The 15 best bike designs of 2015
Bike design fans, here we go. It’s the end of the year, so I thought I’d indulge my slight obsession with great bicycle design, and share the 15 most striking examples released this year, with a definite bias for over-designed urban and hybrid bikes.
As Groucho Marx said, “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others”, so feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below!
15. Specialized Venge ViAS
We’ll start our countdown with the new, ever-so understated, Venge ViAS from Specialized, a (limited) production bike already used by the likes of Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan on the Tour de Suisse.
It’s perhaps the most radical departure from conventional bike design that we’ve seen in years and it’s sure to be polarising. Every tube shape has been aerodynamically optimised, all cables routed internally, significantly decreasing aerodynamic drag.
It’s also matte black, and apparently quite fast.
14: SPA Bicicletto
S.P.A. is the oldest manufacturer on this list, with a heritage in automotive design and manufacturing dating back to 1906.
Independent from FIAT since 2014, they’re now focusing on electric vehicles with a clearly identifiable Italian style. The Bicicletto e-bike is their first production vehicle, a nostalgic tribute to the Boardtrack racers of the early 1900s, and a thing of rare beauty.
13. M55 Terminus
The M55 Terminus is the odd one out on this list, as it is classified as a motorcycle in some countries.
With a custom frame and drive unit derived from technologies and materials used in Formula One and electric super-sport cars and a top speed of 80Kph, the M55 may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths, and you’ll probably require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.
Still, who wouldn’t want to ride something as insane looking as this?
12. Dutchmann Vicious Cycle
The Vicious Cycle is a collaboration between retired frame-builder Duncan MacIntyre and South Africa’s most accomplished composite specialist Anton Dekker, who produces bespoke components for brands such as Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari.
The result is a bike that packs a whole lot of futuristic retro-goodness.
11. Renovo Firewood
Our first wooden frame entry is Renovo’s Firewood. The company specializes in custom (and ready to ride) wooden frames, mixing state of the art manufacturing with exceptional craftsmanship.
So if you fancy a sleek racing machine replete with the smell of rich mahogany, this is the bike for you.
10. M.A.S.S. by Philippe Starck and Moustache Bikes
If you’ve ever dreamt of a fur-covered bike with humongous tires to ride in the fresh snow, look no further.
9. Specialized fUCI
Well, here’s a break from all the metal grey and jet black bikes on the list so far.
Props to Specialized for going there, and for creating a different kind of bike.
8. Surly Moonlander
While the origin of fat bikes is widely debated, with rumoured ties to Alaska and the US Southwest, it’s probably in Minneapolis, home to bike makers Salsa, Surly, and their parent company, Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), that the humongous tire craze was born.
The Moonlander is one of Surly’s original creation, a huge beast of a bike that’s designed “to ride where there are no roads, no trails and no people.”
7. Cannondale Bad Boy
There’s almost nothing new on the 2015 Bad Boy from Cannnondale, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the grand-daddy of uber-cool urban mobility, a bike that literally defined the urban crossover and paved the way for all other manufacturers to follow.
Like its predecessors, Cannondale’s ultimate commuter has four features that set it apart: an internal rear hub, disc brakes, front suspension on a lefty fork and an integrated front light.
They work together to make city riding as good as it can be, and create a timeless classic.
4. VIKS carbon
VIKS hails from Estonia, and takes great pride in the stainless steel craftsmanship that defines their bikes.
The company celebrated its second birthday by releasing a carbon version of their avant-garde frameset.
The bike lost a few kilos in the process, and is guaranteed to turn quite a few heads on your next ride.
Smartbike startup Vanhawks, part of the Y Combinator Winter 2015 class, has raised $1.6 million from Real Ventures, Olympic triathlon gold medallist Simon Whitfield, Brenda Irwin of Relentless Pursuit partners and various angels.
Business-plan aside, the bike is gorgeous and the software integration truly brilliant.
Can’t wait to see those on the road soon.
2. BME B-9 NH Black Edition
BME is a research and design company based in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The B-9 NH Black Edition is a handmade singlespeed bike with styling clearly inspired by the famous F-117 Nighthawk aircraft.
Although very capable on the road, it’s also a bike that wouldn’t be out of place in a modern art exhibit.
At only 9kg, it’s also one of the lightest fully-equipped urban bike money can buy today.
Did I miss your favourite bike?
Feel free to add your favourites in the comments below.