by Jenni Chasteen
The future in bikes may already be here, at least on paper. We’ve found the most interesting Modern Concept Bikes the world has to offer.
As much fun as it is to bike around your city, West Coasters know just how hard it can be to pedal up steep hills and winding corners. The Cykel concept bike offers a modern solution meant to save you from getting exhausted. When the strain becomes too much, simply switch to electric power to assist you through the tough spots. Another clever feature of this prototype is solid over-mold tires to remove any worry over getting flat tires.
Why replace your thin framed bicycle with wires and spokes every couple of years when you can just replace it all together with something different that will last. You’ll barely recognize the 24/7 City Pedelec as a bicycle with its solid frame and snazzy new tech from the centrifugal gear unit to the hydraulic breaks. The frame is completely modular allowing for one-by-one upgrades, potentially making this bike the last one you’ll ever have to buy.
If you think this thin streamlined bike looks flimsy, think again. It doesn’t get any tougher than carbon fiber and Kevlar cables. The City Bike manages to be incredibly lightweight without sacrificing strength and durability. The balance between thin black cables and shiny white carbon fiber creates a unique and almost delicate aesthetic.
We always love a good space saver, and the IziBi Folding Bike climbs its way to the top of our favorite compact items fast! This sleek mountain bike folds entirely in half making it easy to toss in the back of any car, not to mention would fair better than most being chained up in a city since you can chain up both of your tires at once. For something so compact you wouldn’t expect that the IziBi has got a strong carbon fiber polymer frame that’s meant to last.
Going green was never so literal. Aside from looking incredibly cool and futuristic, the Green Shadow concept bike features some cool tech as well. With an on-board computer, it helps you track your health and mileage. It’s nice to know how many calories you’re burning as well as how many miles you’re not driving.
Contender in the 12th International Bicycle Design Competition, the Grasshopper folds up into a tiny compact bicycle, but still never really gets terribly large even unfolded. The green accents and strange thin frame make it easy to understand why this bicycle project was dubbed the “Grasshopper.” The bike is meant for an urban lifestyle hence the small size and electric functionality. You’d probably find this little concept bike especially useful for the usually annoying transition between biking and riding the subway.
The idea behind this unusual seatless bike comes from an interest in a more challenging ride that keeps you fitter. By leaning forward without parking your butt on a seat you’ll give your legs a much better workout and maintain correct posture. Plus, you’ll look like you came straight out of the future on such a weird new bike.
Without knowing a thing about engineering or aerodynamics it’s easy to imagine that the unique design of the ORYX Time Trial Bike provides a fast and efficient riding experience. The wheel suspension and crank located on the inside makes the bike more streamlined and allows it to cut through air more efficiently. The overall design improves shock absorption without losing traction. Even the process of changing tires is enhanced by a clever push button release.
We’ve already professed our love for collapsible bikes and One approaches the problem of space in an entirely new way. It folds down from a full sized bike to something you could probably fit in your luggage. The appearance of the bike itself really inspires images of the future with smooth curves and asymmetric design.
Straying from the white and silver staple colors of modern design and letting us know that the future might not actually be void of color, the Locust impresses with bright green and yellow in another interesting folded bike design. Everything from the frame, to the handlebars are round making it easy to roll the entire bike up into a compact ball. The design was achieved by replacing the chain system with a belt system with outer toothing.
Inspired by Bauhaus design, the epitomy of modernism, the BauBike makes artistic use of clean lines and geometric shapes. Creating a functional ride and a piece of art through design, the frame features squares and equilateral triangle limiting all of the lines to 60 or 90 degree angles. The extra open end piece over the back wheel gives you room to add an extra seat or basket.
It may not get any more compact or convenient than a bike that folds up and fits on your back. While it’s hard to believe the practicality of a Backpack Bicycle, the pack weighs just over 12 lbs, so assuming you’re not lugging much else you won’t be bothered by the weight. The bike would make a great travel companion offering the freedom of cycling through a city without the hassle of chaining your bike or dragging it through attractions.
Sure, a lightweight compact bike is great to have while you travel, but what about a lightweight compact bike that charges your gadgets while you pedal? The Everglide folds neatly into a backpack and uses the power of kinetic energy to charge your cell phone or MP3 player while you ride. It may not get any more clever or eco-friendly than this.
ThisWay Recumbent Bicycle looks something like a cross between a bicycle and a car and for good reason. Its built in roof is meant to keep you dry in the rain. And to ensure that you’re visible to drivers even in bad weather it includes front and rear LED lights. While it may not do much in terms of keeping you warm you have to imagine that any more weight over the current 26 lbs and you’ll need an engine.
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