Create bikes for non-cyclists, argues Design Week

The influential design periodical has a cover story and other features devoted to non-sporty bicycles.
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According to Time Out's Anna Norman, writing in Design Week, the bicycle industry "needs to move away from unsuitable sporty racing bikes and focus on the needs of non-enthusiasts if cycling is to become a mode of transport used by the majority."

This week's Design Week also features Strida designer Mark Sanders, picturing his latest iF folding bike on the front cover.

"Last month's inaugural London Bike Show was hailed as an industry showcase for new models, yet the fact that about 80 per cent of the bikes on show were track, mountain or touring bikes aimed at enthusiasts is an indication of how narrow the mainstream bicycle industry has become," argues Anna Norman.

She says the public has a "thirst for simple, romantic, steel-framed models" harking back to the 1960s and 1970s.

"The urban obsession with fixed-gear bikes in particular can be seen as a reaction to the multi-speed, sport-centric bikes that have dominated the market for 20 years. Independents like Bristol's Feather Cycles and east London's Brother Cycles and Racer Rosa are among a multitude of new, small frame-builders producing beautiful bikes that pay homage to the glory days of British and Italian track-racing with their stripped-back aesthetics and functionality. But does this vintage racing bike revival leave much room for innovation in the field of urban transportation?"

Industrial designer Mark Sanders believes that innovation is desired. He told Design Week:

"Design and innovation are vital to change the usefulness and image of the bicycle. The bicycle industry still continues to fuel trends towards using unsuitable sporty and racing bicycles around town."

Norman: "Upright frames are still in the minority among bike styles in the UK, and are mainly targeted at women. Yet in cities like Copenhagen, where cycling is a form of transport used by the majority, upright frames dominate and engender the best posture for everyday cycling in normal clothes."

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