a short bike? The angle of the chain from the cassette looks pretty weird.

  7. Matt Clark July 23, 2008 12:35 pm 

    Hi,

    My name is Matt Clark and I’m the designer of this bicycle. It was requested that I participate in the conversation and I’m privileged and glad to do so.

    I’d first like to say that it is great to participate in the discussion and I think that this site is an excellent forum to introduce a concept. I will try to answer questions about the bike as time and my schedule permits.

    Bike locks: This bike was designed with cable locks in mind, but could be locked with a “U”style lock at the chainstays.

    Bike racks: While I don’t endorse any specific product for use with this concept; it would lend itself to seat post mounted bike racks. An example of this would be the A.C.E seat post mounted rack used for fleet/law enforcement bicycle use(http://www.acefleetservices.com/). Again, I do not endorse this product and would obtain a unit for testing purposes before making any formal recommendations.

    Fenders: During the actual build process of the bicycle I will take into consideration the usage of currently produced fenders. Likely, it would include molded plastic fenders designed specifically for this bicycle (EX: Kona Smoke).

    Price: Like all products, price would be dictated by the market with great emphasis on making it a low cost option available to the entry level bicycle enthusiasts. Ideally, the model range could provide the opportunity to purchase a bicycle with high quality components for which the price would be offset by the lower cost of the frame materials, assembly, and associated labor.

    All comments and and critiques are welcome.
    As I mentioned, I will try to address any questions about the concept. My e-mail is listed above for direct contact as well.

    Keep it candid…I’m a good sport!

    Best regards,

    Matt Clark

  8. Palm Beach Bike Tours July 23, 2008 12:53 pm 

    Matt, thank you for presenting your concept in this arena. As picky and persnickety as we are, I assure you we do appreciate your efforts and time.

    That said, where do I hang the kickstand?

    Also, how about being a bit less dodgy on the price. What is the suggested retail price for a bare frame and how much does the bare frame weigh?

    Those two numbers will determine if this is a fun senior thesis project or a viable product.

    —Matt

  9. Matt Clark July 23, 2008 8:22 pm 

    To further clarify the price: If the demand was enough to warrant the efforts of a large scale bicycle company the price for the ENTIRE bike should, ideally, be significantly under $200.

    The frame itself was never designed to be sold or marketed as an individual item (that’s usually reserved for the more advanced enthusiast market) and therefore the price would be figured into the total with all components.

    I’m currently working with an excellent supplier and as the project progresses I will be able to provide very accurate prices for the entire bike as well as the individual frame based on the prototype costs. The material amounts and requirements will be determined after the CAD modeling stage of the prototype’s development.

    With mass production there are many variables that are unrelated to the costs of actually producing any product (IE:marketing,dealer profits,etc) that can effect the final price.
    One constant is the lower price of most commercially available plastics relative to metals. Another is that time and labor costs money in production. The aim is to lower these expenditures with a faster, less labor intensive build process.

    In regards to the kickstand, it will likely be positioned on one of the the chainstays.

    The goal for the frame weight is intentionally ambitious and is set at under 10lbs. The lower the weight-the better of course. Weight reduction is a process that everyone who builds bikes or rides knows can be arduous, but rewarding. However, with my involvement: I’m not willing to compromise it’s strength/integrity or the capabilities of the frame in the name of saving two onces. This is intended to be an everyday bike and was not designed to replace a carbon fiber racer.

    The enthusiasm is greatly appreciated and I have the upmost respect for those who are eager for more information about the project.

    I will certainly do my best to continue to provide updates as the project progresses.

    Best regards,

    Matt Clark

  10. James Slemboski July 23, 2008 8:41 pm 

    Matt,
    Can you explain the negative bottom bracket drop? That would make for an awful high center of gravity and a very unstable ride.

    Racks wouldn’t be a big deal with braze-ons and what about an internally geared hub?

  11. Matt Clark July 23, 2008 8:59 pm 

    Hi James,

    To address the bottom bracket: the height is slightly exaggerated/compressed likely due to the limitations of the posted images on the server,page template, etc. The distortion is noticeable in the ellipse shaped wheels. The actual rendering off the web has PERFECTLY round wheels and a resultant lower height.

    Also the rendering does feature larger than 26″ wheels. These factors together add to a perceived greater distance from the ground to the bottom bracket. The final prototype will likely be equipped with 26″ wheels and the bottom bracket will be appropriately positioned.

