How do you design a bike for the users of Silver Lake?

Field Research

Silver Lake is a diverse area of people with challenging terrain. In order to understand our users' biking experience in depth, we 

followed them and immersed ourselves in their environment.

User Research


Our participants consisted of cyclists living and working in and around Silver Lake and experts with their own shops in the area.

To understand our users’ biking experience, we rode with them and immersed ourselves in their environment.

Allie, Barista

Local Coffee Shop

Mo, Owner

Local Coffee Shop

Michael, Volunteer

Bicycle Kitchen

Eric, Associate

Mission Workshop

Ebbie, Barista, Cyclist

Eightfold Coffee

Meg, Owner

Revenge Fantasy Cycles

Many residences in Silver Lake require carrying a bike up a flight of stairs

Locks are essential to owning any bike, but usually an after market item.

Designing for Inclusivity


Making Manufacturing More Affordable

To innovate on traditional methods of frame making, we spoke to experts to understand different steel manufacturing methods.

Brent, Owner

Revenge Fantasy Cycles

Bike Assembly

Carlos, Plant Manager

Steve’s Plating

Tube Bending

Psy Delancy

Petrichor Frames

Frame Maker

Traditional Frame Making

Jessica "Psy" Delancy produces custom handmade bicycle frames in her Los Angeles studio.

Psy uses oxyacetylene brazing to make frames.

Jig keeps tubes in place for brazing the frame.

Steel Tube Bending

Carlos, the Plant Manager gave us a tour of the fabrication facility at Steve's Plating.

Mandel and dyes confirm the shape of tubes

Tubes are bent around a mandrel, using dyes

Analysis + Synthesis

We captured our research on a series of journey maps and affinity maps of findings, and applied the POEMS framework.

Concept Pyramid


We organized the most compelling insights into a concept pyramid, in order to give hierarchy to our multilayered bike concept


Using our three concept themes to guide us, we explored ideas that reflected simplifying manufacturing, handcraft and integrated functionality.

Key Components


Components that contribute to the core concept: a more INCLUSIVE bike through form, materials and manufacturing.



We created several mock ups, including a full scale prototype,  using bent acrylic tubes and laser cut and routed MDF components, to convey design details.

During this phase we explored various 

"friendly forms" based on wrapped, bent tubing and minimizing weld points.

© 2019 by Margaux Reynolds

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