pilen concept bicycle by eric therner
pilen concept bicycle by eric therner pilen concept bicycle by eric therner
jun 18, 2008

pilen concept bicycle by eric therner

designer eric therner, formerly a partner at addi, submitted his new concept bike design to designboom. working with the swedish bicycle manufacturer pilen-cykel, therner created this concept bike based on 1930’s lemans racers. by merging the retro look with the latest manufacturing techniques and materials, the bike creates a new segment in today’s bike market. the bike has some innovative design features such as led lights integrated into the frame and a two part saddle which absorbs shock.

photographs by jesper lindstrom – lunar park

http://www.addi.se http://www.pilencykel.se



  • Saddle impossible, no adjustable in height. Two lever but one brake. Front wheel is ungovernable because of the fork. The the classic diamond frame it’s still the most efficient solution.

    ett says:
  • ^ The rear brake caliper is between the bottom bracket and the rear wheel on the chainstays, so two levers, two brakes.

    monogodo says:
  • We’ve been here before. There is a long history of industrial designers arrogantly attempting to re-design the bicycle, Guigaro tried it, so did Starck and they always get it wrong. This is no exception, a triumph of style over function, except it’s not very stylish. This thing wont go round corners, it can’t be adjusted and it will break. leave cycle design to engineers and go back to designing kettles and angle-poise lamps before you embarrass yourself any further.

    miguel mcsporran says:
  • what an incredible waste of time and money. this goes no further to improving the design of the bicycle. it doesn’t even look good, which is what i presume was the point of the project in the first place… self indulgent nonsense, in no way a genuine advance in technology or ergonomics.

    disgusted of brighton says:
  • So many haters! Why? It’s a concept -okay?
    I think it looks odd but cool in some wierd way.
    The handlebar is great!
    Keep it up Eric!

    ike says:
  • From a purely aesthetic point of view, I think it is gorgeous. But, I also tend to go for late 19th early 20th century design…

    And, I would have to ride it to make any further judgments.

    P.S.- I have wondered for some time about why integrated lighting doesn’t exist in modern bicycles…it can’t be that hard!

    Fangorn81 says:
  • Spin the forks 180 degrees, flip the handlebars, and you might have a cool cruiser.

    Seriously, were the fork and stem put on backwards?

    Form less, function more.

    ummmOK says:
  • I can´t believe what everyone is writing here! I saw this bike at Salone Satellite in Milano this year. I came back to it over and over again, and was not alone! I have only one thing to say, WOOW! This bike looks twice as good in reality, these images don´t do it justice at all. The pictures I took definitely don´t do it either. You really have to stand next to it.

    Very nice work Eric! I hope it goes into production soon, because I really wan´t one!

    Admirerer says:
  • The look is good: Like the retro short-track motorbike look of it.
    I am curious about the saddle design. The shape seems to be built for the lines of the Bike; and less for the Rider’s comfort (let the BUTT decide: Jury is out on that one).
    Stability (based on the front fork) would be sketchy in the corners methinks.
    Integrated lighting is an EXCELLENT idea.
    Again I think it looks good: Put this one down as a nice bike for a “Scenester” with a fat wallet.
    If I go fixy; I’ll go with a a Surly ;+).

    Dogsbody. says:
  • this is one cool bike
    can i have a ride?

    gregned says:
  • There are many comments as to the stability and cornering ability of this design. It does look like the fork is designed with negative trail, but that doesn’t matter. The amount of trail, either negative or positive, determines how it will handle. Bikes are built with positive rake/trail (that is the fork curves away from the frame) to ensure clearance between the tire and pedals. The physics of fork design, as pertaining to trail, have been extensively studied in early bicycle design history. Do your homework before tearing into a design so fiercely.

    rhubarb says:
  • Thank you so much “rhubarb”! I ride this concept bike every day and it corners like hell!

    PS: The bike was built in 3 days

    eric therner says:
  • where can I buy one

    [email protected]

    javier says:
  • I like this frame.

    daxia says:
  • So eric: Since you ride it all the time; I am wondering about that seat.
    How’s the comfort?

