Peugeot: Why do they do that?

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Monday, February 01, 2010
By Yokota Fritz

You might have seen Bike Rumor's post on Peugeot's futuristic concept bike. Peugeot hasn't sold bikes in years, but the brand still holds cachet with many Europeans. A European cycling company has licensed the name and will sell Peugeot branded bikes through car dealerships and bike retailers in Europe. This 2010 relaunch of Peugeot bikes is done to celebrate the company's 200th anniversary.

The actual bikes for sale include very utilitarian models like this city bike.

Why are Peugeot designers also releasing unworkable concept sketches like this B1K that seems more at home in a sci fi movie than on an urban street? James at Bicycle Design provides some interesting insight from a designer's perspective:
Concept designs like this do serve a real purpose for designers. Cutting loose a bit and creating something that is purely conceptual from time to time helps to inspire the design team and "keep the creative juices flowing". That creative energy can translate to a really nice, and saleable, product line down the road if the company chooses to puts the resources in place for the product development team to succeed.
Read more at Bicycle Design.

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The bicycle was designed 100 years ago and works as designed. Wheels are still round, spoons are convex (or concave -- depending how you look at it) and bikes have a triangle, two wheels with spokes. Innovation in bike design comes from garnering more utility from the proven design, e.g., the Xtracycle. Having some designer come up with another unrideable, unmaintainable piece carved from unobtainium doesn't seem to get you anything but the Cannondale Lefty.

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