Designer Uses LEGO Bricks to Prototype Unique Bicycles

Designer Uses LEGO Bricks to Prototype Unique Bicycles

Neal Fegan was busy building kinetic structures that were powered by wind and water when he realized he was in over his head (and his abilities). Frustrated, he turned to his Montana friends who suggested he use his skills to build bicycles. With a nod to the transport in his previous home of NYC, the Big Sky resident opened the doors to the Montana Transit Authority, creating some of the most unique looking bikes you have ever seen.

Now in Portland, Oregon, Fegan calls his vehicles velocipedes, as a nod to the egalitarian bicycle’s origins – not only because his bikes sometimes have more than two wheels, but because it’s a more open-ended descriptor than what the word “bicycle” suggests. And the MTA velocipedes ignore many of the fundamentals found in other bikes. While they may use some of the same parts as the two-wheeler sitting in your garage, the similarities end there. Fegan’s designs are both free flowing expressions of movement and elegant frame geometry that evokes the speed and grace found in nature.

But perhaps one of the most geeky (and interesting) things about the bikes built at Montana Transit Authority is that Fegan prototypes all his bikes in LEGO bricks before manufacturing begins. “I love LEGO – the best toy ever. I like experimenting with different steering systems, the bricks give me more room to play with. With LEGO (especially the Technic bricks), I can build the steering and see how it works and it’s really easy to translate a LEGO model to a full size version,” says Fegan, “Although, sometimes I still get caught up and make spaceships and stuff. It brings back good memories.”

While these one-of-a-kind designs may not snap together with the efficiency of LEGO bricks, they certainly are unlike anything you’ll find in your local bike store. Be sure to check out the MTA Web site for all their designs.

Dave Banks is employed by Cyberdyne Systems and is building a global digital defense network. When not on the job, he enjoys playing games and watching cars go really, really fast.

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On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 5:59 PM, Bruce Mack <dynawd94@yahoo.com> wrote:

Once again the wind was blowing and the temp was mild this morning.  Steve left his Niner home and rode his(photo 2) and George L., took out his 650b(photo 3).  Once again, there was going to be two groups once we got to Kern going through Bear Creek, TJ and Dave.Kom went right and the rest of us went left to do Bald Mountain and Lake Orion-“The Dragon
..

(L to R) Dave.Kom, TJ, George I., Steve, George L., Pat, David, Jim.
Heading out of the park  …
to West Branch … 
and through the gate.
Heading to Bear Creek and beyond.

Hey Mr. Shadow has a biking buddy.
George unwrapping the vine.
Kurt took the lead going to Lake Orion and doing “The Dragon”.
Steve blazing the trail.

Gathering up the group.
These ROOTS mean trouble for …
.
How is your helmet George? OK!

Time for a break. and you ask where?
Where are you going, where are you going?

Group split again, hey look who is on PCT!
Four pack going back through Bear Creek.
And a three pack going back to Stony Creek.

STONY 8/28/12

There was a good breeze blowing …

and discussion on what to do and where to go.

Mr. Shadow joined us.

Steve rode up ready to ride.

Today’s group (left to right) TJ, George I., George L., Pat, Steve, Dave.Kom, Mike and myself.

We rode as a group ’til West Branch …

… then George L., Pat and myself headed in to do trails.

As we headed into West Branch, there was David doing ins and outs.

Riding the trails …

Which way now?

Top of the mountain

More trails

And more trails

We rode through West Branch, Cross Country Ski Trails

and did some Trolley Trails.

More trails.

Pat getting ready to head down the hill!