試作T3.5号機も紆余曲折ありつつ無事完成。走行テストを終えた後、いよいよBicycle City Expo2018の展示準備です。諸事情によりブースデザイン、素材準備、設営すべて自分達の手作業。
For a visitor from Japan, the first impression from China Cycle is the huge variety of bikes, trikes, e-bikes, scooters and other two- and three-wheeled vehicles. Japanese vehicle regulations make innovation difficult and expensive, forcing vehicles for Japan into tightly defined and familiar areas of the market.
Here are some products that caught my eye at the show, starting with folding e-bikes:
Complex tilt and steering mechanism mounted high over the wheels with outside stub axles, no pedals and an unusual battery layout: all focused on achieving a compact folding trike with reasonable sized wheels.
Next, a couple of award-winning micro-bikes, made in China but designed in Europe:
A conventional folding bike layout but with their own battery solution:
And some random folding e-bikes:
Not e-bikes, but new folding solutions from Dahon:
Not a folding bike: an all in on one e-drive and gearbox from Germany’s OECHSLER with a Gates carbon belt-drive:
Pininfarina had a good-sized stand to themselves, proposing a conventional e-bike under their own brand:
And a couple more design-oriented conventional bikes:
A different take on the Japanese mama-chari e-bike for parents:Not sure about the centre of gravity: you probably have to be careful about which order you load the bike with kids and shopping.
And some fun-looking e-bikes for the beach:
With few exceptions, none of these bikes can be imported to Japan as a “bicycle” or road legal vehicle. We are missing out on innovation and fun – and some real stimulus for designers and engineers in Japan to do something new for the Japanese market.
China Cycle is the world’s biggest bicycle show, held every year in Shanghai’s massive National Exhibition and Convention Center. This year it ran from the 6th to 9th May and was bigger than ever before, with more than 1,200 exhibitors and 160,000 visitors.
I was there for less than a day and here is Part 1 of my quick impressions of the show, focusing on an area of the market close to our hearts in the Daga team: three-wheelers and cargo vehicles, starting with the simplest:Super basic MTB-style with twin rear-wheel drive in clear-coated bare steel tube.
Vertical hub steer, no tilt and pedal drive, but a lot of trike for not much cargo. Question: “What is it for?” Answer: “Shopping.”
Another very basic trike with no tilt and basic steering. The front wheels are located with forks rather than stub axles but at least it has some useable cargo space.
“European-style” trike with kids’ box that pivots with the handlebars and solid front axle.
Another Euro-style trike with kids’ box, this time with a loop handlebar and gas-strut for self-centring.
Cargo e-trike from Luxmea. Very complex front suspension and steering with a self-standing tilt mechanism but vertical kingpins. How did they solve the tyre-scrub problem?
We are working hard to keep our cargo trike short and compact for Japan, but that is clearly not a problem in other countries:
Italy’s Benelli have take their own direction for cargo e-bikes, getting maximum cargo capacity from conventional bicycles with some heavy adaptation:
For different reasons, none of these solutions feels right for Japan. This is the gap that we want to fill with the Daga Stroke cargo trike: compact, powerful, adaptable, easy and fun to ride.
The Stroke Cargo Trike is Daga’s new mobility solution for Japan. It fits Japan’s legal definition of an electric-assisted bicycle, making ownership and use as easy as possible, and like other products designed with Japan in mind, the thinking necessary to make a product work in the world’s most demanding market makes the Stroke Cargo Trike special anywhere:
Rideable: Mid-mounted cargo space means that as you load it up, the centre of gravity just gets lower and more central. The tilting front wheels are always visible to the rider and the double steering linkage is direct and light. This thing is fun to ride!
Adaptable: The surround frame, design-registered in Japan, will be developed with custom attachment points for maximum luggage flexibility. Boxes, bags, custom-built cases – bolt them on, strap them down or suspend them, it is up to the user.
What you see here is the latest proof-of-concept prototype, the Daga concept frame and steering system adapted to use proprietary running gear. Road tests have proved that it is easy and fun to ride on flat terrain and steep hills. Now we are looking for partners to help us take the Cargo Trike to the next stage – final design prototypes and into production.