Seoul Cycle Design Competition

I am so disapointed.

The competition brief stated:

there should be an emphasis on practical designs that can be commercialized within five years.

The winner:

Nice form and render, but "All electric transmission from generator (in crank) to motor" ?!?! How?! where?!?!, and “500 watt brushless motor will charge battery while braking” ?!?! what battery?!?! what brakes?!?! 500 watts?!?!

On what planet will this work? with what future technology? who is putting up the money to commercialise this crap?
The majority of the other finalists are just as rubbish- designers who have never ridden a bike, ignorance of even the most basic cycling physics, bullshit made up stuff or ripoffs of existing products:

How do you pedal this bollocks while you steer? don’t you like your feet?- and direct steering straight down?

Visibility and ‘filters to clean the air’. Are you trying to get them airborne? Why should a cyclist clean the air?- they’re not polluting it.

and for the hubless aficionados:

(fair play to him that he has built a working prototype, and it has a powertrain and brakes)

There is lots of good stuff here (the accessories winner is good and I particulary like the ‘horsey’) but most of it is nonsense- poorly thought out impractical make-believe-land shite. Why don’t they build a model first, then most of this stuff would get refined and the crap would be discarded. What is it about bicycle concepts that produces such wank?

Ugh. Where to begin? As much as I despise the hubless wheel concept, I will cut some slack because it actually is a working prototype (regardless of how well it works…)

But what happened to the brief? The judges must have thrown everything out when no one followed the directions and were left with these ridiculous concepts. It’s probably a safe assumption that in 10 years batteries will be small enough to pull off that winning concept, but that doesn’t make it right.

I usually try not to rip on other people’s work too harshly, especially online where it can get personal, but holy damn, that winning entry is pathetic and insulting to the field of design.

How in the hell would you be able to generate 500W of power through regenerative breaking when the average human can probably only put out between 150-300W of power through continual pedal power? Even assuming that efficiencies in generators continue to climb you would need over 100% efficiency to make something like this even close to feasible, or do all your riding downhill.

Beyond that there’s no way in hell this generator battery combo would ever get close to the efficiency of a plain old chain or belt drive. Good job, you have a chainless bike, congratulations you are now wholly dependent on electronics to get you home, and your carbon footprint of manufacture and product afterlife has just sky rocketed. But it’s ok, you still have a cool chainless bike.

This is just bad and I feel embarrassed that such a fundamentally stupid concept is being held up on a pedestal and celebrated.

On a side note there were two bikes that I enjoyed, of course they ended up in the last category: “Complimentary Prize”

Urban CC* Cross City
Franz DINIUS, Germany

Props for actually building the thing, and it has some really nice surfacing and detailing, not the most futuristic thing I’ve seen but definitely forward thinking and realistic to be manufactured in 5 years.

Granted it looks like Franz opted to spend his time actually building a working prototype and grounding himself in some reality rather than pumping out some hollow CAD over a weekend and rendering them in stock Keyshot scenes, so I understand why he ended up in the “thanks for playing” category.

I was also intrigued by this entry, while it’s still a stretch at least it was something fresh, with an interesting take on the manufacturing process (whole frame is one injection molded plastic piece), and a cool, albeit maybe overly optimistic, use of the living hinge mechanisms possible with plastics.

Miguel Angel IRANZO SANCHEZ, Spain

I want to see a comp. that is judged by the Core board trans. regulars. I completely agree with Choto about his favs. They are much more interesting that the boring overly styled concepts that won. For me, the most interesting design is in the details.

Oh god, the Cycle Fashion and Accessories Category is even more painful

This is the winning entry? A stupid over designed 3 prong wall mounted hook?

Home Depot, 3 Bucks, looks better in my opinion and would probably cost 10 times less

Nice. And it will fit 10% of bikes on the market.

Wow. I don’t know if I can even look at the official competition website, based on the winning entries here. Some friends and I had a great idea for the comp, that would have attacked by PETA, but we probably wouldn’t have won anyway.

The injection molded thing is cool. Why not, right?

The winners are truly embarrassing. Somehow people think that you can get something for nothing i.e. pedal for regenerative watts. I work in commercial fitness equipment. Think gym-fulls of people, with heavy duty machines in use 12-16 hours a day. We have not yet found ONE practical solution for providing power “back to the grid” that is efficient, safe, cost-effective, or produces meaningful amounts of energy. Then some batsh*t designer says you can do it right there within the bicycle. Why not make the thing go 200mph and emit light trails from the rear wheel like a Tron light cycle, while you’re at it?

Props to the guy who build the hub-less wheel. Though, he did take up about 1/3 the space of the hubless part with those pesky gears and belts and chains and whatnot that leave grease stains on your pants. :unamused:

Well as long as we are piling on, the infrastucture section is pretty much a joke too.

