In this post, I’ll take a close look at one particularly interesting design from the 14th International Bicycle Design Competion (IBDC). I previously talked about, and provided a number of shots of, the Velo (designed by Jon Godston, Michiel Knoppert, Marc Walliser, and Giles McWilliam), which I found really appealing. Here I will take a look at Florian Vescsey and Lukas Thuring’s “Tribune”.
One of four tricycle designs in contention for the main award, it is powered by a generator and electric motor. The space over the rear wheel is a lockable luggage compartment, integrated into the whole shell which includes front and back lights built-in. Stow your gear away from the weather and anyone who might think about making off with them, although they would be more likely to abscond with the whole thing. On this point I would have liked to know how heavy a prototype would be (anyone?). I have images of one made out of carbon fiber. The headrest is adjustable as are the pedals so as to accommodate different body proportions. The backrest is flexible, the claim being that this provides a platform for generating optimum power transmission as well as a high degree of comfort.
Thinking back to the mid to late 1870s with the development of the High Wheelers moving ahead and cycling as a sport becoming more and more popular, tricycles found favor with more and more people. Two and three wheelers, (and even four) existed side by side, although the ascendancy of the safety bicycle in the late 80s and early ’90s was the triumph of two wheels over three. In the current climate of a search for a breakthrough design, once again 3 wheels are an important part of the mix. Are we currently in or about to enter a fervent creative milieu similar to the 1880s? Or is Han Goes’ criticism (I posted about this on my Facebook page) of the IBDC valid, meaning we are a long way away from any genuine breakthoughs that might parallel this period?