The Dutch bike fit for global purposes
Union Lite city bike
The strong Dutch bicycle brand Union is looking to spread its wings to the global market. They sought a partner to help them develop ‘the Dutch bike fit for global purposes’. During a pitch, our innovative strength and way of working proved the best match for Union’s wishes and expectations.
“Together with npk design, we have defined the product portfolio and developed a totally new concept. This concept optimally combined customer needs, brand and product. An incredible result!”
Koen van der Weerd
Product & Proposition Manager at Union Bicycles
Combined with enormous drive, flexibility, commitment and the right click between both teams, this has inevitably resulted in the new, ultimate city bike Union Lite. You can describe our partnership as a fast, start-up style approach. We were all available day and night. Talks were sometimes conducted via WhatsApp and a modification to the design was quickly discussed over a cup of coffee at the client’s home.
The adventure with Union started with us jointly defining their vision on developing and expanding their brand. During strategy workshops and portfolio analysis, we redesigned the entire product portfolio.
Then the search was on to find an answer to Union’s international ambition: how do you turn the traditional Dutch city bike into an ultimate city bike which meets international standards?
To meet the wishes and requirements of an international target group, we very consciously aimed at weight reduction and a prominent element of a bike: the upper frame. This consists of two thinner tubes, making the design visually lighter. A modular click system has been integrated into the upper frame, allowing the user to add (or not) a selection of accessories to or in between the tubes.
We started by building the initial models in our modelshop. A good example at Union is the kink in the upper tube of the men’s bike. Initially this was horizontal. Prototyping showed that with a small frame, the cyclists’ position worsened and the rear light disappeared under their coat. To solve this, the characteristic kink was added to the tube, giving the men’s bike its unique character. Just a matter of testing…