Flexible design global appeal

City Bike

Flexible design
global appeal

When designing an affordable bike for commuting, IDC used flexible styling for a broad market, while achieving European quality standards.

IDC was selected to design a low-cost bike, specifically for commuters working in Asia, but with a European build quality that meant it could be marketed globally eventually.

As the bike was being used for commuting, it needed to be practical and robust, but also stylish and modern too. It was also important that the bike was styled for both men and women, with a unisex frame.

The team spent considerable time researching commuting cyclists' needs and behaviour. Questionnaires and diaries were collected from cyclists throughout the Middle East, London, Amsterdam and Barcelona, to ensure a truly international understanding of user needs.

The findings of the research showed there was a clear need to have a means of carrying packages and bags as most cyclists were struggling with heavy rucksacks. As the bikes were being used daily, they needed to be comfortable and easy to ride and there was also a preference for bikes to look stylish as well as being practical.

IDC's industrial design team then came up with concepts focusing on a bike that was sturdy but not too heavy. A step-through unisex bike frame was chosen, but care was taken to ensure the bike avoided looking too feminine in style by developing a chunky frame with a modern sporty feel. The concepts also included subtle baggage rails for carrying bags.

IDC's engineering team worked on the bike frame geometry to ensure adjustability to cater for all sizes of users. They developed bikes which allowed handlebars that could be adjusted in height and also forward position, which meant that even the tallest users could comfortably use the bike. The seat position was also engineered so it could be raised or lowered and moved back to accommodate all users.

IDC supported manufacturing through their China office. The team obtained quotes and samples from potential manufacturers before identifying a suitable manufacturing partner.

The resulting product was highly successful in achieving a sporty look while being highly practical and robust. The client is currently investigating market opportunities across the world, following introduction in the Middle East and Asia.