Meet Denny. Designed in Seattle (where Denny is a name with lots of history), this bike was selected from 5 proposed designs and will be produced in a partnership with Fuji Bikes. The goal was to design the perfect bike for convenient use in cities. Bike innovation has been fairly quiet for a while — arguably, the bicycle was more or less perfected early on — but dense urban living presents new challenges, like ease of carry on transit and the need for theft protection. Denny may not be collapsible, but its rectangular handlebar can be opened and removed to form what is surely the most convenient bike lock ever.
If you already do a lot of biking in a city, bikes like Denny look wonderfully convenient, with innovative fender systems, built-in lights, all the cables hidden, and automatic features — Denny even has an electrical assist for hills. But if you live in a city and have been hesitant to ride a bike for transportation, you probably realize that, even more than elegant new features, we need safe bikeways.
Efforts like the Bike Design Project always yield at least a few stunning concepts like The Solid, which solves an essential transportation issue in a way even the most experienced cyclist can appreciate: it can give you directions by buzzing the right or left handlebar when you need to turn — faster and much safer than looking at your phone, even if it’s mounted on the handlebars.
Denny will be produced in a very small batch — only 100 bikes to start. The concepts for the project were developed in cities that already have thriving bike communities, but even well organized efforts have yielded highly mixed results in creating enough safe routes to broaden the bike’s appeal as daily transportation. I hope the features emerging in these concept events, and the availability even of limited runs, will help attract more people to the dull, slow-moving, but important work of making cities more friendly to bikes.