Taylor Sizemore—Winner of 2014 Oregon Manifest Bike Design Project

The Den­ny, a next-gen­er­a­tion con­cept bike devel­oped by not­ed Seat­tle design firm Teague and cus­tom bike builder, Tay­lor Size­more, recent­ly won the 2014 Ore­gon Man­i­fest Bike Design Project, an annu­al com­pe­ti­tion to cre­ate the ulti­mate urban util­i­ty ride. The Den­ny beat four oth­er inno­v­a­tive offer­ings from design teams in New York, San Fran­cis­co, Chica­go, and Port­land. It will now be pro­duced in a lim­it­ed run by Fuji, avail­able in 2015. Stand­out fea­tures include remov­able han­dle­bars that dou­ble as a bike lock, inte­grat­ed brake and turn sig­nals, min­i­mal­ist fend­ers, and elec­tric motor-assist with auto­mat­ic shifting. 

We spoke with Tay­lor Sizemore—of Size­more Bicycle—about the Den­ny and what to expect in the future.

THE CLYMB: Ore­gon Man­i­fest is all about dri­ving fresh inno­va­tion in the urban com­muter mar­ket and the Den­ny is packed with inno­v­a­tive fea­tures. Which one do you think will have the most impact on the indus­try after the pro­duc­tion ver­sion comes out?
TAYLOR SIZEMORE: It’s hard to say. Some fea­tures wow the audi­ence and oth­ers are just sim­ple ideas that make a huge dif­fer­ence. For the sake of cycling, I hope some of the light­ing con­cepts we used catch on. Specif­i­cal­ly that bicy­cle and com­po­nent man­u­fac­tures start to cre­ate lights that high­light the pres­ence of the bicy­cle. See­ing the road is great, but that’s been done. Now it’s about cre­at­ing light­ing that helps dri­vers see a human on a bicy­cle not just a blind­ing point of light. 

THE CLYMB: How col­lab­o­ra­tive was the design process?
TAYLOR SIZEMORE: At our very first meet­ing pri­or to them even choos­ing me as the bike builder, I said that if I was going to work with them, I want­ed to be as involved as pos­si­ble in the design process. The fun part isn’t build­ing the bike. It’s fig­ur­ing out how to meet a person’s dai­ly bik­ing needs. 

THE CLYMB: What was the most chal­leng­ing prob­lem to solve?
TAYLOR SIZEMORE: The han­dle­bar lock was very dif­fi­cult to over­come. A tra­di­tion­al han­dle­bar slips some­times, even when tight­ened. So cre­at­ing a han­dle­bar that could be eas­i­ly removed, yet would stay sol­id in its locked posi­tion was a chal­lenge. Let alone cre­at­ing a sys­tem where the brake levers did­n’t have to be mount­ed to the han­dle­bar. There is a lot going on there.

THE CLYMB: What are you most proud of?
TAYLOR SIZEMORE: The fenders—easily. They are my own project: A uni­ver­sal­ly mount­ed fend­er that removes water from the tire by dis­rupt­ing the sur­face ten­sion. How­ev­er, the ver­sion on the bike is one that Teague cre­at­ed specif­i­cal­ly for this project. 

THE CLYMB: Were there any design ideas that didn’t make it to the final ver­sion that you’d still like to see?
TAYLOR SIZEMORE: There’s always room for improve­ment. One thing we did­n’t get to do was a kick­stand. Some­one needs to fig­ure out a good kick­stand and put it on Kick­starter. But please do a good job!

THE CLYMB: What about the oth­er entries? Were there any design fea­tures that made you say, “Why didn’t we think of that?“
TAYLOR SIZEMORE: The remov­able racks on the Chica­go and SF bikes were real­ly nice­ly done. I liked them a lot. But we decid­ed ear­ly on that we want­ed to make ours per­ma­nent. So it’s always there when you need it.

THE CLYMB: Who gets to keep/ride the pro­to­type? 
TAYLOR SIZEMORE: Teague paid for every­thing and pro­vid­ed a lot of the tal­ent I don’t have, so the bike stays in their office. And right­ful­ly so!