Into the future: CSG concept bikes


Eurobike displays are usually dedicated to the next year’s consumer product line but the Cycling Sports Group (Cannondale, Schwinn, and GT) served up something a little different: their idea of what bikes might look like 10 years from now.

Based on their research on projected consumer needs, emerging cycling markets, projected technologies, and even what societies might look like, the results are certainly off the beaten path, but awfully intriguing, too.

Cannondale’s CERV designed to serve the weekend warrior

Current road bikes generally fall into one of two main categories: road racers with low, aggressive positions, or so-called ‘endurance’ bikes with similarly low weights but more upright positions better suited for cruising. Cannondale’s CERV (Cannondale Ergonomic Race Vehicle), however, is targeted at both — what the company believes will be the well-heeled weekend warrior of the future.

The CERV’s key feature is its on-the-fly adjustable geometry – the wheelbase stays constant but the seat tube, top tube and head tube all move to provide different stack, reach and center of gravity figures to suit different conditions. In Cannondale’s vision, the carbon fiber chassis also boasts front and rear suspension (moving on needle bearings, of course), a single-sided fork and rear end, push-button electronic shifting, an integrated computer display, a fully enclosed shaft-driven transmission, and one-piece carbon fiber wheels.

Cannondale's cerv incorporates an adjustable cockpit to accommodate various riding situations: Cannondale envisions riders having multiple positions to choose from – on the same bike

As if that weren’t enough, the front end also uses a novel tilting geometry for steering and the hydraulic brakes are a curious hybrid of rim and disc brake technology, using compact calipers similar to current systems but with integrated into the frame structure and clamping on a giant rotor that’s essentially the same diameter as the rim itself.

GT’s Milenio QR lets you choose between commuter and cargo bikes

Perhaps our favorite of CSG’s three concepts was GT’s Milenio QR, which features an easily interchangeable front end. In one configuration, the Milenio QR is a lightweight two-wheeled urban townie with a carbon fiber frame, an internally geared rear hub, electronic shifting, hydraulic drum brakes front and rear, and waterproof storage beneath the saddle that also has room for a “high-security” chain lock.

GT's milenio qr concept bike looks intriguing but we can't help but wonder how a heavy load might tip the bike forward when there's no rider aboard: The cargo pod detaches to leave a two-wheel townie

Flip a few levers, however, and the entire front end swaps out for the giant E-Cargo module, built with double motorized front wheels, a generously sized platform, integrated lights and turn signals, and storage beneath the platform for the standard fork and front wheel.

Moreover, GT envisions the controls would be self-switching between the two configurations. What was once the front drum brake lever would now control the dual front discs on the E-Cargo module and the former electronic shifter would then also switch to a throttle control.

Totable transport with the Schwinn Ultimate Portable Velo

Finally, Schwinn designed the Ultimate Portable Velo for the future urban commuter who uses a mix of pedal power and public transport to go about their day. There’s a 26-inc rear wheel and 20-inch front wheel plus upright positioning to reduce the size and improve visibility, a U-lock built into the rear rack, a mix of a two-speed rear hub and two-speed crank (all enclosed), and a clever spring-loaded kickstand that’s built into the bottom of the seatpost – just release the clamp, push down the post, and the stand pops out on its own.

The low-slung frame also includes a clever four-bar linkage that allows the bike to fold up on itself, making it easy to roll on to a train or store in a smaller apartment. Storage and utility are provided by a plug-in port up front, which can accommodate various accessories such as a large basket or child seat.

Could you picture yourself pedaling around town on schwinn's ultimate portable velo someday: The Ultimate Portable Velo folds down to pop onto a train

Will we ever see any of these concepts in production? We’re guessing no, at least not in the current form. But nevertheless, it’s an interesting out-of-the-box look at what might be looking far out and if nothing else, provides some food for thought for the sorts of features we might actually all be riding someday.