The design: The beginning of a new product.
As is the case with all NeilPryde water sports products, design also plays a significant role in the manufacture of bikes. Whether automobile, surfboard or bike, design is the crucial factor for making a purchase decision. The team at DesignworksUSA regarded the project as a particularly exciting challenge. It was not simply a matter of product design, but all about visually interpreting the successful enterprise’s brand identity within a new industry and significantly and sustainably shaping the future face of NeilPryde on the asphalt. With its cross-industrial work in the field of product design which, in addition to automobiles, also includes development work for the aircraft, railway supply and yacht building industries, the BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA deals with all kinds of mobility. For example, DesignworksUSA was also responsible for the development of the BMW Bike Collections, which comprise mountain bikes, touring bikes, cruise bikes and kids’ bikes as well as a large amount of sports equipment, lifestyle and other mobility products.
Shaping a bike identity for NeilPryde.
The new bikes designed for the water sports specialist combine the highest level of dynamics and racing aesthetics. With “Diabolo” and “Alize”, NeilPryde and DesignworksUSA have created two sculptural bikes with uncompromising performance. Michael Pryde, Group Sales and Distribution Manager at NeilPryde Bikes, shares the design team’s enthusiasm: “Our heritage in elegantly engineering winning products in the water sports arena is now expanded beautifully to the cycling world.” This premiere has opened new doors both in terms of product design as well as the evolution of the NeilPryde brand”, says Laurenz Schaffer, President of DesignworksUSA. “We are very pleased that we have been able to develop this innovative vision together with NeilPryde.”
Sculptural mobility: The models “Alize” and “Diabolo”.
The design of the road bikes is a clear sign of the company’s intention to enter a new dimension in mobility. The bikes’ distinctive, muscular appearance was inspired by the excitement experienced in the sporting history of NeilPryde, and is visible in the sculptural surfaces and the highest degree of elaborateness right down to the smallest detail. Consequently, new standards for high-performance road bikes have been set, which – like the sails produced by the brand – had to undergo stringent wind tunnel tests.
The road bike “Alize” was developed for competitively oriented cyclists who wish to quickly break away from the peloton. It stands for pure aerodynamics and combines expressive, elegant and dynamic aesthetics with outstanding performance reached, inter alia, by optimized tube profiling and an extension of the Kamm tail. The changing profile along the length of the tubes manages the airflow specific to the aerodynamic characteristics of each element – frame, forks, wheels and components. The innovative cross sections are designed to extend the trailing edge of the air flow without increasing weight. Using state-of-the-art 3D modelling techniques, it was possible to harmonise surface profiles and provide them with a perfectly smooth finish.
“Diablo” is a high-performance bike for alpine and final spurt enthusiasts. Decades of water sports experience in the field of carbon processing and the latest knowledge in lightweight construction acquired by both partners have been incorporated into the design. The monocoque frame of the bicycle is made of continuous carbon fibre. Integrated sculptural surfaces in the transitions and tubes enhance stiffness without increasing weight. Moreover, stiffness ribs were integrated into the neuralgic locations on the fork blades as well as into the chain and seat stays. Achieving a perfect balance between all cycling-related features and the necessary lightweight requirements was considered to be the greatest challenge during the entire design process. The resulting organic form language expresses a muscular and powerful character that visually communicates enhanced light-weight performance, authentically establishing NeilPryde on the bicycle market.
The first two models from the NeilPryde road bike series can be pre-ordered worldwide on the Internet at www.neilprydebikes.com (delivery scheduled to commence mid September 2010).
Prices of fully assembled bicycles:
3,900 – 4,300 USD (with Shimano Ultegra)
5,100 – 5,500 USD (with Shimano Dura Ace).
“Diabolo” 2,500 USD
“Alize” 2,250 USD.