A Ladies' Commuter Bicycle (2009)
Wytze van Mansum
Bruno Ninaber van Eyben
Annemiek van Boeijen
For his concept bike, Wytze van Mansum decided to move away from the image of the lycra-clad, male-dominated sport that was cycling in the US. His ladies’ commuter bicycle was a lifestyle choice for women who cared about their health and the environment, but also valued a carefree and stylish ride.
With its gears and brakes fully integrated in the hubs, the Dutchess was low-maintenance as well as free from sharp edges and greasy parts. Its sleek lines belied the technical intricacies. The rear mudguard was a structural part of the frame which allowed the carrier to carry a load of up to 50 kg.
Riders could vary their position from upright and proud to streamlined and sporty thanks to the adjustable handlebars (which also made for easy storage). The fashionable mint green colour promised a stylish, as well as a comfortable commute.
Watch the interview:
(English subtitles available)
About the design process:
Urban planners in the US were keen to get people out of cars and onto bicycles as a more sustainable form of transport in congested cities; a clear opportunity for the industry.
The Dutchess was inspired by a typical old Dutch bicycle, the omafiets (the granny bicycle): a sturdy bike that is easy to ride with its upright seating position, back-pedal brake and curved frame.