Page 1

AFRICAN BICYCLE DESIGN CONTEST 2010-2011 Jury report finals 15-06-2011

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Preamble is a platform where people can exchanges their ideas on bicycle design. As an initiative of Cycling Out Of Poverty, it is meant to use these ideas to change lives in developing countries. In 2010 the first African Bicycle Design Contest (ABDC) was started. A design competition, focused on designing bicycles, bicycle trailers and kits/add-ons to meet the needs of African cyclists. The contest received many international contributions: 63 design where submitted in the first round. Five of them were chosen and these ideas were further developed into products by five teams from different universities: Amsterdam University for applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, HAN University for applied Sciences, Michigan Technological University and Rotterdam University of applied Sciences. In this document the team’s final designs are shortly presented. The jury has judged all five products and motivates why the team of Delft University of Technology was the winner. We were impressed by the enthusiastic approach of the teams and their eagerness to win this contest. Alas, there can only be one winner. We would like to congratulate the team of Delft and thank all other teams for their effort. We’re looking forward to continue working with the winner and other student teams! The African Bicycle Design Team.

Luuk Eickmans: Director Cycling out of Poverty, Initiator wiki-bike and ABDC Thies Timmermans: Contest coordinator Ideal&Co Jos Sluismans: Contest coordinator Slimmer

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

The Jury The Jury of the African Bicycle Design Contest 2010-2011 consists of a select group of top designers

and bicycle- and sustainability experts .

Luud Schimmelpennink Luud Schimmelpennink came into public view in the early 1960s through his association with the White Bicycle Plan. Since the mid 1960s he has been active as an industrial designer and social innovator with a special focus on sustainable transportation concepts. As from May 19th 2010 he’s elected to the Municipal Council of Amsterdam.

James Thomas James Thomas is an U.S. based industrial designer and cycling advocate who believes strongly that bicycles can change the world. He shares his thoughts on his famous blog: For more info: Bikebiz

Peter van der Veer Peter van der Veer graduated in 1978 at the Design Academy Eindhoven. One of his graduation projects was the design of a wheelchair suitable for smallscale production in developing countries. In 1984 he founded his own design company, named van der VeerDesigners, specialized in mobility design. For more info:

Jan Carel Diehl As a university teacher at the faculty of industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology Jan Carel Diehl is mainly involved with student project in developing countries. He sees it as a challenge to find the right balance in the commercial, ecological and social aspect in a good product. For more info: or

Nick van Kimmenade Nick van Kimmenade is a Young entrepreneur in waste management. In 2008 he started a recycling company using bicycles with electric motor assist. Next to that he is importer and manufacturer of cargocycles. For more info: and

Esther Yameogo Simpore Esther Yameogo Simpore coordinates bicycle projects in Burkino Faso, for which she was decorated by the president in March 2010. Esther Yameogo Simpore also represents the African Bicycle Network (ABN) in the jury. For more info:

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Criteria The jurors have paid special attention to the following six criteria:

Technology What technology is used in the design of the product? Is it rigid, reliable, cheap, easy to use? Is it possible to manufacture the product when looking at the technical possibilities in the suggested production area?

Target group Is the product suitable for the African people, market and climate? Does it meet the local demands? Does it direct to one or more user groups such as entrepreneurs, women, health workers, children or students? Do they benefit from it in a social, financial way or does it improve their status? Are there specific features that meet special African conditions, needs or standards?

Overall design What are the innovative aspects of the concept? Are they needed or useful to differ from the existing products on the market? Does it add value? Does the product/design look attractive? What things are missing or do some aspects need more attention before starting to build a prototype?

Business Case Do you think that the product will sell in Africa? What is the expected ‘return of investment’? Is there a proper realistic business proposal for the product? How does the team think to sell (price, place, promotion)? How complete is the business case? Is it reliable or plausible? Is the product ready to enter the market? Where is the product sold? What about services, shops, trainers, logistics, staff, market introduction? Does the concept help to stimulate local economy?

