Clarity Bike
by Designaffairs


This conceptual see-through bike by German studio Designaffairs would be made from the same strong and lightweight plastic used in fighter jet canopies.

Clarity Bike by Designaffairs

The frame of the Clarity Bike would be made from a polymer called Trivex, according to Designaffairs. First developed for helicopter windscreens and fighter jet canopies, Trivex is extremely lightweight but can also withstand high impacts.

Clarity Bike by Designaffairs

The polymer is resistant to very hot and cold temperatures and can also be injection moulded, which would enable mass production at an affordable price and in a variety of shapes and colours.

Clarity Bike by Designaffairs

Trivex is one of more than 2000 material samples collected by Designaffairs to provide a resource for manufacturers, designers and engineers. "What sets our library apart from the other material libraries is the fact that all materials and technologies presented are tailored to meet production-processes' needs," explained Designaffairs' Stefan Ulrich.

Lots of bicycles have been published on Dezeen, most recently a bike with a cardboard frame and wheels and a bike that carries heavy loads front and back.

We've also featured a couple of other projects by Designaffairs – a conceptual hearing aid that forms a flesh tunnel through the wearer's earlobe and an inhaler designed for a future scenario where oxygen is scarce.

The images are visualisations by Designaffairs.

Here's some more information from the designers:

No, this bike is not made out of glass. The Clarity Bike is the next project within the material focus of designaffairs studio projects which focus on using amazing materials of our library in new contexts. We believe that the Clarity Bike could be a giant leap forward in bicycle frame engineering and production. The design takes advantage of an advanced polymer which combines high impact resistance, lightweight properties and a gentle flexibility that usually would only be expected on an old Italian steel frame.

The polymer is injection moulded, which allows affordable and precise mass production while enabling unique form factors and a multitude of possible colour combinations. Initially the polymer was used in military applications. Even though the compound has a lower density than polycarbonate & acrylic its advanced performance includes exceptional impact resistance and ultra-lightweight performance. It also offers outstanding chemical resistance and thermal stability as it is virtually unaffected by most organic and inorganic chemicals and withstands very hot and cold temperatures.

In our understanding the perfect material match for creating a low cost bicycle characterised by convenience and an unmatched unique style.

  • Pete B

    Bejeezus that’s sexy.

  • michael

    Build it, then we’ll see.

  • bonsaiman

    It looks really cool for the less is more aproach. Will they put their materials library online?

  • Henning

    Whoever designed this has no idea how a bike works and what components are used to operate it. Look at the fork design – have they ever seen a bike in person?

    • Jec

      What's wrong with the fork?

      • Bobby D

        The steerer tube looks terribly steep, and the top tube is uncomfortably short. All in all, I think it’d handle like a shopping cart! But with that said I think their objective was to create a sexy cycle, in which they’ve excelled!

      • dune

        The rake and head tube angle are just way too forward.

    • bonsaiman

      Please, enlighten us.

  • sejklrh

    I’d like to see a real prototype, not just some photoshoped rendering.

  • I want this!

  • Hornithologist

    Maybe Lance Armstrong could be the SPOKES person for this bicycle, as we have now seen through HIM. Ha ha ha!

  • Samuel

    Dezeen could really do with someone who understands how a bicycle works, so they can filter out these engineering-free design fails.

  • Sam

    Nice idea, but a see-through frame is the last thing a bike needs! Unless they plan on feeding some flashing LEDs through the centre of the frame for high visibility.

  • Daniel

    This really is atrocious. Complete lack of understanding in both material choice and bicycle frame requirements. Dezeen needs a real curator.

    Their confusion is summed up quite nicely by their own copy: “In our understanding the perfect material match for creating a low cost bicycle characterised by convenience and an unmatched unique style.” HaHa WTF?

    And if you are going to make a clear bike, why not have a clear seat post? If you’re going to the moon, go all the way.

  • nar

    Slackest head tube angle ever.

  • But why?

  • Matt

    Does it have any brakes? Seems quite a one-way ride for me! :D

  • dune

    You can’t have a belt drive fixed gear bike. Belt drive don’t work that way. You also need a break in chain stays or seat stays for belt drive.

