A built-in U-lock lies at the front of the bike, with a recess that allows the front to be easily secured to a pole.

A built-in U-lock lies at the front of the bike, with a recess that allows the front to be easily secured to a pole.

A built-in U-lock lies at the front of the bike, with a recess that allows the front to be easily secured to a pole.

Oh Yves. What a wild and craaaazy guy!

Co.Design

Fuseproject Tries To Design The Perfect Bike For Hauling Stuff

Local has all the utility of a cargo bike without the bulky frame.

Bikes can be a fine way to travel shortish distances—except when you’re hauling a lot of stuff. Take it from someone who doesn’t leave the house without a bag the size of a large carry-on. Yves Béhar’s Fuseproject to the rescue: Its new Local bike comes with enough cargo space to haul a dog, a picnic, and a large umbrella to the beach—while retaining the manageable dimensions of a standard two-wheeler.

Local emerged from the Oregon Manifest Challenge, a contest to design the ultimate utility bike. Fuseproject partnered with the Sonoma-based custom bike builder Sycip to create the bicycle equivalent of a pickup truck: a three-wheeler with a sturdy front platform, detachable satchels for holding smaller items, and straps for securing items as large as a surfboard. According to Fuseproject’s press release: "For all who have wanted to use a bike for their daily lives and have considered the concept too impractical, we focused on designing a useful tool for a local life, not just fulfilling the needs of one type of individual or grafting on to an existing bike."

Unlike cargo bikes that have come before, Local isn’t a mile-long (its total length is 79 inches), or, at 40 pounds, unreasonably heavy. It also features a grease-free Shimano Alfine internal hub with 11 gears and front and hydraulic disk brakes. Fuseproject says that the bike’s well suited to dropping the kids off at school.

Fuseproject and Sycip plan to do a batch production. In the meantime, Local will be on display at Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft from September 27–October 29.

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15 Comments

  • Garethjohnston

    Nice but not the ultimate - ONYA cycles have an electric 3 wheeler that auto cambers designed for SF hills and full load

  • Chuck Scifers

    I agree with many of the comments regarding looking tto third world countries and the results of their "necessity design". It is interesting that in the Western culture we strive to simplify objects and designs down to the form-follows-function object, whereas in the third world, true, pure design is a result of using the minimal tools, materials and techniques that you have to to service a need.

    Chuck Scifers

  • vishal kapoor

    i agree the bike looks pretty and partially useful but to state it as a ultimate innovation is an overstatement !
    In countries like india with a low cost material innovation of i must say through the system of 'affordance' we see such products minus the gloss and gears fully functional and all scenarios.
    I think its time western innovation looked more deeply towards the developing economies and i am sure they would find variant and wonderful insights at grass root levels which might then need the commercial gloss and support for marketability 

  • Stella Anokam

    These trikes are really good looking. I'm only hoping that the designers would think of making it more functional by increasing the carriage space.

  • Ron Joseph

    This kind of human powered vehicles are very common in third world countries

  • flatsj

    I think it doesn't look bad but please, to say this is the ultimate utility bike..... Nah, I don't think so.

    It immediately made me think of these bike here in Mexico http://www.flickr.com/photos/4...

    Perhaps not the most good-looking bikes but I like that they seem to be able to carry more things. And come on.... including  straps to hold Yves' jambox speaker. A bit of shameless product placement, not to say needless.

  • Jeddy Mctedder

    i think a better competition would be to design the ultimate rickshaw. 
    the rickshaw trike has been around for a long time. 

    in new york , they have proliferated so much that they need to be licensened and insured. the rickshaw itself costs MORE than the tata nano in new york. 

    shows you the insanity of life. that a rickshaw for biking 2 people with human power in the east costs more than an auto does in the west.

    -----make a better rickshaw---that is cheaper, easier to manufacture, more robust, easier to maintain----and is easier to pedal. 

    that would be a big deal.  

  • ecirwin

    That picture with the surf board is a joke!  The board is inside the chainring on that side of the bike.  You could not pedal the bike while carrying a surf board, at least not as they have shown it.

    That is a pretty complex steering mechanism.  It seems that it would have been much simpler and more robust to just make the bike articulate.  The cargo area is far enough in front of the rider that even at full articulation there would be little or no interference with the pedals.

    Why does the cargo area have a huge notch out of it in the front of the bike?  It seems that this would be a great place for another bag of groceries or whatever.

    No basket on the handlebars or behind the seat?  They don't really seem to be trying to take advantage of the space available.

    The bike looks pretty good, but functionally it is very questionable as the "ultimate utility bike."