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The Itera Plastic Bicycle

Jan Hult
Social Studies of Science
Vol. 22, No. 2, Symposium on 'Failed Innovations' (May, 1992), pp. 373-385
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/285622
Page Count: 13
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The Itera Plastic Bicycle
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Abstract

The bicycle boom which followed in the wake of the 1974 oil crisis inspired a small group of engineers in Gothenburg to develop a bicycle in fibre composite plastics. All essential parts, such as frame, wheels, fork and handlebar, were designed to be produced by automatic injection moulding, requiring very little subsequent finishing. Substantial grants and loans were obtained to start fullscale production in 1982. In spite of intense advertising and unusually high interest in the media, the new bicycle was never accepted in the marketplace. The bicycle boom was already fading out, and few people were prepared to pay the relatively high price at which it was marketed. The bicycle was just as heavy as a standard bicycle, but it was slightly more flexible, which gave some people a sense of insecurity. The appearance deviated from the archetypal shape of a bicycle, and this is believed to have been the major reason for its rejection.

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