Designing the Dream Bikes of the Future
What’s the next giant leap forward in bike design and technology? The engineers at Cycling Sports Group, which encompasses Cannondale, GT, and Schwinn, have been tinkering with that very question. At this year’s Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, Germany, they unveiled three radically Jetsonian concept bikes that took “a complete 180-degree turn from typical product design,” according to Scott Rice, director of Advanced Products. The designers brainstormed about future landscapes, environment, culture, social and political landscapes, economic factors, markets and economies, and transportation infrastructure in order to build the following three dream rides of the future.
Photo: Cycling Sports Group
This Continuously Ergonomic Race Vehicle is for riders who want to go fast and hard over varying conditions. Cannondale designed the CERV to be tuned on the fly to accommodate varying riding conditions. To ensure stability and safety, the chassis doesn’t change, but the cockpit can adjust for a lower center of gravity and the top tube length can increase and decrease to maximize performance on climbing, descents, and tight cornering. Other highlights: A front wheel that leans into turns, which aids in taking tight corners fast; rim-mounted disc brake rotors to control speed and provide stopping power in all conditions; full-frame suspension; and a virtually maintenance-free enclosed chassis and drivetrain with push-button shifting.
GT Melenio QR
Photo: Cycling Sports Group
GT’s Melenio QR is an urban-assault cycle designed for navigating crowded city streets and suburban trails. The futuristic fun of this bike is that, with its quick-release front-end design and an E-Dock Mounting Pocket at the head tube, it transforms from a human-powered commuter bike into a fully electric cargo-loading, grocery shopping power machine in minutes. Almost instantaneously the electronic gear shifter becomes an electronic throttle and the left brake lever goes from disc to front and rear internal hub drum brakes. Other innovative design elements include front fork and wheel storage under the cargo cart, independently turning front wheels for maximum maneuverability and safety at high speeds, and an electronic touch-control dashboard that toggles through information like navigation and battery level. The motorcycle styling and waterproof under-seat storage big enough for more than just a maximum-security chain lock, makes this bike the ideal commuter of the future.
Schwinn Portable Urban Velo
Photo: Cycle Sports Group
The ultimate ride for subway riders or frequent air travelers, Schwinn’s Urban Velo starts out full-size, but folds into a compact carry-on within seconds. And unlike its foldable counterparts of the present, it looks elegant in either iteration. Designed with modular systems that have quick attachments for varying needs, the bike also has variable front and rear wheel sizes (20” and 26”) and oversize handlebars that allow for maximum visibility and versatility. The relaxed riding position with a 90-degree back angle, grocery basket, sleek built-in lock, and two-speed rear hub and two-speed crank set make it fun to take this out and tool around any neighborhood.