Sustainability How sustainable is the product concept. Specific points of interest could be: the durability of the design, utilization of local available and sustainable materials, possibility to repair with available tools. Does the design help to stimulate local economics or increase social status? Does it solve any local problems?

Affordability Is the relation of price and quality acceptable?

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Winner COOP Bicycle Trailer Delft University of Technology

The final concept’s most important feature is in particular the ability to configure fast, simple and safely a variety of add-ons that fit to the story of the Boda-Boda driver and the need of the Farmers. Overall, it is also very light weighing around 7 kgs. The concept illustrated has designated boxes - logistics, disallowing mismatching of crop, fish, and water containers. Of course, through the simple wooden platform, it is able to be flexible on its load; however the ability of add-ons allows a multifunctional use, for example carrying people.

The Jury “The reason that this team has won the competition is because it scores well on context analysis, business proposal and affordability. It’s not only a nice product design, but also the business-case is well developed regarding the African context. A bicycle trailer isn’t very sophisticated or innovative, but above all simple, sustainable, affordable and it meets the demands of African families. According to the jury that’s the right mix for a successful product for the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ in Africa. Although the jury found the design great, some technical improvements are still needed. Special attention should be paid to the connection system and the way to carry water. When taking local fishermen as the target group (as mentioned in the presentation) it would be a great value to use the local water hyacinth for the construction of boxes or other features.” Average Technology Sustainability Target Group Business Case Affordability Overall Design

7,5 7 8 8 8 8 6

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Other teams SEP Bike HAN University of applied Sciences



The SEP Bike will be made from an existing bike, the frame construction and a box. The frame will be built in the Workshop. The box can be of different sizes and functions. The frame construction will always be the same but the cheap wooden box has multiple functions. You can think of additional lit (protect the goods or to sell from) or without any side faces (transporting bigger objects) or a box with a chair to transport people or children. The USP’s of the SEP Bike are that the bike fits to several kind of target groups. So it is not just one group of people but for everyone. It fits to all existing bikes. It will last long because it is very strong and will not break easily.

The Jury “This team has done a tremendous job regarding the technical development of their product. It’s quite hard to simplify a high-tech product for the African market, but they understood that this was necessary. The team managed to design a bicycle with a big load capacity that demands the needs of the bodaboda drivers. However the jury was concerned about the tolerances in the steering mechanism and the enormous turning circle. The jury found the business plan not convincing. Especially the selling price, which wasn’t determined and the added value for money was questionable.” Average Technology Sustainability Target Group Business Case Affordability Overall Design

7 7 8 8 6 7 6

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Bamboobike Amsterdam University of applied Sciences

Students that have to walk long distances to school every day and cannot afford a bicycle, or the available bicycles are too big. When taking this target group it’s important that the bicycle will fit during the growth of children. The design is based on the idea to make the bicycle modular so that it is adaptable to every user. Therefore the use of welds is prevented and a locally available (cheaper) material is used: bamboo!

The Jury The jury was impressed by the well-detailed prototype that was delivered by the team. A lot of technical challenges had to be solved to come to this final design. The jury understands the concept of the modular system, but is - like the team already mentioned in the presentation - unsure if it works in combination with bamboo. Another important question that the jury has, concerns the added value of this bicycle concept. Why would people buy a bamboo bicycle if it’s more expensive than a regular bicycle? The product will probably not reach the large market, since it is a niche product that will only be interesting for the higher segment of the market.

Average Technology Sustainability Target Group Business Case Affordability Overall Design

6,5 7 7 6 6 6 7

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Baisikeli Ugunduzi Michigan Technological University

The team from Michigan focused on three upgrade kits included better brakes, a men’s to women’s bicycle conversion, and an improved drive-train. The idea behind the upgrade kits concept is that Africa needs ways to improve the millions of existing bicycles, known as Black Mambas, already in use throughout Africa. Upgrading the lowest quality and least reliable components is a more sustainable option, breathing new life into old, tired bicycles and increasing the bicycle’s capacity and appeal. Upgrade kits allow existing bicycle owners the opportunity to improve their bicycle at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a new one.

