Without pedals, gears, or a saddle, should the Fliz Bike be considered a bicycle at all? Part hang-glider, part Rube Goldberg device, the Fliz is composed of a lightweight frame that uses a harness to suspend the rider in between a set of wheels. Based on the concept of a velocipede, the German prototype was created to to encourage more cycling within an urban environment.

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Like a blast from the past, the Fliz Bike harkens back to the days before bicycles were designed with all of the efficiency and convenience of pedals and a chain. German designers Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter drew their inspiration from the “Laufmaschine,” a 19th-century precursor to the modern bike. To get the contraption moving, the rider must run or be coasting downhill. A five-point harness system holds the frame close to the user’s body while in transit, allowing the rider to gain enough speed. Once at a good clip, they can then rest their feet on the back wheel and use the handlebars to steer.

Hambrock and Spetter hope that the unusual construction of the Fliz Bike will make cycling more attractive and fun to encourage an alternative to driving. Already gaining speed, the cycle has won a Merit Award at the International Cycle Show in Taipei.

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Via Eco Chunk