Vanilla Bicycles (vanillabicycles.com)
The bike of the future will be made in the same community where it will be used. The rider and builder will have face-to-face interaction and the result will be a bike that closely matches the rider, and their riding style. The craftsmen and craftswomen who build the bike of the future will earn a living wage on par with other trades (electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc.) affording them a standard of living that every hard-working individual should have, which would include health insurance, quality food, a good house for their family, and a retirement plan. The basics.
Adorned with tasteful and timeless color schemes as well as locally and domestically made components from solid businesses, the bike of the future will pluck the heart strings of individuals and families who, in years past, would have fallen in love with a sharp, well-designed auto, but are ready to get out of their cars, simplify their lives, and truly live within their neighborhoods.
Either that or it will be made by robots, have hover plates instead of wheels, furry animal pelts for a seat, secret stash chambers, and multiple weapon holders on it.
Matt Cardinal and Nate Meschke
Signal Cycles (signalcycles.com)
The first idea that came to us was a rocket-powered bike. Rockets are futuristic, right?
Or how about bikes that play MP3s? What could be more futuristic than compressed music? In the future your bike will "dock" into its home base station and will sync with iTunes, so you can listen to NPR on the commute to work. Maybe future bikes will borrow from other convergent technology, so not only will they play music, your bike will also be a phone and a seven mega-pixel camera with internet browser, GPS, and Google Maps!
We're pretty sure this is a future we want no part of (even though we just invented it, patent-pending Signal Cycles™). The truth is the only way to improve a bicycle's design would be to ensure that it doesn't sit in the garage under a tarp. Over 40 percent of car trips are less than two miles! Put a basket on your bike and ride it to the grocery store, or to pick up a DVD, and you are riding the bike of the future.
We think the future bike will be much the same as the present-day bike, but in our idealized vision of the future, bikes will command more respect from motorists, and will be seen as a viable solution to urban pollution and gridlock. A bicycle is a nearly perfect machine, a bicycle that gets out for a ride every day is as close to perfect as it gets.
Cascadia Bicycles (cascadiabicycles.com)
In the not-so-distant future, monkeys, apes, and robots will rule the earth. Humans will have created solar-powered robots for all their wartime killing and such, except the robots will get so good at killing that they'll wipe out the human race. Because the robots will only be trained to kill people, however, the monkeys and apes will step up in the humans' absence to become the robots' masters.
The monkeys and apes will need bikes to get around, but they'll make the robots do most of the work. They'll have special tandems to do the job. The front half is for the primate and the back half for the robots. The front has all the things apes and monkeys need in a bike: ape hanger handlebars, banana seats, and fur guards around the chain. They also have foot pegs on the downtube to relax and let the robots do the work. Primates will steer because they don't trust the robot 100 percent. They will have coconut helmets—at least I would, if I were a future monkey.
The back half will be different. The robots will need a super strong rear to withstand their crazy robot power. All the tubes will be twice the diameter of today's bike tubing. The bikes will be fixed gear. Fixed, because robots will be able to spin their legs super fast and then slow down even faster, with no skidding. I think they should have a big fat tire like on a drag car.
I hope I get reincarnated as a primate bike builder so I can come back and make some wicked cool bikes.
Ahearne Cycles (ahearnecycles.com)
Bicycles will be equipped with energy storage cells, capturing the sun's energy from all the bike's surfaces coated with a solar energy sheath. The stored energy will supplement pedal power, so that when transporting a load of groceries over longer distances, even a moderately fit person can easily make the trip at an average speed of 50-70 kilometers per hour.
Bicycles will have an internal computer system with a GPS and measurements shown on a small display on the stem: speed, average speed, distance, cadence, and you'll also have access to heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, incline readings, caloric output, G-force through turns, and ride-time comparisons between previous rides on the same routes.
There will be no more finicky derailleurs in the future. All gearing will be internal and based not on the number of gears, but on ratios, so that a bike will have an infinite range of gearing between certain limits. A bicycle owner will easily be able to go between an automated and manual gear changing system, depending on preference.
Bicycles will also have a highly refined security system. Basically, when the owner of a bike is not on it, the bike will seize up and be un-rideable. If a potential thief somehow bypassed this, and got the bike to move, once they got on and weren't "recognized" by the bike's internal monitors it would give them the equivalent of a Taser burst to the hands and crotch.