Now in its third edition, the Oregon Manifest Bike Design Project set out a challenge for five teams in five cycling-heavy cities: pairing design firms and bike builders, who can make the most innovative utility bike? Once partnered, these designers and builders dug deep into what they thought a utilitarian bike should provide and hustled to bring their ideas off the page and onto the street. Last Friday, the teams from New York (Pensa × Horse Cycles), Portland (Industry × Ti Cycles), San Francisco (HUGE × 4130 Cycle Works), Seattle (Teague × Sizemore Bicycle) and Chicago (MNML × Method) unveiled their creations to local audiences. Public voting opens today, and cycling enthusiasts are invited to determine which design is the most visionary and best suited for the everyday rider; once the votes are tallied following the August 2 deadline, the winner will earn a chance at being put into production by Fuji Bikes.
Check out the teams and what they made and stay tuned for our exclusive designer Q&As throughout the week.
Merge is inspired by the variety of cycling needs in New York City, and New York is a tough proving ground for an urban bike. There is some good cycling infrastructure, but also streets that are packed with cars and pedestrians. Merge is a compact and nimble ride, offering its rider confidence when navigating tight spaces. At the same time there is necessary utility. Merge's rear rack snaps open at a moment's notice, but can also retract when not in use. Features include cargo, lighting, security, and a USB charging port. They are seamlessly integrated and right where you need them, yet unobtrusive when not in use. Merge offers an elegant and integrated solution to the needs of a variety of urban cyclists.
SOLID is inspired by the diverse beauty and soul of Portland, OR. From the urban energy of East Burnside to the raw beauty of Forest Park, the SOLID bike captures the essence of the city and the best of both worlds—hand-built craft and modern manufacturing. Leveraging Ti Cycles' 25 years of working with titanium, INDUSTRY utilized their signature "Super Commuter" platform. The criteria for this platform is a titanium frame and sub-assemblies for its light weight and strong properties, belt drive for low durability, internal geared hub for effortless shifting, disc brakes, Dynamo for electronics, fenders, and internal wiring. INDUSTRY redefined the bike gesture by pushing the boundaries of the material and frame design. In order to make it truly seamless they 3D-printed key parts in collaboration with i3DMFG, and brought together old and new techniques.
SOLID is a lifestyle bike. With that in mind, INDUSTRY created an app that allows riders to discover the city through five curated journeys. Whether riders want to experience Portland's diverse forested terrain or ride in the city—this app guides riders to enjoy the diverse beauty of Portland. The app communicates with the bike to navigate. INDUSTRY brought together key influencers outside of the cycling industry to share their perspectives on what to see, ride, hear, eat, shop and hear to truly experience Portland.
The EVO Urban Utility bike is a hybrid bicycle that leverages a modular accessory platform for ultimate flexibility. EVO blends the utility of a city bike with the robustness and geometry of a mountain bike to satisfy the city's diverse lifestyle and terrain. It presents a one bike solution that can take on many different environments and activities. Innovative quick-connect mounts on the front and rear enable users to rapidly attach or detach cargo accessories that are normally mounted permanently to a bike. This plug-and-play system is designed to be flexible for a rider's daily needs, ranging from a child seat to different racks for carrying everything from groceries to surf boards.
Inspired by San Francisco's famous towers and bridges, the symmetrical frame has been developed to support cargo loads both on the front and rear of the bike. This "truss" frame geometry is as functional as it is iconic. 3D-printed steel lugs allow for an efficient lug plus tube construction, thus reducing complex welding and man-hours in production. A front fork lockout allows users to securely lean the handlebars against a wall for stable loading and unloading. In addition, this concept includes front and rear lighting systems and a cable lock integrated into the frame.
The Denny bike is about returning the rider (and ourselves) to those early days of carefree riding, when cycling was just about 'get up and go' freedom—the reason we all fell in love with bikes in the first place. It's inspiration? The diverse community and unpredictability of our home: Seattle. From the auto-shifting electric assist, smart reactive lighting, integrated locking and the redefining of the fender, we've created the purist biking experience possible for Seattle riders. Now you don't have to worry about the hills, rain or an impromptu 'farmer's market' trip. Denny is the "all in" cycling solution that meets security, safety and importantly convenience needs. Ultimately, the Denny bike was born from a simple premise, 'an everyday bike that removes the barriers to becoming an everyday rider'. All in. Just ride.
Inspired by the City of Broad Shoulders, the BLACKLINE bicycle has a strong spirit and is ready for just about anything. It takes its name from Chicago's iconic elevated train lines that run throughout the city, non-stop. While the 'L' will get you from station to station, the BLACKLINE is the ride that gives you the freedom to get everywhere in between. Tough yet refined, this bike has just the right amount of street savvy. A custom smart handlebar with integrated LED headlight and side blinkers utilize GPS enabled turn-by-turn navigation to help you safely navigate the urban grid. Once you reach your destination, the bike's location can be securely tracked using a connected smartphone app.
The virtually maintenance-free drive train utilizes a sealed 3-speed hub, originally designed to endure the extreme conditions of rural Africa. It's driven by a nearly indestructible belt drive able to withstand everything from the daily commute to the harshest winters. Balloon tires smooth out your ride, won't slow you down, and lessen the worry of roadside repairs during pothole season. The BLACKLINE's bold yet simplified frame has a singular, angled 2" tube, which makes dismounting your ride a little easier in stop-and-go traffic. And thanks to the lessons from Ferris Bueller, it features a ready-for-anything cargo system that can be configured to help get you to lunch, a museum, the ballpark, a street festival, or anywhere the wind blows in the Windy City.