Marc Newson

MN Bicycles
MN Bicycles
MN Bicycles
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MN Bicycles

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Danish start-up company Biomega selected Marc as the first guest designer for their bicycles. They wanted Marc to design a specific type: a city bike that didn't require a huge amount of functionality, as compared to mountain or racing bikes.

In terms of engineering, the bike would be fairly straightforward however Marc understood the need for something bold and ground-breaking. Rather than the standard tubular metal structure, he decided to utilize "superforming" a ground-breaking process by which aluminium is thermo-formed. The metal is heated to the point at which it becomes elastic, just before it becomes molten. It is then vacuumed over a mold. The frame had to be made in two halves, so joining became an important issue. Marc opted to bond the two halves together instead of welding, for ease and speed and to avoid re-heating the metal.

Marc regarded the design process as joining the dots, taking all the most important parts and connecting them with the fewest lines possible. The basic frame is the same for all the bicycles that Newson designed for Biomega. The MN01 to MN04 models were made in aluminium. The MN05 is made of carbon fiber -one of Marc's signature materials and an obvious technical evolution that vastly improves its strength-to-weight ratio. The MN05 weighs just 18 lbs.

Year

1999 / 2008

Sector

Transport

Key materials

Aluminium
Carbon fiber