Bikes are great for all sorts of situations, but sometimes when you’re maneuvering through heavy foot traffic, you’re better off taking your feet off the pedals and scooting along at a lower speed. For just those circumstances, designer Philippe Starck and Peugeot have teamed up to design a fashionable bike-scooter hybrid that will be used for a bike-sharing program in Bordeaux, France. The concept was actually proposed by the population of Bordeaux through a crowd-sourced design process, and it was later refined by Starck and Peugeot.
In an effort to develop a two-wheeled ride that would better integrate into daily life than a standard bicycle, the city of Bordeaux asked residents to submit design ideas, eliciting more than 300 crowd-sourced suggestions. Then, Starck and Peugeot were brought on to refine the Pibal (which means “baby eel”), adding yellow wheels and a storage rack in the rear. Those bright yellow tires aren’t just a whimsical fashion choice; they make the bike more visible to cars.
The idea is that riders can pedal the bike like normal when riding long distances, or, when traffic is heavy, they can take their feet of the pedals and scoot along at slower speeds. “Pibal is an answer to new urban ergonomics, thanks to a lateral translation which allows oneself to pedal long distances, to scoot in pedestrian areas and to walk next to it, carrying a child or any load on its platform,” explained Starck in a press release. “It only has the beauty of its intelligence, of its honesty, of its durability. Rustic and reliable, it’s a new friend dedicated to the future Bordeaux expectations.” The first 300 bikes will be built and delivered by Peugeot in June.