AfricaBike - A bike for school children in Africa
AfricaBike is the final conclusion of an 8 month project focussed on designing a bespoke frame for Africa. This frame would replace the second hand bikes that are currently out there.
 
The key features of this new design are:
- Incredibly strong frame with integrated structural pannier rack
- Uses components that can be purchased locally, so only frame needs to be shipped
- Can be adapted by the user to suit their actual needs
 
Below are some highlights from the process and some more photos of the final design
This is The Gambia, a country in west Africa where the majority of the frames will be sent to
Current bikes end up like this. They are poorly maintained and it is very hard to get hold of replacements parts as the second hand frames uses components that are only available in the EU and US.
The bikes are also pushed far beyond the limits of their intended use
They are adapted to suit the childrens needs, but this is done in a very crude way
Quick sketches were done to determine the design of the frame. These were then used to build prototypes.
The first protytpe frame was put together in the univeristy workshops before being painted and then taken to Africa for testing.
Testing the frame in The Gambia
The main design changes from the second prototype were:
 
1. Keep the strong pannier rack. It is useful and received great feedback.
2. Use BMX pegs to make transport easier.
3. Single speed works great.
4. The chain guard is useful, but can be added on by the user if needed.
5. The seat needs to go lower.
6. Make the frame more masculine.
7. Use a British BB not a USA one.
8. Use standard straight handlebars.
9. Use front and rear brakes.
10. Ensure it works with large tires.
 
All these changes were fed into the final prototype. This frame was adapted from a downhill mountain bike in much the same way the second prototype was. However more changes were made to make it suit the needs discovered during testing.
Key features of final design
- Incredibly strong frame with integrated structural pannier rack
- Uses components that can be purchased locally, so only frame needs to be shipped
- Can be adapted by the user to suit their actual needs
Locally sourced handlebars, stem, grips and brake levers.
Structural pannier rack for carrying heavy loads and additional people.
Rear pegs to make it easier riding on the back and a single speed drive for simplicity. All locally sourced.
Strong jump bike frame geometry making it strong yet easy to use by small children.
Hubs, spokes and rims all sourced locally.
AfricaBike - A bike for school children in Africa
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AfricaBike - A bike for school children in Africa

AfricaBike was an 8 month project and it was the focus of my final year at Brunel University and my final piece of academic study. It aimed to so Read More
165
3,114
11
Published: