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The HUG-Bike is the first cargo-tricycle that is developed specifically for the needs of families in the urban environment. Through efficient design of frame and box, plenty transport capacity is created by maintaining compact outer dimensions for the dense city. Thereby the bike is finally closing the gap between heavy, bulky cargo bikes and fast e-bikes. Thanks to innovative carving steering, big 26inch wheels and suspension, children and babies can be transported safely and comfortable. In addition the HUG-Bike is an essential companion for your shopping trips or leisure activities and underlines your activities with pleasure and style!
COMPACT | SAFE | FUN FAMILY MOBILITY
When I started with this project, I had no specific concept in mind, rather than a direction where I wanted to go. Therefore I set myself an over topic: cycling in cities. I wanted to work on this topic for several reasons. First of all cycling is a growing market with sales volumes rising year after year, whereas the automotive industrie is struggling to cope with the diverse challenges of modern society and environment. So there is a huge economic potential behind that.
Secondly, I am a keen cyclist myself. It is a passion that goes along since I can remember pedalling the first few meters with my bicycle as a child. Therfore I started with my research around this fairly big topic, and let myself inspire by itself to find my final project concept: the HUG-Bike.
Although the trend of digitalisation, and the beginning of the digital age in 2002, physical real mobility stays to be an important need for human mankind, and an important part of our daily life. Without the possibility for fast, reliable and sustainable mobility modern cities fail to work. But exactly those cities are becoming more and more populated. The automobile alone will not be enough to cope with this big demand for mobility. A good modal split between different kinds of transportation to combine and an increase for cycling and other active mobility types are necessary. Besides the economical and ecological need for an increase in bicycle mobility, there is also a social and health related movement behind that which is pushing the bicycle movement forward. People have the wish of being more and better connected with their city and their environment. And the health boom is showing that people are becoming more aware of their body and seeking possibilities to stay in shape. The bicycle can be the perfect tool to bring all these needs together, and at the same time reward their user with fun and relaxation during the ride!
„When people ride, they participate in the city, they're in touch with it more and begin to care about it more"
[Jeff Mapes, writer for oregonlive]
A city, where many people are cycling to work or to their place of education, using the bicycle for shopping or in their leisure time, is a livable city for all. But not yet all people are convinced by it and there is still much to do, to improve the acceptability and practicality of this creative human powered mode of transportation. The context for my project was the urban environment of a middle sized city with all its advantages for living but also with all of its constraints.
"With no other invention is the useful connected with pleasure so intimately, as with the bicycle."
[Adam Opel, Founder of the Adam Opel AG]
BICYCLE MOBILITY IN CITIES:
If you are thinking about a bicycle that is suited perfect for cities, you have to think at first about the problems and restrains the bike needs to cope in the urban environment. Compact measurements to fit through dense traffic, big comfortable wheels to ride smooth over streets in bad condition, and an overall built that is weather and theft proof as possible. Since cargo bikes are on the rise and have lots of potential to beimproved, I decided to focus my project on the topic of cargo bikes.
MAIN TARGET GROUP FAMILIES:
The cargo bike evolved in the beginning through the need to transport goods. Only later on, those load carrying cargo bikes got rededicated to be used for private transportation too. Which makes them a derivation of freight cycles.
The user group for private cargo bikes is very uniform and consists almost of families. These seem to be the strongest and biggest user group. and their it is estimated that in amsterdam 90% of the freight cycles sold are primarily used to carry children main uses cases for family cargo bikes are to transport: babies, small children, and groceries. As cargo bikes used by families are mainly adapted freight cycles they are rather modifications than real specifically built family bikes. Therefor I discovered the potential for the first real family bicycle that is dedicated and developed around the needs for families, rather than just being an adapted cargo bicycle.
Cargo bicycles for families were now my specification, and I gained broad knowledge about them during my primery research, but it was all theory I gained and no personal experience. Therefore I decided to start a field research. I visited two bicycle shops who stick out each of their own for the cargo bike topic, and interviewed the shop sales person. I also could test cargo bikes on my own. On a bicycle expo in Vienna I could test further cargo bicycles and talk to more people about that topic. To round up this field research I interviewed a father of a family who is using cargo bikes since five years instead of a car and is writing an own blog about it!
And those had been the Research Keypoints:
- All shop members confirmed me that they realized a rise in demand and interest for cargo bikes.
- Shopping and child transport is equally important, and it is no rarity that both happens at the same time.
- There is a fairly new trend in tilting tricycles noticeable which combine the advantages of 2 and 3-wheeled bikes.
- The main purchase driver for bikes seems to be more about style and rather then environmental reasons.
- I had the feeling that for the big measurements of cargo bikes the load capacity available isn't used efficiently.
- Most cargo bikes can't handle cargo goods and child transport at the same time.
- Baby carrier are placed out of reach for parents to interact with their baby during the ride.
- The small 20inch front wheel every cargo bike has, makes for a less comfortable and safe ride.
- Their is potential cargo capacity which is not used yet between handelbar.
- With the integration of existing baby carriers and bicycle child seats you can provide a safe and convenient solution.
- A new way of achieving a tilting steering mechanism without reducing cargo capacity is needed.
With those keypoints in mind I worked through a couple of design and testing iterations till I reach my final concept and design. The embracing gesture of a mother who is comforting her child is echoed with the bicycle frame hugging the cargo box in the same way! This gave the bike its name: HUG-Bike!
A lot of thought went into the organization...Very beautiful concept and nice work.