As part of my second year Design module in University, we worked on a week-long industry project. This year, we worked with a company called Frog Bikes who are a children’s bicycle company based in the UK.
Frog bikes set us the brief of designing a concept product to either help the user (a young child) throughout the process of learning to ride a bike, or to help the parents with the purchasing of a child’s bike – this could be helping to reassure their mindset in regards to safety, or to include accessories to aid with cleaning and maintenance.
Frog bikes also work with the Sports department of Brunel University with the development of their bikes as well as testing of the parts.
Throughout my research stage for this project, there were many reports published around the confidence levels of children when learning the gear system on the bicycle handlebars. The reports showed that young children found it intimidating and confusing when associating numbers to a gear, as well as trying to understand how gears work in the first place.
My concept proposal for this project was a modular handlebar accessory which aligns with the gears on the bike. Next to each number is a simplistic icon to represent the levels terrain in which the respective gear is to be used. This would create a new, more literal interface for the child to read and learn to quickly understand how and when to use each gear.
The base “ring” of the product would grip on to the handlebar which rotates when the gears change, which in turn rotates the layer on which the product which displays the gear icons to change the icon displayed in the “view-port”.
Each icon would also be backlit when in use, making the gear which is in use more visible and easily located.