As we mentioned in March, Oregon Manifest has returned after a years-long hiatus. Back in 2011, the competition produced more than 30 entrants, all with their own takes on the most bad-ass urban utility bike imaginable—a bike with the blingy bells and convenient whistles that could inspire fence-sitting car commuters to tumble off that stubborn palisade for keeps.
This year, the competition is vastly smaller, with just five teams invited to compete. It's also baiting/cudgeling us with civic pride, since those five teams come from five thriving American cities—Portland, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago. (Note: I am unceasingly susceptible to said cudgeling.) If this year's competition produces less innovation by sheer numeric reality, it's also going to give you a better shot at owning whatever these teams come up with. Fuji bikes has agreed to build, in limited numbers, whichever model wins an online popularity contest.
So what are we looking at? The bikes will be formally unsheathed tonight, with each team holding an event in its hometown. Head down to the Pacific Northwest College of Art between 6 and 9 this evening to check out Portland's entry.
Everyone's being tight-lipped on specifics until the big reveal, but the teams are also giving stingy sneak peaks on Instagram.
Portland's entry is being constructed by local builder Ti Cycles, and so will be made of light, durable, expensive titanium. Titanium doesn't need paint to guard it from rust, so Portland's bike will be the brushed metal pallor of the raw material. It's also going to be an atypical frame, looks like—what the team is describing as "3D printed" on its social media posts. Some shots.
Useless previews from the other cities after the jump.
Chicago's squad is being more cagey with the photos, but they tell the Chicago Reader they've built a bike that can combat their city's formidable, loathsome winter. I like the front rack/basket hybrid thing.
New York is even worse about offering a peak, but you can bet they're smug about whatever this is. God I hope they lose.
San Francisco is apparently incorporating this.
I would like Portland to win this arbitrary popularity contest.