July 30, 2014
Bringing you tips on bike commuting from one dedicated rider in Portland.
Ultimate commuter bikes
There’s less than a week left to vote on your pick for the ultimate urban utility bicycle, a challenge taken up by design teams in five cities: Portland, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and New York. Oregon Manifest, the sponsor, wanted to see visions of “tomorrow’s bicycle for the everyday rider.” While the designers may not have predicted the future, they have delivered some pretty cool features.
How would you like a spring loaded rear retractable rack with integrated bungee and lighting? Have you ever seen fenderless fenders? A mounted brush removes water from the tire before it can splatter your backside. If you hate lugging a lock around, you’ll appreciate the handlebars that double as a heavy-duty locking system.
The team from Portland, INDUSTRY and Ti Cycles, used 3D-printer technology to produce their bike’s titanium frame (in sections that they welded together). Printing freed them from the limits of casting with molds so they could “grow” the titanium with complex geometry and a bone-like matrix that is light but strong. They’ve equipped it with handlebars that give directions via haptic feedback: buzzing sensations in the grips. It’s also got electronically controlled gear-shifting, built-in GPS tracking, and self-regulating lights.
Oregon Manifest made a deal with Fuji Bikes to develop the winning bike design for production. The partners say it will hit bike shops in 2015. You can vote until August 2nd.