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Tony Pereira takes top prize at Oregon Manifest competition – UPDATED

Posted by on September 24th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Oregon Manifest Field Test-57

The Cielo by Chris King entry and
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.

I’ll share more thoughts and photos from the Field Test and the awards later (see my Field Test Photo Gallery). For now, here are the winners…

Student Design Competition: University of Oregon


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)

L to R: Rob Tsunehiro (builder), Paul Johnson (Blaq Designs, bag maker), Silas Beebe (bike designer)

The bike is painted with an awesome reflective paint.


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:

Quixote Cycles

Art & Industry

Donkelope

The dog is a 12-year-old border collie named Rastus.

Retrotec

True Fabrications

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.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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AGRIBOB
Guest
AGRIBOB

Hey Jonathon,

Your coverage and pictures were so good there was little reason to go up to Chris King this Sat. afternoon.

But we did go and had a good time. It was fun to see the later riders come in and see the judges checking out their bikes integrity and examine their baggage.
Saw a carton of eggs arrive on one bike, unbroken of course.

Bob

Ash L
Guest
Ash L

I find it surprising that most of the winners have very high top tubes. If your rear rack is heavily loaded it’s difficult to mount and dismount the bike. My idea of a well appointed utility bike features a step through or at least mixte frame design.
Obviously the cyclocross style field test eliminated any step through contenders. The test seems to belittle real world applications for cargo bikes. Most of us aren’t barreling down muddy inclines with out kids and backpacks on the rear.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Lots of great bikes to admire. Is there anywhere to see the full lineup with a photo for each? I thought some not profiled here were outstanding: Folk Engineered, Plywood Fiets (I don’t know the name), Donkelope, Fuse Project, and let’s not forget the (mostly local) great bikes out in the parking lot at Chris King last night.
My favorite of those was the tilting, pedal- *and* hand- powered front wheel drive cargo trike made in 1979. That’s a bike I’d like to see a feature story on!
here’s one photo I snapped of it:
http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll113/o9watts/?action=view&current=P9240008.jpg

gianni faresin
Guest
gianni faresin

Ash L: Have you ever raced cyclocross? A few sections of gravel road don’t equal a “cyclocross style field test.” Armchair critics will do their thing, but the test, while not perfect, is a good way to pack some challenge into a single day. And I’m not sure why you think step-through bikes were in any way eliminated as contenders by the nature of the challenge.

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

Congratulations to the winners and to all of the participants for a LOT of great ideas. Hopefully some of these will end up in the market.

A big black eye to the organizers. Much of the test ride had very little to do with how most of these bikes might be used in real life. Please try to do better designing the route next time!

And kudos to Jonathan for great coverage. Mrs Dibbly & I went to the Friday evening event, but I didn’t take any photos.

ryan downey
Guest

The reflective bike is coated in Halo Coatings, a patented retro-reflective powder coating.

robert
Guest
robert

I truly enjoyed all the bikes at the show this year, a way better mix of clever ideas than in the past due to the new standards that the bikes had to meet. It was great to see “real” family style cargo bikes and not just a bunch of rando’s with a few extra cargo options although those are beautiful for their own reasons. If I designed the field test criteria for the show based on the needs of my family then a bike would have to carry our every day needs which are:

1. 15 month old baby
2. 10 pound dog
3. 2 bags of groceries
4. Diaper bag
5. rain cover or rain clothes for rider/baby
6. tools, spares, pump
7. water, travel mug
8. lights, lock

Fortunately there were a few bikes there that met that test. As more of the Constructors find themselves parents I am sure that these capabilities will enter into their bike designs. It would be fun to see a year in which the bikes would have to carry all of the above. Obviously you would have to substitute weighted dummies for the baby/dog due to obvious reasons on the Saturday test day.

Kudos to all, it was the best Manifest to date and we had a lot of fun attending on both days.

robert

sabes
Guest
sabes

I’d be hesitant to put all my cargo weight up front with nothing in the back. Doesn’t that greatly affect the handling of the bike.