    Dogsbody says:
  • Dogsbody: The comfort is not soft, it´s like a normal sadel though the position is different on this one. How you sit on this seat may feel strange from a normal one in the beginning. But from my own opinion you are more “free” in your movements and therefore you´ll be more relaxed. You would probably just need no more than 2 small round “globes” on each side. Now the shape on this one comes toghether at one place, I really wanted them to be separated from each other to really stand out from the what you usually see on bikes. Now the prototype was made under little time and lots of pressure, so changes like that was not possible. But it sure works as well as any other bike. I´m not trying to reinvent the bike in this concept, simply just show something different that works just as well as others but that awake feelings that other bikes don´t. And then make people choose this kind of bike instead of a scooter, car or bus.

    e r i c says:
  • Aesthetics aside, it is a concept bike. How many concept cars ever make it to production?
    I can appreciate the idea behind the design, but much seems to be compromised to follow form.

    The seat tube sticking out through the seat stays – ugly.
    Non-adjustable seat height – silly.
    Double crown fork – just added weight, (purely for form, it would seem).
    Rear brake on the chain stay – tried and failed in the 80’s. (Where is the front brake caliper?)
    Overly elevated bottom bracket – why? (it’s not a cyclocross or Mt. frame.)
    Track drop-outs with a quick release?
    The suspension spring for the seat is at the non-weight bearing point. (I sit on my sit bones, not my crotch).

    “The physics of fork design, as pertaining to trail, have been extensively studied in early bicycle design history.” While this is a valid point, it proves nothing without some contemporary designs using a fork design like this. The fork and stem still look backwards, and their form lends nothing to the overall look of the bike.

    Also, while trying to achieve such a retro look, I’m surprised that it has contemporary deep-V wheels when modern wooden rims are readily available.

    If you like classic dirt-track styled bikes check out the gallery at ratrodbikes.com.

    ummmOK says:
  • ummmOK: What you think is ugly is a matter of taste. Adjustible seat height, I never changed the height on my “normal” bike, thought is you by the height you need made for you. The front brake did not make it in time, so therefore it has both connected to the rear. of course that was not suppose to happen. I assure you, the weight is not as far back as you think it is on the seat. you sit with your bones on top of the spring, and your crotch is in front of the seat. So the fork you don´t like, in the side view of this photo I can understand your concern that you think it look backwords. But to ride it is not a heavy bike, and the steering is smooth. In perspective it looks muscular and right. (Though this is just mine and Pilen-cykel opinion) it´s totally alright to dislike it. Considering the retro look. I´m not at all after an california styled criuser or ratrod. That, I think is ugly. I like norton motorbikes from the 60´s and 70´s so i was aming more to those lines mixed with the feel of early LeMans in the styling. also I prefer to work with parts that are not made to look retro, the wheels, the handlebar, the lights, the brakes, chain, every part is from today, I think it looks to much to use parts someone else designed to look retro. It is the lines that make it look retro, not the parts, that is what I like.

    e r i c says:
  • I’ve had a life of cycling with something hard rammed up my backside, neck twisted upward while leaning aggressively forward on my long suffering wrists. There is nothing new in bicycle design. Even the coolest new bikes are called ‘retros’. As was already stated — you can’t beat the standard diamond frame — if you limit your imagination to an upright bike. If you want to see amazing designs that takes functionality, performance, comfort and art into account, take a look at recumbents. I can’t deny that this thing looks cool but art that fails to deliver functionality is only art; or worse — fashion.

    bentguy says:
  • Beautiful bike. The fork issue is one that will have to be determined by individual riders… I imagine it would be twitchier handling, but with the handlebars so far back, I don’t know the effect.

    As for the engineers and traditionalists, screw ’em all at this stage of the game. You’ve built it, so it’s been engineered. As an architecture student, I know that engineering is a hassle that needs to come in at a certain point in the design – but the concept comes first. Otherwise, it’s no fun and it’s not interesting.

    studio a says:
  • I think it’s fantastic. Well done. I’d love to ride it. How much does it weigh?

    Chris says:
  • I would have thought that the shape of the fork doesn’t matter too much re steering as long as the head tube points at a point behind the axle.

    eggwhisk says:
  • Very beautiful bike ! beautiful harmony ! great job !

    unmec says:

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