Every year for the past few years there has been a small competition called the Oregon Manifest for real life bike builders to create an innovative and original solution to a very real problem / niche in the cycling industry. How to make a more useful bike.
We’ve figured out aerodynamics. We’ve made bikes lighter than UCI laws will allow but still withstand tons of stress. We’ve figured out disc brakes are better than rim brakes (or wait, are they?) and we’ve designed mountain bikes that will survive the gnarliest Redbull and GoPro sponsored contest this side of a Mt.Dew can. What about a sweet bike for hauling our crap to and from work instead of a car? How about one that is actually designed, not just engineered?
Sounds simple enough. Just pop some racks on your custom fit Argonaut, Tarmac or Cervelo and off you go, right? Oh your road bike doesn’t have rack mounts? Well you could use some cool racks from Velo Orange that bolt on to the cantilever posts on your cross bike. Oh wait, you sold your cross bike for something with disc brakes… Dang… Hmm… Ok how about a seatpost rack? Fuck yeah, that’s attractive.
OK, so just HTFU and wear a backpack or messenger bag like the cool kids who deliver your crap for a living.
Well hold on, you make $40-100k a year and ride a $5000-10,000 hand made bike that you can lift with your pinky. Why are you carrying all this shit in a backpack anyway? I don’t wear a backpack while I drive my car (which is worth less than a set of ENVE wheels), I put it in the trunk or passenger seat.
“You ride a $5,000 hand made bike that you can lift with your pinky. Why are you carrying all your shit in a backpack anyway?”
Why buy a bike that is “ready” for all this stuff instead of having it built in? Because of UCI restrictions? Because it doesn’t look cool? Keyboard warriors all over the internet will down-vote road bikes that have any sort of personality or extras that aren’t also for making you faster.
It seems a little ridiculous because if you show up to a regional crit you’ll see as many pot bellies as you will power meters. Out here in the PNW it’s bad form to partake in a group ride without a full fender and extra mudflap.
The Oregon Manifest asks about all the trips by bike that have nothing to do with the Tuesday morning group ride. In a way it asks how can we design a bike that replaces the automobile? All the pieces are there on the table. We know why people prefer to drive and we know their opinion about lycra and questions about why we shave our legs, but we also know how ridiculously cumbersome cars are. The organizers of the Oregon Manifest think the answer to this question will be the bike of the future.
And so this year our friend Taylor Sizemore in partnership with Teague created the Denny for this contest. It’s not his first entry but its definitely his most polished and inventive. It’s not perfect, but we’ve yet to see a perfect solution. We think it fits the bill pretty well.
At first we were a little puzzled by the photos. Whats up with that handlebar? If we squint we can kind of imagine some Greg Lemond influence, but in reality its actually a multi-tasking component. Not just a handlebar but also a lock.
Actually we had a bunch of questions, whats up with the fenders? Is it AWD? Lets just watch the promo video:
We’re impressed by all the entries for the Oregon Manifest this year, and maybe we’re biased because we’ve hung out with Taylor (and we’ll be sharing his Seattle workshop very soon). But you should check out the voting page and give your opinion on one of these cool machines.
The winning entry is actually going to be produced by Fuji bikes. So forget the UCI rules and loosen up a little. Get over there and vote it up before the time is up on Saturday, July 26th!
We’re also pretty excited about the mainstream-ish press the competition has received this year from the likes of The Verge, Engadget, Gizmodo. Even more exciting? The comments for the articles aren’t hateful death threats towards cyclists for once!