How come none of the “winners” realize the most efficient way to rack bicycles is to have them alternate front to back? Putting bikes bars to bars is a huge waste of space.

Looks to be Gates Carbon Belt drive. No maintenance! Silent! Genius!

Also, it appears one of the above concepts has already been lampooned by Bike Snob NYC today.

Here’s the winning blend for a bike design competition. I’m ‘dropping this’ like freeware, just collabo with your own colorway and win the next big international prize.

  1. crabon fibre or bamboo carbon fiber
  2. at least one hubless wheel
  3. regenerative braking and pedaling which stores watts, powers your GPS and turn signals
  4. carries your tablet pad phone screen in front of you
  5. show a breezy hipster chick with tights and a hoodie standing next to it
  6. flip flop Gates belt drive/freehub/regenerative ball bearings etc
  7. splash of neon paint someplace random but purposeful
  8. folds up to at least 1/2 its size and weighs under 12 pounds so you can hang it on its own custom wall hanger
  9. customizable
  10. costs only about $90 USD so that everyone in Mozambique can ride one 10 miles to the well and can carry water home.
  1. Must use the color white everywhere.

after reading Donald Norman’s article on why design competitions aren’t good:

I had high hopes for this contest because of the emphasis on commercialisation. I took that to mean someone with cash would be judging because they wanted to manufacture it, so most of the unreal-concept/ pretty-rendering stuff would be out the window. Evaluations would be made with some basis in reality rather than magic-regenerative braking-beans or stuff that is already in the market (with the winners I can see lawyers for Strida, Knog lights and Respro smiling to themselves).

I apologise to any entrants who I’ve ripped into, especially if they read these discussions. Good on you for having a go and congratulations for winning. I would encourage you to attempt a prototype of your design.

Entries were judged based on how many laws of physics they proported to break?
they all look like student entries so i wont be too critical of the entries themselves, but you have to question what the judges were thinking.

It seems none of the judges have any direct experience in designing and detailing bikes for production. Read through the list… editor, architect, lecturer, professor…

I have come across so many competitions like this. They specifically request designs that are “commercialized” or “finished products ready for the shelves” yet they never appoint a jury of people who can actually judge the validity of the entries.

So the golden rule is make the image pretty so that it looks good in the media release of the winning entries.

“It seems none of the judges have any direct experience in designing and detailing bikes for production. Read through the list… editor, architect, lecturer, professor…”

:astonished: so Biomega does not count as an experience ?
I see possibilities in these designs, and given they should be feasable in a 2-3 year timeframe, I think they got the time to sort out the details and eventually lead to great bikes.

But if you rather have a angry mud throwing discussion… :blush:

What? How in 2-3 years is that winning design going to be feasible? More like 8-12 years. The advances necessary in brushless motors and lithium ion batteries alone are going to take many years, and won’t trickle down to bikes for some time after that.

Additionally, Seoul International Cycle Design Competition is planning a scheme to connect designers and the industry.

I would love to see what comes of this aspect of the competition if it ever happens. But if I had to put any money on it, I would guess that 90% of these entries would be immediately torn to shreds by anyone serious about plunking down the money necessary to bring these to production.

There should be an emphasis on practical designs that can be commercialized within five years.

Had they not included this at the bottom of their brief in orange font so as to emphasize it, I would be fine with the results. How can a concept that relies on a generator, a battery system, and a motor be any more efficient than a belt or chain drive in the next 5 years? Could someone more skilled in engineering school me on this one, because it just is not computing for me.

I think a lot of the concepts are genuinely cool and engaging in a far-out, that probably could never be made, looks like something from Yanko kind of way. We need stuff that’s a little crazy and out there to keep pushing the limits. But to call such visions practical and implementable in 5 years, I don’t buy it.

Not my field, but Wikipedia say motors are allready at 97% efficiency (3% loss). Dont know how to measure my citybike, but guess it is at 80% (20% loss). And they still got 5 years, I’ll by it (without the battery). :smiley:
If they can not It is still a great idea, just a little less effective. :bulb:
ps. I know you proberly are gonna kick my for my calculations, but if you are an engineer please take them as app. as i said, not my field.

My view is that the ‘novelty’ stuff (cute things like the ivy covered cable lock) will be made, but nothing like any of the bikes themselves- maybe some of the folding bikes but they will have stock parts rather than hubless rims etc.

The website of the winners has a nice piece on the development of their entry:

but even they state:

…of course you would have to be Cancellara to create 500 Watt…

so a bit of a cop out.

They link to a ‘supercapacitor’ that is available now:

but even with my primary school understanding of electronics, a 35gram capacitor that pumps out 150 mWh won’t power their concept as advertised.

This is what is available now:

200 watts for 45 minutes, and interestingly has a Cancellara link:

Bah. Even Gruberassist couldn’t catch Cavendish.