Power To The Pedal

Competition Details


by Andy Outis

Cycling in an urban environment presents a unique set of problems, such as heavy traffic, pothole-filled streets, theft, vandalism and storage.

There are few products currently offered which specifically address the particular needs and problems of urban cyclists, many of whom often adapt their bikes to the rigors of city riding by adding after-market accessories. These additions may be commercially available products or improvised solutions adapted to bicycle use.

The products developed by APLY have been designed as interventions for common problems faced by urban cyclists. These products were developed after carefully studying the needs of the user, through field observation, conversation, and an online survey fielding about 400 responses.

Through this research, APLY found that many urban cyclists had improvised solutions to their needs by using commonly available parts and materials to create stopgap fixes. Among these were: securing the seat to the frame by using a length of chain (from the drive train); covering the seat with a plastic grocery bag to protect it from the elements; and covering decals with electrical tape to conceal the bicycle’s brand from would-be thieves.

Many of the products developed by APLY are based on improvised solutions seen in common usage. These products include a carrying handle which bolts to the water bottle mounts, enabling the bicycle to be carried up several flights of stairs more easily; collapsible fenders which can be easily removed and stored when not in use; a seat leash which requires a chain breaking tool to install or remove; durable, non-adhesive vinyl frame wrap; and a polytarp hood to protect the seat from rain.

The widespread improvisation of solutions to the common problems of urban cycling indicates a strong demand for products answering the needs of this growing user group. APLY answers this need with smartly designed, well-built tools for urban cyclists.

APLY. The revolution will be self-propelled.

* APLY was developed as a graduate thesis project in the MFA Design program at the School of Visual Arts. Deliverables included product prototypes, branding and collateral. None of the products contained herein have been marketed.