New B-cycles include unique design features
For Immediate Release
BOULDER, Colorado (Feb. 3, 2011) — At first glance, the Boulder B-cycle bike may look like just another get-around-town cruiser — albeit a very cool one. Examine a little closer, though, and you’ll discover a carefully crafted machine that includes a bevy of thoughtful and unique design features.
“These bikes were engineered specifically for bike sharing,” explains Trek’s Michael Hartzell, product manager of the Wisconsin-based bike maker’s B-cycle project. “This is not an old platform. We did a ton of research and then started design from the ground up.”
That research began with a trip to Europe, where members of Trek’s B-cycle development team examined bike-sharing systems in France, Germany and Spain. They took what they learned across the pond, then improved on it. The result is a bike that’s robust, reliable and a lot of fun to ride.
“With a program like this, the primary objective is to create a bicycle that’s exceptionally functional, and will be able to stand up to abuse,” says Hartzell. “Mechanical problems are not an option. The goal is 100-percent reliability for end-users.”
Thus far the signature red B-cycle bikes have delivered. During the program’s inaugural year in Denver, the only major mechanical was a single flat tire. Not bad considering the Denver program recorded 102,981 individual rides in 2010. But despite the overwhelming success, Hartzell and his team are striving for more.
“We learned a lot from the first year in Denver,” he explains. “Now we’re using that information to improve the bikes for all our programs, including Boulder. For example, we’re making weight adjustments that will help better balance the front and rear end. That will improve handling, making them even more user friendly.”