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Bike Lover's Contest

Matthew Butterman

Thursday 27 April 2017

Bike Lover's Contest: Noblesse Oblige

The Bike Lovers Contest is a Swiss handmade show that recently held its ninth edition in Zurich, April 7-9.

Bike Lover's Contest: Noblesse Oblige
Poster: Bike Lover's Contest

The Bike Lovers Contest is a Swiss custom bicycle event that just celebrated its ninth edition, this year having been held in conjunction with the Urban Bike Festival in Zurich April 7-9. Bike designers, builders and backyard tinkerers from all over Switzerland and Europe showed their latest creations in a bid to win prizes and acclaim.

Each edition has a theme, and this year’s theme was Noblesse Oblige. It wasn’t a direct English translation of the term, but more along the lines of having entries in the competition displaying a nobility and dignity of design and finish.

The contestants were diverse: polished stainless steel commuters, a bike for kids made from titanium and carbon, an e-commuter with double brakes and lighting, and a fat electric cruiser made from riveted profiles that was inspired by a Berlin train bridge.

Winners were awarded by a jury of industry insiders, and an audience favorite was voted on and awarded as well.

The Gold Medal went to Nele Dittmar and Josef Vogeltanz for their "KleinLaster" ("Small Truck"). A press release from the organizers detailed the jury’s decision:

“Dittmar, an industrial designer, makes a cargo bike look elegant and nimble. Custom made for her own needs, the prototype is full of beautiful details and smart solutions like the retractable cargo assembly. The level of craftsmanship - the bike is built by Vogeltanz - and the extraordinary aesthetics are complemented by the fantastic handling and performance, which is not surprising given Dittmar is an avid bike polo player.”

Nelle Dittmar, designer of the Gold Medal-winning KleinLaster cargo bike.    All photos: Ilja Tschanen (www.moduleplus.ch

Silver Medal went to Daniel Pleikies and his lightweight randonneur bike named, appropriately enough, "Wanderlust". The Bronze Medal was awarded to Patrik Widmer for his gentleman-racer "Hrimfaxi".

Silver Medal winner: Wanderlust by Daniel Pleikies

Bronze Medal winner Hrimfaxi by Patrik Widmer

The audience award went to Jacques Gengler's "Schack". Together with friends he built a cyclocross bike made from local Arnsburg oak wood. The hollow wooden frame is light at 2.5kg, but still tough and is ridden daily, already racking up a total of over 3500km.

Audience Award: Schack by Jacques Gengler

For more photos from this year’s contestants and winners, and for announcements about the 2018 show, please visit the Bike Lovers Contest website at www.bikeloverscontest.ch.