On another note, the winning bike is pretty ugly. And the paint color is horrendous.

Gabba-gabba
Guest
Gabba-gabba

Notice the pedal/shoe choices. A modern and versatile utility bike that replaces car trips IMHO doesn’t require specialty footwear. (See UO, True, Quixote, A&I)

dr2chase
Guest
dr2chase

My favorite 3 (from eyeballing all the pictures, and reading what I could) did get shout outs — Quixote/Clever, Retrotec, and Art and Industry. Of the bunch, I thought Quixote was the most practical (I ride a Big Dummy), and the other two looked practical enough, but also looked fantastic.

Didn’t think much of the sidecar designs. Cute, but in practice you care about width a whole lot, and they blow that metric.

I was also disappointed by the Frances Cycles entry, not because it was necessarily bad, but because the Frances Small Haul is such an awesome-looking cargo bike, and their entry was not its equal.

Lockable storage is nice, but that is a portable idea; any box that fits the front rack, with a sturdy bottom and interior-nutted u-bolt attachment will do. Littleford Cycles had that great little space in their rear rack; I’m trying to figure out how to retrofit that onto a long-tail snapdeck (not so much room with great fat tires).
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeportland/6175174015/in/set-72157627611351761)

I agree that the test route was not representative of anything that I understand to be utility cycling. The design-testing points on my usual rides include things like:
– short scramble up an unpaved slope
– sharing space with strollers and dog-walkers on a MUP
– “sharing” space with cars and trucks in tight traffic
– not sharing space with cars and trucks at a spot where the bike gutter shrinks to non-existence, and I still want to pass on the right, in a residential area where I am allowed to abscond to the hilariously bumpy sidewalk to get past
– a few curb hops
– a few small hills (optional huge hill that I usually avoid)

And usual load is just work pack, tools, and grocery bags, but sometimes the load is as high as 4 bags of groceries and a 100-lb kid. Sometimes the load is a towed bicycle, or a folding ladder, or a shrubbery.

The bike I look at most often nowadays and go hmmm at is the CETMALarge/Margo. I’d love to know how it scores on nimble (longtails are pretty good at that), because it sure looks like it has a handle on convenient and fun.

mmann
Guest

My personal favorite was the Strawberry – acknowledging that I’m drawn to classic designs that just get the job done. And while it wasn’t flashy, the execution in unpainted Reynolds 631 air-hardened steel, and the wishbone bi-plane seat stay were very nice touches that may have gotten lost among all the nifty goo-gaws and bright paint jobs on other bikes. I also really really liked Ira Ryan’s bike. You mentioned how Tony pulled away from Ira (though they crossed the line together 2nd/3rd overall) Afterward I checked out Ira’s bike. He had a fairly small range FOUR speed cluster on the rear and a single chainring up front, so I’d say he held his own just fine against an electric motorbike.

mmann
Guest

ps – the first bike across the line – with a good 15-20 minute lead on Tony and Ira – was a true cargo bike with belt drive and internal gearing. I think it was the entry from Vemana? If someone knows otherwise, please correct me.

Garlynn
Guest

I wish there was a bicycle shop somewhere where I (and anybody) could wander in and check out & test ride ALL of the entries in the Manifesto, and buy their favorite one! There is a HUGE gap between any of these entries, and what passes for a city/commuter/utility bike in your average American bike shop…

mmann
Guest

Garlynn,

I agree – generally. But I also think the bike entered by Chris King (Cielo) – which took 3rd place – has the most chance of everything I saw of actually being realized as a real production bike and appealing to a lot of people.

Drew
Guest

For me, the Francis was the shining star of an impressive lineup of bikes. Like a mini-bakfiets. I like the idea of dropping stuff into a huge open bag or box situated low and in front of me where I can see it as I ride. It is different from his smallhaul of course, but perhaps better suited to the utility bike theme the organizers were looking for.

ian
Guest
ian

I’m responsible for the Field Test course. I don’t speak for Oregon Manifest, but I’m happy to relay my personal thoughts about the course if anyone wants to hear them.

