Transportation designers Springtime (Amsterdam) developed an E-bike for a very specific target group that currently isn't addressed by this category of bicycles: students. The result: adam. — a bike that is awesome to see, great to ride and incredibly adaptive to a student's 24-hour lifestyle. A user centered design exploration.
John Kock,Niels Caris, Coline Jarry, Stijn Kroeze
Amsterdam is one of the world's bicycle capitals. This makes it a great place to do research on different use patterns amongst the various demographic groups in the city. Our team went into town for several days, armed with camera and notebook. We identified a number of groups with clearly different cycling behavior: commuters, school kids, students, families, senior citizens, tourists. There is great variation in the types of bicycle they ride, the frequency of use, the luggage solutions they have, the physical state of their bikes, etc.
The E-bike category originates from a supporting, senior citizen perspective. Over time, the product has reached the group of daily commuters, and is even picking up in active sports like downhill mountain biking. So what could an E-bike mean for some of the other groups? We picked the students and developed some day-in-the-life scenarios for them.
Being a student can mean a couple of things for your bike use:
- You have a daily commute to your school. An E-drive might be just what you are looking for those stormy morning commutes during Fall.
- You'll bring electronic devices like laptops, phone and use them throughout the day. Where is a power outlet when you need one? - During lunch breaks and after class, you might hang outside with your friends. Some music might be nice.
- You're likely to have a social evening program at least 2-3 nights a week. But parking your valuable E-bike outside of a bar doesn't seem a good idea, does it?
So how could an E-bike support all of this? We expanded the definition of E-bike to "having electricity on your bike". This provided lots of room for thought and ideation. The result: adam. (where a'dam is short for Amsterdam). adam. is a 20 inch minimal single-speed bike that is built to survive city use and look awesome while doing so.
A front wheel hub motor that is fully incorporated in the front wheel design power assists the bike when needed. The detachable battery is placed on the handle bar and doubles as a portable speaker and power bank. The use scenario is immensely versatile.
During your commute, you can make use of the electric drive, and use your phone for navigation, reading incoming messages or play music.
In school, take out the battery and you have a great power bank to charge your laptop or phone, and play music during the breaks.
In the evening, simply leave home the battery and you have a rock solid naked bicycle to enter the nightlife. No vulnerable cables, nothing to break or take off. The only remaining part of the electric drive, motor, remains safely integrated in the wheel.
At this point, no concrete plans for bringing adam. to market, although we all sure would love to ride one…