“Bicycle Design” Contest Finalists Posted

James over at the excellent Bicycle Design blog has posted the six finalists (out of over 60 entries) to his “commuter bikes for the masses” design contest.

Check out the finalists by visiting this link. There are some VERY intriguing concepts over there…but like one of the commenters, I’d love to see the rest of the designs as well.

Head on over and check it out…and when you do, is there anything that catches your eye? Do any of these solutions help encourage non-cyclists to swing a leg over and starting riding to work?


  1. Tony Bullard January 9, 2009 7:35 am 

    I don’t think new bikes will suddenly make everyone want to commute by bike.

    If you’re new to cycling, you want a simple bike that’s easy to maintain and cheap to repair. These bikes with all new parts and such would be far from it. OK, maybe easy to maintain, but if they have to invent some new brake of derailleur system for it, you’re not going to find it on bicycletutor.com when it needs adjusting. I’ve been commuting now for almost 6 months, and I’ve never once thought it would be easier or more enjoyable if I just had a bike that doesn’t currently exist.

    I think the best way encourage bike commuting is finding some incentive plan that gets people to try cycling to work for one week straight. I think if you do 5 days of it, if you don’t hate it, you’ll love it. So maybe if we could figure out a way to make trying it for a week irresistible, then we’ll see a big jump in participation.

  2. Ghost Rider January 9, 2009 10:45 am 

    Tony, great points — encouraging and offering incentives DOES seem to be the best course of action to get folks out of cars and onto bikes.

    The folks these bike designs are aimed at are not particularly interested in getting their hands dirty doing adjustments and repairs, though — hell, I know a lot of rather hardcore cyclists who don’t do any of their own repairs…if something needs fixing, off to the shop it goes. It’s a different mindset than us DIYers are comfortable with, that’s for sure!

  3. Tony Bullard January 9, 2009 12:05 pm 

    Good point. I guess I just always assumed that the type of person who bikes to work is the type of person who tinkers too…

  4. Moe January 9, 2009 12:34 pm 

    Tony, there is such a week: Bike to work week in May. That’s what got me into bike commuting, I gave it a try and it stuck. As far as incentives go, BikeCommuters.Com and the LBLC put together an event where we gave away a bunch of goodies and a bike for those who attended the event. We also take part in different exposition trying to promote bike commuting. We hope that some people get inspired to ride to work by reading our site, we do know of people that have done it.

  5. MattG January 9, 2009 12:34 pm 

    You can check that notion, Tony. While I have no problem doing routine maintenance, any “work” my bikes need must be done by Hippie Steve. He’s the tinkerer in our community. I have little/no mechanical ability and am mortally afraid that I’ll irreparably damage my sweet 1973 Dumpster Rescue 1.2

  6. Ghost Rider January 9, 2009 12:41 pm 

    Quite a few people who start to ride for transportation begin tinkering…once they realize how easy and rewarding doing their own repairs can be. On the other hand, there are LOTS of folks who are utterly mystified by tools and mechanical contraptions.

    Lots of folks drive cars to work…how many of THEM fix their own cars? 😉

  7. Iron Man January 9, 2009 1:29 pm 

    As an art school grad from Detroit I’d like to point out that these bikes are, I’m assuming, concepts. Much like the auto industry roles out at the big auto shows in Detroit, LA, or over in Europe. They are exercises in creative thought, with futuristic and “out of the box” interpretations in mind. Few are actual products that will hit the streets. However they do stretch the boundaries of regular design/construction and certain elements of those designs do find their ways into actual production models.

    If any of you are old enough to recall the first TT bikes used by guys like Indurain back in the late 80’s early 90’s you’ll recall that they were bizarre contraptions that did not resemble bikes of the day. Those were designed by Industrial Designers from the auto world. Not many of those crazy styles are still being produced, but a great deal of knowledge came from those designs and have greatly influenced today’s racing bikes.

  8. pamida7 January 9, 2009 8:22 pm 

    /agree with Tony. Getting out and biking your commute for a week is a better motivator than a new bike. (Although some of those concepts are pretty cool). As a side note, thanks to everyone here at bikecommuters.com for getting me off my butt and commuting by bike again. I moved from Portland, OR last year (where I regularly commuted by bike) to Tampa, FL (where I became lazy). Happy to say that I’m back on the bike again.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *