Paper Bicycle

Paper Bicycle, originally uploaded by Ben Cooper.

Okay, I think I can make this public now – for a few months, I’ve been working with Nick from CarryFreedom (the trailer people) on Nick’s design of what a tough, simple bike should look like, and this is the result.

The idea is to make something that’s tough (very rigid steel frame), reliable (enclosed chain drive and cables), cheap to manufacture (minimum number of tubes, as little welding as possible), and customisable (side panels that can be decorated, painted, made out of different materials, or wallpapered).

Nick’s taking it to Eurobike at the moment, and it’ll probably be at Cycle in London next month…

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12 Responses

  1. This is a very attractive looking bike.

    However, how about mudguards, a rack and some lights ? Surely those are also requirements for a useful everyday bike.

  2. Ben says:

    Give us a chance – this is only the first prototype on it’s first outing πŸ˜‰

    It’ll have mudguards of course, Nick is working on a really beefy rear rack and probably front rack system too, lights can be done with a front hub dynamo, and a propstand is in the works.

    Component specification is just details πŸ˜‰

  3. Ben says:

    Velovision’s report from Eurobike shows this bike built up more completely:

    http://www.velovision.co.uk/cgi-bin/show_comments.pl?storynum=941

  4. Nick Lobnitz says:

    The bike above will be called the Paper Bicycle, and its web site will be http://www.Paper-bicycle.com

    Theres not much there yet, but give it a week.

  5. Phew, that’s a relief. I think it looks even better with the mudguards.

    For now I’ll imagine it with chunky racks to match.

  6. Andoni says:

    It’s a beauty! Looking forward to the specs, options and price .

    Good luck!

  7. Nor says:

    Why is it called the “Paper Bicycle”?

  8. Ben says:

    Probably best if I copy Nick’s reply to the same question πŸ˜‰

    “Sorry for being circular, but you asking the question “why?” is the reason. The toughest thing when you are small and new is to have your name remembered, the first thing people wonder when they see “Paper Bicycle” the name is why? Asking the question and wondering at the answers ensures its never forgotten.

    On a more practical level the words are easy to spell, translate well, and the web address was available. Also the sound and rythme of the name have a nice feel to them, and the words don’t grow stale after you have lived with them for a while (though the question has).

    I wanted the name to draw attention to the ability to decorate and personalize the bicycle, and I wanted to imply the bicycle is something fresh simple and unusual, and somehow timeless. The original prototype of the bicycle had its chain panels covered in wall paper, but Wallpaper Bicycle sounds clumsy and is almost certainly trade marked. Once the front of the name was chopped off then it felt right, though it took months of looking elsewhere first.

    Since the name has been created it has been observed that Pay per bicycle could be a reference to its potential use as a rental bike. Also for me it is a reference to the idea that this is a design from first principles, or what I got by starting with a blank sheet of paper. It also touches the idea that the bicycle is like a blank sheet of paper waiting for the rider to define its purpose. Also its a neat reference to the bicycle being originally conceived for possible Royal Mail use, since they predominantly deliver paper.”

  9. mick skinner says:

    how heavey is it?

  10. shirey harriott says:

    I would love to buy a paper bike.

    Please can you tell me where I can get them, how much they are and can one attach two baskets – I use my bike a lot for shopping.

    Thank you.

    • Ben says:

      Yes, you can order them from me – there’s a link on the front page of my website. It can take a basket on the handlebars, and panniers or a basket on the back rack…

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