Prevelo Alpha One
Bicycle for Children
The design was inspired by watching children learn to ride. For children, learning to ride a bicycle is an intimidating experience. We wanted to design a bicycle that would inspire confidence in young riders and be easier to ride. We realized that two large contributing factors to fear and intimidation among young and learning riders are the height of the bicycle and the weight of the bicycle. We were inspired to design a bicycle that is lighter and lower.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Prevelo Alpha One places children closer to the ground than conventional bicycles. We have found this makes riding easier for children and makes children more confident. The components on the bicycle, such as the brake levers, cranks, handlebar, pedals, seat, and pedals, are optimized for children. The cranks feature a short 85mm length and a narrow 131mm Q factor which is optimal for small legs. Lightweight materials are used to make it easier for children to handle and balance.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
This design places children in a lower position. Children find this position easier and more confidence inspiring.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in February 2016 in California. Prototyping completed December 2016. First production bikes available to ship to kids in the United States in April 2017.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Creating a bicycle that is low to the ground required a substantial redesign of the frame and components. It is not as simple as lowering the saddle height. If the saddle height is lowered without other changes to the frame, bottom bracket and cranks, then the rider's foot is pushed too close to the pelvis at the top of the pedal stroke resulting in an uncomfortable and inefficient riding position. In order to lower the rider and maintain an efficient and comfortable riding position the bicycle must be designed around a low bottom bracket. Further, short cranks are required in conjunction with a low saddle height in order to keep the riders knees from being forced into their chests at the top of the pedal stroke. The short cranks also provide additional pedal clearance in conjunction with the low bottom bracket. A longer wheel base adds to stability and gives the rider room to operate and pedal in the low position. The bicycle is constructed of custom formed 6061 aluminum tubing creating a very light and strong frame.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Wheel size: 14 inches, Wheelbase: 667mm
bicycle, bike, kids bike, childrens bike, cycle, small bicycle
Our objective was an create a bicycle that was easy to ride and confidence inspiring for children. Our primary form of research was watching children ride, in particular watching children learn to ride, and experimenting with different geometries and components. We found that children rode more confidently with bikes that were (1) lower, (2) lighter, and (3) had longer wheel bases.
The low bottom bracket and narrow Q factor means that tolerances are tight around the bottom bracket and chain stays. The chain stays, crank arms and bottom bracket required particular attention.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Jacob Rheuban and Bradley Hughes
Photographer Chris Hatounian