Bike 2.0 takes Seoul Cycle Design Competition prize


November 22, 2010

Nils Sveje's Bike 2.0, grand prize winner of the Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010

Nils Sveje's Bike 2.0, grand prize winner of the Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010

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Bicycle designers had a chance to show the world their ideas earlier this year by taking part in the Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010. The online contest was organized by e-zine Designboom and the Seoul Design Foundation, and received entries from 3,078 designers in 88 countries. The ideas included everything from bikes that doubled as shopping carts, to frames shaped like horses, to handlebar-mounted wind turbines. The grand prize winner, while not as entertainingly-outlandish as some of those concepts, was nonetheless pretty far removed from your garden-variety Schwinn. It’s called, simply enough, Bike 2.0.

Milan-based Danish designer Nils Sveje describes Bike 2.0 as the next generation bicycle... hence the name. At first glance, it looks pretty ordinary. Its very Spartan appearance doesn’t exactly turn heads, and in fact it's the lack of external features that gives away the fact that this is no ordinary bike.

Instead of a chain, the bike has a pedal-powered internal generator that’s wired directly to the rear hub motor. Instead of derailleurs, it has a stepless gearbox. Instead of brake levers and discs, it has a regenerative coaster brake. And, instead of shifters, it has two wireless rings on the handlebar.

Regular propulsion is achieved via the bottom bracket-mounted generator, that creates power which is sent back to the 500 W brushless motor. Using the “superconductor” (which one would assume is a capacitor), however, the rider can get power boosts when needed. An Intelligent Cadence Leveling feature keeps the rider pedaling at the same speed, via a continuously-variable transmission. The rider initially sets their desired cadence using one of the handlebar control rings.

Riders wanting more oomph – or less work – could install the seatpost battery, which directly powers the motor. The second control ring determines how much the rider uses or charges the battery.

The hydro-shaped aluminum frame has built-in lighting, and can be adjusted to fit different sizes of riders.

There’s no word on whether or not you will ever be able to buy your own Bike 2.0, but given how competitions like this are all about brainstorming and inspiring, you may at least see some of its features finding their way onto other bikes. In the meantime, check out some of the other Seoul Cycle Design Competition 2010 finalists at Designboom.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

I will personally give the designer £1,000,000 if this ever makes it to mass production. There\'s not much I can say about how daft this bike, and the whole Seoul Cycle Design competition is, that hasn\'t been said already. This was the bike that was originally designed to transfer motive power using superconductors, which was then hastily changed to supercapacitors when the designers realised how silly it was. The power losses of this bike\'s transmission system, and the very flimsy construction will make it almost impossible to ride and prohibitively expensive to produce. It is worth having a look at the original brief for the Seoul Cycle Design competition, and comparing that brief with the bike you see here.


Another museum piece that will not see the light of day at any bike shop IMHO.


the designer of this bike has moved the goal posts a long way forward,, an amazing concept and a worthy winner, congratulations


Sometimes when I meet relatively high obstacle I can push a pedal with all my weight to overcome it. Unfortunately, this trick won\'t be possible on this bike... as many other useful bike tricks, that we consider as \'regular\'.

Hiding the chain - is a good idea! Using stepless gearbox - is a good idea! Even using electric motor - is a good idea, sometimes.

But breaking direct connection from pedals to wheel - is VERY BAD idea!

Sincerely Yours, Pavel B. Chernov.

Facebook User

Interesting concept, but there might be concerns about stopping and going. I don\'t believe regenerative brakes will hold on a hill. And one would hope that there is some latent charge somewhere to get you rolling since you can\'t use the crank to do that. Otherwise the first order of business at the beginning of the day is to hand-crank that baby until the battery/capacitor is charged. That, of course, means that the most energy-intensive portion of the ride (acceleration) is handled by the battery. The name Bicycle 2.0 makes sense, I give it a \"C\".

Bruce H. Anderson

man, where is the brake bar? How if regenerative braking fails, does it have a physical brake like EV?