    An internally geared hub would be excellent for this application and is a consideration.

  12. Quinn July 24, 2008 8:31 am 

    Like Cafn8,

    IM wondering how the radical chainstay angle affects shifting?

  13. Ghost Rider July 24, 2008 8:36 am 

    Quinn, how would chainstay angle affect the shifting? If the chainline is straight, derailleurs are adjusted and the cables are tensioned properly, chainstay angle should have no effect whatsoever on the shifting.

  14. cafn8 July 24, 2008 10:53 am 

    Matt, thanks for opening things up here and participating in this discussion.

    Actually, I guess I’m more concerned with the structural integrity of the rear triangle, which has been turned into more of a pentagon shape in this iteration of the frame. If I were going to guess (well, OK I *am* going to guess) I’d say that the rear end is being designed to behave a bit like a four bar linkage suspension, taking advantage of polypropylene’s ability to flex without cracking. Is finite element analysis within the scope of this project? If so, is chain tension being taken into account? Exciting stuff.

  15. mike July 24, 2008 12:40 pm 

    did my comment from yesterday get deleted?

  16. Moe July 24, 2008 12:50 pm 

    Mike, did the comment show up on the post? If not, most likely our Spam filter ate it. I have the filter set to ‘aggressive’, we used to get a lot of garbage. If it did, it must have been deleted by mistake.

  17. Matt Clark July 24, 2008 1:13 pm 

    Hi Cafn8,

    Your observation is spot on! The shape of the rear chainstays is in direct correlation with the anticipated “built-in” compliance of the frame.

    They were designed to take advantage of the material as well as the Innerframe method of assembly.

    The Innerframe design is very versatile and was designed to allow engineered compliance and rigidity variance throughout the frame as dictated by specification and/or model of bike (IE: a commuter bike could be engineered for two different stiffnesses without changing the outside dimensions).

    The chain tension will be handled by the derailleur.

    I have access to software that is capable of finite analysis. The resultant data will aid the further development as well as the build process.

    The design process is very involved and occasionally compromises have to be made in regard to the initial design. However, I do not anticipate their shape being one of them.

  18. mike July 24, 2008 1:44 pm 

    moe – i don’t remember.

    i commented about the geometry and the high center of gravity, as well as the lack of commuting options.

    i also commented on the rendering – seems that derailer is on the wrong side of the chainstay. is it supposed to be there? wouldn’t that really extend the axle? how does it work?

    and it also seems that if this is being targeted for a low ‘everyday’ price point the bike might be designed a bit more user friendly.

    flat bars? what about city bars?

    that high top tube will turn some people off to riding – why not a step through – which is infinitely more friendly when urban and city riding for groceries, cafe, etc. etc.

    and i don’t buy the argument that you can just accessorize this with beam racks and such. euro urban bikes are integrated packages – design for everyday commuting, shopping, etc. to me this seems a take off on the urban fixie – aggressive, uncomfortable (handlebars way lower than the saddle) high BB for high center of gravity (can you put a foot down at a stop light?) do you have to carry your gear in a mess bag or backpack?

    why not mold in a housing for an LED headlight and taillight? one huge problem of the low end market is that folks ride those x-mart bikes without lights. a dyno with integrated lights front and rear would be a breakthrough for a stateside ‘city bike’.

    why not mold in attachment points for racks? or better still – extend that rear triangle to become a rear rack – or mold in a rear trunk?
    why not mold in fenders? or at least offer the attachment points for them for rainy clime customers.

    what about an internal hub – less maintenance and you can mold in a chaincase so i can ride in work clothes?

    i guess i don’t know what ‘urban’ means. seems hip and fixie. doesn’t seem at all that friendly for real use everyday in an urban environment for the folks that don’t already have a track bike conversion.

  19. Matt Clark July 24, 2008 3:32 pm 

    Hi Mike,

    As the designer, I made a personal judgment call and decided not to include a limitless array of bicycle accessories (and their variations) and instead chose a minimalist approach…purely the essentials. Therefore, as you stated, the rendering does not reflect the fullest capabilities of this bike as a commuter.

    Any features of this bicycle where shown or omitted at my discretion and, rest assured, all relevant options are being taken into account.

    In addition, the rendering is in no way meant to implicate any limits on future mechanical, convenience or aesthetic options and possibilities.

