In collaboration with HoJung Kim
The goal of this project was to design a bike specific to a region and user-base in Los Angeles: Silver Lake
Dylan is “the people’s bike,” a friendly, affordable, inclusive bike that celebrates locality. We strove for a design that is accessible and relatable to everyone. A bike that could have emotional value without being expensive, using a reductive, friendly form and re-purposed elements.
Bikes can range from high-end, performance bikes made of carbon fiber with full-features to the most simple featureless fixie (no brake, no gears). With such extremes, casual users can feel intimidated. Our bike is an expression of functionality through the simplest means.
Manufacturing, full scale functional
How do you design a bike for the users of Silver Lake?
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.
Locals Dress to Express
Tattoos, band t-shirts and non-traditional hair colors.
Silver Lake is home to some of the steepest hills in the United States.
Busy streets lined with artisanal coffee shops, vintage stores and hand made goods.
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.
Local Coffee Shop
Local Coffee Shop
Ebbie, Barista, Cyclist
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.
Revenge Fantasy Cycles
Carlos, Plant Manager
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.
People can be intimidated from getting into cycling. The biking community is not always inclusive.
Form Follows Function?
Fixed gear bikes (”Fixies”) meet the simple aesthetic of our user, but lack their functional requirements.
Our users differentiate themselves from the mainstream through their physicality, as a reflection of identity.
Accessible & Inclusive
Simplified construction, affordability, whimsical form language
Simplicity Meets Function
Versatility, integrated function; shoulder carry & locking system
Authenticity & Individuality
Repurposed materials handmade details, reflecting locality
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.
Components that contribute to the core concept: a more INCLUSIVE bike through form, materials and manufacturing.
Seat Stay Loops
Bent tubing to minimize welding points and simplify construction.
Lock designed for the bike frame as part of the whole design.
To make the bike easier to carry.
Saddle, pedals using repurposed leather and natural materials.
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.
My teammate and I worked closely with a furniture fabricator to create working prototypes of our design.
Frame components are checked to full scale drawing before welding
Finished pieces are powder coated and hung to dry
Frame is tested during fabrications to ensure wheels and brake fit