Parents will be all too familiar with the short lifespan of children’s products. Most families will collect a garage full of toys before a child even starts school. The Velo Twista is an innovative 2-in-1 training bike combining the functionality of both tricycle and balance bike, thereupon eliminating the need for replacement or upgrade as the child develops.

The idea of a bike that grows with the child came from careful user insights as well as our belief in socially responsible design. Twista is our contribution towards reducing this clutter and also reducing the cost to parents and the planet.

By combining the functionality of a tricycle and balance bike, Twista is designed to suit children from approximately 18 months to 5 years old, a colossal span relative to a child’s physical and spatial development. In doing so, Twista could replace up to three different ride-on toys that children might otherwise have in that period.

Conceived and developed by Cobalt, we partnered with Yvolution to manufacture and globally distribute the bike. Twista is currently sold worldwide and in major toy stores such as Toys”R”Us.

DESIGN BRIEF

  • Adaptable bike that grows with the child
  • Adjustable without tools or instructions
  • Promotes a safe and fun experience for kids and parents
  • High quality manufacture and materials
  • Helps develop balance and steering skills

KEY DESIGN ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Spans use from 18 months to 5 years
  • Allows children to intuitively master balance and steering without training wheels
  • Angled wheels form single & twin wheel modes
  • Simple & secure lever action to change modes without tools
  • Adjustable seat & handle bar height ensures a perfect fit
  • Kids love riding Twista- the ultimate design achievement!

COBALT TASKS

  • Design strategy
  • Industrial Design
  • Form and ergonomic models
  • Product Engineering
  • FEA (Finite Engineering Analysis)
  • Prototyping
  • Tooling liaison
  • CG visualisation

TEAM

  • Jack Magree
  • Ryan Harper
  • Warwick Brown
  • Graeme Marshall
  • Andrew Beard
  • Andrew Fanning
  • Sebastian Funke
  • Mario Matkovich
  • James Hayes
  • Rob Cuzner
  • Nat Hunt

Mechanical party trick

Experts universally acknowledge that balance bikes help children learn to ride pedal powered bikes more quickly and safely than using traditional training wheels. Velo Twista extends this concept to include children that are too young to balance on two wheels through clever design.

The heart of Twista’s innovation is the rear wheel hub that easily toggles between tricycle and balance bike modes. In tricycle mode, the rear wheels can separate to provide extra stability. As the child advances, a simple ‘twist and click’ mechanism brings the wheels together to easily become a balance bike.

Conscious decisions were made throughout the design process to make the end product both environmentally and financially sustainable. The main idea of adaptability to match growing kids was a starting point, but we quickly realised that a product that grows with the user as they develop also needs to be sufficiently durable as well as engaging for years of heavy duty play.

Using Industrial design, prototyping, animation and mechanical engineering, the Velo Twista was a company-wide project spanning nearly two years.  Many of our team contributed to the project during its development from concept sketches through to co-ordinating production samples.

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