As for the tone of the criticism about particular bikes, I just don’t understand. Different people like/want/need different kinds of bikes to suit their particular needs or tastes. How someone can think any of these bikes are anything less than special is beyond me. I have my favorites just like anyone, but all the bikes and the people who created them are all swell in my book. I was blown away by each and every one and actually get choked up just thinking about all the awesome I saw over the last few days. Well done to all of you. Without Oregon Manifest we wouldn’t have the opportunity to compare different styles, nor see the results of all this great work in one place. I’m glad it happened.

– Ian Leitheiser
imleitheiser@gmail.com

nom de plume
Guest
nom de plume

All the bikes at the show are fantastic works or art. Really just amazing. I do wonder how much “utility” is involved in a side car or a 60lb bike. As much as I like the capacity of long-tails and full-on cycletrucks, a standard safety bike design like the Pereira and Cielo is much more useful IMHO. And as noted above, a step-through design is the most utilitarian there is!

The route of the course is a great recreational ride, but doesn’t seem designed to to shake-down a utility bike. And transporting the bikes to the start? Isn’t that sending completely the wrong message about how useful these bikes are?

BTW, why wasn’t Jan Heine invited to be a judge. Maybe he was but declined or couldn’t make it? Whether you agree with his insights or not, he seems to be the one person in the cycling word that consistently casts an objective eye on bikes. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t there!

lil'stink
Guest
lil'stink

Special props to the lady on the Quixote bike, who managed to haul her 100lb bike, with her daughter, on the course after having issues with her electric assist!

Alistair Williamson
Guest
Alistair Williamson

I really enjoyed the bikes (and following the design process in Core77 http://core77.com/oregonmanifest/). I also agree that the evolution from one person recreation bikes is slow.

So, I suggest that next time the Manifest Criteria is for a “family bike” rather than utility biker. It must carry adult and child. That would up the stakes a bit.

Now we need a sponsor who would care about that. Any ideas?

Al from PA
Guest
Al from PA

I was very surprised to see that an e-bike was allowed to compete with the other bikes, let alone that it “won.”

E-assist might be ok, but it would seem to warrant its own vehicular category.

If the future of cycling is e-assist, ok, but then that should be clearly stated up front and debated. E-assist means dependence, primarily, on the existing power grid and all the environmental compromises necessary to provide electricity. That too might be ok, but such dependence should be clearly stated as being acceptable on environmental and existential grounds. The larger carbon footprint of such a bike/vehicle would need to be clearly affirmed.

It also means a difference in overall speed, with obvious implications for rider behavior in bike lanes, etc. Thus the implications of e-assist for rider safety in the overall modal mix should be considered, and if necessary affirmed (with full awareness of negative consequences–eg the presence of motor scooters in bike lanes in Amsterdam, etc).

9watts
Guest
9watts

I thought the judges explanations of why Pereira’s bike won were very telling. Thanks for asking those questions, Jonathan.

Jolly Dodger
Guest

Multi category urban “utility” bike competetion? E.bike/all other HPV’s…long tails/slim jims…most importantly to the modern cargo cycle movement, commercial usage vs. “everyday use”. Worksman Cycles has had this stuff down for decades…clunky and heavy duty, workhorse bikes meant for industrial use…and more importantly to the current state of the economy…MADE IN THE USA.

Mac
Guest
Mac

Other criteria that are important to many people include the ability to bring the bike on a MAX train or easily get it up over a curb, or into an elevator or up stairs into an apartment. Everyone has different needs, and the value of this “competition” and of the course isn’t really to determine a winner but to show the variety of solutions out there and the pros and cons of each. That helps every rider find the best fit for their needs. It helps the stores know what ranges of bikes/racks/bags/trailers to stock. It helps the custom builders use each others ideas to help their customers. The variety of bikes shown was the result of a well-designed event.

