Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 24th, 2011 at 11:56 pm
the Tsunehiro/Silas Beebe entry (R)
roll on Skyline Blvd during the
50-mile Field Test. The bikes took 3rd and
2nd places respectively.
(Photos © J. Maus)
Tony Pereira of Portland-based Pereira Cycles took home top honors for the 2011 Oregon Manifest Constructor's Design Challenge. The event, which was a competition to design and build the "Ultimate modern utility bike," concluded today with a grueling "Field Test" competition.
Honorable Mention: John Cutter/Cutter Design (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Honorable Mention: Joshua Muir/Frances Cycles (Santa Cruz, CA)
Third Place: Cielo by Chris King (Portland, OR)
Second Place: Tsunehiro Cycles and Silas Beebe/ID + (Portland, OR)
Best in Show: Tony Pereira/Pereira Cycles (Portland, OR)
UPDATE: Here's what three of the four judges had to say about why Pereira's bike rose to the top:
Joe Breeze (one of the inventors of the mountain bike and founder of Breezer Bicycles):
"It was the black box on the front. Not just that it could do number 11 [I think this is a Spinal Tap reference to how loud and how good it sounded], but it could also hold quite a bit; it was lockable, it had USB connections; it could hold stuff not only in it but on it [funny he mentioned that because Pereira added a top rack to the box on Friday night!]."
Note: Breeze acknowledged to me that Pereira's bike wasn't his top choice (his favorite was the Cutter Design entry), but he said it was a "collective decision" of the entire four-person panel. "But I could be comfortable with this."
Bill Strickland (Editor in Chief, Bicycling Magazine):
"There were two main thing. One was that he was dealing with some sort of electric technology, which we [the panel] think is the way forward. And the lockable storage — he didn't execute it in maybe the most elegant way, but the idea of lockable storage is very good.
One of the first few sentences he said to us [during the three-minute presentation each entrant gave to the judging panel] was that this is a replacement for a car. So, it had the e-assist, which let him get up over the hills (ahead of Ira Ryan, who's very fit) and it has lockable storage which is like a trunk; so it just clicked in our minds that it really is like a car. And then, and it's kind of silly, but the other thing was he had the music...
A car has a radio and it has a trunk and it has some sort of drive system and we just thought he was really thinking forward. And he's a great craftsman."
Rob Forbes (founder of Design Within Reach and PUBLIC Bikes):
"It was a really tough decision. I think what attracted most of us was that it was both a replacement for a car and it's really the type of vehicle that makes a kind of glimpse into the future of what transportation utitlity can be.
We thought, let's pick something that is really a signal of how things are changing and what potential there is for the future. It ranked very high on the level of innovation — both in terms of the power-assist and also combining music, combining storage and making things both fun and accessible.
And out there on the road test today it wasn't a fluke that he was out in front. It wasn't a race, but just on that level of this stuff works and it's really fascinating and it's really enjoyable and it's kind of a magnet for bringing attention to some important issues."
It's also worth noting that before announcing the winners, each judge gave a shout out to a bike they really loved. The bikes that got a mention were:
Art & Industry
Some commentators and utility bike fans are disappointed with the judge's selections. Many feel that the Cielo and Pereira's bike aren't that huge of a departure from existing commuter bikes and that they don't go far enough in the utility factor to merit honors. I'll share more thoughts on that in a separate post.
What do you think? Did you favorites get recognized?
UPDATE, Monday 11:15 am: Read more from the judges in the official blog post just published by Oregon Manifest.