The Jury The presentation and report of the team from Michigan revealed an extremely well in-depth analysis of the design problem and research of the business opportunity for the local market. When you think of it, this team has not designed one single product, but three complete products. On top of that the team came up with a complete story including the branding of the kits. The jury liked the inflatable tire best, then the conversion kit for men/women and last the brake. Important for the jury was that the kits were manufactured in and imported from Taiwan and China and therefore the focus was less on improving the local economical situation in Kenya. Next to that the jury is unsure if the brake-kit will sell in Africa, since they are quite pricy and are expected to need skilled technicians to install. Average Technology Sustainability Target Group Business Case Affordability Overall Design

7,2 8 7 8 7 7 6

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Recycled bicycle pedal Rotterdam University of applied Sciences

To end local waste problems created by litter like plastic bags and other packaging materials the team focused on combining plastic recycling techniques to bicycle components. Next to that the simple production technique and low investment makes it possible to manufacture products locally. In this way the product will stimulate local employment, economics and social welfare. Their concept is to start with an extruded bicycle pedal.

The Jury The jury has respect for the way the team has rethought their original design problem. The first assignment was to develop a complete bicycle made from recycled plastics and the team was smart and brave enough to step away from this merely impossible task. The jury likes the idea to integrate the local waste problem in the final solution and use recycled plastics as a basic material. The team has analyzed the local possible production techniques well and designed a product that fits in that infrastructure. However the jury has doubts about the life expectancy and durability of the product, since it will wear out due to friction when using no bearings. But more important is that it isn’t sure that the product will sell. Key for success is the selling price, since it has to compete with cheap Chinese spare parts. And especially this last item is one thing that the team hasn’t investigated much time in to calculate.

Average Technology Sustainability Target Group Business Case Affordability Overall Design

6,5 8 7 6 6 5 7

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Background During the past few years Cycling out of Poverty (CooP) foundation has been providing bicycles on credit to many small entrepreneurs, women, health workers and students in Africa. By giving these people access to a bicycle, they have seen an increase in their economical activities and their access to health care and education. Even though the accessibility to bicycles is now no more barriers for these target groups, the availability of the appropriate bicycles is. The bicycles that are available in Africa don’t meet their needs. In 2009-2010 four students from the Delft University of Technology, which were the first group of students visiting CooP, pioneered on sustainable bicycle design in and for Africa. This group turned out to be very successful. After research, prototyping, testing, prototyping and training the local manufacturers the first series of COOP carrier bikes have been independently produced and sold in bicycle workshops of the partner organizations of CooP in Africa. To continue this process of developing ideas for suitable bicycles in the African context, CooP developed is a platform for everybody who believes a bicycles can make the difference is this world and would like to be part of a global wiki-movement to co-create and design bicycles tuned to the needs of African (potential) cyclists. is intended to stay around as a platform for many years. The platform will host design contests every now and again. This African Bicycle Design Contest 2010-2011 is the first contest from this platform. The aim of the African Bicycle Design Contest 2010-2011 is to design affordable quality bicycles tuned to the needs of (potential) cyclists in Africa. The Contest has two phases. The first phase, “open wikibike”, is an open entry competition where everybody can send in their ideas and future visions on bicycles in Africa. Five of these ideas will be selected by a professional jury and awarded with the development of the ideas by a student design team and a professional designer. In the second phase, “wiki-bike co-creation”, the design teams will develop a prototype and business model for the selected idea.

African Bicycle Design Contest   Jury Report Finals

Jury report African Bicycle Design Contest  
Jury report African Bicycle Design Contest  

Jury report from the first African Bicycle Design Contest 2010-2011 organised by Cycling out of Poverty, Ideal&Co and SLIMMER under the umbr...