Oregon Manifest Announces Transportation Bike Design Contest

timesuit300.jpgOregon Manifest, a Portland, Oregon-based organization promoting cycling and cycling lifestyle, has created the first annual Constructor’s Design Challenge as the feature event for the organizations bike festival that is scheduled to take place on six consecutive weekends from October 2nd through November 8th, 2009. The Constructor’s Design Challenge will present bicycle frame builders and designers from around the nation with the opportunity to create an innovative, modern transportation bike—a technical challenge combining engineering dexterity with fabrication mettle.

The winning builder of the Design Challenge will score a custom tailored three-piece suit that raises the bar for urban cycling apparel. Inspired by gentleman riders of the 1930s (with a nod to country farmers in their Sunday best) the suit is the result of a 12-month collaboration between Rapha and Timothy Everest, the renowned Savile Row tailor. The finished product, a jacket, waistcoat and trousers or plus fours, is characterized by its elegant tailoring and luxury finishing, a formal suit that is at home in the boardroom as it is in on the bike. More dope on the distinguished duds here.

Participants in the Constructor’s Design Challenge will be faced with building a bike that is flexible, durable, able to portage reasonable loads with ease, and ready to accommodate the many small and large challenges of everyday riding. Transportation bikes must be sturdy and durable, yet nimble enough to provide all-around utility during a short trip or a longer haul.

To prove that the bikes entered in the Constructor’s Design Challenge deliver function as well as form, the bikes will compete in a unique real-world transportation test. Presented by Rapha, the UK-based cycling apparel maker, the Constructor’s Race will serve up 77 miles of epic on-and-off road challenges inspired by the European one-day classics, such as Paris-Roubaix. Design Challenge builders (or their designated riders) will brave dirt, gravel, elevation climbs, and urban technical trials on the secret, yet-to-be-revealed route.

“The Constructor’s Design Challenge is the centerpiece of this year’s Oregon Manifest,” explained Jocelyn SyCip, Oregon Manifest’s Director. “If the bicycle is ever to realize its potential to change the urban transportation landscape—and mindset—it’ll take a bike that can multi-task the demands of everyday urban transport. The Constructor’s Design Challenge is a unique way to jump start the conversation about what constitutes a great, modern, all-around transportation bike.”

Those interested in entering the Constructor’s Design Challenge should visit www.oregonmanifest.com and click on the link to entry forms and regulations. Entry deadline is July 31st, 2009.

The following design considerations will govern the Constructor’s Design Challenge judging:

  • Amazing Solution: Devise a sensational, unique and innovative bike for transportation use.
  • Handling: Bikes must handle equally well with and without load. Both options will be tested against turning and straight pedaling.
  • Integration: Solutions should be integrated into a complete and harmonious whole, rather than a checklist of details.
  • Presentation + Execution: Fabrication refinement and final presentation are important indicators of skill and thoughtfulness. Extraordinary craftsmanship can be displayed in the simplest brazing or the fanciest lug. Individual design solutions should build to a single visual and functional whole.
  • Load Carrying: Bikes must accommodate and securely carry the rider’s award ceremony party attire, a provided 6-pack of beverage (in glass bottles), and a provided small container of party snacks.
  • Security: Since the bikes must be protected from theft while unattended, a smart, easy solution for securing the bike under different conditions is expected.
  • Utility : Bikes should handle changing weather, lighting conditions, and visibility.
  • Quality + Rattles: If bike components or parts are loose, rattling, or otherwise inoperable at the race finish, points will be deducted for each failure.
  • Portage: Bikes must be able to be carried by its rider over a section of the Constructor’s Race course.
  • Response to the Constructor’s Race Course: Entry bikes must take into consider all elements of the race course, the 10 design considerations and the overall challenges they present.

A panel of cycling experts will judge the bikes on Friday, October 2nd: Rob Forbes, founder of Design Within Reach; Sky Yaeger, designer of Swobo bicycles; Ron Sutphin, president of United Bicycle Institute; and Brian Bainbridge, former director of R&D for Specialized Bicycles.

Points will be awarded in the 10 Design Consideration categories listed above, weighted into three points group. Top 12 winners (and the three race winners) will be displayed in the Oregon Manifest Bike Union storefront for five weeks.

All entries will be on display for the public during the Design Challenge weekend. In addition, all participants will be featured in a coffee table book being produced around the event.