Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 23rd, 2011 at 1:20 pm
What happens when you combine one of the most esteemed product design and "innovation consultant" firms in the world, a highly respected custom bike builder, and the latest battery technology and then tell them to build the ultimate utility bike?
According to team member Adam Reineck (from IDEO) the idea behind the Faraday was to create an e-bike with as much integration of batteries as possible. They also wanted to make it powerful enough to not only give an extra boost, but to do so with a significant load as well.
"It feels like you've always got a tailwind," remarked Reinick. An e-powered tailwind would sure come in handy in hilly San Francisco where this team is based.
Electric motors power both the bike (via a front hub motor with internal routing of all cables of course) and some seriously bright lights (see below). The lithium-ion batteries are the same ones used in the brand new Chevy Volt and they're only about 2 inches in diameter — which makes them fit perfectly into the Faraday's twin top tubes.
At the rear of the battery-concealing tubes is a service access bay with a custom electrical board made by the IDEO team.
Another very impressive feature of this bike is the front rack. It can be removed and put on in just a few seconds thanks to a very clean and strong trigger bolt (for lack of a better word) system. Once the rack is off, the twin front lights are revealed.
Just pop the bolts...
And off it comes...
The throttle to power the bike was custom fabricated and the color ties in to the Faraday's color scheme...
The execution and finish on this bike is just stunning. Check out the detail in this custom CNC'd chainguard...
Reinick says they red accents on the bike are the same color as the Golden Gate Bridge. "We had to bring some San Francisco flavor with us."
This bike, along with all the entries will be on display to the public tonight at Pacific Northwest College of Art (1241 NW Johnson) starting at 7:00 pm.