Bikes + Innovation: Compact Concepts for Biking

Bikes + Innovation. Nik Badminton looks at compact concepts for bikes and one super speed machine.

Let’s look at thinking compactly. First up, Indian company, Lucid Design, has created a conceptual “bike in a bag” that would quickly dismantle into parts to fit into a backpack.

The Kit Bike by Lucid Design would be assembled from a series of 21 parts that twist and lock together. “The Kit Bike was designed to make problems of shipping, traveling with, and commuting with a bike, a thing of the past.” said creative director Amit Mirchandani. A pretty bold claim. Aluminum tubes would make up the frame, locking together by a series of joints that twist in to place using a rotating mechanism and then secured with a key. The white, diamond-shaped frame would attach to the steel wheel hubs on one side, so the bike could be assembled or disassembled while rested against a wall. Leather is proposed for the saddle and the handlebar grips would be made from cork. The parts would pack away into a leather backpack. Unfortunately there is currently no plan to produce the bike, but it may be considered in the future. Personally, I think that’s a real shame.

Next up is Sandwichbikes. These are inspired by the popular concept of flat packing products for home assembly. The contemporary design, the large surface of the frame, and the absence of welding joints makes the frame both visually attractive and easy to assemble. The bike is delivered in a flat cardboard box and can be assembled at home with a few basic tools. This innovative design rethinks the idea that welded and bonded frames are essential. I guess you could even pack it up nice and easily. Coming soon to an IKEA shelf near you? Maybe not, but you can buy one and help spread great design.

This next product recognizes that you and your bicycle are a fairly compact vehicle. Backtracker is a radar-powered awareness device that simply and smartly improves your visibility and helps your awareness of what is happening behind you. Backtracker is a two-part system, the front unit provides you with the speed and distance of rear-approaching vehicles, and the back unit is a light that increases light pulses as a vehicle approaches. This added level of awareness could be great for long commutes or when out on the open road.

And finally, over in Toronto, ON, AeroVelo, the team that made an aviation breakthrough with a human-powered helicopter last year is trying for a new milestone — the land speed record for a human-powered vehicle, aka a really fast bike!

The team is headed by two University of Toronto alumni and is currently working on a bicycle that can go faster than the current world record of 83.1 mph (133.8 km/h). In the video above, Victor Ragusila discusses why AeroVelo’s speedbike will be much faster than a Tour de France bicycle. They are aiming to go faster than 90 mph (145 km/h) next month in Battle Mountain, NV.

Nikolas Badminton is a British transplant that lives in Vancouver, BC. He loves innovation and design and speaks internationally on human behavior in relation to technology, mobile, digital, and social influences. He bikes to work at and owns a single-speed and a road bike but feels that maybe that’s not enough quite yet.


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