Radical Design, Affordable Price

Updated: November 21, 2014. The Epo Bicycle designer, Bob Schiller, wrote in to clarify that the bicycle is still in the conceptual phase, and that the retail price has not been determined. If it comes to market Bob estimates the price will be around $1,500. Bob’s goal is to design a bike that can be produced in the Netherlands for a similar price to producing a bike in China or Taiwan. The article below has been updated to reflect these points.

Here’s an interesting new bicycle, the Epo, from Dutch designer Bob Schiller.

Why another bicycle design?

Every single person in the Netherlands cycles; even our prime minister uses his bike to get to work. Cycling is part of our culture and it has been for centuries. However, an affordable, contemporary Dutch bicycle disappeared from our streets.

A bicycle is a labour intensive product. For this reason, almost all bicycle manufactures moved  their production to China or Taiwan. Epo revives the local industry and brings production back to the Netherlands.

-Bob Schiller, www.epobicycles.com

The Epo Bicycle with belt driveBob Schiller’s goal is to produce a bicycle in the Netherlands for a similar price of producing a bike in China or Taiwan. The bike is still in the conceptual phase, but if and when it comes to market it will be in the region of $1,500.

Bicycle Technology: Epo Bicycle Front Fork and DiskThe bike has a pressed metal frame made from aluminum.  Two molded sheets are spot welded together.

There is a single fork leg on the front, and a single stay for the rear wheel. The single stay and fork allow the tires to be changed without the wheel being removed from the bike. The Epo also has disk brakes and is a belt drive.

Learn more about the Epo: http://www.epobicycles.com

Orfos Flare Bicycle Light

I used to ride at night a lot! Twice a week I’d do the local hammerfest and then ride solo for another 3 hrs. I loved riding at night, it was cooler, quieter, and so I thought… much safer.

After all, I could see the cars coming a mile away thanks to their lights, and they could see me as I had bright front and rear lights. And I rode for years without incident.

One night that naive assumption was shattered when I had a very close call. The road snaked in such a way that my light was not visible until too late. and I came close to being whacked. I wonder if I would have been much more visible had I had something like the Orfos Flares bike light. I think so.

What is the Orfos Flare?

The Orfos Flare is an LED light that emits a glow in 360 degrees, rather than a directional beam like a traditional bike light does. The case surrounding the LED diffuses the light.

What this means is that (part of) the rider and the surrounding environment is lit, making the rider more visible.

The lights are also completely waterproof… just in case you encounter a deluge of Biblical proportions.

orfos-flare-light-1

A cool feature is that the lights attach to the bike magnetically. There is a mount that you attach to your bike with cable ties, and then the light magnetically sticks to the mounting, so you can quickly attach and remove the lights as needed.

The lights run on a rechargeable battery, and are charged via a micro USB port. Apparently, you can get 24 hrs of light from a 90 min charge. Not bad.

The inventor is Pete Clyde, an electrical engineer, and he plans to have the lights shipping by Christmas.

The Monkey Light will do something similar, it’s available right now – check it out: The Monkey Light – cycling safety light

Learn more about the Orfos Flare Light or check it out on Kickstarter.