PORTLAND, OR (BRAIN)—With cycling emerging as the smart, green choice for daily transportation, the need for well-considered, versatile multi-purpose bikes is becoming increasingly relevant.
To focus attention on this emerging market, Oregon Manifest, a Portland, Oregon-based organization promoting cycling and cycling lifestyle, has created the first annual Constructor’s Design Challenge.
The Constructor’s Design Challenge will present bicycle frame builders and designers from around the nation with the opportunity to create an innovative, modern transportation bike—a technical challenge combining engineering dexterity with fabrication mettle. The country’s most accomplished makers of hand-built, custom bikes will take up the challenge, including Vanilla from Portland, Igleheart from Wenham, MA., and Independent Fabrication from Somerville, MA. More than 40 builders are expected to field entries.
“The Constructor’s Design Challenge is the centerpiece of this year’s Oregon Manifest,” said Jocelyn SyCip, Oregon Manifest‘s Director. “If the bicycle is ever to realize its potential to change the urban transportation landscape—and mindset—it’ll take a bike that can multi-task the demands
of everyday urban transport. The Constructor’s Design Challenge is a unique way to jump start the conversation about what constitutes a great, modern, all-around transportation bike.”
Participants in the Constructor’s Design Challenge will be faced with building a bike that is flexible, durable, able to portage reasonable loads with ease, and ready to accommodate the many small and large challenges of everyday riding. Transportation bikes must be sturdy and durable, yet nimble enough to provide all-around utility during a short trip or a longer haul.
To prove that the bikes entered in the Constructor’s Design Challenge deliver function as well as form, the bikes will compete in a unique real-world transportation test. Presented by Rapha, the UK-based cycling apparel maker, the Constructor’s Race will serve up 77 miles of epic on-and-off road challenges inspired by the European one-day classics, such as Paris-Roubaix. Design Challenge builders (or their
designated riders) will brave dirt, gravel, elevation climbs, and urban technical trials on the secret, yet-to-be-revealed route.
A specific set of design considerations will govern the Constructor’s Design Challenge judging:
Amazing Solution : Devise a sensational, unique and innovative bike for transportation use.
Handling : Bikes must handle equally well with and without load. Both options will be tested against turning and straight pedaling.
Integration : Solutions should be integrated into a complete and harmonious whole, rather than a checklist of details.
Presentation + Execution : Fabrication refinement and final presentation are important indicators of skill and thoughtfulness. Extraordinary craftsmanship can be displayed in the simplest brazing or the fanciest lug. Individual design solutions should build to a single visual and functional whole.
Load Carrying : Bikes must accommodate and securely carry the rider’s award ceremony party attire, a provided six pack of beverage (in glass bottles), and a provided small container of party snacks.
Security : Since the bikes must be protected from theft while unattended, a smart, easy solution for securing the bike under different conditions is expected.
Utility : Bikes should handle changing weather, lighting conditions, and visibility.
Quality and Rattles : If bike components or parts are loose, rattling, or otherwise inoperable at the race finish, points will be deducted for each failure.
Portage : Bikes must be able to be carried by its rider over a section of the Constructor’s Race course.
Response to the Constructor’s Race Course : Entry bikes must take into consider all elements of the race course, the 10 design considerations and the overall challenges they present.
A prestigious panel of cycling experts will judge the bikes on Friday, October 2nd: Rob Forbes, founder of Design Within Reach; Sky Yaeger, designer of Swobo bicycles; Ron Sutphin, president of United Bicycle Institute; and Brian Bainbridge, former director of R&D for Specialized Bicycles.
The winning builder of the Design Challenge will appropriately earn a fully bespoke suit: a collaboration between Rapha and London tailor Timothy Everest. Constructed for the gentlemen cyclist, the details and design of the suit are equally at home on the bike as the office.
Points will be awarded in the 10 Design Consideration categories listed above, weighted into three points group. Top 12 winners (and the three race winners) will be displayed in the Oregon Manifest Bike Union storefront for five weeks.
All entries will be on display for the public during the Design Challenge weekend. In addition, all participants will be featured in a coffee table book being produced around the event.
If you are interested in entering the Constructor’s Design Challenge, visit www.oregonmanifest.com and click on the link to entry forms and regulations. Entry deadline is July 31.