Bike Nation Unveils New Bike Design for Long Beach and Los Angeles

Generation 2. Picture from the press release.

Bike Nation, the bike share company that has struck deals to bring bike sharing to Anaheim, Long Beach and Los Angeles, unveiled a new bicycle design today at the Pro Walk Pro Bike conference in Long Beach. The “Gen 2 Made in the U.S.A. Bicycles,” (G2) will be used in Long Beach and Los Angeles, with the first generation  (G1) of bicycles going to Anaheim.

Generation 1

Bike Nation also announced that the G2 bicycles will be built in a facility in Southern California, unlike the G1 bicycles that were made by Rugged Cycles in Texas. An announcement on which company will be making Bike Nation’s G2 bikes is expected soon. Today, Bike Nation boasted that it is “supporting and sustaining manufacturing jobs and projects to create 150+ service jobs through 2013.”

“As we continue to grow bike share throughout Southern California and the country it was vitally important to us that we manufacture our bikes in the United States,” said Derek Fretheim, Bike Nation Chief Operating Officer. “Bike share programs have had great success in major metropolises around the world and, as an American-based company, we look forward to being an industry leader in providing cost-effective and eco-friendly options to commuters and visitors alike.”

Just because a bicycle is made in America and is “made in the U.S.A. certified” doesn’t mean that every part comes from America, especially when some of the custom parts needed aren’t made in any American factories. In Bike Nation’s case, several parts of the G2 bicycles come from other countries including bike gears, hubs and the shaft. However, that doesn’t impact the “Made in the U.S.A. certification” because those parts are not made in the United States.

Both G1 and G2 designs have are chainless and feature active GPS technology and airless tires, helping reduce the need for on-road service. Both have baskets in the front and wheel covers in the rear emblazoned with the Bike Nation logo. The kiosks for both bicycles look to be identical.

So what’s different? G1 bicycles used the frame from Rugged Cycles as the base. Builders then built the rest of the bicycles to specifications provided by Bike Nation.  Bike Nation redesigned the base frame from the single tube design in the G1 bicycles to a double tube design in G2. According to Fretheim, this won’t lead to any changes in the rider experience, but allowed them to purchase less parts from foreign companies. It’s not noticeable in the pictures, but there’s also a change in the basket design and mating dock where the bikes attach to the kiosks.

Bike Nation also claims the G2 bicycles are also made of 100% recycled metal and materials (certification pending.)

In other Bike Nation news, the bike share company announced the hiring of April Economides as general manager for their Long Beach operations. Economides’ name is familiar to many bicycle advocates because of her many volunteer roles and because she was the consultant who oversaw Long Beach’s groundbreaking Bicycle Friendly Business District program.

Bike Nation is also getting ready to launch in Anaheim after a couple of false starts and a much-hyped public relations event last summer.  All of the paperwork between the city and Bike Nation has been completed and the company hopes to have “over half” of the kiosks and bicycles on the ground by the end of the month. When they’re installed, Streetsblog will be venture behind the Orange Curtain to review the system, bikes and kiosks.