PORTLAND, OR (BRAIN)—Thirty-two of the nation’s bravest custom bike builders have thrown their welding torches into the ring to contest the Oregon Manifest's first annual Constructor's Design Challenge. Each craftsman will be designing and fabricating toward “the ultimate transportation bike,” a purpose-built bicycle that can navigate modern lifestyles and landscapes with great functionality and style.
The entry list reads like a who's who of hand-built bike builders, including such well known names as SyCip Design, from Santa Rosa, CA, Ahearne Cycles from Portland, OR, and Igleheart Custom Bicycles from Wenham, MA.
The Constructor's Design Challenge has presented the builders with the problem of developing an innovative, modern transportation bike—one that is flexible, durable, able to portage reasonable loads with ease, and ready to accommodate the many small and large challenges of everyday riding. Today’s transportation bikes must be sturdy and durable, yet nimble enough to provide all-around utility during a short trip or a longer haul.
“The Constructor's Design Challenge is the focus of this year's expanded Oregon Manifest,” said Jocelyn SyCip, director. “With cycling emerging as the smart, green choice for daily transportation, the need to develop well-considered, versatile, and multi-purpose bikes is becoming increasingly relevant. Oregon Manifest hopes to illuminate this traditionally neglected bike category by issuing a Design Challenge to those who consistently traffic in beautiful, considered solutions: custom bike builders.”
Chris King of Chris King Precision Components (and now bikes) understands the bicycle's unique place in transportation history. "Of all the designs and inventions that have come along the bicycle has changed the least from its infancy; form following function can't be more true," King said. "It has allowed people to travel, to see places affordably, near and far, at a pace that one's senses can appreciate."
To prove that the bikes entered in the Constructor’s Design Challenge deliver function as well as form, the bikes will compete in a one-of-a-kind 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 terrain 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 to bike victory.
Here's a complete listing of the bike builders entered:
Ahearne Cycles : San Jose, California
Ahrens Bicycles : San Jose, California
Boxer Bicycles : Seattle, Washington
Cielo by Chris King : Portland, Oregon (not to be judged)
Circle A Cycles : Providence, Rhode Island
Courage Bicycle Mfg. Co. : Portland, Oregon
Curt Goodrich Bicycles : Minneapolis, Minnesota
DiNucci Cycles : Sisters, Oregon
Donkelope Bikes : Bellingham, Washington
Framebones Cycles : Mill Creek, Oregon
Frances Cycles : Santa Cruz, California
Hufnagel Cycles : Portland, Oregon
Igleheart Custom Bicycles : Wenham, Massachusetts
Inglis Cycles : Napa, California
Ira Ryan Cycles : Portland, Oregon
Magnolia Bicycles : Memphis, Tennessee
Map Bicycles : Portland, Oregon
Metrofiets : Portland, Oregon
Pereira Cycles : Portland, Oregon
Parlee Cycles ; Peabody, Massachusetts
Quixote Cycles : Portland, Oregon
Rebolledo Cycles : Glen Ellen, California
Rex Cycles : Sacramento, California
Signal Cycles : Portland, Oregon
Sizemore Bicycle : Tacoma, Washington
Sprout Cycles : Portland, Oregon
SyCip Design : Santa Rosa, California
Ti Cycles : Portland, Oregon
Tsunehiro Cycles : Portland, Oregon
Vertigo Cycles : Portland, Oregon
Winter Bicycles : Eugene, Oregon
A prestigious panel of cycling experts will judge the bikes on Friday, October 2: Rob Forbes, founder of Design Within Reach, now launching Public Bikes; Sky Yaegar, designer of Swobo Bikes, and industry revolutionary; Ron Sutphin, president of United Bicycle Institute, Ashland/Portland; and Bryant Bainbridge, product creation, Specialized Bicycles.
Points will be awarded in the 10 demanding Design Consideration categories The top 12 winners (and the three race winners) will be displayed in the Oregon Manifest Bike Union storefront for more than five weeks.
All entries will be on public display for two days during the Design Challenge and Race weekend, with the top winners to be displayed at the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association Handmade Bicycle Show, among other places. In addition, all participants will be featured in a coffee table book being produced around the event.