This bizarrely named but beautiful Cinelli Bootleg Magic Bus Rat bike was one of the many highlights of this year’s Well-Tech Awards at Milan Design Week 2008. Folding up in 20 seconds and weighing less than the average trekking bike at 11kg, this little cycle offers a particularly nimble, stylish way to get around town. With a totally sustainable street attitude, high-tech attributes and miles of bike experience behind it from one of cycling’s top stars, the Bus Rat is a tricked out two wheeler we can’t ignore.
The inspiration for the bike’s unusual moniker came from the song ‘Magic Bus’ by the Who: Cinelli felt the bike was so desirable it could be named after a song in which ‘I want it, I want it, I want it’ is sung repeatedly. Another one of its magical features is the seat post, which contains a pump. The remaining part of the name comes from the bike’s place in the company’s Bootleg Rats range.
The company has come a long way since it was founded by cycling legend Cino Cinelli in 1948. With a past in manufacture for racing, the company has recently been developing frames for other styles, which is where Bootleg Rats comes in. The range is designed to challenge the rules and reinvent street cycling, which is exactly why the Well-Tech judges selected it for an award: “it’s rare to find a folding bike that’s suitable for sport as well as for urban use. It’s popular with customers too, appreciated for its good looks and technologically advanced yet simple form.”
Released in October 2007 and taking one month to develop, the design will evolve as customer feedback comes in. Other specs include 20” wheels for more efficient transportation, a five speed internal hub gear, an effective chain guard and ABS fenders.