It’s no secret that Seattle is a bike-friendly city, but we have to tip our hats to those cyclists seemingly unphased by the city’s gigantic hills. Now Seattle can add coolest custom-designed bike in the country to its list of things to brag about — and it’s a bicycle made for tackling steep urban inclines, to boot.
On Monday, The Bike Design Project announced that Seattle won gold, beating out teams from urban cycling hubs like New York City, Chicago, Portland, and San Francisco. Voters nationwide chose The Denny, built by Seattle bike builder Taylor Sizemore and a team from Teague, the design consultancy firm behind the Polaroid camera, the Pringles canister, and Boeing jet interiors.
The bike is named for the Denny family that helped settle Seattle, and for the steep street connecting Capitol Hill to downtown Seattle, dreaded by many a cyclist.
Much of The Denny’s design was inspired by a crash Sizemore had biking in downtown Seattle, including its lighting, which includes a broad, icon light below the headboard, turn signals, and built-in red brake lights that illuminate the body of the bike. KUOW reports:
Sizemore said most bike lights are hard for drivers to understand. “Traditionally, a bike doesn’t say, ‘I’m a bike at night.’ It just says, ‘There’s a light floating in the darkness,’” Sizemore said.
That can frustrate and confuse drivers, who typically can’t tell from these lights which direction a bike is facing.
The Denny borrows its lighting cues from the automobile.
“Your mind puts the puzzle together,” Sizemore said.
The Denny is also equipped with an electric assist for steep hills (like its namesake) and a rubber belt in place of a greasy chain. Even the loop-shaped handlebars can be removed to lock-up the rest of the bike — eliminating the need to carry around a heavy U-lock.
The Denny’s gears, hidden in the wheel hub, are also computerized, designed to ensure a smooth gearshift to keep your feet rotating at a smooth, uninterrupted pace. Talk about bike porn.
Being the coolest kid in the bike lane comes at a cost; Fuji Bikes will manufacture the winning design for roughly $3,000. The Denny should hit stores in 2015 — just enough time to start putting away some cash for one of these trusty steeds.