Create and test bicycle prototypes.
What does a Bicycle Designer do?
On a car, baskets, banana seats and streamers are silly. On a bicycle, however, they’re badass. Just try popping a wheelie with your sedan, or giving your friends rides on the hood of your SUV. No matter how hard you try, you won’t look nearly as cool as Lance Armstrong on the Tour de France, or that kid from E.T. when he flew his bicycle in front of the moon, or Jan Brady when she crashed her bike into the Brady family portrait. (OK, you might look cooler than Jan.)
Bicycle Designers spend their lives making two wheels look better than four. Whether you design mountain bikes, racing bikes, touring bikes or BMX bikes, your job as a Bicycle Designer is assembling traditional components – frames, wheels, gears, pedals, brakes, seats and handlebars – in new and improved ways.
Although basic bicycle design has changed very little since the late 1800s, you’ll use your engineering background to think about appearance, shape, weight, materials, strength and performance. Your goal is to design bikes that fit the people riding them, both physically and aesthetically.
Like most Product Developers, you’ll sketch designs first on paper, then on the computer. Next, you’ll either build a prototype or have one built for you. Either way, once it’s built, your job is testing your design – riding it until it breaks – then improving, promoting and selling it at trade shows. Being a Bicycle Designer is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. And that somebody should be you, not Jan Brady.