WINONA LAKE — The builder of the “bike of the future” will be in Winona Lake for this weekend’s annual Fat & Skinny Tire Fest in Winona Lake May 19-21.
Jay Kinsinger, assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Cedarville University, Ohio, and a summer resident of Dewart Lake, will have a display along the Winona Lake channel where people can view the wooden framed “bike of the future.”
Several industrial and innovative design, mechanical engineering and business students at Cedarville were given the challenge of bringing modern technology and power together with the traditional bicycle to make what has been dubbed the e-bike.
The e-bike is supposed to make the bike riding experience more comfortable, and allows the rider to more easily take on hills and rolling terrain.
After being elected to an entrepreneurial board last year, Kinsinger saw the opportunity for collaboration between engineering, business and design students. The bike is the capstone project for six senior engineering students.
“This is the first capstone project that places an emphasis on collaboration between majors at Cedarville University,” said Kinsinger. “It’s a very open-ended project, where there’s no answer in the back of the book for this work.”
The Cedarville e-bike is different than the electronic bikes that are currently being ridden on streets and bike paths today. These e-bikes will be made with a wooden frame, which is a significant departure from the traditional metal frame bicycles.
Kinsinger’s concept comes from his interest in woodworking and bicycle riding. He has been making wooden bicycles for years.
The Cedarville-branded bicycle will be equipped with a battery and motor, as well as the traditional gears found on a regular bicycle. With the added power from the motor, these bikes assist personal mobility of the rider, while maintaining the integrity of “pedal power.”
Trayton Ojala, industrial designer and project specialist at International Center for Creativity, Columbus, Ohio, and a 2014 Cedarville graduate, is leading the design aspect of the project.
“The project teaches the students to lean on the expertise of others and to communicate outside of their own discipline — both of which are extremely important when trying to get a product to market with efficiency,” Ojala said. “This experience will help set our graduates apart from other students because of the collaboration component in the classroom.”