Bicycles rethought

2014-08-07 00:00

AMERICAN cyclists have voted for the Denny, designed and built by the Teague and Sizemore team, as the United States’ most innovative new commuting bicycle.

Teague and Sizemore competed in the Bike Design Project against five design teams in five U.S. cities to make a better bicycle for city use.

The Denny bike will now be made commercially by Fuji Bicycles. To vote, people had to watch each of the five bike videos and register over a week-long period. The votes were tallied on Monday night.

Being of the lazy type, Wheels also voted for the Denny, because it has an electric motor to help pedal and even turns on its indicator lights automatically using GPS, to guide the cyclist and inform the traffic. The bike’s designer, Taylor Sizemore, said: “Today’s urban commuter has to navigate a sea of cars, buses and distracted pedestrians undergoing information overload. Visibility is key to safety on the road, so we felt the best way to navigate streets and be seen was to mirror the established behaviours of automobiles.

“Bicycles typically have leveraged strobing lights, but recent research has highlighted that strobing lights can make it difficult for motorists to judge speed and distance. We have employed the use of day-light running lights, brake lights and turn signals, like every other vehicle on the road. We feel this not only increases visibility and awareness of the rider’s intentions, but the well-known convention of always-on lighting makes our bike easier to track for other motorists.”

The team improved security by making it “actual and perceptual” in a U-lock handlebar system. “The handle bar can be fully removed to lock the bike frame to other structures, like a bike rack. This provides the ‘actual’ security, while the presence of a bicycle with no handlebars acts as a ‘visual’ deterrent.” The Denny has smart LED lights that turn on as the bicycle starts to move and they adjust their intensity based on the light conditions.

Before voting for the Denny, the Wheels team anguished over the Evo, which features a modular design of clip-on trays and baskets.

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