• 04.26.13

Clever Cycling Accessories Designed By Students Who Don’t Bike

Chris Kabel brought Holland’s vibrant bike culture to a design school in less cycle-savvy Switzerland.

“The bike is such a goldmine for designers,” Chris Kabel tells Co.Design. “So many problems to solve, so many things that can be made better.” Kabel hails from Holland, where two-wheeled travel is as much of a birthright as breathing, and is currently based in Rotterdam. He owns more bicycles than he can count. Point being, the fella is familiar with bicycles. Every few weeks, however, he travels to teach at ÉCAL in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he says the culture hasn’t quite caught on (at least not like it has in the Netherlands, where pedals far outnumber people).


That didn’t stop Kabel from recently holding a semester-long course dedicated to forming “valid, innovative, and working proposals” for bike accessories, and the results are pretty fun–especially impressive considering Kabel says that most of his students didn’t actually own their own bicycles. Over five months, they came up with an eclectic collection of clever mods and smart additions. I’m partial to the zip-tie with a bell at the end that dings with a quick flick of the excess cable, and the wire brush that wraps around the back wheel to deflect wet pavement splashes up onto the rider’s behind; in lieu of a fender, that seems like a neat fix.

At the end of the five-month course, the group decided to make the video (above) to show their hacks in action. “As a bike is a moving object, it was a very good way to explain all the different projects clearly,” Kabel says–all with a nod to Jacques Tati.