Results are in for the international Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010, organized by design magazine designboom in collaboration with the Seoul Design Foundation, and they're sure to make you rethink your old balloon-tired cruiser with the coaster brake.
More than 3,000 designers from 88 countries submitted ideas for bikes that could advance Seoul as an eco-aware, design-conscious city; they came up with everything from bikes that double as shopping carts to folding bikes, solar-powered electric cycles, and bikes made from recycled wood.
A few of the winning designs have already hit the pavement; many more are still in the concept stage. Among the shortlisted entries is the Bikoff, created by Marcos Madia of Argentina in hopes of convincing urban office workers to ditch their cars and commute via bike. The compact, foldable bike features a removable briefcase incorporated into the lightweight frame.
Germany's Valentin Kirsch also took theft into consideration when designing his Seoul Is Now city bike. Parts such as the drum brakes, hub gears, and dynamo for regenerative charging are encased within the exterior surfaces of the bike.
The bike features a handlebar with integrated lights, blinkers, and a navigation system. An enclosed belt drive system reduces maintenance, and single-sided wheel mounts ease tire changes and repair.
The Bagbike, like several of its competitors, takes into consideration the fact that urban bikers generally need to tote purses, computers, schoolbooks, and the like. "But carrying a backpack can make you sweat, leaving your computer on the luggage rack is dangerous, even a cell phone in the pocket is not comfortable when we are riding," French designers Francois Bernard, Sonja Breuninger, and Marion Pinaffo say in their artists' statement.
Their solution? Dividing the bike frame in two, and joining the parts to create a storage compartment in the center for holding essential items.