Missed Point Oct 29, 2008


Cycling has generally evolved from when bikes are introduced to a new and often unintended terrain or use. I know I’ve made this argument before, but early British Path Racers were used as both street bikes and race bikes both on the track and on terrain. From there, cycling branched off to road bikes, cross bikes and track bikes.

Generally speaking, most bikes have evolved just like Darwin’s Galapagos finches. Look at early BMX bikes compared to the urban assault tanks that they are today. In my opinion, the track bike is going through another transformation. We’re seeing more and more fixed gears on the market with relaxed angles, risers and cable guides. This is evolution and progression, not regression. People enjoy commuting on fixed gears, so the market adapts.

This bike, designed by Dovetusai, pictured above is regression. I know that’s harsh, but nothing about the design speaks to me as an improvement. I understand the design intent, but not the practical or the forced devolution of the form. Downtubes are structurally important guys!

What is fairly interesting to me is how a company like Brooklyn Machine Works, with a background in downhill bikes and bmx’s have made a bike that is single-handedly reinventing the way people ride fixed gears. I’m sure we’ll see more companies making such moves in the future and I can’t wait to see where this all heads and where it is in 5 years.

  • reymundo


  • http://tricktrack.freeforums.org Tom Mosher

    But that shit barspinzzzz, that’s progress!

    I guess it’s hard to tell if this is weird for the sake of weird (moe’s definition of post modern) or if they are convinced this is the best shape for a bike.

    I def agree that what BMW has done for our scene is pivotal and a BIG step forward. Basically, now we can’t say “oooh, I can’t do that, my bike will break!” anymore.

  • http://alexanderedwincase.blogspot.com alexander

    your link is broke, it is http://www.brooklynmachineworks.com

    anyways, i agree.

  • http://ttamffocnim.blogspot.com/ ttam

    this Dovetusai bike has no lateral rigidity. i bet the rear triangle would collapse first though.
    i like to see how fixed gear people are supporting new & innovative companies like BMW & all the other domestic frame builders.
    over the last year it is incredible the the number of new products deigned for track bikes & their newly found faculties.
    Its endearing to see this niche is capable of forging its own evolution in form & in function.

  • http://friendfeed.com/rooms/cycles Chester

    The only way this thing makes sense is if the top tube pivots at the seat tube junction, so that one can “fold” the bike up so that both wheels are side-by-side.

    That would be kind of cool. Sorta.

  • http://theradavist.com prolly

    Thanks! fixed the link! :oops:

  • http://nooneline.blogspot.com no one line

    Like a lot of bikes designed for puttering around the city (usually strange looking folding bikes), I’d be afraid of this breaking pretty soon after I really started hammering on it. I think it’s for the casual cyclist, and I also think it’s a kind of interesting way to easily manufacture a variety of sizes without changing much in the process.

    That said, it’s silly and it’s another example of bikes made by design groups, not by cyclists. It’s cute and photogenic but fuck it. Really? That’s the structure that’s replacing a rear triangle?

  • http://www.megautbe.cn BalKalaTara
  • Logan

    Not to seem brash, but for someone whose livelihood is based mostly in conceptual design that is harsh. Is there nothing between progression and regression, like concept? By your standard, we could call all of the now broken/shattered “progressive” carbon fiber technology regressive. If you call this one out, then you may be calling out a lot of stuff that you actually like or use. Anyhow, thanks for posting. I like the bike, nevermind the fact that I am a plumber.

  • http://theradavist.com prolly

    I didn’t even see the spam above in that post. haha…

    Logan, I completely understand your point. My point is that sometimes innovation for the sake of innovation may not be the best direction. That bike doesn’t look like it would hold up to City riding.

    Bicycle designers for the past 50 years have observed that a downtube is an essential element in a bike design. Two diamonds = strength and integrity. this “T” design would not be laterally stiff by any means. Nothing is holding the Bottom-bracket in place.

    Not saying that all the wacky TT bikes that came from the 80’s aren’t awesome, they’re designed around a specific purpose and I don’t see this bike being designed for any purpose.

    It would ride like shit too.

    As a designer, the most important part in a design process is achieving a functional and provocative design. If this were a rendering, or a concept sketch, I would feel differently about it. That being said, it’s not a sketch, it’s the final product and everything that has been learned in the past 50 years of bicycle design is thrown out the window!

    Now if this bike were to be held in higher tension with cables and be foldable, that would be a BAD ASS city bike design.