My cycling buddies and I pledge at least once a month that we will finally buy the tandem bike. But we never do. Why don’t we? Because if we buy the bike, we will in fact be riding tandem. By all means, tandem riding is a skill and involves complex maneuvering, planning, and coordination, but regardless of the skillfulness, there is still some hidden comedy to riding a tandem bicycle.
This tandem concept is named the “Twist” and is conceived by Spanish designer Jose Hurtado. The Twist allows the riders to both conjoin individual bicycles to ride tandem and split the tandem to ride apart. Hurtado perhaps had in mind the couples that ride into the city together during the week and subsequently depart to their separate jobs.
This is a concept bike that
might best exist in a future Utopian world. In this Utopia, all cyclists would be the same size and own the same perfectly symmetrical bike. All cyclists would be acquaintances and could proceed to “hook up” tandem to each other when they are so happily inclined. In this Utopia, there would be no brakes to get in the way of friendship, and no mechanical difficulties with hubless wheels.
As beautiful as this rendered concept is, I’m as scared of this tandem as I am of an actual Utopia. See why, along with more renderings, after the break…
I’m scared of the hubless wheels. I’m scared of the saddle/handlebar combination that twists around. But most of all, I’m scared of the situation in which I would have to refuse to latch up and ride
with the awkward person at the office. This concept bike, whether it be good or bad, comes with the daunting feature of being one “Twist” away from a traveling social network. Hurtado describes the philosophy of the Twist:
“Twist [is] not just a bike, [it] is a union between people. Sometimes a change of direction in your life helps you to find yourself. With Twist, the change of direction will lead you to meet and enjoy the people, like you, who love cycling, mobility and [a] healthy life.”
While the idea might frighten me, technologically and conceptually the bike pushes the boundaries of what a bicycle is and how it can be used. Like any good concept, it introduces new thinking, which inevitably leads to more new thinking and eventually (usually) some good, actual products. For that, we’re stoked to see it and applaud Hurtado and look forward to seeing where the design goes from here.
Additional images and information are available at Hurtado’s website.