Jeff A
Guest
Jeff A

Even though I don’t agree with the final judging, I am glad this Constructor’s Design Challenge exists and hope it continues. To me, it has room for improvement. I agree that the test course does not reinforce the goal of the “ultimate modern utility bike”. To me, being able to carry a child should be mandatory. Being compatible with MAX or TriMet should be given consideration, but not mandatory.

Dan Kaufman
Guest

Below is a quick video I threw together Friday if you are interested in a closer look and commentary from Tony on his bicycle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUsOats7D7k

The type of course, it’s challenges, and the criteria was not a surprise to the builders.

METROFIETS
Guest

We wanted to win (of course) but we built a bike that we are super proud of and has a ton of features we wanted to test; features you will see in future Metrofiets starting in 2012.

Highlights for us – we made new friends, had a great time, saw some RAD bikes and went on a great ride. Oh, and we sold the 2011 Manifest bike for more than it coast us to build it! How sweet is that?

Zoomzit
Guest
Zoomzit

By everyone’s comments, I think it’s fairly obvious that everyone has different needs in a cargo bike. Some love e-assist, some hate it. Some need to haul kids and lots of stuff, some just a little. Some like to go fast, some like upright. Some require the ability to connect with Public transport, others don’t care.

Oregon Manifest tends to show the variety of utility bikes and that’s a very good thing. As one who owns a daily commuter with a small rear rack and a CETMA, I can see that different bikes meet different needs. I think the problem is that too many people are caught up in the competition aspect of this event and are missing the overwhelming creativity that is displayed by almost all entrant. This is a phenomenal event that I wish took place every year. I also wish they wouldn’t hand out a “Best in show,” but rather comment on specific innovations that spoke to the judges.

Alex Reed
Guest
Alex Reed

Re: the route – It seems like a fine route to me, GIVEN the assumption that the “route” has to be a race from A to B with no stops. I would like to see the organizers think outside of the A to B box next competition and have a “route” of errands ending up with the competitors carrying more stuff than they did this time.

That said, the lockable box and integrated music did make the Pereira bike stand out – these are creature comforts that the bike industry has really not addressed at all. Even Clever Cycles only has a few lockable boxes, and if I’m not mistaken, you have to special order them!

David Feldman
Guest
David Feldman

Sheesh, what a lot of whining! If any of you can conceive, design, and build a better versatile bike than Tony Pereira you are welcome to try. I look at this from the perspective of a long-time bike industry worker and hobbyist frame builder–big companies trying to be all things to all riders fuck up more often than not, and the bigger the company generally the worse the botch. For many amateurs or small builders, just getting a basic, functional bike on the road is a big job. Most of the Manifest contestants are small manufacturers with limited resources although great visions and skills. The bikes show some pretty big improvements on what the mainstream of the bike industry is selling at present.
Encourage these builders–buy your bikes from them if you can either afford it and make the mental leap from the usual American perspective of being spoiled by the prices set by mass-produced imports. Just naming a bike the “Portland” doesn’t a practical, all-conditions bike make!

Jim Jakob
Guest
Jim Jakob

I was at the Manifest on Saturday and was wondering about the rider who rolled across the finish line first, number 27. The officials put the bike and rider off to the side and not a word was said about them. It was a very interesting looking cargo bike and I heard several people in the crowd asking what was going on. I heard someone say they had been disqualified from the competition because the builder had not been finished it in time. It just seemed kind of odd like the officials didn’t know what to do with a bike and rider that had clearly made the 50 mile test and rolled in far ahead of the rest of the field. The bike was obviously a well built and capable cargo hauler. And apparently fast. The crowd seemed surprised that a cargo bike finished first. Any one have a clue what that was about?

Ryno Dan
Guest
Ryno Dan

I thought it was a nuculer microwave.

Chris Enos - Vimana Cycle
Guest
Chris Enos - Vimana Cycle

Yes, that is correct. That was my rider, and the bike wasn’t finished in time to be a part of the official competition. It was very considerate of the OM to allow our entry to ride regardless of eligibility. They did not have to let us ride, but they knew how very important it was for us to see if our build would hold up to the rigors of their test. I can not begin to say enough regarding the integrity displayed by the OM organizers. I believe this competition has considerable merit in the cycling world, and I for one am very appreciative for all their efforts. They have a very tough job.