    Either way, leaps and bounds in the cycling world aren’t made in materials or technology. It’s a cultural object so the only big things that really change cycling are those made by people and how they see, identify with and use the machines.

    It’s why none of these kinds of bikes are taken seriously or seen as something more then a designer or engineer wasting time trying to reinvent an already perfect object.
    The whole cost thing? Bikes are already cheap.

    • sam

      Somebody who knows whats up. As a concept it’s pretty to look at; in practice this is almost entirely useless.

    • Trevor

      There already are belt drive fixed gear bikes FYI. Trek even makes them. So did Fixie inc.

  • RFD

    Yes, the head angle is very slack and the fork has no rake. This will give the bike a terrible ride. These parameters are well defined in the bicycle industry, and don’t require innovation. Bike geometry has been well optimized over the last century.

    With that said, I’m sure the model was made this way for ease of construction. The main failure of this whole concept is that that kind of material may have none of the characteristics that are optimal for bike design. Also, “injection moldable” means there will be wildly expensive molds and tooling made (for each frame size!), making this not particularly cost effective. Let’s just call it what it is – this is an exercise in how cool it would be to have a clear bike. This is fashion not function.

  • kiernan

    New designs generally have a reason for development. The polymer for canopies developed out of dog-fighting needs, but in reality it is for show and not a need. Vision is a thing of the past in aviation at high speed.

    So why can’t people with impaired vision fly? Good question. Point is that bike evolution is in our day lightness for carrying, stowage and strength; speed resulting from mechanical optimization and invention; maneuverability developed out of angles and forks and steering mechanisms; position of the rider for ease of access and ussage, comfort and safety.

    What have you accomplished: “the cool”. Make it glow in the dark and you will have marked time. I did that with powder coating on one of my designs. Clear plastic will glow better then steel. THEN, you have a marketable item. I tried this, but MIT and the US is sex orientated for sponsorship and it’s not sex with men and females. It’s sex with monkeys, lab rats and monogamy to create better silicone intelligence chips. They discovered animal-human sex in monogamy and monagamy gave a clearer binary-type nerve reading translating to a liquid silicon pool well which is sliced and diced and inserted into unsuspecting designers like you to repeat past work for repeat pay and banking value stability. Amazing. Go GLOW.

    • Bob Sturges

      WTF are you talking about?

  • JayCee

    A bicycle designed by Freds who don’t know how to design a bicycle.

  • Beautiful and pure design! As a fixie-rider I also find the frame geometry awesome. Although I am a huge fan of traditional steel frames, this one looks really groovy. I am still a little bit sceptical about the mechanical parameters and how this translucent material could resist the forces, but I can picture that it works. And with injection moulding, it can be manufactured really cheaply, much more sustainably than the carbon-fibre frames or alu frames.

    Interesting and progressive design, I’m looking forward to see a 3D printed prototype working instead of rendered images/ After that, I could be assured :)

  • JeffK

    Come on people, wise up. This is marketing for Designaffairs, not a real product. It is a way to say “look at the crazy stuff we can do with materials… hire us!”

    It is design to get people talking, and it seems nothing gets the design world’s knickers in a knot like a “conceptual bike frame”. It has served its purpose perfectly.

  • David

    I can’t understand why you’d design a bike (functional or otherwise, shall we say) to celebrate the lightness and transparency of a material and then give it such bulky-looking deep-v rims and tyres. If the contrast was aiming to emphasise the lightness of the frame, it wasn’t necessary. As many have implied, it is lacking much refinement across the board. I would like to see it have a little sensitivity to detail even if it is just an exercise.

  • Maxx

    And the price is..?

  • Really cool design, but as many pointed out it is pure concept, not the real thing. Really concerned with this perfect material they use. “High impact resistance” does not necessarily mean “rigidity”, which is what you actually need for a bike frame. I would also have preferred to see the real bike, a prototype, instead of fooling around with a visual.

    Having said that, a great-looking (rendered) bike! And the number of posts confirms it created a bit of a shock… which is what designers were aiming for.