    This rendering is solely intended to offer a glimpse of ONE iteration. Traditionally, this preliminary phase is kept confidential in most disciplines of industrial design (IE: product design, automotive design, etc) as it was with the first prototype. The rendering is a blueprint for the design direction that is then modified, honed and perfected into a final unit.

    Necessary performance and convenience needs will be addressed throughout all phases of development

    All suggestions, whether ultimately applied or not, are held in high regard as the opinions of those for which this bike was designed.

    Much obliged,

    Matt Clark

  20. Ghost Rider July 24, 2008 4:02 pm 

    Well, yeah…this is one of a series of prototypes, right? Like a “proof of concept”. There’s no reason that features can be added in later iterations…

    I’m still interested in a glow in the dark version 😉

  21. Matt Clark July 24, 2008 5:20 pm 

    Hi Ghost Rider,

    To answer your question:

    The first one was the proof of concept/test mule. This one is the next evolutionary step towards a production version. It’s still a prototype but think of this as the preproduction version that, for all intensive purposes, would be nearly identical the production version.

    The first one proved that the manufacturing methodology was sound and the frame itself could endure reasonable human stresses. This made it possible to be acknowledged as a feasible production option. The objective of that unit was to provide a model that could be seen, felt, studied and road tested.

    A concept like the IV-1 needed a greater degree of tangibility compared to a redesign of a metal frame where there is an already established perception of how the material performs.

    The IV-1 with the Innerframe served as the foundation and a necessary proponent to dispel the stigma that “if a bicycle is made of plastic it will undoubtedly be wobbly and/or cannot endure human based physical forces”.

    This unit’s objective is to provide the basis for a production version.

    -It will raise the bar in terms of weight and rigidity while further refining it as a cost effective option by making the design/final assembly process as thorough and efficient as humanly possible.

    -It is also intended to evolve the aesthetics to make it directly competitive with bicycles on the market today…even if it’s potentially controversial.

  22. mike July 24, 2008 6:00 pm 

    thanks for the reply.

    i guess you should call it ‘prototype recycled plastic bicycle’.

    when you specifically call it out as an urban commuter it sounds as if you’ve researched, ridden, and designed this particular bike for that purpose – and as a long time commuter and ‘utility’ cyclist i wouldn’t buy this bike, or even consider it.

    i’m also fairly informed about the process of ID – and to be honest i find this prototype to be a bit of hype – yes, you are playing with cool materials – but what have you done with the bike? the function? you call it out as a low end commuter bike – but what about the design does this? what does it excel at?

    if you are setting out to design an eco friendly bike that is to be an urban commuter – then do so.

    if you are setting out to design a recycled plastic bike and are testing the materials – call it as such.

    i see nothing in your design intent that shows an understanding of commuting or utility cycling. what i see is a flashy design that draws cues from ‘urban’ (ie fixed gear, agressive) and mountain bicycles – that have qualities that i feel do a disservice to the image of using bikes as regular tools for regular folks in regular lives.

    i’ve seen and studied thousands of these ID ‘concept’ sketches and most of them are all flash and no substance. story boards cluttered with splash and hip dudes, a bit of watercolor or ink wash and acetone transferred snaps from magazines – all possibly over layed with disparate analogies in the natural or man made world.

    enlighten me about this bike – aside from the recycled component – what makes it different – what makes it tick? what about it is ‘urban’ and what about it is ‘commuter’?

    i also think you should become familiar with all those accessories you seem to quickly dispense with being able to be integrated at a later date. you might find that the overall shape of the bike should be changed to make it more user friendly – and you might find that integrating those options into the design would do wonders for the bikes functionality. how tight is the clearance on that fork? where do fenders mount? is the brake bolt inset? clearance on the chainstays? how does a rear rack work (non seatpost mounted) with disc brakes?

    as an aside you also need to check the use of ‘for all intensive purposes’ – i believe you meant ‘for all intents and purposes’

    and i’m not sure what you mean when you say “A concept like the IV-1 needed a greater degree of tangibility compared to a redesign of a metal frame where there is an already established perception of how the material performs.”

    There is no ‘perception’ of how a metal frame performs – there is science and history to back it up.