I was very aware our bike was “not” to be field test evaluated, and understandably so. My rider made the call to not return to the check point as it didn’t make since for him to waste the judges time. I think he didn’t realize it was also his lunch stop, and I am just sorry our rider had to huff it in on an empty stomach. We were simply thankful for the opportunity to see how the bike would hold up on the course and happy to do our own evaluating.

I wish to extend my apologies to all for having missing that deadline, but I had the choice to hack the bike and take it to the presentation or to finish the frame correctly. I chose to finish the frame, and as embarrassing as it was to show up with no paint, I wasn’t about stop trying. I don’t give up.

The bike was built specifically to the specifications of our rider. He will get the bike once his dazzling green paint is applied to the frame. The bike will go to Eugene and spend its life as a part of the Green Cycle Service work fleet.

Thanks to the OM for all their consideration.

Nola Wilken
Guest
Nola Wilken

Congratulations to Tony!!! I don’t think this event is meant to create bikes that you and I would slap down money for, but to push the whole industry into new directions – specifically the direction of bikes as transportation. We can all use them in different ways and need different models to accomplish this. Some families need a station wagon and some need a sports car. As to buying a functioning bike on CL for $50 – that is complete B.S. Just putting tires, tubes and brake pads on will cost over $100. The weird bent to paying nothing for your ride comes to you direct from China: your expectations of cost have been unnaturally lowered by low end throwaway bikes built by teenagers in unregulated factories spewing out carbon. If that’s green then you are an idiot.

paul
Guest

Man, lots of people missing the point here but that’s to be expected. We’re honored to have contributed to the first and second place bikes regardless. Manifest pushed everyone to make things they’ve never made before, some things that haven’t been made before. I don’t necessarily agree with the judges either, but the bottom line is more than 30 teams brought their best and I’m still floored. Again, overwhelmed to have even been asked to participate.

All you haters hating, here’s some required reading to soothe your overly opinionated souls:
http://surlybikes.com/blog/post/some_answers_to_just_about_any_bike_forum_post_ive_ever_read

Zoomzit
Guest
Zoomzit

Jim, I have two counterpoints to your assertion that OM (to paraphrase) just a bunch of naval gazing and creates objects that only the rich can afford and isn’t useful to the masses.

1. This is how most any industry works. Unique and useful innovation is introduced at the high end, mass manufactured and then made available for most all users. Disc brakes and suspension are prime examples of this in the bicycling world.

2, Company’s like Paul’s can use Oregon Manifest to get a little publicity, so that they can keep doing things that help all cyclists. In this instance, I *think* I am using Paul’s company to design a rain canopy for my cargo bike to haul my kids around. Paul’s company is better off because there is Oregon Manifest, and because Paul’s company is better off, he can make stuff that allows me to ride my kids on my bike through the Portland rain.

I didn’t really like the winning design. When I think of “utility,” I have a different idea in my mind of what that should be. That being said, we, as bicyclists, as a city of bike builders and a community of bike enthusiasts are way better off because Oregon Manifest exists. You can disagree with the final decision, but don’t lose sight of what a wonderful event this is for all involved.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Those are some pretty darn sweet bikes. But, like a few others have noted, I think there is room for some constructive criticism.
1) A utility bike must be useful for a wide range of people. Some of those bikes have some pretty major standover issues, which would be a big concern for me.
2) While some of the designs for these bikes are waaay outside the box (and that’s good!), if the goal here is to convince someone that a bike can be a substitute for a car, the bikes should not be so complicated that the target market will feel intimidated.
3) Don’t build lights into a bike. Yeah, they’re cool, but the way lighting technology is progressing better to to let people upgrade as better lights become available.
4) KEEP IT SIMPLE. Some of the bikes here (while gorgeous) are anything but simple.
5) I like cool bikes as much as the next guy, but I can’t see myself shelling out $3K-plus for a bike to ride around town unless I have guaranteed indoor parking wherever I go. Not likely.
If I had the budget, I would like to see what I could have done with an off-the-shelf Salsa Fargo converted for use with a belt drive. Alfine hubs (generator front), disc brakes of course, front and rear racks, Planet Bike fenders (cheap to replace!), Velocity/Halo reflective rims (maybe Halo painted too), and some nice rechargeable lights to complement the generator lights, and I’d be good to go. Heck, I bet that Salsa could get such a thing (sans lights) ready for market in a few months. Probably for under $2K. But that’s just me.

