This Plug-And-Play Utility Bike Lets You Gear Up As Needed

The EVO, an entry in the urban utility bike design contest, lets you attach different cargo-carrying components easily, depending on what you need that ride.


Our team–composed of Huge Design, 4130 and PCH Lime Lab–came together to create the quintessential commuter bike. From the beginning, the passion and excitement around the bike from all sides has helped our team create the best solution for San Francisco: a modular, flexible bike that fits riders’ various needs and lifestyles.

One of the key components of the bike is the modular platform that allows various accessories, from child seats to grocery racks, to attach and detach in a couple seconds. We needed to engineer a robust quick-release solution that would satisfy the strict visual design intent, support heavy loads cantilevered away from the bike, and stay firmly attached with no rattle or “slop” while riding. After isolating the connection points and gaining valuable insight from some 3-D printed prototypes, we settled on a unique over-center mechanism, which provided both real and perceived security when locking the attachments to the bicycle.

We improved the strength of these parts using FEA analysis tools. In order to fabricate the frame of the bike, we 3-D printed custom stainless steel “lugs” with a DMLS process and then TIG-welded them to simple chromoly tubing with no mitering required. This was a very repeatable process, which saved a lot of time relative to traditional frame building techniques.

Our final solution, the EVO Urban Utility bike, is a hybrid bicycle that leverages a modular accessory platform for ultimate flexibility. EVO blends the utility of a city bike with the robustness and geometry of a mountain bike to satisfy the city’s diverse lifestyle and terrain. It presents a one-bike solution that can take on many different environments and activities.

Innovative quick-connect mounts on the front and rear enable users to rapidly attach or detach cargo accessories that are traditionally mounted permanently to a bike. This plug-and-play system is designed to be flexible for a rider’s daily needs, ranging from a child seat to different racks for carrying everything from groceries to surf boards. These EVO accessories quickly lock into the frame and are easily removed when not in use.

Inspired by San Francisco’s famous towers and bridges, the symmetrical frame has been developed to support cargo loads both on the front and rear of the bike. This “truss” frame geometry is as functional as it is iconic. 3-D printed steel lugs allow for an efficient lug plus tube construction, thus reducing complex welding and production time.


A front fork lockout allows users to securely lean the handlebars against a wall for stable loading and unloading. In addition, this concept includes front and rear lighting systems and a cable lock integrated into the frame.

The building of the EVO bike exemplifies what we do best: work with great designers to create the best physical objects. In our work, we find that while analysis is vital, nothing works better than actually prototyping and refining the product to see how it looks, feels and works, to arrive ultimately at the best bike we can make. This is truly a San Francisco bike.

Like this bike? Vote for it at the Oregon Manifest site and if it wins, they’ll make more of them!

About the author

Kurt Dammermann is the Co-Founder of PCH Lime Lab, a product design and engineering firm. Prior, Kurt held senior roles at Apple, Design Within Reach, Astro Gaming, and Coalesse.