A new effort from the Palo Alto, Calif., design consultancy Ideo and Santa Cruz, Calif., bike builder Rock Lobster Custom Cycles may have pushed the industry a step closer to achieving the goal. The team created a bike for the Oregon Manifest 2011 Constructor's Design Challenge, a bike building competition pitting three teams of designers and handcrafted bike builders. Their goal: create the best utility bike for urban living.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Just ask the team of designers at Ziba design consultancy in Portland, Ore., and bike builders at nearby Signal Cycles, who are working together to create the ultimate utility ride.
The group of five took a Franken-bike out for a spin this spring. It was a standard hybrid bike, the kind you see commuters pedaling to and from work everyday, with the notable exception of a sidecar, just off the right side of the rear wheel and just big enough to fit two bags of groceries.
The sidecar had no gloss, no fit or finish. … Read more