The 19 finalists in this year’s field.
In a corner of the 4th floor display area, this year largely given over to the inaugural d&i awards, was a version of the 2011 Gold award winner, Marco Mainardi’s Aria. This year’s Gold award winner, Larry Chen’s Velocity was something more likely to appeal to a wider target group of cyclists however.
Tim Lee’s City takes the Law of Conservation of Energy as its key motif. With aesthetic echoes of previous era in cycling, some energy lost in movement can be harnessed to recharge an iPhone or on-board navigation device.
It was not available to check out in prototype form which would have been interesting. You would really have to wonder about the cycling experience here though. You’d have to have a very high quality pavement surface to say the least.
It’s certainly an ambitious attempt which makes Chen’s Velocity look very conservative in comparison. Still, the Velocity could easily incorporate these energy conservation principles while remaining instantly more “inviting” to, again, a wider range of cyclists in my view.
Paulus Maringka’s G2 took out the 3d place.
A departure from the focus on urban cycling to a design that targets developing countries. Actually you can see this type of bikes on the streets of Taiwan. It’s a much older, clunkier version though, with a handbrake to make sure it stays where you part it under load. There’s probably some inspiration from that source underlying the G2.
Prototypes that were on display alongside the Gold award winner, Velocity, were the Woody, also an Excellent Award winner, and the V-Bike.
Lee Cheng-Shuo’s Woody frame is made of plywood and carbon fiber pressed at high temperature. The CF is included for flexibility and shock absorbing. The idea is greater use of “eco” materials and simplicity in design, in keeping with the guiding theme of this year’s IBDC.
Comparing the prototype rendering to the scale model there is a quite a difference in seat tube length. The appealing proportions visible in the model are lost in the prototype. Depending on how efficiently the frame manufacturing process turns out to be would probably be a factor in any market success. It would depend also on who it’s potential niche market actually turned out to be.
Kuo Wei Lien’s V-Bike with it’s “duel V frames” was made up the three prototypes that were paraded. The model sports a bit more interesting top tube and down tube . . .
. . . that did not make it into the prototype. Sure, it’s probably beside the point, but that initial first impression whenever you encounter anything new is always something to take note of.