    -Mike

  23. Matt Clark July 24, 2008 9:14 pm 

    Hello,
    First, I’d like to apologize to anyone who was offended by my typographical/grammatical errors. I type fairly quickly in an effort to answer the questions in a prompt manner. Today I had the unique opportunity to answer most questions because my schedule permitted it. Most days, I don’t have the luxury.

    Mike,
    I’ll attempt to further clarify any discrepancies:

    “i’m also fairly informed about the process of ID – and to be honest i find this prototype to be a bit of hype – yes, you are playing with cool materials – but what have you done with the bike? the function? you call it out as a low end commuter bike – but what about the design does this? what does it excel at?”

    Respectfully, I am addressing your opinion as that; opinion. The facts have been stated and as I previously mentioned, this is a rendering of a concept that is evolving as the process continues. It would simply be redundant to address every single issue that has either already been answered or is irrelevant at this stage.

    There are two definitions of “hype” as written in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

    Definition 1: Deception, Put-on
    I have put countless hours of research and my personal time into this bike and I take the concept very seriously.
    I have personally worked to advance this project from a pen sketch on paper to reality.
    I, absolutely, will not feign indifference when it comes to the implication that this is anything other than a serious attempt to produce something innovative in the industry. This project surely is not hype by this definition.

    Definition 2: Publicity
    The previous prototype was built in complete secrecy and I would have no objections about doing the same with this one. I agreed to join the dialog to answer questions posed about the bike and the process. The reason I chose to make the project public was to inspire and provoke thought and enthusiasm in both the design and bicycling communities and perhaps truly implement a process that could improve the industry.

    The previous prototype was presented to many and was very well received before it ever went online. I made the personal decision to disclose this to others because it was acknowledged as relevant and unique. If this is the definition of “hype” you were suggesting; so be it. It would make it similar to every other project/product that has ever been in print, pixel or passed on by word of mouth.

    This bike, from the beginning, was designed to improve mass manufacture. If you reverse engineer every bike on the market today it becomes clear that the process can be improved. Every connected metal tube is individually sized, bent, notched and then welded together to form a bicycle. If the frame is aluminum, the process is extended by the use of heat treatments to give the frames and the welds integrity. All of these processes take place before the metal preparation, alignment, paint, and application of decals.

    If the frame is using another cool material like carbon fiber, not only is the material expensive, the process is as well. Carbon fiber frames are still very labor intensive to produce and are out of reach for the average entry level enthusiast.

    If you take the time to see the previous post (http://www.bikecommuters.com/2008/07/17/exclusive-matt-clark-design-iv-1-prototype/) you will notice that this bike was aimed at improving the bike building process. Plastic was chosen because it was the material that fit the parameters and was compatible with the newly developed process and the cost goals. It is a versatile material that could serve as a catalyst for a positive change within the industry. Metal prices are increasing and it IS affecting the bicycle industry now (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/05/14/business/bike.php) the article is dated May 14th, 2008. This is not just an major issue for individuals….it seems like a pretty relevant topic to GIANT, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer.

    Benefits:
    The frame sizes are predetermined. There is a more extensive use of automated processes to save time and labor. There is no need for alignment or post assembly heat treatments. Additionally, it offers the design variation that rivals carbon fiber for a fraction of the cost. Regardless of what the bike looks like, these are significant advantages that translate into savings for the manufacturer and the consumer. This is where the project excels.

    As for the name: I stand by it. It was designed as a commuter and, as I mentioned before, this is the particular rendering that I chose to disclose. There are three completely diverse designs sitting right in front of me on my desk that all hark back to this particular design as an origin. I make no further apologies for it being controversial or “flashy”. However, this concept does have both substance and merit and was not carelessly designed for titillation.

    “what i see is a flashy design that draws cues from ‘urban’ (ie fixed gear, agressive) and mountain bicycles – that have qualities that i feel do a disservice to the image of using bikes as regular tools for regular folks in regular lives.”

    I can understand your sentiment, but how would you design a new bike that’s intended to change the industry?
    Design one that doesn’t implement change?
    The design appeals to both current bike riders and to those who otherwise find traditional bike design…traditional.
    I will not debate personal preference because it’s futile.
    Also, if given the chance, who’s to say that “regular folks” wouldn’t embrace a bike like this?

    As I mentioned earlier, I respect ALL opinions and I won’t debate personal preference or the hypothetical flaws in the rendering.

    I will, however, adamantly defend both my integrity and the integrity of the project.

