Looking for a great bicycle to navigate life in the metropolis? Have a look at the collection of BIKEID New York for a few beautiful steel horses. BIKEID offers a wide range of bicycles, but personally I prefer the those with the classic drop down handlebar. The models ‘Stockholm’ and ‘Malmen’ look great, but ‘Svart’, created exclusively for the MoMA store in New York, really strikes the eye in my opinion. Have a look at this, chic, matt black frame while the other components are high-gloss black, creating a great contrast. Sportive and classic drop down handlebar and smart rear hub. The rear hub has a built-in two speed gear system, eliminating the clutter of cables and levers, and a foot brake in addition to the front brake. Svart currently only available through the MoMA design store. Photography by Ruvan Wijesooriya
Stockholm based design studio People People set about reinventing a classic with their latest project. They wanted to update the robust, albeit heavy and clumsy Kronan bike with a more sleek, light weight and minimalist design, stripped down to its essence. So People People designed a successor in Spiran. A robust construction combined with a sleek, light weight frame and slim racing tires, Spiran has been optimised for the agility and speed needed in a city. The designers also opted for a single speed approach, with a carbon fibre belt instead of a chain, meaning no lubrication or maintenance. In everything from the frame to the leather details, we wanted to use only genuine materials that not only last a long time, but also age with grace. Besides its clean lines and slim form factor, People People’s design also impresses with the integrated bike lock that folds out from the front basket, locking the bike in the front wheel or even around a city lamp post or fence. Simple, clever and robust. I love it.
I was recently introduced to the small, independent bicycle company, tokyobike, founded in the quiet Tokyo suburb of Yanaka. The name was derived from the design of the bikes. Much like how the mountain bike was designed for the mountains, the tokyobike was designed for Tokyo. Based on the concept of ‘Tokyo Slow’ the bikes are designed to be light to ride with an emphasis on comfort over speed. The bike is simply a way to enjoy your city, as much about the journey as the destination. There are four types available in the tokyobike range; CS, Bisou, Single Speed, and Sport – all of which have a stunning minimal design in a wide variety of colours. From the simple Cro-Mo Steel frames, to the comfortable seats and handlebars, this is everything I want in a city bike. I am particularly tempted by the black SS and the all black Sport. There are international stores in London, Berlin, Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney.
In recent years there have been many new and interesting bicycle designs that have emerged, a number of which we have featured here on Minimalissimo. Not solely focused on a form of transportation, these designs also look to introduce new styles and improvements with a minimalist quality. Viks is another great example of such bicycle designs. The company started when its founder, Indrek Narusk decided to build his own bicycle, looking for something different, inspired by the use of minimalist classic lines and cafe racer style motorcycles. The result is a sleek, timeless, fast and durable, single speed urban bicycle. Viks is essentially made from two identical high quality stainless steel shaped tube frames, and is available in different combinations of colours but, without doubt, I will take the all black version!
Designed by Joey Ruiter, the ultra compact Inner City Bike is about simplicity in design, it is the ultimate stripped away piece. So stripped even the chain is gone. Joey Ruiter says: Our goal was to hit the reset button on bike design, it’s a city cruiser, more fashion than function. It is really good for simply popping out to go a short distance, and you will look smashing while doing so. But, it is not one you would use to get to work every morning…
Minimizing bicycles is one of my favourite thought experiments, so imagine my delight when I just ran into this prototype for a foldable city bike: Full Circle. It was Korean designers Sang-hyun Jeong and Jun-tae Park’s submission for the Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010. The design is truly minimalist: symmetrical, built from two circles, two vertical lines and one horizontal. The simplistic exterior contains all necessary technical stuff to make it a functional bicycle, and on top of that highly foldable. The design shows so many interesting solutions and ideas; look at the pedals for instance. Quite the engineering feat! (Also very beautiful are submissions Bike 2.0 and Neo Essence. Yummie yummie ;-)
This has been online for a few weeks now, but it sort of fell off of my list to post: the Victor Bike. The Victor is Christophe Robillard‘s attempt to create a bicycle with less metal and less welds. And although the reasoning behind it was eco-friendliness, the result holds obviously holds a minimalist quality. Christophe Robillard, who is based ion Montreal, Canada, promises us that the design is structurally sound. And judging by the pictures he took, it really is. Where can I sign up for a test ride?
The start of the Tour de France tomorrow in Rotterdam – The Netherlands is a good occasion to talk about bicycles again. Based in New York City designer Francesco Bertelli makes wonderful pure, clean, old-fashion bicycles (track bikes and fixed gear only). Every single part is assembled by hand, finished and fine-tuned by Bertelli himself. “I combine brand new parts with “new old stock” and vintage parts found at flea markets, old bikeshops, collectors and from my trustworthy suppliers.” The result of each project is a unique bicycle you won’t find anywhere else. I would like to highlight the Domenica Sport. Cool Nitto dropbars on a Belgium made Titan stem, a black Alien track frame, chrome straight fork and silver wheelset. The slick Gran Compe SS White tires and England made swallow Wrights W3SW saddle make this masterpiece complete.
As the proud father of a one-year-old daughter, I can really appreciate toys that are not only practical and colourful, but also beautiful. And those are hard to find, believe me… So imagine the joy when I found bicycle BIT! BIT is designed by Marc Castelló, who runs design studio Glodos together with his partner Sergi Teixidó. The plywood bike targets kids from 18 months to 3 years of age, and should help them develop their balance, coordination and psychomotor skills. And it helps their parents look cool ;-)
I just received an email from Nikolay Boltachev, a beginning graphic designer from Russia. He has been working on a concept for a BMX bicycle with hubless wheels – and it’s starting to look pretty great! However, to take the next step in his project, Nikolay is now urgently looking for more information about hubless wheels and/or magnetic bearings. Perhaps any of you have been working on a similar project, and have gained some knowledge about this topic? If you do, please share it via the comments, and gain some major karma points!
The Alta Bike, a hybrid between a classic courier and a mountain bike, was designed as a collaboration project between the Norwegian designers Bleed, Norway Says and Frost Produkt in 2004. Initially the Alta Bike was supposed to be a project with a limited production of 50 bikes but Alta soon got so popular that it became the first serial production single speed bike on the market. “The initial idea behind the Alta bike was to make a light, timeless, fast and durable bicycle that was designed for city use.” The single speed design means it performs perfect in urban environment as you have rarely enough speed to need to change gears. In case of need to accelerate you can always rely on the handlebar – Alta Bike’s signature feature – giving you the power to fight hills. They wanted something back to basics and they succeeded. The result of the collaboration is a great singlespeed city racer with a weight of only 9.2 kg, available in various colors. The Alta Bike has been bought by the Norwegian National Museum as a part of their permanent collection.
The Cannondale Dutchess is the graduation project of Wytze van Mansum in assignment of bicycle manufacturer Cannondale. Van Mansum is a former student of the Delft University of Technology TU Delft and currently working as a freelance Product Designer. Dutchess refers to the typical Old Dutch bicycle, the Omafiets, but integrates its form elements in an innovative way. The eye-catching, organic shaped, arch connects the whole bicycle from handlebars to taillight both structurally and visually. I really like the adjustable handlebars, which allow you to ride in different positions – from upright to extremely sportive – and they can be folded together for easy storage. The design of the integrated transmission is great from a visual and technical point of view. Loyal to the Cannondale philosophy the weight of the complete bicycle is kept under the 14kg by the integration of parts and functions. Wow! What a pity the Cannondale Dutchess is a concept bicycle and not yet in production; it would have been a great bike for my girlfriend!