Riding in the modern urban environment can best be described as staccato. Red light, stop. Green light, go. Repeat. But rather than endure these eternally interrupted rides across a city, the new bike by designer Florian Mayer has the aim of bringing back the flow to the urban rider. Taking the capabilities and design cues from a multitude of disciplines, the collaboration between Canyon and Florian Mayer on his Urban Rush has led to the conceptual bike design that in our eyes is part-road bike, part-mountain bike and part-commuter.
The story could play out in Berlin, London or New York, but we find ourselves in Paris, the city of fashion. Style isn’t a virtue here; it’s law. As the traffic lights turn green, I sprint across the intersection, the sensors in my cranks aware of my haste and the front wheel’s hub motor kicks into action. I’m over before any of the cars make it. Reaching 25 km/h, the motor deactivates automatically and my pedaling keeps the momentum. Quickly and safely, I ride alongside the heavy traffic on the Champs Élysées. This is where heroes will be crowned come July, celebrated by thousands on the streets and millions on the screens. Today I’m the everyday hero, giving myself a pat on the back, although it’s mainly down to the bike I admit, as it draws admiring and curious glances from everyone I pass. The Urban Rush hybrid I’m riding is an innovative bike, uniting formal design elements and technologies from various cycling disciplines within one frame: a road bike? A mountain bike? A commuter? A bit of everything it proclaims.
Your curiosity piqued by this urban bike concept? Ours too. But according to Canyon, it’s not going to happen, so the enthralling concept penned by Florian Mayer will have to remain just that. Although perhaps it could also act as inspiration, as Florian’s groundbreaking design certainly features valid elements that could be incorporated into urban riding bikes of the future.
During his visit to our office in Stuttgart, the work that Florian has put into this concept is evident. He describes the pared-down navigation system, which works via two lights integrated into the stem which flash with directional advice via Bluetooth on your phone, and how this could become a reality. Then there’s the electronic motor, limited to 25 km/h and therefore doesn’t need a number plate or driving license. Thanks to the ingenious energy recuperation system, similar to that found on cars, the kinetic energy from braking is stored in batteries for future boosts – minimalizing the design by reducing cable entrances. The bike has integrated lights for increased safety while riding at night, and everything’s in the name of smart simplicity and safety.
Florian has taken design cues from a multitude of areas. One of the most striking features is the seattube-less design, accentuated by two contrasting colours, which represent energy and economy to Florian. The collaboration with Canyon is definitely in evidence, as designs elements have been cherry-picked from various bikes throughout their ranges, including the triathlon bike, the Speedmax CF. Aesthetically, the integrated seatpost and stem and bar combination scream minimalism, which Florian admits was a key design feature. The wide, flat bars, tube profile and forks are more than reminiscent of Canyon’s ever popular mountain bikes, particularly the Strive CF. Then there is the automatic internal hub gear and belt drive, taken from a Canyon commuter bike, likewise their anti theft thru axle – a welcome addition and worthy solution on an urban riding bike.
Despite its standout design – which is sure to see some loving it and others less enamoured – the Urban Rush concept bike remains unlikely to go into production according to Canyon. However, we would love to see certain elements make their way into future models, and can only envision how these could lead to safer and more satisfying urban riding.
More information can be found on Florian Mayers Website
Words: Noah Haxel Photos: Christoph Bayer