2017 – A year in Review

2017 saw yet another instrumental increase in urban cycling in cities across the globe, further legitimizing pedal power as a mode of transport for citizens the world over. As another year has passed, another busy twelve months came and went for the team across our four Copenhagenize Design Co. offices. This year solidified the work of our newest office in Barcelona, developing new partnerships with the Municipality to study bicycling in Catalonia. We have had an exciting year collaborating with new client cities from Montre?al to Antwerp, completing transformative mandates in?Detroit and Strasbourg, and continuing progressive work to elevate the bicycle agenda in forward-thinking cities like Long Beach and Bordeaux. 2017 also marked an exciting point of growth for Copenhagenize Design Co. as our management team expanded to include partners James Thoem, Clotilde Imbert and Michael Seth Wexler. Our Year in Review (Download the PDF here) looks back at our highlights from the last calendar year as we gear up for an incredibly exciting 2018.?


Having launched in September of this year, Mikael released his first television series “The Life Sized City” – offering a fresh look at urbanism around the world. Premiering with Canadian broadcaster TVO, and produced by Montreal-based DBCom Media, Mikael travels the world, hearing from engaged locals involved in fascinating urban projects – at both the grassroots and government level. The first season went live across Canada this year with episodes featuring the cities of Medellín, Toronto, Paris, Bangkok, Tokyo and Tel Aviv, while Mikael continues his journeys into 2018, kicking off season two in Cape Town.


For the fourth time since 2011, Copenhagenize Design Co. crunched the numbers and analysed?over a hundred and thirty urban regions to reveal the 20 most bicycle-friendly cities in the world.?These findings were seen by readers of WIRED magazine in all corners of the globe. Using 14?parameters – this year adding cargo bike logistics as a parameter – the crème de la crème emerged?with some surprises, as Utrecht stole second place from Amsterdam, while others such as?Copenhagen, Strasbourg, Malmö, Bordeaux and Antwerp remained stable in the top 10.


A trip to Copenhagen is a must in order to understand what makes a truly bicycle friendly city. Every year, planners, engineers, city officials, politicians, community leaders and academics from around?the world come visit our team in Copenhagen to learn firsthand how good bicycle infrastructure design really makes a difference. This June as every year, we welcomed back an international group of thirty participants for an immersive bicycle urbanism experience, and a whole lot of fun. Our master Class has connected a network of many engaged urbanists across the globe to bring a piece of Copenhagen to their home cities and share ideas with one another.?

Throughout the year, we also have the pleasure of welcoming international delegates to Copenhagen who aim to reach new levels of quality bicycle infrastructure design in their cities back home. Delegations of urban designers, traffic engineers and politicians from Barcelona, Bordeaux, St. Petersburg, and Burlington, Canada each visited our Copenhagen team at different points of the year for several days of lectures, workshop activities and lots of cycling around the city. These groups were able to fill their idea catalogues with best practice in design, bicycle policy and network planning. Planning for a number of delegation visits in the new year are already underway.


The past year was filled with a lot of positive change in American cities, as the number of protected bike lanes continued to rise, more innovative bike plans started popping up around the country, and we began to hear more cities talk about building a network for bikes as transport – an essential first step in the U.S. context. We got our hands dirty working hard with the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department to draft a forward-thinking protected bicycle network strategy for the greater downtown area, helping to set a standard for many American cities to follow.?

We held public?meetings and helped the City imagine a more connected future for all of? their vulnerable road users. The plan is now in the final drafting phase and will go public in the new year! At the same time, our?North American team stayed active in Detroit through working on a collaborative team of planners, landscape architects and consultants to draft a neighbourhood plan for the Islandview and Greater Villages community – with our focus on mobility and extending safe and practical bike planning from the downtown to the neighbourhoods.

Long Beach, long proclaiming to be the most bicycle-friendly city in the U.S. continues to impress with their political will to continually build more and more protected bike lanes on major roads to fill in their pledge from their recent Bicycle Master Plan. We continued our work with this modern administration and Development Services Department, helping guide them on issues of backlash from parking removal, misconceptions in commercial corridors and dealing with the ever-present issue of NIMBYism. Our work reached even further, offering local cutting-edge traffic engineers innovative ideas for intersection design and conceptual bicycle and pedestrian bridge links over the LA River.


