Oregon Manifest have a competition running to select an urban utility bike to be put into production by Fuji Bikes. This is a great example of innovation happening in the bike world outside of the arena of competitive cycling with bikes that make sense for commuting, hauling your shopping as well as going for a joyride. It’s worth spending time with the showcase videos and hopefully it provides a window into what we might be seeing at our local bike stores in the near future. Which one is your favourite?
I’m happy to see that the Chicago team isn’t the only one that totally fucked this up. These are all bad and their designers should feel bad.
I understand how the past winter (esp. in upper midwest cities like MSP, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Chicago) could inspire one to design a bike that handle that noise like a Marshall tank, but really, if my wimpy self could bike through everything besides -20ºC temperatures on a Kona Honky Tonk, then surely most folks looking to bike through winter could make it by just adding disc brakes to a Surly Long Haul Trucker or something. The carbon drive belt is a dope idea, too, but the baskets are ugly as sin, with the front one liable to throw someone off-balance. The kickstands are nigh useless, especially in snow/ice/uneven surfaces, and don’t get me started on the handlebars. What the Chicago team DID get right is a slanted top tube for riders who feel like wearing a dress/skirt instead of pants every day. The average prototype of the Ultimate Winter Urban Bike® or whatever just reminds me of a bad concept car.
Anyway, here’s Wonderwall.
Any bike without fenders is disqualified in my book. Can you commute without fenders? Sure. You can also make food without any salt or pepper ever. You’ll be missing out on additional pleasure, unless you like the feel of gravel and cold rainwater being thrown directly at your butt crack. And yes, they have the little plastic foldy things, but if you try to use the word ultimate commuter to describe a bike with no fenders, I’m giving you the side-eye.