Trek’s Concepts: Fat Bikes and Light Cycles?
As usual, Trek World 2011 served as a meeting place for Trek dealers so that they could see what Trek has in store for 2012. Looking beyond 2012 though, for the second year in a row Trek offered a glimpse into what their design teams were currently working on in the forms of pure concepts. One of those concepts might just be the world’s coolest kick bike in the form of the Tron inspired Light Cycle shown above. As with most concepts it’s not production ready, but what kid wouldn’t want to have a Light Cycle as their first bike? Hopefully, Trek can make the hubless wheels work without making it cost a million dollars, which would make it really cool.
Other than the Light Cycle, Trek also showed off some prototype fat bikes, (yes, fat bikes), some useful products, and fashions for the modern lumberjack. Intrigued?
Smack dab in the middle of the demo was a giant sand bridge with fat bike perched on top, which upon further inspection turned out to be a Trek Cruiser built to accept fat bike wheels and tires. While Sun Bicycles already has the Spider AT Fat tire cruiser, Trek’s Sand Crawler offers the same super laid back pedal forward position of its regular beach cruisers. While riding the behemoth you couldn’t help but think this would be the perfect bike for someone who lived beach side – the riding position makes it incredibly comfortable while the tires would allow you ride along the beach to your heart’s content.
For those in the north, Trek also had the Sasquatch on display which is a concept fat bike for colder climates. While the Sand Crawler features a simple 3 speed internal geared hub with a coaster brake, the Sasquatch offers disc brakes and a multi-speed drivetrain to keep things moving in the snow. Need some firewood? Why not jump n the Sasquatch with your axe in tow, and load up the front rack with fuel and pedal home?
If it could be thought that the fat bikes are the sensible bikes that may one day see production, this next fire breathing monster is the odd man out. While surely never to see production, the Black Dragon theme bike looks like it would be awesome and terrifying to ride all at once. Based on a modified Trek Classic Cruiser with a gasoline powered pulse jet, the Black Dragon has a claimed top speed of 65+ and a fuel economy of a half gallon per minute.
Back to something actually practical and useful, Bontrager had this cool little multi-use shop stool on display as well. It’s a stool, a pump, a tool caddy, and beverage cooler/stash hider (by stash I’m assuming they mean your stash of Honey Stinger Waffles so you friends don’t find and eat them).
The pump handle hides flush with the stool seat, with a centralized gauge built right in while the hose hangs out underneath. I could see this being extremely popular, because what shop guys haven’t had to run around the entire store just to find a pump or a 3-way? Combine them all into a stool right at the counter, and they’ll never walk away. Unfortunately, it was a non functioning prototype so I couldn’t find out if the pump was actually easy to use or not.
When checking out the Sasquatch under the concept tent, one couldn’t help but notice the Bontrager casual clothing display that included some surprisingly good pieces. After the Sasquatch, seeing the Lumberjacket (a heavy flannel jacket with zip off sleeves to form a vest) had me questioning the amount of lumberjack references to their concepts this year. When asked, Trek’s Media Relations guy Eric Bjorling stated, “The significance around the lumberjack themes is that we’re a Wisconsin company and the lumber trade is a big part of this state’s heritage, plaid is just awesome, and inspiration can be contagious. Somebody does “the Sasquatch”, a bike designed for snow riding and then an apparel designer comes up with the “Lumberjacket” with removable sleeves.”
In addition to the Lumberjacket, the Real McCaw Shirt, and the Flambeau Flannel, Bontrager also had a pretty dialed pair of kicks on display dubbed the Wisco. With clean lines, and non-over-the-top styling I could see at least a lot of employees at Trek dealers sporting these shoes.
Last but not least, and probably furthest from production is this concept stem with an integrated computer. Trek has already integrated the sensors into the frame with SpeedTrap and DuoTrap, so the next logical step is to integrate the computer head into the stem, right? The key to the design would likely be the proposed 90 gram stem cast out of magnesium that has a pocket for the computer head to connect. Obviously, it’s a ways off but still cool to dream.