The year started busy in our North American office, with the international Winter Cycling Congress being held in Montreal, Mikael presenting stories from Copenhagen and Russia, and hosting a number of delegates at our Mile End office. Our team began a first mandate with the City of Montréal, consulting on how they might best link bicycle infrastructure through the abandoned Outremont train yards, as a new university district rises from the rails. Throughout the year, Copenhagenize Design Co. advised on the local administration’s new bicycle framework plan, shared ideas with local leaders, collaborated with a number of local organisations to create design recommendations for problematic intersections, and continued to document the City’s bicycle infrastructure as Copenhagen-style footrests began to appear across the city. Next year is bound to be exciting as our team has high hopes for the new bicycle-friendly city administration.


French deputies are working on the production of a general law on mobility that will be voted by the Parliament in 2018. Copenhagenize Design Co. has contributed to workshops in the aims of? highlighting the importance of prioritising cycling as a serious means of transportation in order to change the modern transport paradigm in our cities. Our team has been continuing to do innovative work with the Eurometropole of Strasbourg on a comprehensive visual identity, a wayfinding strategy and the implementation of services to turn the bicycle superhighway network VéloStras into a world-class metropolitan network. Through the efforts of a pilot project, Copenhagenize Design Co. evaluated the reactions of the bicycle users to the modern and innovative wayfinding designed for the
VéloStras network. The new visual identity branding for the network will be implemented across the 130 km of cycling routes. Moreover, together with partners – Inddigo and UrbaPlan – our France office has contributed to the elaboration of a new bicycle plan which will be voted in 2018 and driven by ambitions for the most bicycle-friendly city in France.


In 2017 and ongoing into the new year, the Copenhagenize European teams have been supporting Omgeving, De Urbanisten, and COBE architects in a project that will shape future of Antwerp’s West Bank. As the city looks to overdeck an outdated ring motorway that has long served as a barrier within the urban fabric, the project team has presented a vision that engages local residents, nurtures local watersheds, and provides real mobility options. Copenhagenize’s participation in the project ensures the bicycle will play a primary role as a legitimate mode of transportation for traversing the former ring road and connecting the West Bank to the Centre City.?

Additionally, Copenhagenize Design Co. focused new attention on studying people not using a bicycle as a mode of transportation.Together with Kwin and the researchers of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, our local office contributed to a profiling of non-cyclists of Brussels in order to get a understanding of their mobility habits and?their perception of cycling. Based on this analysis and the target groups defined, our team is in the process of producing a catalogue of communication campaign ideas for Brussels Region Capital for the new year.


The new Copenhagenize Barcelona office hit the ground running. The results of a comprehensive Desire Lines Analysis in the Eixample neighbourhood?of Barcelona were presented to the local city administration. 7 hours of observation and 2,627 cyclists were tracked in late 2016 and subsequently?displayed in an engaging document for the local client at the beginning of this year to show how Barcelona’s intersections might be better conceived for vulnerable road users. Following this success, the local team has begun a new study for the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona analysing the? distribution of urban goods in low carbon emission zones. This work continuing into 2018 will culminate in the action of launching a micro-distribution pilot project – elevating and testing?ideas of cargo bike logistics. As summer continued on, the City of Barcelona trusted our local team to make a review of all strategic work that the municipality has been developing over the last couple of years to improve bicycle mobility. With this project our team will be offering the municipality a?global document from the perspective of best-practice bicycle infrastructure inspired by Copenhagen.


In 2017 we had the exciting opportunity to revisit Almetyevsk, a City we worked exclusively with in guiding their transformation into the most bicycle friendly city in Russia. The project began back in 2015, when we were commissioned to develop a bicycle strategy for this small city in the oil fields of Tatarstan. Two years and 100 kilometres of bicycle infrastructure later (yes, you read that right, 100 kilometres in 2 years) we returned to Almetyevsk to see firsthand how the city has transformed.

We had heard the skeptics before: “Nobody in Russia will ride a bike” “It’s too dangerous to cycle in Russia” or “You can’t bike in Russia, they have winters!”. But of course, Almetyevsk proved to be another case showing the importance of a network of reliable and safe bicycle infrastructure. Upon arriving on a Thursday afternoon, we were pleasantly surprised to see dozens of everyday people cycling along cycle tracks as if it was the most natural thing.?

