Sunday, August 9

“The diamond soul”

Little have changed from the basic triangle formation
in the structure of the bicycle frame all across 120 years!
-  a 1886 ad of  a bicycle

“The diamond soul” of the bicycle is something I have grappled a lot in my thoughts … why cannot we find a breakthrough change in its geometry? The triangulated, tubular, diamond shaped frame has dominated the geometry of cycle frames over a 100 years and continue to do it. 

“The diamond soul” first appeared in the market in 1885, discovered by a British industrialist John Kemp Starley. Compared to the efficiency and the strength the diamond geometry offer, this structure stands the best. Desperately, bicycle designers have tried to replace this simple structure of straight tubes with all sorts of shapes and sizes… with all sorts of nothingness and “simplicity”.  1000s of attempts were made to replace this diamond soul. But they haven’t been able to create a geometry that uses less and gives more than the diamond soul of a bicycle. Today, tube diameters may have increased and tubes that were once round may now be oval or tapered… tubes must have gone from steel to plastic to composite.  But the frame (the soul) is  a diamond. 

Over the years, tremendous contributions have been made in the material science and manufacturing technology towards improving the dynamics of a bicycle, but no breakthrough has happened on the “diamond soul”.

Curtis Inglis is brazing a Cielo frame at 
Chris King works
(from "Cielo Steps Up"... blog at Chris King)

The question I ask is, “Should we change what is best and what is going sturdy?” Should we do something unique and something afresh to keep civilization on the move? 

Ya...someone said , 
"There is NO NEW BLACK" 
I am not saying we shouldn't invent new ways of doing things...True, we must force ourselves to discover and invent a new concept. We should replace a living modal, when there is a necessity for it … not otherwise. Just because there is an annual expo of trends should not force a designer to birth a “disadvantage” which is funny looking, uneconomical, energy consuming or non-green. 

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