The Oregon Manifest bike

The Oregon Manifest is a design competition that happens every two years in Portland, OR. The premise is to design the “ultimate utility bike”. A set of criteria is specified and all entries are expected to fulfill them. I had entered this competition back in 2009 as Circle A Cycles. This time, I wanted to go out on my own and design, build, paint, and ride the bike myself. It was a fun project and a good reason for Hilary and I to take a small vacation out to the west coast.

The ultimate utility bike is something different for every builder. For some, it’s a bike that can carry sheets of plywood. For others, it’s one that is powered by batteries. For me, it is a bike that uses the latest shifting technology and can be used as an everyday commuter or a light touring bike. There are a lot of features on this bike and it’s probably best just to list them out:

  • Steerer lock: Tubular plunger lock brazed onto head tube inserts into reinforced hole in the steerer
  • Quick release pedals: Crank Brothers Egg Beater pedals were modified on the lathe to work with the MKS Ezy Superior couplings
  • Kickstand: Tubular chromoly with stainless insert that fits into the MKS pedal coupling and leans against the tire
  • Racks: Fillet-brazed racks with wire-routing for front light; build specifically for Guu-Watanabe bags
  • Lighting: Supernova E3 lights with internal/hidden wires
  • Shifting: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifting runs off of Shimano dynamo hub; no additional battery charging required
  • eWerk: This device can be used to charge a cell phone; also used to supply power to Di2 system
  • Frameset: Fillet-brazed frame with relaxed geometry, internal wire holes reinforced/gusseted where needed

So there you have it. A bike that has electronic shifting and the battery is charged by the rider off of the dynamo. Thanks to Kipp Bradford for the help with the small circuit that made this work (see the picture of the wires all over his countertop). Also thanks to Shoichi and Tomoko at Guu-Watanabe for getting the bags done in a timely manner. They are the BEST!

See the full slideshow of pictures.