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Tony Pereira takes top prize at Oregon Manifest competition – UPDATED

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

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


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


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.