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Italy's Stylish, Customizable Dudebike

A vibrant modernization of vintage cycling craftsmanship that's customizable and doesn't "make you look like a nerd"

by Paolo Ferrarini in Design on 20 May 2014

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Francesco Bordin—creative director and co-founder at Dudebike—best explains the recipe that led to the increasing success of its new creation: “Take a typical Italian folding bike of the '60s and '70s with 20-inch wheels, take away everything that makes it look like an old bike, sprinkle a little 'disco' feel, gently mix with current colors and trends (a little thought to the market should be done). Add a handful of accessories to pimp it according to your own taste and, voila! Here is the perfect base to pour personal creativity in urban movement. Dudebike is served."

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Conceived of and developed in close partnership with CEO Enrico Aprico, Dudebike has a vintage look, coupled with a grit that many wouldn’t expect in such a compact means of transportation. Bordin and Aprico—a creative and entrepreneurial duo—are also the brains behind Stukk, but with this bicycle they wanted to go back to their childhood. “It came to contrast with the amazing super-technological design bikes at exaggerated prices," Bordin says. "Dudebike is inspired by the simplicity and creativity of when we were kids, times when we customized and modified what we loved the most, so to get closer to our functional and visual needs. We wanted to create a bike that is easy to fold and easy to store, with an Italian style, fashionable and definitely for all budgets.”

The customization is important to the duo as they want the bike to be special to each owner. "If you want to customize it, there are some very nice accessories to make it truly yours," says Aprico. After selecting style and color, customers have access to small but significant choice of details—from pedals in aluminum to rear and front LED lights and a old-fashioned leather saddles.

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The bike is proudly Made in Italy, in a workshop not far from Venice because according to Aprico, "Italians are in the heart and DNA [of the Dudebike], as well as those who have conceived it and those who make it. We believe that in Italy, we are still the best when it comes to attention to detail, craftsmanship, taste, and vision combined with functionality.”

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Sentimentality and nostalgia obviously play a major part in the Dudebike's creation, but it's not everything. Aprico explains the business approach, “I strongly believe in the sharing economy; in a direct relationship between producers and users. In the middle there should be no intermediaries, but only a technological platform that enables you to operate beyond those physical and mental boundaries that until about 10 years ago were insurmountable." This belief has resulted in Dudebike being sold at its own dedicated website, and on a few carefully selected platforms including Monoqi, The Cool Republic, Hip Van and Shoppable. As Sprico says, they are "the most important international online market places, enabling a worldwide distribution."

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It is simple and without frills. It has no gender.

Despite the bike's masculine name, Bordin notes, “Dudebike is the bike of the free child hidden within each of us—hidden [under] layers of adulthood that Dudebike pulls out.” Aprico explains why the duo believes Dudebike is different from the other foldable bikes on the market; “It’s a bit of a rascal, but stylish at the same time—which allows it to be taken anywhere without detracting from the aesthetics. It is simple and without frills. It has no gender, it has the tenacity and the sinuosity of a woman and the strength of a man with one neuron only. In conclusion, it’s the folding bike that does not make you look like a nerd. [It's] the bike for all those who want to feel free and cool at the same time."

Dudebike is available online for €290.

Images courtesy of Dudebike

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