Years ago there was this bike too, google image Estetique Hiroshi Tsuzaki, \"the wheels for this bicycle are made from superconductive material that produces a magnetic field when electrified by a pedal- powered generator ............ n stuff\"...

Akemai Olivia

Unless they found some miraculous way to strengthen aluminum, the frame will not work. I have an EVWarrior electric bike with the frame design that obviously inspired (?) bike 2.0 (look it up). It had nowhere the frame strength around the headset to let it steer safely, plus a lot of frame flex under pedal assist even with an added chainstay tube.

I do second what rfstev said, though: This is a concept, and kudos to those who have the guts to try new ideas rather than just sit around and criticize.


Nice work but we still need a direct drive to the wheel. In this config, I would use a belt drive to the CVT (not much different than the belt drive in a snowmobile - tried and true). I would also suggest a set of magnets which can be brought into proximity with the wheels in order to have positive stopping power (and can collect energy in the process). if you wanted to go a step further, you could make them anti-lock.

All in, if you can\'t sell this for under $2000 (retail) it won\'t make it except as a curiosity for rich people to hang in their trophy rooms.

How much does it weigh now and what is weight of the seat post battery pack?


All these naysayer posts. This is a concept and I like it. It can be made to work, we have the technology or brains unlike the couchsitters.


Power loss through the gen-motor arrangement would be about 35%! Or about 5 times the loss in a chain drive. Also, not many riders are capable of producing 500 Watts! This is a designer bike, not an engineered one. And if rfstev can make it work, he must have a connection to some higher plane of intelligence.

Guy Macher

I have read the broad spectrum of opinions here and the yay-sayers and the nay-sayers...

Some thoughtful commentary indeed.

My number one gripe with this fandangled bullshit, is to get these idiot designers off their autocad airy fairy designs and actually make the damned things.

The competition - although I am clueless about the entry requirements, I would insist that ALL the designs be real world objects, and that the bike to be entered MUST have been ridden - without replacements (except for tyres and chains) along a diverse range of real world roads, that are part of a pre-defined route.

What is left of everyone of the designs, gets stuck on the podium.

While the 35KG shit box Chinese peasant bike - with pull rod brakes and one gear... that can carry dad, mum, 3 kids, the family pig, 10 crates of chickens, and 100Kg of vegetables..... well it might not be that flash - but it goes.

But the bike 2.0 - what a load of \"Oh thats a good idea\" untested, unproven, all the bugs ironed out, bullshit.

Mr Stiffy

There\'s no kickstand. THERE\'S. NO. KICKSTAND. In all seriousness, this bike looks and probably feels inhuman. The handle bars, while appealing to my visually minimalistic preferences, are most likely awkward to use. The seat looks uncomfortable. The wheels... look flimsy. Honestly, look at any bicycle built in the 1930\'s, add a seat with a memory foam-esque material, replace metal with a lightweight, sturdy, recyclable material (pick one - there are plenty out there), wash the thing in a chrome/white finish, and give it a nicely concealed electric motor. Now you\'re done, and don\'t have to rely on flimsy tech/materials that, while they may sound shiny, do nothing but over-complicate a familiar concept. This competition is interesting, but ultimately completely useless.

Facebook User

This bike is a huge step backwards by someone naive about cycling - this guy Nils Sveje is apparently a furniture designer by trade, probably with a limited interest in bikes. The first problem is the straight handlebars - they might be minimalist, or hip, or \"ironic\", but they would also cause uncomfortable bad posture. They\'re also not modern, having been tried and abandoned a century ago when people decided they didn\'t want to ride in pain. The second problem is that there\'s no front brake. The front brake is the more important one, because when you stop, the bike dives and puts your weight onto the front wheel. Front brakes are for stopping, rear brakes are mostly for skidding.

Facebook User

WTF. Sorry for all the losers to have lost to such a far fetched fantasy design. Not the first time, that\'s for sure... Bike 0.2 is more like it.

Chi Sup

Another triumph of \"design\" over functionality. This design shows ignorance of bicycle design, the basic laws of physics and a total lack of experience in real world electrical engineering.

On the other hand he apparently can win at least some contests.

Michael Crumpton
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