Getting around by bicycle is more popular than ever, and nowhere more than in crowded cities where the benefits of a simple, portable, healthy transportation option are especially appealing. Cities across the globe, from London to San Francisco, are making an effort to improve bicycle infrastructure, and designers are following suit with bold new takes on the traditional bicycle. These 6 futuristic bike designs focus on rethinking the bicycle to improve safety, increase mobility, upgrade portability, and redesign fundamental elements like the chain.
The “Denny” bicycle, by Sizemore Bicycles, was especially designed for Seattle’s rainy weather and urban environment. Denny sports clever design features like auto-shifting and electric assist, built-in lighting and fenders, a portage rack, and an integrated locking handlebar. The design aims to make urban cycling effortless, without having to check the weather or remember a lock and lights.
The MC2, one of the oddest bikes to surface recently, was designed by IDSG Engineering Singapore. Billed as “8 bikes in 1” and a “multi-configuration cycle”, this unusual convertible bicycle features one large and one small wheel, with the pedals on the large wheel. Quick-release levers allow the bike to be made into a recumbent-style bike as well as a variation on a penny-farthing with the large wheel in front.
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This prototype by Danish e-bike designers Diavelo won an award at the 2014 Eurobike expo. The Mobilling bicycle features an electric drivetrain and battery concealed right within the frame. What makes it unique is that the e-bike features are controlled via smartphone, with an app that monitors battery function, speed, and assist level. The app can upload and share information to the web, which allows the battery distributor to monitor status and quality of the batteries.
The Footloose is a chainless, folding urban commuter bicycle which adapts high-tech solutions from the automotive industry. The miniature bike generates power by pedalling, and that energy is stored in a lithium battery, which runs a tiny motor. The Mando Footloose is fully automated and auto-detects slope to shift gears.
The TONG city bike, designed at German industrial design studio NR21, is a sleek, futuristic ride. TONG is focused on safety, with integrated light tubes built right into the frame, which can be customized in different colors. Even better, there’s a mini lockable safe on the bike!
The strange and wonderful Bicycmple, designed by Josh Bechtel, was recently funded via Kickstarter. This unusual minimalist bike has a shortened wheel base and no chain, and its compact design makes it easy to stash in small urban environments. It even has an unusual ability to “rear-steer”, as the rear wheel can swing from side to side on the frame.
Lead image via Bicymple’s Facebook page