Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Simplifying the urban bicycle experience

edit: Dec 16
Hey all, thanks for your comments! - see my response at the end of the post.
A bicycle is loved for its mechanical elegance and simplicity. It's a bummer when you have to muck that by carrying all this extra stuff.

Here is a common problem, and a common urban solution. There's got to be a better solution than a big hunk of metal in your pocket.
It's assumed that you just have to carry this extra stuff around t o protect your bike. But what if we made the bicycle just a little more complicated to greatly simplify the experience of riding a bicycle. Could we build these components into a bike? Here are some brainstorm sketches:

The seat post seems like it could be a pretty good lock, and a pretty good pump. Here are two ways you could make it a pump: (I shouldnt have called them "options", this is just a sloppy proof of concept) You could throw some gaskets into the bike frame and attach a tube to the bottom where it could reach the wheels, or just put a nozzle on the top and you could detach your wheel and hook it up.

edit: Dec 16
Hey all, thanks for your comments! that's some great feedback, and I appreciate your understanding that this is just a developing sketch. I have thought of a lot of the issues that you bring up and I agree with you. I'm excited to develop the idea further. Keep posting comments, and if anyone has a design firm wanting to pursue the idea, send me an email.
edit: Dec 19
Nice, thanks for the post Anonymous - check out this 2004 Cannondale I love the idea of using the fork instead of the handlebars. One thing about the handlebars is that it would be easy to torque them apart with a crowbar. Critique: This Cannondale implementation doesn't lock the frame to anything, and it only addresses one wheel. Can we take the idea further?


NormalAndrew said...

I really like your seatpost to bike-lock idea...I think it's fantastic! An elegant, simple solution. You should really pursue it, see what happens.

Anonymous said...

"There's got to be a better solution than a big hunk of metal in your pocket." making your whole bike a rolling u-lock? Yeah, nice try, but in reality you're adding a fuckton of weight to the entire bike that cannot be shed.

I'd pass in reality.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous assertion about weight is really an issue of purpose.

If you already having to drag around the extra weight of bike locks in a bag or awkwardly hang them from the frame or handlebars, the weight is already present.

Incorporating what are basically mandatory devices for urban biking into the bike itself is an excellent idea. Sure, the cyclists that want the lightest, fastest bikes so they can go road trekking for 4-hours will want something else. But when the main purpose of the bike are on average 2-mile or 20-minute task oriented trips (errands, commute, social outing) the convenience of integrated features is more important than weight.

Again, if you already have to carry the weight, EC is wise in investigating less awkward ways to carry that weight.

Chris said...

Great great great line of thinking and damn fine mockups. The main issue for me would be that I really want to be able to add this to my existing bike, which put together from a bunch of parts form different vendors. There is no way I would want to buy a fram, wheelset etc from a verndor just based on their ability to make a proper lock. So I guess I'm saying that I want just a seatpost that adapts to most handlebars. This is similar to a solution like this:

Anonymous said...

seatpost lock by Cannondale on 2004

TheDotCommunist said...

how is weight even an issue? it comes down to a couple simple changes in the frames and handlebar design and a minor extension in the seat post length...and with all of the awesome composite materials we have access to as designers. weight? nah.

i say bravo on the idea, id head straight to a patent office if i were you boi! ive seen first-hand some great ideas get not wish that on anyone.

Lester, Adult Tricycle said...

I'm interested in this seatpost to bike-lock design. Is it still under development? or you had already came out with the product?