Where once bicycles were relegated to playgrounds, they have now become an everyday mode of transportation in Almetyevsk, with everyone from children to seniors seen comfortably riding through the city along dedicated cycle?tracks, guided by dedicated bicycle traffic signals, and welcomed with reliable bicycle parking.


Copenhagenize Design Co., together with partners from the BiTiBi project, organised a European conference in Utrecht (The Netherlands) to promote the efficient use of first and last mile bike-train combined trips. Over a hundred participants attended the event with speakers from Belgium, the? Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Catalonia. They shared their successful local experience with intermodal projects and design and stressed the importance of building well-designed bike parking at train stations as well as offering reliable bikeshare systems for train passenger last mile travel (see below).


Copenhagen never ceases to inspire. With a rapidly expanding network of cycle superhighways connecting the region, widened cycle tracks, improved wayfinding, and newly dedicated ‘cycle streets’, the City continues to prove itself as the world’s most bicycle friendly urban centre. And these efforts don’t go unnoticed. New statistics released in 2017 show cycling and cycling infrastructure?in Copenhagen to be more valuable than ever:

  • 97% of citizens are generally satisfied with the Copenhagen’s efforts as a cycling city.
  • 41% of trips to work or school are done by bicycle
  • The risk of injury for citizen cyclists has dropped 23% in the last ten years
  • 70% of Copenhagen children get to school by cycling, walking, skateboarding or scootering.
  • Copenhagen invests €39 per resident per annum on cyclingrelated initiatives
  • 48,400 bicycle riders cross Queen Louise Bridge on a typical weekday
  • The Farum cycle superhighway route has seen a 61% increase in bicycle traffic since opening in 2013

But the work is not done in Copenhagen. Much is still to be done if the city is going to reach the ambitious goal of 50% modal share by 2025. So here’s to 2018, surely to be another year of great cycling in Copenhagen.



In January 2018, Copenhagenize Design Co. welcomes a new member to its international, multidisciplinary team. Morten Kabell is stepping down from four years as the Copenhagen mayor of the Technical and Environmental Administration and after a rewarding 20 year career in municipal politics. He has chosen to continue his work in urban development with Copenhagenize overseeing organisational structure and development, helping to orchestrate the company’s growth in the coming years. He will also act as another external face of the company, alongside CEO Mikael Colville-Andersen, representing the consultancy at conferences and events around the world.

Copenhagenize the book offers vivid project descriptions, engaging stories, and best practices, alongside beautiful and informative visuals to show the general public how to make the bicycle an easy, preferred part of everyday urban life. The book will serve as inspiration for everyone working to get the bicycle back into our cities. It will give planners and designers the ammunition to push back against the Automobile Age and convince the skeptics of the value of the lifesized city. This is not a guide on how to become Copenhagen, but how to learn from the successes and failures (yes, failures) of Copenhagen and other cities around the world that are striving to become more livable. The book goes live in 2018 through Island Press.

The Copenhagenize Design Co. European team has kicked off the second in a series of intersection studies in Amersterdam, to understand how the City can better improve bicycle flow, safety and?comfort. Work is already deep underway from the end of 2017 and will continue on into the new year. Copenhagenize has now launched Desire Lines Analyses in cities around the world from Amsterdam and Copenhagen to Barcelona and Montreal.

Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.

Strider expecting tiny competitors from 9 countries at its world championships

RAPID CITY, S.D. (BRAIN) — Strider Bikes is expecting competitors from at least nine countries at its Strider Cup World Championship event, planned for Salt Lake City July 21-22.  The company said it was expecting about 40 racers from outside the U.S., including toddlers from China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Japan, Russia, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand and Canada. The lineup includes 24 kids from Japan.  The youngest registered racer so far is 19-month-old Xarin Galindo of West Jordan, Utah.  The Strider Cup World Championship includes the 2-and-under class and the 3-year-old class, both sponsored by LDS Hospital

More countries than ever to be represented at NAHBS

SACRAMENTO, Calif.?(BRAIN) — Organizers say they have registered exhibitors from more countries than ever for next year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show, which will be held here Feb. 26-28. For the first time, exhibitors from Russia and Lithuania are expected to attend the show, along with bike makers from North America, the U.K., Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Australia, and Japan.

Shimano sales jump 23 percent in 2014

OSAKA, Japan (BRAIN) — Shimano pocketed an extra $518.7 million last year as sales hit $2.8 billion (333.168 billion yen), with most of the increase coming from the company’s cycling division. Sales of bike components rose 26 percent to $2.3 billion (273.955 billion yen) as the company picked up market share from its competitors

February BRAIN features 50 influential women, John Burke interview and more

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — The February 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News features profiles of 50 influential women in the bike industry, an interview with Trek president John Burke, plus news about Specialized’s Rider Experience program, the death of toolmaker Paul Morningstar and more. The February 1 issue includes BRAIN’s look at women in the worldwide industry who are influencing the way bikes are made and marketed.

Video round-up: Crazy dual racing in Russia

Our friends over at have picked three must-watch mountain bike videos for us this week.

We’ve got a crazy night dual race, a mountain range that it’s taken mountain bikers 40 years to conquer and some amazing aerial shots of Moab and Colorado taken using a remote control helicopter.

1. Crazy dual racing in Russia

Not content with two riders going head-to-head, these guys have decided to spice things up by seeking out a slope so steep and loose that most entrants barely make it off the start line before they’re sliding down the hill. Then thrown in some massive boulders for good measure, and held the whole thing in the dark. Can anyone make it to the end while still on their bike?

Head over to ChopMTB for more crash action.

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2. Aerial footage of Moab and Colorado

Follow Katie Klingsporn and Ben Knight as they weave through Colorado’s flowy trails. Mix that in with aerial shots of nearby Corona, just west of Moab, and you’ll be itching to board a plane to this amazing location. Landscapes aside, the real magic of this edit is the technology used in the filming?–?a remote control helicopter.

See more on the remote control helicopter.

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3. Sea of Rock – the ultimate technical descent?

This is adventure mountain biking at its best. The first attempt to tackle this mountainous terrain in Austria was in 1972, on a borrowed military bike. It failed badly! Forty years later, MTB mountaineer Harald Philipp and trials world champion Tom Oehler tried to tame it. Stunning scenery and slick bike handling skills makes this video well worth watching.

Head over to ChopMTB to see more all-mountain adventures.

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Want to watch more videos like this? Head over to?!

What is titanium?

It has an atomic number of 22 and its chemical element symbol is Ti – which is fitting, as many people in the bike industry often refer to titanium as?‘ti’. This metal doesn’t weigh as much as gold, but like that precious metal it’s corrosion-resistant and can be lustrous in a refined state. And unlike gold or silver, titanium is as strong as steel when properly processed.

While gold has long been sought after as a precious metal, and iron was used to forge tools and weapons for eons, titanium is a relatively new metal. It was only discovered in 1791 by William Gregor in Cornwall, Great Britain. German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth rediscovered the metal about four years later, and named it after the Titans of Greek mythology.

The name is fitting because, for a brief time, it was the material of choice for the titans of the bicycle world. In the 1990s, titanium had its heyday as a viable high-end frame material. It was lighter than steel, stronger than aluminum and easier to work with than carbon fiber. Numerous manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon, but perhaps none of it would have happened had it not been for the Cold War.

“It is fair to say that Russia’s extensive use of titanium for military projects spurred modern day development of titanium,” said Mark Lynskey of Lynskey. “Russia’s development was centered around grade two or pure titanium, as they did not have sufficient sources of vanadium to strengthen the metal.”

A welder in moots' colorado facility: a welder in moots' colorado facility

Unlike carbon fiber, titanium can hold up fairly well on impact

It was in the 1950s and 1960s that the Soviet Union actually pioneered the use of titanium in military aircraft and submarines. But the United States was close behind, and throughout the Cold War titanium was actually considered a “strategic material” by the US government. So important was the metal to the military that large stockpiles of titanium sponge were maintained by the Defense National Stockpile Center, which was only depleted around the year 2000.

Military connections

Just as some of the fastest bikes were made with titanium in the 1990s, the metal was used in what still holds the record for the fastest military aircraft, and it was this project that gave birth to the development of the aerospace-grade titanium that made its use in bikes possible.

