Feats Per Minute

11 October 2011

Feats Per Minute, showcased recently in the Dezeen Space, is the brilliant collaborative invention of Amsterdam-based trio Merel Sloother, Liat Azulay and Pieter Frank de Jong bringing together their combined skills in graphics, illustration, conceptual and industrial design. We think they’re onto a winner with this customised bike that spins records as you cycle, so we had to find out more.

They dreamt up the concept after regularly listening to music while cycling around their city, and wanting to share their music with others. The project was submitted for Dezeen Space plinth project as a bit of fun, and they even managed to get a pun in the name – ‘Fiets" means ’bike’ in Dutch.

The tempo of your bike ride determines the beats per minute you produce. There are records in several different genres, all with their own BPM: house (170-300), disco (120), ballads (60) and pop/ hiphop (90 to 120).

They admit that not everyone will be keen on publicly playing music without headphones: "Some will find it fun, others will find it annoying. And that’s fine.

“This is the first real prototype and thanks to Jeffry Sol and Vincent van Beijersbergen we were able to build it in a month. Basically, a wheel and dynamo work the same way as a record player. The biggest challenge was to make sure that the needles would stick to the record and follow the grooves, without skipping too much. Therefore we bought two vertical record players and took them apart, to see how they worked.

“We also wanted our bike to be as low tech as possible; that’s why the only “extra” energy we used was a nine volt battery to support the amplifier, in order for the records to run smoothly. After that, we built our own horn, to have some extra volume, and we sprayed the whole bike black."  

So what’s next for the multi-talented group?

“We want to continue to develop Feats per Minute, our goal is not mass production, but one Feats per Minute in every city; from Amsterdam to Sydney – and everything in between.

“Apart from this we’re all working on our own cool projects. For example; Liat en Merel are going to the Tokyo Design Week to do a candy project and Pieter is working on a illustrated book, and together we are working on an online coach that will cure your broken heart.”

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Maya Davies

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