Today we continue with the 4th installation of the mini series. For newer backers, this mini-series will walk through the design, development process, and functionality of each customized bike component.
- Mini Series #1 – Biometric Access Module
- Mini Series #2 – Removable Battery
- Mini Series #3 – Airless Tires
- Mini Series #4 – Frame Design
Motivation and functionality
When we first started conceptualizing design concepts for Reevo, we noticed that all e-bikes on the market look almost identical to each other. Sure, there may be some variations in styling, but the basic silhouette rarely differs from one bike to the other. We knew from the very start that we wanted to create a unique-looking bike unlike anything else on the market. The hubless wheels were one aspect of achieving this goal, but the frame also had to match the futuristic aesthetic.
Design process and challenges
We started from the ground up to design many iterations of the frame. Innovation often isn’t a linear process, and you have to go back to the drawing board to reverse progress where neccesary.
A major area for improvement that we identified early on in the design process is the battery placement. Most e-bikes place the battery on the frame itself. The advantage of this is easy access to the battery for charging or replacements. However, the downside is that it disrupts the bike aesthetics as the battery almost always looks like an afterthought, at least to us. Certainly not a look that we wanted for a futuristic e-bike. Some e-bikes integrate the battery into the frame itself. This makes for a cleaner look, but limits access to the battery. A non-removable battery means that there is no possibility of extending electric range by swapping out for a fresh battery.
After realising this, we tore apart our old designs to try to create a “best of both worlds” frame design – with the battery hidden within the frame, but still removable via a hinged cover. Here are some examples of our early conceptual designs. Which one’s your favourite?
An aesthetically pleasing bike design has to look balanced. A visually unbalanced design will look odd to the eyes, and just feel wrong. We spent alot of time tweaking and making minute changes to the curves in the frame to make it look flowy and balanced.
We also made sure to incorporate bonelines in the frame design for a more aggresive look and to break up the monotony of a flat surface. Through trial and error, we realized that a plain frame will make the bike look bulky. By adding carefully placed bonelines on the frame, the bike will look slimmer and more visually appealing. Kinda similar to how wearing a shirt with vertical lines can trick the mind and make you look thinner. The result of this design process is the beautiful (in our opinion) frame that you see incorporated in the bike’s design today, giving Reevo its unique silhouette.
From a designer’s dream