“The SR-71 Blackbird project in the US brought the 6Al-4V alloy to production levels,” Lynskey told BikeRadar. “The most direct advance for bicycles came in the development of the 3Al-2.5V alloy. Its primary use was, and still is, hydraulic tubing for commercial aircraft.”

Interestingly, the use of titanium in bicycles actually began during the height of the Cold War.?“Titanium in the bicycle frame format has a long history,” said Jon Cariveau, spokesman for Moots. “Teledyne started making bikes made of titanium in the 1960s.”

The Teledyne Titan was one of the first titanium production bikes, along with models from Flema in Germany and Speedwell in the UK. These three brands all experimented with titanium in the late 1960s and produced commercial models in the early 1970s.?

While the Flema Super might have been the first titanium race bike, the Teledyne Titan was likely the first mass-produced titanium bike, although not that many were made.?One of the problems was the grade of titanium that was available in the commercial markets at the time. ?

“The first bikes were built of unrefined titanium,” said Cariveau. “There was no alloy at the time, so it was really a very soft material. The development of aerospace really helped make it a material that was usable in bikes.”

And just as the Cold War helped the development of titanium production and its use as an industrial material, the end of the battle opened the door for its use in commercial products.

“It is accurate to say that consumer use of titanium is trickle-down technology from military and aerospace developments, as is carbon fiber,” said Lynskey.

Competing with carbon

By the year 2000, titanium was a reliable alternative to steel in sporting goods, notably golf clubs and bicycle frames. But that other super-material, carbon fiber, also came into its own, taking the cycling world by storm.

“Carbon has without question become the mainstream material for cycling,” added Lynskey. “It’s very workable, able to be mass produced at relatively efficient costs, and has very good strength to weight properties. Titanium’s Achilles’?heel is that it is very expensive.?

“As a raw material it’s very costly – you can buy a mass-produced carbon bike frame for about the same cost as the raw materials in a bike frame. It’s also very costly to work with in that much specialized equipment and uniquely skilled labor are needed.”

Moots in colorado has built a loyal following of the brand's titanium bikes: moots in colorado has built a loyal following of the brand's titanium bikes

Moots, in Colorado, has built a loyal following for its titanium bikes

But despite these issues, titanium remains popular with certain riders, which is why companies such as Lynskey, Moots, Dean, Litespeed and Firefly remain in business today.

“Even with its cost constraints, titanium will always remain popular for cycling enthusiasts as it possesses the best balance of light weight, strength, durability and damping,” said Lynskey. “Aluminum and carbon fiber both are lightweight materials but fall short in durability and damping compared to titanium. The best benefit to a rider is – when properly designed – titanium can offer a very solid and stiff frame that is also very forgiving and comfortable.”

Moots’ Cariveau agrees and says that titanium has another advantage that’s often missed by those who watch the pros ride on carbon fiber in the major races.

“Carbon fiber is a really beautiful material. It is only going to get better, but when you’re looking at real world situations where you aren’t handed a new bike when you crash, you see the value in titanium,” he noted. “A bad crash on a mountain bike can just destroy the carbon fiber frame, and while it can be warrantied, you have to deal with stripping the parts and sending it back. Titanium can endure those spills that carbon cannot.”

The shape of things to come

Interestingly, the future of titanium could be in printed materials. While carbon fiber can be manipulated into shapes that require precise bending and welding, its strength is in its long fibers.?

But because titanium begins life as a dust-like material – which is often found in sand, making Australia one of the largest suppliers of the metal – it likely has more of a future in 3D printing.?It could mean that bikes designed on computers could have frames as aerodynamic as carbon fiber and as strong as steel but printed out and ready to ride.

“We have looked into this, and over the next few years we hope it will give us the ability to create more complex and aesthetically pleasing parts for bikes,” said Lynskey.

Wiggle Launches Russian, Chinese Websites

PORTSMOUTH, UK (BRAIN)—Online UK bike retailer Wiggle continues to expand its sales reach with the launch of its website in Russian and Chinese. Wiggle launched Italian and Portuguese sites in September and its Dutch site in July. The online retailer now runs 10 sites (others are in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese) and has added five more currencies to its payment options, including the Brazilian real, Chinese yuan, Swiss francs, Russian rubles and Taiwanese dollars.