2019 is here and we are getting closer back to the future… every year while riding our simple or “not so simple” mountain bikes. These bikes have evolved so much since their birth and the progression continues till date with more and more innovative standards and more.
However there are not even handful of individuals who think way ahead and innovate radical concepts which you may ride in coming years.
Meet Erik Habermann. A product designer and a mountain biker from Berlin. Erik studied product design in Potsdam and then worked for many years as a surface modeler at Volkswagen (the things with the four wheels).
Erik also worked with Canyon Bikes and joined the design team on the current Canyon Torque.
However, he decided to continue his passion at his hometown where he now works at a product design company and has conceptualized an out-of-the-box mountain bike design that “will” inspire other bike brands out there.
Erik created his concepts under his own company “Gnarly Bikes” where each bike has its own focus.
His design process is fairly unique “Before a design process, I often ask myself, what would I change, what annoys me about current bicycles, what can I do better and who is the person who wants it. The first concept develops around these questions, first in the head, then on paper, and later I redesign it digitally”. This is how the downhill bike by Gnarly bikes came to be.
The idea behind this design was to focus fully on integration. Erik wanted to design a mountain bike which is not too much of a fictional concept (too far away from our current idea of an bike) but still goes a step further. He wanted to create a clean formal language whose main lines are determined by the frame and not interrupted by “attachments”.
The rear shock has landed in the top tube and is held sideways.
The bike will come with an electronically controlled Gearbox. It is driven by a belt which, on the one hand, increases longevity, minimizes the noise level and makes rear derailleurs disappear into the bicycle so that they are no longer exposed to external influences and can be destroyed.
In the ideal case, it is a “do and forget bike”.
Erik continued to keep things simple, effective with uniform look in the cockpit area as he is not a fan of multiple elements like various triggers and more these days.
But all in all, the Gnarly DH is just a concept. The kinematics, manufacturing processes and other design features require engineer supervision. However this concept hould not be too far away from reality.
Afterall who does not want a mountain bike that focuses more on buying the bike, taking it out of the box, putting on protection and shred it. The Gnarly DH bike concept offers that and hope to ride it soon.