Concept Bike – Designer Jose Hurtado’s Tandem For a Utopian Future

Twist Tandem Concept Bicycle by Jose Hurtado

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…

Twist tandem concept detached by Jose Hurtado

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.”

Twist tandem crankset and hubless wheel

Twist Tandem Concept Handlebar and Seat Combination

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.

Twist tandem concept hubless wheel release

Twist tandem concept detachable hubless wheel

Additional images and information are available at Hurtado’s website.

Comments

Luke E - 01/23/12 - 6:34pm

Why do industrial designers hate spokes so much?

Joshua - 01/23/12 - 6:39pm

I wish we could see neat designs like this from engineers, not designers. It looks cool, but it’s not really a practical idea…

Joshua Murdock - 01/23/12 - 8:34pm

And that riding position looks pretty ridiculous… That can’t be comfortable or efficient. Also, when you flip the bars and seat around, as shown in the last graphic, you are now steering a front wheel drive bike with your ass.

I’m usually the guy defending new ideas and innovations that show up on BikeRumor… but this seems like a misguided, albeit good intentioned, design by someone who is not particularly familiar with cycling.

Kevin - 01/23/12 - 9:06pm

90deg head angles rule!!!!!

Tommy Nickels - 01/23/12 - 9:53pm

I remember my first beer…..

Kurt the Mechanic - 01/23/12 - 10:15pm

Lets not forget about the most important thing here…….

when you flip the saddle and bars around the opposite way, your water bottle cages are going to be backwars. I will never make it in this Eutopia.

Bill - 01/23/12 - 11:44pm

Not to mention, it has to be a fixed gear unless you have some magicaly hub/crankset that can switch pawl directions.

MagliaRosa - 01/24/12 - 4:53am

Reminds me of “The Human Centipede” – “the Human Velocipede”?

mark trousdale - 01/24/12 - 8:25am

standover is going to be an issue as well

mattb - 01/24/12 - 8:27am

Toe overlap is a deal breaker for me.
And the detachable headset, and the geometry, and just about everything else…

uglyyeti - 01/24/12 - 10:25am

This was a student industrial design project, not an engineering project. Check out his website, he has some cool non-bike stuff too.

There are dozens of reasons why this doesn’t work as a bike as-designed, but maybe our robot overlords in this future Utopia will be running down our great-grandkids on these.

Nanci Drew - 01/24/12 - 10:32am

MagliaRosa WINS.

notapro - 01/24/12 - 12:15pm

utopia consists of hero dirt and everlasting trails of gnarnia followed by amazing meals and refrshments during massages by olivia wilde or a reasonable facsimile thereof. oh, and mtn bikes not skinny asphalt only things.

notapro - 01/24/12 - 12:21pm

sorry, left out perfect surf conditions..

Joshua - 01/24/12 - 3:45pm

What notapro said… EXACTLY what he said…

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