Manufacturing commitment raises stakes for 2014 ‘Oregon Manifest’ competition

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2014 Oregon Manifest Launch-2

Launch party was at Ace Hotel Cleaners last night.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The details of the 2014 Oregon Manifest Bike Design Project were announced in downtown Portland last night. Among a crowd of professional product designers, bicycle builders and bike industry tastemakers, event director Shannon Holt introduced five teams that will compete to create the “ultimate urban utility bike.”

And this year, the stakes are higher than ever. As announced by Holt last night, the winner of the Bike Design Project will see their creation turned into a full-fledged production model manufactured by Fuji Bikes. The company has committed to make 100 bikes and the winning model (after it’s been value-engineered to a lower price-point than a one-off, custom bike) will be available in select bike shops in 2015.

“It’s important to go from ideation to production,” Holt told me last night. “Our role is to be an outside catalyst for the industry and to fulfill that we had to have manufacturing.”

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First look: New book chronicles Oregon Manifest competition

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New Oregon Manifest book-1

(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Organizers of the Oregon Manifest event are set to release a new book tomorrow. The book, BIKE CRAFT, DESIGN, INNOVATION, is a coffee table quality, 228-page publication that provides an in-depth look into the bikes and the builders of the 2011 competition as well as a recap of the inaugural 2009 edition of the event.

Here’s the official blurb:

This image-rich document of the competition features design details of each entry bike, the three designer/craftsmen Creative Collaboration bikes, on-the-scene shots from the Field Test and judging, and interviews with the winners, judges and the Creative Collaborators. Also included are portraits of the 2009 competitors.

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The ‘best e-bike ever’ soon available to the masses

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The Faraday, shown here at the Oregon Manifest
field test in Portland last September,
will soon be available as a production bike.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Back in September, when the entries in the 2011 Oregon Manifest Design Challenge competition were revealed, one bike in particular caught my eye. It was the “Faraday” electric-assist bike built by a California-based team made up of design firm IDEO and bike company Rock Lobster.

With its drop-dead good looks (inspired by French porteur bikes from the 1940s and ’50s), functional utility features, and super e-tech wizardry, I went out on a limb and dubbed it the “best e-bike ever”. Today I learned that the bike has become the first ever Oregon Manifest entry to go become a full-fledged brand and go into production.

According to the Faraday Bikes website, the bike will be available for purchase on July 18th. I haven’t heard what the retail price will be, nor do I know who’s behind the brand; but to me, the larger significance is that this bike could catapult e-assist into the mainstream, and it was born at the Oregon Manifest.

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Tony Pereira takes top prize at Oregon Manifest competition – UPDATED

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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…

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Oregon Manifest entries revealed: Wow

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Bike builders and design pros
from around the country
unveiled their entries for
the Oregon Manifest
Constructor’s Design Challenge
this morning in Northwest
Photo Gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)

The entries into the 2011 Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Design Challenge have been revealed and urban utility bike design will never be the same.

Right now at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Northwest Portland, some 40 entrants from all over the country are displaying their bikes for the first time. The mission was to build the “Ultimate modern utility bike” and these competitors have definitely answered the call.

Back when this contest was first held in 2009, most of the bikes were randonneur-style road bikes. The majority of competitors didn’t break new ground. This time it’s totally different.

The competitors have risen to meet the challenge.

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Oregon Manifest: Insights and teasers from local constructors

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Jonathan Reed of Quixote Cycles
is confident in his entry and
can’t wait to see what others
have created.
(Photo © J. Maus)

If you’re not excited about the Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Design Challenge yet, I have no other choice than to seriously question your love of bicycles.

Some of the most accomplished bicycle minds in the country have been working for months under shrouds of secrecy in their underground lairs to design and create the “Ultimate utility bike.” What exactly does that mean? That’s the fun part — How each individual builder and team defines that term will be one of the most fascinating things to watch for when the bikes are revealed Friday.

Will the entries include cargo bikes? Will anyone bring a folding bike? Will e-assist make an appearance? How will classic porteur-style bikes hold up against more innovative entries? Will one form of utility bike steal the show?

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