San Francisco is an ideal backdrop for a bike culture to thrive. Its temperatures remain consistently mild year-round, and its landscape seamlessly blends hills, streets and shoreline. Bicyclists commute to work, run errands, transport groceries (and their kids), and climb rugged bike paths to Bay Area overlooks. And that’s just a Monday.
This fusion of task- and recreationally minded biking activities amidst the natural and man-made architecture of San Francisco was the inspiration behind Huge Design’s recent entry into Oregon Manifest’s Bike Design Project. Along with the California-based design firm, organizers of the national competition asked teams from Chicago, Portland, Seattle and New York to create an urban bike that most represented their city. Teams included both a design firm and frame builder — the San Francisco team being composed of Huge Design, bicycle fabricator Forty One Thirty Cycle Works and engineering partner PCH Lime Lab.
The EVO utility bike by Huge Design, Forty One Thirty Cycle Works and PCH Lime Lab. Photo by Gauthier Richard.
The project merged an old-world, bike-building craft with new technology and a modern design process,” explains Chris Harsacky, founder of Huge Design and lead designer on the team. Together, they began developing an urban utility bike called EVO that would allow riders to very easily attach and detach different components — baskets, racks, pannier bags, a child seat — to the front and rear of the frame depending on their activity.
To achieve the plug-and-play effect, the team designed a bike frame that combined off-the-shelf 4130 chromoly steel tubing with 17-4 PH stainless steel metal lugs that were integrated into the frame. Due to the complex geometry of the lug design, which included a unique interior mechanism for clipping accessories in and out, engineers at PCH Lime Lab had the lugs build through Proto Labs’ additive manufacturing (3D printing) process of direct metal laser sintering (DMLS).
Read the full case study on Huge Design’s development of its EVO utility bike.