Bike Development

Adrift Bike Co.

The Adrift test bike - Eric Olsen - Toray T800/900 carbon fiber, EPS molded, Vinyl logos. Various components. - 3/10/19

I've always loved racing my bike but my long torso meant that finding a race bike that fit was nearly impossible. This season I decided I wanted to change that. As a result, the Adrift test bike was born. 

Adrift is a project that combines my passion for mountain biking and my interest in materials engineering to create a bike for riders with long upper bodies.

First drafts - Eric Olsen - Pencil - 8"x5" - 11/22/18

The project had a slow start. First I had to find a manufacturer that would make what I wanted. After months of emails and language barriers I finally found a match. I put money down. Things were getting serious.

Frame geometry - Eric Olsen - BikeCAD/Linkage/Excel - 1/25/19
Raw carbon frames from the factory

After a month of uncertainty I finally got to see a picture of the finished product. I was stoked! Things were coming together.

I wanted to capture the uncertainty I had in the process as well as an adventurous feeling in my branding. I chose Adrift as a brand name. After being sent photos by the factory I started designing a logo and head badge for the bike.

Vinyl logo drafts cut by hand - Eric Olsen - Vinyl - Cut from 12"x12" - 2/20/19
Adrift Logo - Eric Olsen - Pen - 3"x3" - 2/10/19
Digital Logo - Eric Olsen - Adobe Illustrator - 2/11/19
Drafted Logos - Eric Olsen - Pen & Pencil - 5"x8" - 2/10/19

I wanted the logo to be organic but still simple enough to apply to the bike. I wanted the vinyl to be one piece.

Bold text logo - Eric Olsen - Inkscape - 2/15/19
First race on the bike!

After building up the bike I was nervous for my first race because I had so much time and effort invested into the project. After a few days getting everything set up I felt prepared to race. Luckily things went well and I managed to take the win at my first race of the season with a solid lead!

Checking Tolerances

After the race I began putting the bike through rigorous testing. I managed to crack the carbon fiber linkage while filming a video and I quickly relayed the information back to the engineers in China. A new prototype began production with the hope of being ready in time for the next race.

Updated Hardware from the machine shop in china.
Chrome logos cut from vinyl - Eric Olsen - Cricut Design Software - Cut from 12"x4" chrome vinyl - 3/15/19
Adrift test bike #2 - updated carbon layup on the linkage
More racing!

The current prototype is performing flawlessly and I'm so glad to have such a comfortable bike for this season. I will continue improving upon the bike throughout the year. It's been such a fun project so far. I've learned so much, especially about how long projects can take.

Other projects: