The Oregon Manifest competition challenged handcrafted bike builders to come up with the best bike for urban living. In addition to 34 builders in the main competition, three bike builders teamed with three global design consultancies to rethink urban cycling.
An e-bike that looks cool
Three teams of bike builders and design firms paired up to compete in the Oregon Manifest bike building competition. Their task: creating the ultimate utility bike. This bike, The Faraday, was created by the Palo Alto, Calif., design consultancy Ideo and Rock Lobster Custom Cycles. It offers a new twist on electronic bikes--elegant, classic looks. The bike features a gentle pedal assist, powered by batteries housed inside the twin top tubes of the frame.
The control panel for The Faraday electric bike features a button at the top to turn the motor on. That powers a pedal-assist system as well as rear and front lights. And, in a nod to electric motor pioneer Michael Faraday, for whom the bike is named, the tail of the letter "y" ends in a electric plug jack.
Ziba, a Portland design consultancy, teamed with Portland's Signal Cycles to create The Fremont for the Oregon Manifest competition. This bike features a sidecar that folds up, origami-style, into a conventional bike rack, seen here.
The Fremont, created by Ziba and Signal Cycles, with its sidecar folded down. The bag is weatherproof and locks into the frame. That way, cyclists don't have to remove the bag at each stop over fears of theft.
The Ziba-Signal Cycles build Fremont bike features an integrated locking system to prevent theft. The lock runs through the steering tube of the frame. So if the cable, covered in a pleasing rope braid, is ever cut, the bike is still impossible to ride because the steering column remains locked.
Signal Cycles' Matt Cardinal, left, riding The Fremont, during the Oregon Manifest bike building competition field test in the outskirts of Portand. He built the bike with Signal Cycles partner Nate Meschke and Ziba, the Portland design consultancy.
Design legend Yves Behar atop the bike his firm, fuseproject built with SyCip Designs for the Oregon Manifest bike building competition. The bike features three wheels, which creates room for a cargo platform on the front of the bike.
The bike designed by fuseproject and SyCip Designs for the Oregon Manifest bike building competition features an integrated U-lock on the front cargo rack. That way, cyclists can simply nestle the bike next to a parking meter or bike rack to lock it.
The ultimate urban bike created by fuseproject and SyCip Designs features a simple push button lighting system on the front and rear. The lights are housed with watertight o-rings and built right into the frame.
SyCip Designs Jeremy SyCip, with the bike he created with designers at fuseproject. Here, SyCip gets ready to leave the first stop of the field test for the Oregon Manifest bike building competition. Each of the utility bikes had to take on cargo at the stop, 10 miles into the 51-mile course.
Creativity in the Oregon Manifest bike building competition wasn't limited to the teams that paired designers with bike builders. Plenty of the bike builders came up with clever creations on their own. This bike, built by Greg Heath of Donkelope Bikes in Bellingham, Wash., features a sidecar big enough for Heath's border collie Rastus.
Rastus, the border collie owned by Donkelope Bikes' Greg Heath, riding in the sidecar of the bike Heath built for the Oregon Manifest bike building competition. The bikes were put through the paces during a 51-mile field test, which Rastus rode the whole way.
On long rides, cyclist often reach for water bottles, tucked away in cages attached to their frames. For urban riding, other types of libations are sometimes in order. These flask cages were part of the Oregon Manifest entry of Portland's Ahearne Cycles.
The Oregon Manifest entry from the University of Oregon was designed to ride around campus. The team of seven design students included a seat post that locks to prevent thieves from swiping it. It also has a slot in the frame to stash a U-lock. The bike won the student competition.