Google has refreshed the look and model of its two-year old campus bicycles — otherwise known as GBikes — demonstrating a new design that was sourced from staffers at its Mountain View headquarters.
Last autumn, Google launched a competition calling for employees to help replace its aging bikes, pushing the idea that they had be easy to use and low maintenance, helping people to move between campus offices and buildings quickly and efficiently.
Cnet reports that the design needed to be easy to produce, affordable and would have to be both comfortable and secure. Given that previous bikes had the distinctive Google colors, the new design should also include unique Google components, structure, and appearance. They received over thirty designs from teams of different sizes, with BMX-inspired and even Penny Farthing submissions made to the contest.
The winner was a steel ‘beach cruiser’ with coaster brakes and hand brakes, says Cnet. The bicycle comes with a basket, bell, wheel and chain covers to minimize the water spray and greasing up. And, of course, it comes with a vivid yellow, green, read and blue paint finish:
The winners of the competition were a four man team including David Fork, a renewable energy technologist at the company. He says that the team wanted to build a “user-friendly, safe and reliable, low-maintenance new GBike.” This meant that he, and his team, worked to keep the design of the bike similar to the current model (pictured below right), but increasing the size of the overall unit so it’s easier for taller riders to use them.
Fork and his team received a $500 gift certificate to a local bike shop for winning the competition.
The blue bikes are the first-generation of GBikes, likely providing the basis for the fusion of the two existing models into Google’s new design.
The bikes will roll out later this month, with Google aiming to order around 1,000 to cater for all of its employees. Staff will be able to take them off campus, making them easy to spot as they make their way around the streets in surrounding areas.