Since the late 1800s, the design of bicycle frames has remained relatively constant. The diamond, or double triangle, frame layout has been popular because of its versatility and strength. Altering the geometry of each triangle can produce a vastly different ride for a cyclist. Fixed gear bikes have a tighter geometry, for example, while the angles on a cruiser allow a rider to sit more upright. There are step-through variations for the ladies, but if you sit along a bike path, the vast majority of bikes that you see will have the diamond frame.
Change may be afoot, however. Every industry seems ripe for “disruption” these days, and bicycles are no exception. Cutting-edge designers have focused their attention on bikes as more and more people opt for pedal power over their gas-powered cars. Most of the bikes you see here are still in the development phase, and it remains to be seen how these radical designs catch on. But before you dismiss these out-there configurations, remember that there was a time when people thought the penny-farthing bike with its massive front wheel was normal.
Here are 6 bikes that will change your idea of what a bicycle should look like.
Revealed at Vienna Design Week, the Vello Bike is the brainchild of Bulgarian designer Valentin Vodev, who has worked for everyone from Absolut Vodka to Villeroy & Bosch. For this bike design he created a folding frame, in which the rear is connected to the front by a simple magnet. This allows the bike to be partially folded with a simple kick. Folded in this way, the bike can be rolled around easily, as opposed to most folding bikes which are a bear to get around once they’ve been shrunken down. There are three designs, which range from 8- to 10-speeds and are crafted for city riding.
Evo Utility Bike
At first glance, you may have a tough time figuring out which is the front and which is the back on this bike. The symmetrical frame is used to balance loads. The Evo is highly modular, featuring quick-connect mounts that allow a rider to easily attach everything from racks to panniers to children’s seats on the front and rear of the frame. It also has lights and a cable lock integrated into the bike itself and a front fork lockout means your handlebars won’t flop around when you lean the bike against a pole.
Yes, riding an electric bike is not the best way to get exercise. But if your commute involves any kind of hills or if you just don’t want to show up at your destination all sweaty, you’ll appreciate the help of electricity. The Gi Bike provides more than 40 miles of electric assistance without recharging thanks to a LiFePo4 battery. It weighs 37.4 pounds, which is light by electric bike standards, and folds in one simple motion. A smartphone app allows a rider to lock the bike’s rear hub to deter would-be thieves who wouldn’t be able to ride the bike if they stole it.
Put aside for the moment that the name of this bike shares the same letters as the infamous type of blood doping favored by disgraced Tour de France riders. Instead, try to focus on the progressive frame design that resembles a cocked-back slingshot. The Epo is the work of Bob Schiller, who is trying to resurrect bicycle manufacturing in the Netherlands, a country famous for its proliferation of riders but which does not have a large bike-building industry.
We know that technically Seatylock is a bike part and not an entire bike, but the design was too creative not to include. Seatylock solves one big problem: carrying a bike lock sucks. It doesn’t matter if it’s a U-lock or a chain or a cable. Lugging around a lock is annoying, but it’s essential because you don’t want your bike to get stolen. What Seatylock has done is to make the lock an integral part of the bike. A three-foot chain lock is part of the saddle. Simply use the quick release to remove the bike seat and then configure the chain around the bike and the object you’re securing it to. Not having to worry about getting your bike seat stolen is an added bonus.