Donky Bike
by Ben Wilson

| 6 comments
 

Product news: the steel beam running through this compact bicycle by British industrial designer Ben Wilson means it can carry heavy loads on its front and rear platforms (+ slideshow + movie).

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson came up with the Donky Bike after noticing that mountain bikes were being used on city streets. "Bicycle use in London was growing rapidly, but many of the bikes on the street seemed unsuitable for urban use," he says, explaining that he wanted to combine the load-carrying ability of a Dutch model with the strength and simplicity of a BMX.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

The resulting design has compact 20" wheels and is designed to handle well even when moving through traffic at low speeds, as the weight of its cargo is distributed through the steel beam rather than hanging off the handlebars.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

Wilson tested different methods of attaching cargo but settled on the standard bungee cord, as it offers the most flexibility and is widely available.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

To park up, riders can either lower the footstand or stand the whole thing on end so that it rests on its rear platform and wheel.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

It comes in lime green or black. It's also made from widely available components that are easily repaired or replaced, ensuring its longevity.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

Wilson studied on the Design Products MA at the Royal College of Art in London before opening his studio in east London. We've featured two of his other projects on Dezeen – a pedal-powered car that's framed by a neon tube light and a unicycle that places its rider inside the wheel.

We've featured lots of other two-wheeled transport on Dezeen, including a folding bicycle with full-size wheels and a road bike with a frame made of steam-bent wood.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

Above: photograph is by Jens Marott

See all our stories about bicycles »
See all our stories about transport »
See all stories about Ben Wilson »

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

Above: photograph is by Jens Marott

Photographs are by John Selby except where stated.

Here's some more information from the designer:


Donky Bike is a versatile load carrier designed to be ridden easily and safely with whatever you need to take with you. The cargo load is carried on the frame, not the handlebars, so the steering and handling remain light and balanced. The Donky is made with a tough steel frame equipped with simple low maintenance components.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

The idea behind Donky bike was to create an affordable, practical bike which has a large load carrying capability. With great handling and steering, even at low speeds through traffic and when loaded with cargo. The idea was to build a bike that will last a lifetime, with durable components that can be added, repaired or replaced anywhere in the world, and is easy to build, ride and maintain. A bike for life, not landfill, a Donky bike is built to last.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

The racks on the front and back are removable for storage, and in the future, Donky bike will offer further accessories which will be able to clip onto the frame. Compact strong and easy to ride - Donky is now in stock. One size, two colours.

Donky Bike by Ben Wilson

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Zazous

    Looks great! Anyone want a backie?

  • iikka

    It looks nice, but I think it would be more stable and easier to steer under load if the beam was raised about six inches (on a bicycle, higher center of gravity is better). Then you could also use bigger wheels to make the ride more comfortable and safe when you encounter cobblestones, potholes, curb ramps and the like.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie
  • hcbauer

    This is extremely similar (though slightly more robust/blunt) to a classic in British bicycles: The Moulton Stowaway from the 1960s <a href="http:// :http://www.moultonworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/65_stowaway_gold_21.jpg“ target=”_blank”> <a href="http://:http://www.moultonworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/65_stowaway_gold_21.jpg” target=”_blank”>:http://www.moultonworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/65_stowaway_gold_21.jpg

    It even featured front and rear suspension, and is a great and fast city bike.

  • Stuart M.

    No, no, no. Weight is carried far better LOW on the bike. Why do you think they put touring pannier bags so low on either side of the wheels? Take my word for it, here in Japan I see geezers carrying their groceries in a basket on top of their rear luggage racks. I have witnessed several keeling over when they have to come to a stop with their top-heavy bikes. I had to help one who couldn’t get out from under his tipped-over bicycle. I have two nice wire baskets that hang from the sides of my rear luggage rack. Much safer!

  • David Gatzen

    I like the design. I’d like to see a version with a longer wheel base, and a longer rack on the back. I’d also like a version with a Shimano Nexus 11 speed Alfine Hub and a Gates belt drive. The Gates belt drive would require a new frame design, so the 11 speed hub and chain would be OK using the existing frame.