Companies not normally associated with bicycle production are joining designers, entrepreneurs and other industry professionals who continue to pitch in their ideas for the reinvention, improvement and redesign of the humble bicycle, and below we take a look at five models which might just end up on a trail, road or track near you soon…
Unveiled earlier this year at the Wörthersee tour in Austria, this is Audi’s performance electric mountain bike complete with a carbon fibre frame, smartphone connectivity and the ability to perform wheelies with the aid of a built-in gyro!
Here it is in action:
With a possible top speed of 50mph in ‘pedelec’ (pedal and electric assist) mode, this thing can move – and the gear shifting system is inspired by the R-tronic transmission in the company’s much-loved R8 sports car.
Aimed at urban riders, the Lunartic bike pairs the front end of a typical folding bike with a spokeless, hubless rear wheel, driven by a belt drive and series of cogs. Its creator claims the design of the hubless wheels allows many possibilities, including housing the front wheel when folded or as a luggage storage option. Hmmm…
Another electric-assist bike, the Bridgestone Angelino Petite electric bicycle is already in production and a big hit in Japan with over 300,000 already sold.
Aimed at mothers who want to transport their children using the integrated child seat, the 240w brushless motor will help with the hills, with a 37 mile range before it’ll need recharging. A low centre of gravity, the ability to transform the seat into a shopping basket, plus an extra rear luggage rack have made this a popular cargo carrying option – but will it be a big hit on your local school run?
Do not adjust your monitor, this thing is real. Touted as ‘The world’s first super light folding electric bike’ and based on a mini penny-farthing, the YikeBike throws convention out of the window with its tiny frame and unique riding position. It has anti-skid brakes (where’s the fun in that?!), built in indicator lights and super-fast acceleration (23kmh max). The upright position of riding, mobility of the bike when its folded and light weight are promoted as its best features.
To finish off, here’s BMW’s most recent attempt at a pedal/electric-powered concept machine, the i Pedelec. Designed as an add-on to the company’s electric concept car, the i3, the three-speed i Pedelec is built from a mixture of aluminium and carbon fibre and as the name suggests will assist you up to a speed of 16mph with a range of up to 25 miles.
The BMW i3 concept car has been designed to fit two folded bikes in the boot, which is a neat extra touch.
Should car manufacturers stick to doing what they do best? Or is it a good thing when designers from other backgrounds get together to take a fresh look?
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