• Fri. Oct 8th, 2021

Thesis project in fantastic industrial design: Le Cercle Bicycle Camper

ByVanessa J. Bennet

Sep 1, 2021

For his bachelor’s thesis at the Austrian University of Applied Sciences FH Joanneum, Industrial design student Bernhard Sobotta started with the question: “Can you integrate an overnight stay on the bike?”

His resulting creation is the Circle bike:

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

Bernhard Sobotta © FH JOANNEUM / Industrial Design

“Cercle offers a professional answer to all areas of everyday nomadic life through modified frame geometry and integrated construction of bed, chair, table. By simply unfolding the bed frame, any suitable place can become a campsite, no matter what. The height adjustable table and the construction of the bed converted into a chair provide a portable workplace. The luggage, driver and vehicle roof provides security and allows the adventurer to blend in with his vehicle.

If that sounds a bit far-fetched i never would student concept for you, consider that Sobotta puts his money where his mouth is. The avid cyclist, along with his friend William Cornwell, took the Circle on a long-distance test drive, covering nearly 1,000 kilometers. For the sections of the trip where they had to take the bike on a train or a bus, “We always found a free space somewhere, despite the slight excess in length.”

In an interview with Citizens by bicycle, Sobotta discusses the creation and continued development of the project. “Until now, touring bikes have been based on a very narrowly defined initial question: What does a lightweight, durable machine have to look like to be able to go around the world on its own? That was a good and important question. – and he received a complete and satisfactory answer.

“When traveling, we don’t just want to move forward, we also want to eat, relax, sleep. Questions you ask yourself over and over: Where can I sit, relax and have a snack? Where to put the stove so that it does not fall? Where can I find a place for the tent that is reasonably flat, clean, and maybe even dry? Do I leave my panniers outside today or do I prefer to bring them to my tent to keep them safe? These questions have not yet been adequately answered when it comes to touring cycling, which is why there is still a lot of room for development and innovation. “

During the long test trip, Sobotta found that “the user experience in camping mode is really nice. The multifunctional frame of the bed-chair-bouncer-table, which we call CampingCompanion, can be quickly unfolded. You sit well, the table is fairly stable, you can sleep relaxed, and overall this module weighs only 3.5 kilograms. “

Sobotta and Cornwell plan to embark on a round-the-world cycle tour next year, each of them riding a Circle. This fall, ahead of the trip, the pair are trying to work out one of the remaining design issues, and they might need a little help. “A big chapter is definitely the design and customization of the tent,” says Sobotta. “So far we have used an old tarp as an emergency solution. It would be ideal to find someone who is interested in the project and has experience building tents.

You can follow the evolution of the Circle (and / or contact them if you have an idea of ​​a solution) on Instagram and Facebook.

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