I have been reading this forum for months, mostly for tech tips, and finally registered to become an official member to tell others about what I saw!
I was in Huntington Beach yesterday and I saw someone riding a plastic bicycle. I was on my Fuji and I caught up with him to ask a few questions.
He was an industrial designer named Matt Clark and he actually let me ride the bike!
It was stunning! I expected it to be flimsy and break apart...I'm not exactly a lightweight (hence my biking ;-) It wasn't flimsy AT ALL. In fact it was very rigid!!!
It's all polypropylene plastic and recyclable. It uses reinforced polypropylene as well (inner chainstays). I actually thought it was a plastic case on a bike until I saw the sunlight through it.
He said that he presented it at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to staff of Caltech,etc.
Has anyone here been to Art Center lately??? Seen the presentations???
I just emailed him this morning and he sent me a few photos. I'm not gonna post all of them...I don't want to bog down the blog. I'll post a couple--if anyone wants me to post more I will.
He doesn't have a website--I asked--but his email is on the photos.
He seems pretty approachable and answered the questions i had.
Bikes: '06 Blue Competition RC5AL w/ritchey pro fork, spinergy stealth PBO, etc.
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This is actually really cool. It may be ugly, but it's easy to see the potential in it.
Refine the design a bit, have it accept front and rear DR's, and it could be awesome.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." - Leonardo daVinci
My wife went to art center, and I've seen some of the trans design displays. Almost every car on the market today was designed by a graduate of Art Center. One of the fun things about living in Pasadena is many of the prototypes that never hit the market run around town all the time (mostly interesting looking motorcycles).
I think my wife showed me this bike in a magazine in the last month or two, and I thought the same thing as people are saying above. Great idea for recycled materials, but how much does it weigh and can they make it less ugly?
i think it would be great is the performance is similer, how was the feel of the bike, meaning smoothness of the material?? I would think plastis is way cheaper than carbonfiber, if the material performs jsut as well why not use that plastic, you could mold it very easily too, you can litarally do that make molds put some of that melted plastic in cool sand down the excess and bam a frame. its ugly but hopefully this thing gives us another option for frame material, that would be kewl.
You're right! It is on the chunky side. I said that too...but it seems to be an exercise in form following function. It looks much better in person. It's especially cool in sunlight. It practically glows!
He mentioned that the design was intended to incite a paradigm shift in terms of manufacturing and design by reducing material costs and the labor associated with frame building. I knew a guy who built metal frames...it's pretty intense. Notching, bending,welding,aligning,etc before you even paint it
i just ride
The prototype is basic and minimalist, but could be designed with automotive surfacing like no bike has before.
He sent me lots of photos in addition to design concepts that are possible using this method as a basis.
I thought it was a good idea too...every concept has to have a starting point I suppose
I don't want to put words into his mouth...
I told him about the site. Maybe he'll join or at least tell more about it...no promises though
Regardless, I'm glad to share- it's good to hear from people...I was hoping someone else saw him yesterday