Paul S
Guest
Paul S

I think OM is a great idea and I hope it keeps growing. Much credit goes to all who participated in this worthy contest.

A few random thoughts:

Battery-powered bikes use a highly toxic technology, so there is an environmental compromise with each one compared to non-battery bikes. If a battery bike is used as an alternative to a car, environmental impact is reduced. But if used as an alternative to a fully-human powered bicycle, there is a greater environmental impact.

Ash L. makes a sound point about step-throughs and a large load positioned behind the saddle. I recall this from my cycle touring days. Step-through/mixte would seem a fundamental feature in a cargo design.

I am not in favor of music on bikes. Cycling in the city can be hazardous, and although very, music can be a dangerous distraction – and you never know when it’s going to get dangerous on a bicycle.

All the winners are Portland-based. This is a potential PR issue for the OM, whether or not it is a real issue. Given the intense concentration on urban cycling in Portland, it is just possible that the most intelligent design is coming from there. But I doubt it.

Jim
Guest
Jim
Dan Kaufman
Guest

Here is a video I put together from the Design Challenge field test. I had a lot of fun rolling along with riders. http://www.crankmychain.com/ride-along-oregon-manifest/ride-along-the-oregon-manifest-design-challenge-video_8ccf07bea.html
I was able to get some more shots of the winning bike which might be relevant here.

Rol
Guest

I thought, as soon as I heard about it months ago, that the “utility” theme was a bit boring and maybe even unbefitting a custom builder’s talents. Guess ya can’t please everyone, eh Manifest committee? Still, here’s hoping the criteria for the next Manifest are more toward the truly outlandish, interesting and artistic.

“Utility” is a term used in economics too, meaning the degree to which a buyer’s needs/wants are satisfied by a given good or service. So in that light, here are some things that are true of a bicycle in my opinion: A high purchase price decreases net utility. Lifelong worry about the bike’s imminent theft (or its paint job) decreases utility. Custom, hard-to-replace parts decrease utility. And of course waiting months or years for a bike from one of the top echelon of “rock-star” builders, also decreases utility. No offense to their excellent work. In fact that might be my whole point: a custom bike has very little to do with utility in any of these stodgy conventional senses of the word. Custom bikes by their very nature defy these particular criteria, and assign higher values to things like aesthetics, fit, customization, craftsmanship, etc. That’s why I’d like to see a purely aesthetic Manifest one of these days, for example. Meanwhile the ultimate utility bike to me is a yard-sale mass-produced low-end mountain bike from the 90s, with fenders/lights/rack/panniers thrown on. That’s what I ride for daily errands, and I’m a framebuilder for chrissakes.

Jim
Guest
Jim
Paul S
Guest
Paul S

dr2chase
That includes pointing out that cyclists and pedestrians wearing headphones are not the irresponsible parties (the careless drivers are),

It is patently ridiculous to suggest that cyclists and pedestrians wearing headphones are not irresponsible. Any road user engaging in activities that reduce sensory awareness of their immediate environment is contributing to the likelihood of a collision.
Cyclists and pedestrians aren’t so special, and those that believe they are all that have lost the plot.
As for what satisfies me, you’re not even close. Would I like a better world? Yes, but we aren’t there yet, and behaving as if we are there is a grave tactical mistake that in this case could result in the loss of life. You Americans! It’s time to get over this instant gratification thing!