Tony Pereira designs bikes that combine ingenuity and practicality, and his second Oregon Manifest Best in Show award speaks to that aesthetic. It also speaks, however, to his larger approach as a designer.
“I love the history of cycling and framebuilding,” Pereira says, “and a big part of that is the Technical Trials held in France from the 1930s to the 1950s. Many of the innovations we take for granted these days were perfected back then. The Manifest was created in that spirit and I’ve been thrilled to be a part of it.”
The Manifest utility bicycles are built within a very rigid set of rules, and are put through real world tests to determine which builder and/or team creates the most functional and aesthetically appealing design. Some builders may alter their usual approach for such a competition, but not Pereira.
“I approached the Oregon Manifest Design Challenge the same way I would approach designing a bike for one of my customers: I studied the design parameters and the rules as if they were handed to me by the customer and tried to build the best bike I could.”
Utility bikes may very well be the future of not only cycling, but of transportation itself, and Pereira himself embodies that assertion.
“I believe city bikes are our future, they can be used to replace the 85% of car trips that are less than 5 miles. I ride my bike every day to get around town, to pick up groceries and to bring my son to day care (in a trailer). ”
So what did he include when he designed the award winning bike of the future? For one, a locking storage box, which Pereira thinks will become a mainstream feature of city bikes in years to come.
“I can park my bike, stash my helmet, jacket and other items between errands so I don’t have to carry them around. They are out of sight and fairly secure, so I know they will be there when I get back to the bike.”
The main high tech aspect of this bicycle, however, is pedal assist, which allows heavy loads to be pedaled longer distances with less exertion. “I think [pedal assist systems] have finally reached a viable point in their evolution. They are lighter than ever, have good range, and work seamlessly.”
And what advice does Pereira have to give to those framebuilders who may want to make utility and city bikes the crux of their business? “Design them well and let them lead the way. Give them a sense of pride to make them easier to ride, and let the rider’s laughter remind us how we used to be.”