Design trends: Portable bikes for congested urban environment
In the ever-evolving world, people are looking out and dreaming – for models of even cars that can be carried in their pockets! Their desires may not let their vehicles get into their pockets, but these futuristic designs of various portable bikes can serve as the herald of a new future of these vehicles.
These bikes can be folded, carried, and even pocketed in some cases, without adding more significant weight on the bearer.
Modern technology has made life much easier with its various portability solutions. The personal mobility sector, however, has remained largely untouched by such innovations. Many portable solutions to personal mobility has raised its head in concepts in recent times. The concepts look toward portability as well as something that will take up the minimum of parking space.
These bikes were first designed for the soldiers, so that the soldiers’ progress would not be hindered by carrying the bikes. Instead, they used to dismantle them into four parts and carry them in their backpacks. Today, these portable bikes have various sources of inspirations, but all these sources are linked together by one fact: ability to be parked in the smallest spaces available. There are some bikes, which have an additional inspiration: backpacks.
What makes it so special
The main thing that makes these bikes different from others is the fact that they can be folded, which means the rider need not have the idea of which part fits where. All he/she has to do is to remove the locks or merely fold it manually. These bikes are light-weights and thus don’t contribute to the overall weight on the body.
What’s in it for me?
For those who use bikes in hilly terrains and steep slopes, these bikes are useful. It becomes very difficult to climb slopes and dissipate more energy than walking. In such scenarios, all the bikers have to do is to fold these bikes and carry them to the position from where they are suitable to be used again. These bikes are also useful for those who have very little space in their house and backyard to keep their bikes. These portable bikes also reduce the risk of being stolen.
1. Backpack bicycle
As the name suggests, the bike can be folded into a backpack. As the total weight is about 5.5 kg – easily movable by man – it can act as a backpack. In order to fit properly into the folding dimensions. The wheels are of lesser diameter and the bike overall is quite lower, but it is compensated by a longer distance between the seat and the handle. The whole design, in short, is sufficient to give the rider the same experience on this bike as on the normal one.
2. Rotation city bike
Developed by Yirong Yang, Rotation City Bike can be used both as a unicycle as well as a bicycle. While unicycle is for those seeking challenges, bicycle is more more trendy and futuristic. Every part of this bike – from wheel to saddle – can be adjustable. Moreover, it can be folded and carried around, when not in use.
3. BMW Mini
BMW Mini is a BMW project created by Martin Ruegg. This bike can be folded so much that its size reduces to that of a beer bottle, and, like the latter, it can be carried around in a pocket. The word “Mini” actually stands for Mini Cooper, for the riders of which this design is created. It has inline skate-wheels and Knirps’ umbrella.
4. Monocycle: World’s first self balancing bike
A normal bicycle requires the rider to know balancing and be an expert in it. However, Monocycle, desgined by Harald Palma, does not demand much from the rider. In fact, it is a self-balancing bike, which means it balances itself in different situations such as sharp turns and slopes. The bike’s acceleration depends on the body-alignment of the biker; to accelerate, the rider has to lean forward, and to decelerate, the rider has to lean backwards. The revolutionary bicycle also comes with advanced features, such as accelerometer and gyroscopes, to give the riders more enhancement tools to refer to while riding. Due to its compact size, the bike needs small space for parking.
5. Locust bicycle
The first thing that catches one’s eye is this bike’s vibrant color. Once he/she has recovered from such colors, he/she can actually notice the three loops – or circles – in the bike: two as the wheels, and one below the seat. The extraordinary design is to let the bike fold up automatically once the safety-lock is removed from it. Due to its compact size, the locust bike can be adjusted nearly anywhere. To highlight more deviation from the traditional bike, this bike sports belts instead of chains to drive the wheels.
6. Noah bike
Noah bike is one of the few bikes today that can give a whole futuristic feeling. It is a unicycle, with a serious flaw: it has no regard for the safety of the rider, which means that the rider is to be an expert before handling this thing. It is compact, and has twin tires, on which the seat rests, a rather uncomfortable and risky position. To overcome the flaw, Andrei, its designer, has proposed to implement human psychomotor, which removes the need of buttons or pads. The whole system will respond to the driver’s movement. The electric engine, battery, charger and other gadgets are located at the bike’s center, making riding even more difficult. However, the design looks good, though it demands more safety features for the rider.
7. Shape-shifting bicycle
Everglide is a shape-shifting bicycle. It can be a pioneer of compact, high-speed individual transport, which can also be used as a storage-based system when collapsed. It is made for short-distance cyclists who find hard time finding parkings for their cycles and carrying it to other locations. So compact is Everglide that it can even be carried in public transportation systems, such as trams and trains. The folding happens by removing the lock. Handheld devices, like portable media players and mobiles, can be attached to the bike and charged via frictionless magnetic dynamo technology.
8. Trust-building bicycle
People are well-aware of two- and multiple-seater bikes, but this is one different bike that can leave the onlookers astounded. For one thing, this two-seater bike requires paddling in opposite directions. This means that the two riders are sitting with the backs toward each other. This makes the riding process difficult and requires lots of confidence, trust and practice, something that can easily be garnered by circus-people. It is compact and can be folded and carried to different places. Riding such a bike can be fun for onlookers, as well as for the riders.
Other bikes that deserve special mention are foldable Free Bike from Tan Zhao Bin – which looks more like a unicycle and is made in such a way that riding is less tiring – Lohas hybrid bike by Chen Wei-Ping – which uses an in-built windmill to recharge the batteries – Grasshopper from David Moreira Goncalves – which can be carried anywhere, and can produce electricity – and Jessie Chan Qiu Ping’s Revolution that is designed for fun- and challenge-loving youth.