Jul 31, 2014

JOIN THE REVOLUTION: 5 cities. 5 bikes. One Urban Cycling Movement.

By Courtney Ferris

Industry & Ti-Cycles, collaborators on SOLID, had plenty of pieces and parts spread out, showcasing the the design and inspiration of their competition entry.  

The sands are shifting when it comes to the way people move around urban environments. With bikes lanes, cycle tracks, and painted bike boxes popping up in cities across the Northwest, cycling is becoming a more viable transportation option. Given the technology-driven climate we live in today, it’s no surprise that ground-up innovation by creative entrepreneurs, including new technologies like 3-D printing, is allowing people to more easily design and create the products they want to use and see—including the centuries-old, man-powered bicycle.

What’s your favorite? Cycling cities from throughout the country have submitted their idea of the perfect urban commuter. Clockwise from left:  Chicago; San Francisco; New York; Portland; Seattle

From racers and cruisers to mountain bikes and tandems, specialty bikes are nothing new. But not all of them fit the needs of the everyday urban commuter—a rapidly growing population of bike purchasers. Cue the Oregon Manifest’s The Bike Design Project. Building off the momentum and popularity of cycling in some of America’s most design-savvy cities—Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago—Oregon Manifest has paired some of the best and brightest creative agencies with local bicycle craftsmen to let loose a firestorm of ideas and innovations to redesign urban mobility and the cycling experience.

"Oregon Manifest's Bike Design Project is an independent innovation platform for the urban utility bike—the bike for the everyday rider,” says Shannon Holt, creator of The Bike Design Project.  “We think the everyday ride is the most important one, yet this is not yet reflected on the retail floor. By bringing together high-level design firms and deeply talented bike craftsmen, we aim to redefine the category of Transport Bike from the ground up, creating a better product for a better experience."

Each city unveiled their bike on the same night, and large banners gave everyone a chance to size up the competition.   

Industry and TiCycle’s process work boasts influences from throughout Portland and beyond, and showcased the sketches and drawings that helped to develop the final product. 

SOLIDPDX was on view in Portland so event attendees could get an up-close look at its seamless welds and carefully crafted details. 

The final concepts and designs were recently unveiled in each city on the same night, and GRAY was able to catch the Portland party. On display was the SOLIDPDX, a sleek 3D-printed titanium bike designed by local creative agency Industry, and crafted by custom bike frame shop Ti-Cycles.

A modern machine, customized to the hilt, this bike oozes Portland style, its design influenced by local icons such as Nike’s Tinker Hatfield and former Portland mayor Sam Adams (who also made an appearance at the unveiling). The event was held at Pacific Northwest College of Art, and the room was decked with tables displaying the team’s inspiration, sketches, tests, and prototypes.  A large projector and multiple iPads gave people a glimpse into the creation process and a chance to see the final product in action around the city.

The competition’s design requirements were in-depth and extensive: Bikes had to possess the versatility that a city bike demands—the ability to traverse both wet and dry asphalt, gravel, and terrain changes—as well as the ability to store everything from a bag of groceries to a daypack. The bikes that emerged from the competition aren’t just creating a way of getting around; they are reacting to a new urban lifestyle, one that demands the introduction of a functional heirloom product.

Now that the finished bikes have hit the internet, you can vote for the design you most covet (or perhaps the city you love the most). The winner will be produced by Fuji bikes in the coming months. Added to the pot is the chance for voters to actually win the winning bike—and all the bragging rights of owning one of these hot commodities.
Take a gander at these beauties, get inspired, vote, then jump on your own bike and ride around, because as Oregon Manifest explains, the next two-wheeled revolution is going to be born on the streets and spread by the urban rider.

Voting ends August 3 at noon. Click here to cast your vote.

"To disrupt any category you need friction. Innovation hurts—tension is an important part of the process. We believe the best idea needs to be stress-tested and the process, iterative. Bringing together Ti Cycles’ craftsman mentality with Industry’s modern and agile approach was the perfect marriage. We aligned on pushing the boundaries early on, yet respected each other’s expertise. At the end of the day, it was about creating a meaningful (and winning) result—together.” —Garett Stenson, Industry

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