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Norwegian design on two wheels

The Norwegian city bike, Smart Bike, is making its appearance in cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg and Barcelona. This environmentally friendly means of transport is based on a subscription system.

“Smart Bike was originally designed specially for Oslo. The bike weighs just 15 kilos, and the design is robust, simple and functional. The tyres are wide so that they don’t get caught in tram lines and the bike also has gears, making it easier to pedal uphill. It is meant to be comfortable to ride for everyone between the ages of 12 and 90,” says Jann Frost, one of the designers of the Smart Bike.

Since 2001, the city bike has experienced an international breakthrough, and can be found in cities worldwide. In Oslo, there are 100 city bike stands, with over 30 000 subscribers to the scheme, and in Barcelona there are around 100 000 users. Energy and environmental issues are now higher on the agenda. The Smart Bike team has noticed this, and a number of cities, including Washington DC, San Francisco and Dijon, have shown interest in this Norwegian concept.

In Oslo, the city bikes are blue. They are a simple and CO2-free means of getting from A to B. Photo: Frost Produkt/ Clear Channel.

The city bike has a striking retro design, inspired by the Tomahawk, Apache and Combi classic bicycles made by the Norwegian company DBS. “We have had positive feedback on the design, particularly in Scandinavia and Spain, where the retro design has appealed to people,” says Jann Frost.

In Barcelona, the Smart Bikes are red. The city bike stands are located close to well-known monuments.Photo: Frost Produkt/ Clear Channel.

Brothers Jann and Sondre Frost from the product design company Frost Produkt are responsible for designing the Smart Bike system. Ever since childhood, the brothers have tinkered with bicycles and motorbikes. Along with the outdoor advertising company Clear Channel, the brothers have developed a scheme where users buy a subscription to use the bikes.

Frost Produkt is responsible for designing the entire system – everything from the bicycle frame to the electronic ID card for the stand where the bikes are parked. Clear Channel is responsible for marketing the city bike abroad. 

Smart Bike. Photo: Frost Produkt/ Clear Channel.

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