by Public Relations Staff
The "Bike of the Future," a bicycle that combines pedal with electric power on a walnut frame, will debut in South Bend, Indiana on July 29, 2017.
Engineering and design students at Cedarville University created the new bicycle. As part of the Dayton Right to Life's annual bicycle trek between the University of Notre Dame and the University of Dayton, Mark D. Weinstein, executive director of public relations at , will cycle 240 miles on the "Bike of the Future." It will be the longest ride for this state-of-the-art e-bike since it was built May 2017.
Cedarville staff and alumni joining Weinstein include Bob Bielek, Monte Veatch and alumnus Scott Wrigglesworth. This will be Weinstein’s third ND-to-UD bike ride.
Twenty-four riders will depart Notre Dame near the Golden Dome on Saturday, July 29 at 8:00 am en route to Grace College in Winona Lake. Stops during the ride include Decatur, Indiana and Minister, Ohio, before the group reaches the University of Dayton Tuesday, Aug. 1.
"I am looking forward to seeing how this wooden bicycle handles during the four-day ride," said Weinstein. "I have a high level of confidence in the manufacturing by the Cedarville University students, and I'm expecting a fluid and comfortable ride."
The bicycle was built as a capstone project for mechanical engineering, industrial & innovative design, and business students at Cedarville. Shortly after it was built, the bike was sent to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Salt Lake City, Utah, and drew rave reviews from enthusiasts. E-bikes are a new trend, and they come equipped with a battery and motor, which can assist the rider in movement. Still, the bike can function as a normal two-wheeler, only giving assistance to the rider whenever necessary.
The engineering and design students created the bike with a wooden frame because Jay Kinsinger, assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Cedarville University, has long built wooden bicycles for his family and friends. He once made collapsible wooden bikes for his family to use during their European vacation. The business students created a marketing plan so the finished product could be sold.
“This is the first capstone project with an emphasis in collaboration between majors,” said Kinsinger. “It’s a very open-ended project. There’s no answer in the back of the book for this one. Ultimately, we’re going to check to see what the demand is for an e-bike and hopefully take some orders."
Kinsinger explained that e-bikes are huge in Europe and Asia, and he sees a great potential market in the United States. “You still pedal, but the bike helps you,” he said. “The harder you push, the more it helps. In Europe, you see 70 and 80-year-olds cruising along on these.”
“Each of our three programs – engineering, design and business – are interested in innovation and creating 'real-world' projects to enhance the student experience, but each of our disciplines bring something diverse and unique to the process,” said Jim Stevenson, president of the International Center for Creativity (ICC) and supporting instructor of industrial and innovative design for Cedarville students.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,760 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.