frii plastic bike

Plastic bike concept. you can read all about it on Designboom

Something about this really intrigues me. I don’t think I’d call it beautiful, but there’s something alluring about its oddness. Definitely very 80’s, and the colorways emphasize that even more. There’s a hint of adjustability in the way the saddle part attaches, but I don’t think it is.

I read this article and was underwhelmed. The problem is the concept for this bike be something that is very accessible. But the design does not echo this thought. The cost for a huge injection mold like that is hardly accessible. There is almost no other transportation device that already is as accessible as a bicycle. The designer notes that injection molding is more accessible then a welding touch. I would bet a lot of money that wielding torches and steel pipe are easier to come by then a huge injection molding machine and raw plastic.

File this under horrible design, interesting to look at and not think too hard about.

almost looks like a found object art assemblage piece.

Intriguing but very retro 80’s looking. New wave and Devo and pre Numerical Control machining of molds. When straight lines and modularity signified the cool future. Like kitbashed spaceships of the movies at the time.

Took a look at the designboom page, nicer renders. Realized that it is echoes the 80’s in its lack of use of sophisticated material tricks such as gas or water injection to get strong hollow plastic sections.

It’s something alright, I really don’t know what exactly. As function goes, I bet it catches a cross wind almost as good as a carbon disc wheel. And the rear wheel in the photo appears to not move backwards at all, so you wouldn’t be able to adjust the chain tension, but it may use a tensioner somewhere in there.

I could be wrong, but I could swear Frog did something just like this in the 80s, and it looked pretty similar too. I may be just imagining it based on the aesthetics, but will have to comb my old ID books…

Front wheel needs to be purple a la SGi machines to really complete the look.

I actually kind of dig it. at least it has hubs!


Frog 750, Yamaha 1985, would make for a good “compare and contrast” essay. I like especially the common orange in the front wheel.

It was such an element in the 80’s that they were sometimes called affectionately “frog scars”… sometimes they were all over the design, sometimes just a detail like on the Mac SE below.

A few from the archive (obviously, those B&W images above are also from the frog archive)… good times! :wink:

but I digress :wink:

I love that aesthetic. Probably more than anything current.

It is so bold and unique, and while minimal and Bauhaus/Rams inspired it has interest and detail in all levels and remains cohesive yet interesting. It is so unlike much of today’s design that is randomly swooped, has all kinds of crazy crowned and surfaced elements just because it can, and is overly aggressive. This is neither masculine nor feminine, yet reads as strong yet approachable.

Love it! Am inspired all over again. Will have to dig out some of those old ID books from back in the day.


bare foot, with no pedals?

design cues. … . ?

I knew there was something familiar about the crank… .

And, it’s polychromatic too…

and they found the pedals!

a little background…
Mystery Ship ; Craig Vetter, Vetter Design Works, 1980

Silent Running 1972, After seeing this years later, all of my designs had inclusions of this corrugated surface. I assumed that the frogscars were extensions of the space futuro aesthetic. This movie design was my exposure to that form.

“Frog Scars”- I’ll remember that one.

I like the idea behind it- injection moulded plastics to make very cheap bicycles by volume. The designer is from Jerusalem and Israel has a huge plastics industry.

I don’t think this design is it, it’s close though. The seat adjustment doesn’t look as it offers much adjustment, and is asking for fatigue. The Itera plastic bike suffered from breakages that couldn’t be fixed, only replaced.

If it is successful, do we want broken cheap (couple of dollar) bikes littering the countryside, because it would be so easy to buy a new one rather than fix a difficult-to-fix-part? I mean, how many BMX tuffs ever got fixed?

Look at this ripper:

Oooh yeah… that’s so hot right now sarcastic… hmmm…
louver glasse.jpg

that thing has no redeeming design value whatsoever. However, it looks like it would make a very functional dishrack/potato peeler

Is that really something we need? You can buy a brand new, Chinese-made metal bike for under $100. Granted it will be a poorly made POS produced by (presumably) poorly paid workers in appalling conditions, but at least you can fix it, replace components, melt it down for scrap, whatever. Constant UV exposure will give this lump of plastic a lifespan of about 6 months at best, and it wouldn’t be any cheaper since they would have to amortize that fantastically expensive tooling cost. Eventually its broken bits will end up buried in a field or floating around in the Pacific for the next few millennia.

Our unhealthy addiction to labor-intensive junk made in low-wage countries is not solved by making a different kind of junk.

Not to mention, from an engineering point of view, this is a truly awful design. The designer has given zero consideration to how stress will flow through the components, how to efficiently use material, how injection molding actually works, or basic ergonomics.

yeah Scott… but other than that… . .

I agree, but I was looking at the cost of a few dollars, not $100. This thing could be like a bic pen or a plastic clothes peg or a plastic shopping trolley- ride until it breaks then toss it away, so road verges and creeks and quarries are filled with them.

If it was a plastic that could compost away, then I think the concept (rather than design) would be good.

Or if there was some sort of nano-robot or bio-germ-soup that could convert broken old plastic into virgin plastic or soil, then I could finally get that hubless wheel concept I’ve been working on up and running … and mutter mutter… illuminati unabomber…they’re all against me… mutter …rupert murdoch freemasons mutter mutter…