This weekend saw the unveiling of the collaborative bicycle designs that are going head to head in the third edition of the Oregon Manifest, in which five teams in as many cities set out to create and craft the best urban utility bike. As of Monday morning, the public is invited to vote on their favorite one, which may well be produced by Fuji Bikes in the near future. We are pleased to present exclusive Q&As with each team so they have a chance to explain why their bicycle is the best before the voting period closes this Sunday, August 3.
Core77: Did you and the team at 4130 know (or know of) each other before the collaboration? What was the matchmaking process like?
Chris Harsacky (Huge): We didn’t know of 4130 but after interviewing several builders we knew he was a great fit. Tom’s background in product development made for an easy collaboration. He was also the builder that seemed most open to doing things different. From the outset, we knew our concept would be a departure from traditional frame design.
By its nature, the design-fabrication relationship for this collaboration is far more intimate than your average designer’s relationship with a contractor or manufacturer. To what degree did you educate each other on your respective areas of expertise? Has the collaboration yielded broader lessons?
It was certainly different from other partnerships. The very first meeting was more like a Q&A. Tom is a trained industrial designer so it made it a lot easier. The two major areas where we needed educated on were bike geometry and fabrication techniques/ materials. While we set out define a fresh gesture with new functionality, we wanted to make sure we were following acceptable ride geometry and using practical build techniques.
Transitioning into fabrication was pretty fluid actually. We had a CAD database that we based the build on. Things fell in place remarkably well. The hardest part was trying gauge how much time it would take to finalize the final bike. Its basically and appearance model that needs to function like a production unit.