For his degree thesis at the FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Austria, the industrial design student Bernhard Sobotta started with a seemingly simple question. And the question was: "Is it possible to make an overnight stay on a bicycle?". The resulting creation is the Cercle bike. A simply incredible camper bike concept, which I fell madly in love with. From today I cheer for him!
More Hippies than this you die
Cercle is a concept bicycle that offers a professional response to the needs of everyday nomadism. It does this through a modified frame, which integrates a structure with bed, chair and table. With this bike you can travel, eat and sleep. A camper bike! By simply opening the bed frame, any suitable place can become a campsite, regardless of the ground conditions. The height-adjustable table and the bed frame converted into a chair provide a portable workplace. The traveler "merges" with his vehicle: a bicycle man, or better: a bicycle tourist, from the Grand Canyon to the Viserbella campsite.
I am amazed at how it is still possible to innovate, centuries later, a “simple” design like that of the bicycle. This camper bike could be an extraordinary evolution.
Sobotta, who is (needless to say) an avid cyclist, took Cercle with his friend William Cornwell on a long-range test drive. It covered almost 1000 kilometers. For the stretches of the journey where they had to carry the bike on a train or bus, they always found a free space somewhere, despite the length of the camper bike being slightly oversized.
What will the “touring” bikes of the future look like?
Do you want some questions that the concept of a camper bike can answer very well? Here are a few. “When I travel, I don't just want to move on. At the end of the ride, at the end of the day, where can I sit, relax and have a snack? And where do I put the stove so it doesn't fall out? Where can I find a place for the tent that is fairly level, clean and maybe even dry? Do I leave my panniers outside or do I prefer to take them to my tent so they are safe? "
Cercle already answers some of these questions very well, online and offline. For others there is a need for new developments, but Sobotta is working on it: his is almost an Open Source project now.
The next challenges of the camper bike
During the long test trip, Sobotta found that “The user experience in camping mode is really good. The multifunctional frame of the bed-chair-cot-table, which we call CampingCompanion, can be opened quickly. You sit well, the table is quite stable, you can sleep relaxed and it weighs only 3,5 kilograms. "
Sobotta and Cornwell are planning to embark on an RV bike world tour in 2022. Before leaving this fall, the two try to solve one of the remaining design problems and may need a little help. “It is still early to talk about sales, to open a shop. Even to make the price of these new bikes. We are focusing on the design and customization of the tent that will go into the concept bicycle, ”says Sobotta. “So far we have used an old tarpaulin as an emergency solution. The ideal would be to find someone interested in the project and with experience in building tents ”.