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Clarity Bike concept suggests transparent future for cycling


January 24, 2013

Clarity Bike features a frame made from Trivex, a polymer with positive properties

Clarity Bike features a frame made from Trivex, a polymer with positive properties

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Bicycle design hasn't deviated much from its origins back in the 1800s. A cross frame connecting two wheels to each other works to the point that any attempt to offer something new and innovative – such as the Fliz Bike – is usually derided as being pointless. However, the materials used to build the humble bike have changed over the years, and will continue to do so all the while there's a demand for lighter, stronger frames. Could a transparent polymer provide the next logical step in the process?

German studio Designaffairs thinks so, and it has created a conceptual design which uses a polymer called Trivex for the frame. Trivex is the same material used for the windshields and canopies of helicopters and jet fighters, and it's lightweight while still maintaining tensile strength.

Clarity Bike was born from Designaffairs' focus on using the materials in its library (of over 2,000 samples) in new and/or unusual ways. If this evolved from being a concept to an actual product, then it would be the first bicycle made from Trivex.

Trivex boasts various properties which immediately make it a compelling possibility for use on bikes. It's extremely lightweight, resistant to impacts, and resistant to extreme temperatures. What's more, it can be injection molded. This opens up the possibility of mass production for the frame, which should lower the costs and therefore the price of the finished product. It also means different form factors and color schemes would be easily manageable.

However, it will be a long ride getting the Clarity Bike from its present form to one that could safely be used by ordinary people. It may be visually stunning, but the steep geometry of the frame means it would be painful to ride. It's also not clear whether the straight lines are there purely to please the eye or for another, more practical, reason.

Clarity Bike may turn out to be an exercise in aesthetics and nothing more. After all, it is stunning to look at, especially with the transparency guaranteed to turn heads.

Source: Designaffairs via Dezeen

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

this 'design' is just a picture of a clear bike what does that achieve?

though i don;t see why it would be ''painful to ride'' the geometry isn;t anything special

would probably be very comfortable, bending and flexing all over the place, til you tried to climb a hill or something actually strenuous

or heavy



why? why another high tech 1st world variant that changes nothing for the world in need? why?

Walt Stawicki

I wonder if a recumbent is planned? The weight issue is more important to me. Also, I wonder how hard it would be to run fibers through the plastic in the molding process for even more strength.


So.... It'll be even harder to see at night? Cool idea.


Why are 100% of these concept bike designs made for the butt in the air, hands down low, back breaking racing posture?

Here's a challenge, build a hight tech bike that's COMFORTABLE TO RIDE!

Gregg Eshelman


Because 100% of the designers think that their 2-city block long daily commute with their oh-so-hip fixie constitutes cycling insight.


Everyone just uses their comments to put down everything for the sake of putting it down. The 'design' is clear because the material is clear. If you read the article you'd know that what it achieves is being light weight, durable, and easy to produce because it can be injection molded.

It may not change anything in your world, Walt, but, then, you aren't everyone, or anyone really. I'm not even going to address how stupid the "harder to see at night" comment is. Gregg, bikes are made this way because it is the most practical geometry. Your legs are beneath you so you can achieve more driving force from your legs. Your torso is forward because it is aerodynamic and efficient. And sk8dad, what do you know? If current bike designs were inefficient you would see recumbents in the tour de france. You don't see recumbents in the TDF.

There is such a thing as positive criticism. It means making a suggestion that's worth hearing, rather than just denigrating remarks that you clearly posted because you have nothing real to say.


so any new developments from the clear plastic bike folks?

Larry English
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