Where User Experience and Agility Unite in our most compact package yet
Hello there fellow bike enthusiasts! Below you can read more about our new and unique IBEX cargo bike and the process of its design and construction, through the words of experts from Artlinco – a fantastic innovation hub that helped us create the bike:
Up until now, Black Iron Horse cargo bikes have exclusively been rear-wheel-steered, unlike other tricycle cargo bikes. This has helped position their cargo bikes as some of the most agile and stable bicycles on the market, making them particularly appealing to families in urban areas.
However, a first encounter with a rear-wheel-steered Black Iron Horse typically triggers one of two different reactions: Either enthusiasm for its unparalleled maneuverability, or confusion due to the adjustment to a new riding experience. Some users find this adaptation period too long and consequently opt not to choose the bike.
*The usual rear-wheel steering set up found on our bikes
What did we change for IBEX?
In response to customer feedback, Black Iron Horse decided to collaborate with Artlinco to develop a new electric-assisted cargo bike that would be easier to ride for first-time users. The aim was to reduce customer deflection in both the Nordic and international markets.
The goal throughout the bike’s development was to create the best possible first impression – to design a bike that first-time users would find easier to ride and that would not require an extended adjustment period for the riding experience. As a result, all user groups could effortlessly embark on cycling adventures with the bike.
One of the key factors was ergonomic design, where the bicycle should be more comfortable and easier to ride. By placing the steering at the front instead of the back, we achieved better maneuverability and stability, which will provide the user with a more comfortable and secure feeling from the beginning – a crucial element for a positive first impression.
*The new front-wheel-steering system on the IBEX
We were also attentive to visual appeal, as the appearance of the cargo bike plays an important role in the first impression. We chose aesthetic colors, stylish design, and streamlined components that ensure the bike is in line with Black Iron Horse’s existing range, creating a modern and attractive appearance that will draw potential buyers.
User-friendliness was another crucial factor. We ensured that control buttons and mechanisms were intuitive and easy to understand. By listening to user experiences and reactions, we could identify any challenges or improvements that could contribute to creating a better first impression and reducing the adaptation period.
Our efforts to target first impression psychology in the development of the front-wheel-steering cargo bike have helped us create a cargo bike that not only meets the users’ needs but also generates an immediate appeal and joy for the user.
Three different models
The same as with our other lines, IBEX offers three different models depending on your needs:
IBEX 2 – The box is equipped with a bench that fits two kids and it is possible to install a small ‘playmate seat’ for a third.
IBEX FAMILY – The box is laid out with comfortable cushions that ensure for more leg room making is perfect for bigger kids or adults.
IBEX DOG – Dedicated for your furry friend. Comfy floor cushion and a leash anchor to keep your pet safe during the ride.
*IBEX 2 bench & IBEX FAMILY cushioning
Familiar aesthetics in a more compact and agile package
As a new addition to the product lineup, Black Iron Horse aimed for the new bicycle to exhibit a clear resemblance to its predecessors in terms of design, safety, durability, and sustainability. Simultaneously, the task also involved making the bicycle more compact and providing it with a better riding experience and agility compared to front-wheel-steering competitors. All of these aspects needed to be incorporated into a bike with a lower price point than the existing Black Iron Horse bicycles.
The background and necessity for the development of a new cargo bike also arose due to an increased focus on the environment and sustainability at Black Iron Horse. Alongside the ability to move around in an environmentally friendly manner, the components of the bicycle themselves had to be optimized in relation to their ecological footprint.
With the aim of creating a cargo bike that appeals to a broader audience, IBEX has been developed with front-wheel steering similar to that of a traditional bicycle. On the IBEX, however, the front wheels are smaller, making the bike incredibly easy to maneuver while keeping the overall width to a minimum.
Similarly, the length of the bike has been shortened, contributing to an extremely compact and agile construction.
Hidden beneath the cargo area, there is a suspension system designed to help the rider keep the bike stable when traveling over uneven surfaces. The multi-spring system mitigates both shocks from cobblestones and manhole covers, while also enhancing the comfort when making turns at higher speeds. For passengers, this provides an elevated riding experience as vibrations and hard bumps are absorbed by the suspension instead of impacting the spine.
100% recycled plastics box
Just like with Black Iron Horse’s existing bikes, the cargo box is made from recycled plastic. What would typically be considered waste material is transformed into the seats of the cargo area during the molding process. The recycled materials used for the cargo areas include waste from households, used fishing nets, and discarded artificial turf.
The frame shares the same design DNA as the other Black Iron Horse bikes, where the frame envelops the cargo area, forming a protective barrier in case of accidents and collisions. The frame’s construction has been redesigned and optimized for transportation, allowing approximately three times as many bikes to be shipped in one shipment. This is beneficial both economically and environmentally.
*IBEX Recycled Cargo Box