Cong Yao


Cycling plays an important role in our modern transportation system. It is simple, efficient and affordable. Bike is human powered, lightweight and relatively easy to manufacture compared to other vehicles. There are many companies dedicated to producing different types of bicycles for the market and there are many bicycle builders who craft authentic unique bicycles by hand.

For my thesis project, I studied the history of the bicycle in order to understand the philosophy of bicycling. I addressed many types of problems in this field and did field research in bike shops and with bicycle enthusiasts. I learned many techniques for building high-functioning prototypes from bike builders and bike mechanics. I also visited Rochester Commuting Bike and the Rochester Public Market to do field research and scenario map design. I found many problems that need to be solved in this area and I designed three concepts with actual-scale prototypes to explore.

Not all of the concepts functioned well. My techniques for bicycle building got better and better over the course of the design process. I got much valuable feedback from my professors, committee members and other industrial designers that helped me to achieve the final design. All of the welding parts of my final concept including frame, wheelie bar and saddle support were done by myself with the help of my professors and the teachers at Rochester Arc & Flame Center. I collected bicycle components and assembled the bicycle in the Industrial Design studio of RIT.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bicycles--Design and construction; Bicycle commuting

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Imaging Arts (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Stan Rickel

Advisor/Committee Member

Kim Sherman

Advisor/Committee Member

Jon Schull


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TL410 .Y36 2014


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes