The LZR bike

Thursday, March 23, 2017
by Cameron Shelley

Ben Coxworth at New Atlas recently posted a short piece about a bicycle going by the name of the Camard LZR.  One look at the design shows that the bike is meant to be distinctive.

Courtesy of CAMARD LZR/Kickstarter.

As the designers note, perhaps the most obvious departure from the usual bicycle frame is the lack of down tubes, that is, a tube that usually connects the handlebar to the pedal hub and one that usually connects the seat to the rear wheel hub. 

Thus, the LZR lacks the "double diamond" structure sported by conventional bicycles.

Perhaps to compensate for the stiffness lost with the missing tubes, the frame displays prominent flanges on the remaining ones. 

The result is quite striking.  The frame has a biomorphic look, really echoing the posture of its rider.  At the same time, a brightly-colored body trimmed in black makes for a dynamic, lightning-bolt appearance when viewed from the side. 

The same design language can be extended to the wheels featuring three fins instead of the usual array of spokes.

From a minimalist perspective, getting rid of two tubes could be seen as quite a coup.  The usual, double-diamond configuration always seemed like the least amount of structure a conventional bike could get away with.  But, evidently not.

At the same time, the frame alone costs €700, which suggests that some unusual materials are required.  Perhaps it is less the revolution claimed by the designers and more of a one-off.  The jazzy paint scheme might also seem like an instance of selling the sizzle more than the steak.

So, is the LZR a true innovation or a snazzy gimmick?