Gizmodo recently posted an item on what was quoted as “a giant leap forward in bicycle engineering”, a bike made of the aerospace material Trivex.
There are of course lots of things to say on this topic. The most obvious is that the bike, as pretty as it is in a minimalist kind of way, hardly follows most recent breakthrough bike design trends.
For one thing, the head angle is absurdly slack which would make it somewhat of a lazy handler. It also has an absurdly large rear triangle, compromising stiffness and drive, and resulting in a higher, flat top tube, rather than the more modern sloping or curved design.
It also appears to neglect the most intriguing capability of modern materials – 3D design – and opts for plain, symmetrical tubes, where a truly breakthrough design would take advantage of aerodynamic research and testing to come up with something slippery and streamlined – like the S-Works Venge – or something radically assymetrical, prioritising stiffness in the drive side, like the Pinarello Dogma.
I could also criticise the componentry, the option of a brake-free singlespeed design and the choice of a track-style drop bar, where more practical – and indeed groundbreaking – choices exist. The designer could have included genius componentry, like Ridley and BMC‘s aero-integrated braking options, and Shimano’s recent 11-speed Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groupset.
As a mountain biker, I could mention that it eschews technological genius such as variable-rate suspension systems and disc braking. From a commuter point of view, it entirely ignores the possibility of internal hub gearing and belt drive, both of which have made leap-and-bound advancements in recent years.
I could have even mentioned the way this cannot be groundbreaking, since it doesn’t even include dopey on-the-fly tyre pressure adjustment.
I could say all of these things, but I won’t. Because this is an invisible bike, and invisible bikes get only one response.