Innovation is very much at the heart of the cycling world, but sometimes inventors push the envelope past sublime and directly into ridiculous.
For your reading and viewing pleasure, The Hub has put together some of 2017’s weird and wonderful cycling related inventions and concepts – and not all of them good.
Developed by New Zealand company Manta5, this e-bike on water features two carbon fibre hydrofoils that lift the vehicle out of the deep, allowing you to tear along the water’s surface. A 400-watt motor aids the rider’s effort to turn the submarine propeller as you cycle around looking, admittedly, quite silly.
Pros: Good for people who commute across rivers
Cons: Trying to fix a chain in the middle of the ocean does not sound like fun
Vycle is a human-powered vertical “transport system”, which art graduate inventor Elena Larriba describes as a “solution for our increasingly growing cities”. Her marketing bumf notes that the “two main methods for vertical transportation that have prevailed for the last 100 years” are “the stairs and the lift”. Of course! There’s no other way for humans to ascend vertically and take advantage of the 3D world to wit we are bound! Oh, wait, yeah… ladders.
Pros: It’s hilarious
Cons: Everything else
As if cyclists aren’t already doing enough for the environment, now we’re being asked to clean up after all the motorists and factories. These concept devices, designed by Rotterdam-based artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, are intended to clean the air using a filter system on the handlebars. It’s not a problem that couldn’t be solved with more cycle lanes, but who’s asking The Hub? No one, that’s who…
Pros: Well intentioned
Cons: Google ‘victim blaming’
For centuries, people wound the pulleys on boats using their arms. Hey, it’s 2017 – what are we, cavepeople? Finally, Team New Zealand in this year’s America’s Cup have had the epiphany to put their legs were their arms were, and come up with this solution to speeding up their winding of the hydraulic system that powers the wingmast controls (we don’t know either…). It’s another win for cycling, and makes us wonder why they bother with the boats at all now.
Pros: More power
Cons: Why bother with the boats? Hit the trails!
BMW has solved the problem of the lack of money going into cycle-lanes by inventing an unbelievably expensive series of elevated cycleways called the ‘Hyperloop’.
Borrowing (read: stealing) the cross-city tunnels proposed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, BMW says its concept will replace the former idea’s high-speed train network with a cycling paradise of elevated paths to help commuters get around quickly. However, the car manufacturer also says it envisages speed limits of 15 mph and a series of speed cameras to enforce it. Maybe we’ll just stick to the back roads.
Pros: Not a terrible idea
Cons: Not a great idea