    I do not advocate disputes via computer and will stand by my convictions. Also, it’s not in the spirit of the concept or the site. Mike, if you have further questions or qualms I will attempt to address them in a timely manner as my schedule permits or you can send them to me personally at:
    matthewclarkdesign@yahoo.com

  24. mike July 25, 2008 10:17 am 

    Matt –

    Thanks for the reply.

    I’m not questioning your integrity nor the seriousness of your work. I am also not trolling nor questioning your convictions.

    I am questioning the design and my impression of the lack of time in the saddle, on the street, commuting and utility-ing – especially being represented on a site called ‘Bike Commuters’.

    To change a manufacturing process and offer a cheaper bike out of a recycled material is a noble goal. To offer this up, as a designer and ‘expert’ as a commuter and utilitarian bike offends me a bit.

    I have no evidence to to say that this bike won’t sell millions and change the world of cycling as we know it. The market is fickle – especially in the states. What is hot today is cold tomorrow.

    What I can do is layer my experience on your design and guess that from the drawing and the photo that it is not all that practical from a commuting, comfort, and utility standpoint.

    I guess my biggest criticism is calling it what it is – a new way to frame a bicycle. Its not a reinvention – its an application of a manufacturing process. Present it as such. If the funky rear end geometry is created through the limits of the materials – great. If the aggressive posture is YOUR personal preference for how you’d design a bicycle – great – but temper that with the intended use of the product. You dismiss ‘personal preference’ – but much design is the personal preference of the designer – traditional is traditional often because it works. There is no reason a new take on a material or manufacturing process cannot be at once stunningly ‘new’ ‘different’ ‘industry changing’ – and still make sense for ‘traditional’ uses. We still pedal the things with our legs and feet and steer with our hands. We still carry things on them and ride them in the rain. The basic design of a bike hasn’t changed in years. Rough diamond or braced shape for rigidity. Chain. 2 wheels. Steering column. 2 pedals. You are after a change in materials to reduce costs. You are not re-inventing the bicycle.

    As to the design – IF you are after the flexible, racer or ‘urban’ market – driven by image and style – I say the geometry and the look just may work. It fits the image and aggressive nature and will probably market test well.

    If you are after the low end commuter and seek to redefine a manufacturing process to be the ‘volks’bike of the next century – then I think the design is flawed – Europe has you beat on designing simple, everyday, comfortable and useful bikes – complete with built in accessories to carry home the baguette and the bottle of wine – as well as to light your way and keep you dry.

    I’m not saying your bike can’t look different – or be made of a new material – I just really think that there are some things a bike should be able to do – especially when the name hints at these things.

    With respect, and good luck with the project,
    Mike

    PS – I’ll drop this commenting. Thanks for the thorough responses.

  25. Sarah July 25, 2008 10:33 am 

    Hey Mike,

    Have any new bike concepts that YOU’RE working on???

    Feel free to post a link…

    😉

  26. RL July 25, 2008 10:39 am 

    Yeah Mike, I’d like to see what your doing to change the world in a large scale like Matt is attempting to do.

  27. mike July 25, 2008 10:51 am 

    Well, I didn’t post my design and ask for comments.

    I thought this was a site dedicated to ‘bike commuters’ and utility cyclists.

    I’m commenting as one – on a design willingly posted by the designer, a bike named a ‘commuter’ and asking for comments.

    So I’m a bad guy for posting my opinions? If my (or your) comments open a design window for Matt – wouldn’t that help improve his product? What if someone’s comment here is taken to heart – and the next world changing bike design comes out and takes the world by storm? What if he rejects my comments and it solidifies his conviction and his design – does this not improve the process and the product?

    And, aside from a new use of a material – what exactly is Matt trying to change?
    I think I missed that part.

    -Mike

    PS – design is about dialog and possibilities – if my comments offend I apologize. I toughened my skin through a design education and have worked in the design industry for years (not bikes). The fact that I’m not a bike designer working on the ‘next big thing’ shouldn’t bar me from commenting on a website that asked for comments about a ‘commuter’ bike.

    Fair enough, I’ll piss off now.

  28. Moe July 25, 2008 10:55 am 

    I believe that the concept of what an Urban Bike should be is rather vague, What do bike commuters that ride on an URBAN environment ride? Road bikes, hybrids, fixies, Mountain bikes, folding bikes, Xtracycles, Wal-Mart bikes…

    What should a bike be able to do? Get you to a destination safely and without breaking down. You can always add accessories depending on your individual needs.

    I don’t believe that Matt is capitalizing on the “Green-washing” wave, after having met him, I can tell that his intentions are genuine. If Matt’s vision of bringing a bicycle that is affordable, recyclable and reliable becomes true, think of all the Wal-Mart bikes that will not longer be on the landfills.

  29. mike July 25, 2008 11:10 am 

    But think of all that plastic that could be… and we’re only talking about the frame here – not the components – which to hit his pricepoint will be the low end from any major manufacturer. And if they are sold at XMart – who will service them – because they will need service, regardless. Nothing I’ve seen about the design will change that.

    True, Urban is a tricky thing.

    And I don’t doubt Matt is serious and I do not doubt that he is greenwashing. I wish him luck. If my comments are out of line I’m an example of what can happen in an open forum on the web. Apologies – I want him to succeed… but I also have an opinion about it.

  30. Matt Clark July 25, 2008 11:16 am 

    In the interest of being civil, I’ll address your previous comment, Mike.

    When I mentioned my convictions a better word could have been used: principles. I was referring to my objection to online squabbles.

    The last paragraph had nothing to do with the bike and had everything to due with basic respect.
    Respect for the site and respect for each other.

    No comment has been “barred”. As I mentioned, I take compliments, suggestions and critique with equal stride. However, isn’t it fair to say that belittlement can be construed as disrespect?

    If you read the words of your post…how would you classify it?

    I’m grateful for your well wishes and I wish you well also.

  31. Ghost Rider July 25, 2008 1:46 pm 

    Well, I for one think that Mike is raising some very interesting and valid concerns…especially the concerns about the “utility” aspects of this new design.

    But, Matt, it is clear to me that you have given this design and this process some incredible thought, and I appreciate that you’ve been able to respond here and share your design with us. It’s an intriguing concept and an exciting use of a new frame material, and I wish you the best of luck!

  32. Matt Clark July 25, 2008 2:37 pm 

    Hi Ghost Rider,

    On that note…I’d like to say thank you to everyone who contributed to the dialog.

    I sincerely hope that many questions were answered.

    ALL suggestions and comments have been noted and are appreciated.

    This discussion was as enjoyable as it was experimental! I’ve yet to see another instance where a concept was so directly shared and interactively analyzed WITH the designer’s participation.

    Perhaps, in the nature of the concept itself…this type of direct open forum discussion will prove to be an innovative process that will benefit an array of enthusiasts in every field of study.

    All of my praise goes to Moe for the invitation and the brilliant idea!

    I will be very busy in the upcoming weeks, but will periodically check back to answer any remaining questions.

    Otherwise my email address is listed and I welcome any additional questions, comments, and input.

    Thank you very much!

    Best regards,

    Matt Clark

  33. John M February 18, 2009 6:51 am 

    While I applaud the Matt’s effort to think outside of the box and offer an inexpensive, easily produced, recycled frame material: I have a few comments/suggestions I’d like to share, of course.

    As others have mentioned, if you’re going to use a composite material for the frame and introduce the bike as a commuter, it would be advantageous to incorporate these items into the mold. I haven’t met many commuters without these two items and don’t consider them extraneous in any way. If you leave them off, I think you’re leaving out the majority of the market you’d be advertising to.

    Those seatpost clamp racks absolutely suck, BTW. Not suitable for everyday commuting purpose, and surely not for a blank canvas prototype bicycle.

    Increase that fork length to get a wider tire and fender in there.

    No front derailleur? That’s fine, just curious.

    Rear derailleur seems to be tucked into the frame. This may be for protection, which makes sense, but it also widens the rear end quite a bit so the chainring and/or crankarm will need to flare outward quite a bit to clear it. A lot of bicyclists find a wide stance on the pedals uncomfortable.

    Also, it seems fixing a flat tire would be interesting.

    The bottom bracket height seems awfully high, making it a little unstable and severely limits standover clearance.

    Why make parallelogram shapes in the frame? Triangles are much, much stronger.

    For the record, I know it’s a work in progress and I’m not bashing it, just figuring you’re looking for input.

    The thing is, once you address many of these items, better suiting it for a commuter bike, it’ll end up looking like a ‘traditional’ frame again.

    All the best,
    John M

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