Design a bike to win one


Cannondale will gift a Bad Boy commuter bike to the person who submits the best designed commuter bike to a competition which closes December 5th.

The comp is on the Bicycle Design blog run by James Thomas. He said:

“Do you have an idea for a bicycle that might persuade the average person, with no prior interest in cycling, to park the car and pedal to work? That is the main idea behind this competition. The scope is up to you- choose to come up with a whole new form factor for a pedal powered machine, or focus on specific details that you consider key to accomplishing the goal of getting the average non-cyclist to consider riding a bike for transportation. Don’t be constrained by products that are currently on the market, but do make sure that your concepts are based in reality (don’t break the laws of physics, etc) and that they are manufacturable using existing technology.”

I’m one of the seven judges for the competition. The other judges are James Thomas; Torgny Fjeldskaar, Director of Industrial Design & Advanced Products Division at Cannondale Bicycle Corporation; Mark Sanders, principal of MAS Design Products, designer of the Strida and IF Bikes; Steve Zwonitzer, principal of Propane Creative, a strategic brand and product design consultancy; Agnete Enga, Senior Industrial Designer, Smart Design/ Femme Den, NYC; and Michael Illukiewicz, an automotive designer.

As the editor of BikeBiz magazine I’ve been on judging panels for all sorts of bicycle-related products and services. It’s fun to sift through entries, weeding out the ‘you can’t be serious’ from the ‘that’s interesting.’

I wonder how many of the entries will plump for traditional chain driven bicycles and how many for polychain drives , internal hub gears or NuVinci-style variable transmissions?

I don’t yet know the thought processes of the other judges but I’ll be looking for simplicity, ease of mass production and cost-awareness (not everybody could afford the $8500 Moots Comooter). I’ll also be looking to place the winning entries in later editions of the Bike to Work Book, of which here’s the very latest cover: