10 Brilliant Redesigns For The Bicycle (That All Suck)

Remember that post I did about concept cars?  This is like that, only with bikes.  The basic precept is that the bicycle was invented a long time ago.  The first mechanically-powered two-wheeled bike was revealed in 1839, but the first sketch came from a pupil of Da Vinci’s in 1439.  The point is, an invention that old should have changed substantially in the last two to six hundred years, and it really hasn’t.  These are all concepts that are supposed to revolutionize the classic.  They’re mostly stupid.

AutoVelo

The Quote:
“AutoVelo is a hybrid electric recumbent bicycle that’s more upright than traditional versions to mimic the seated position in a car.”
The Problem:
First of all, it’ll be enormously top-heavy because you’re sitting too high, and secondly, you see the hinge on the handlebars?  The pedals are in front of it.  So if you turn sharply, your feet will come off the pedals.  And that’s retarded.

Collapsible Bike Concept

The Quote:
“Blair Hasty crafted his bike to take the pressure off of a rider’s back by seating them in a prone position.”
The Problem:
Hasty seems to have put the person in the plank position, which many of you will recognize as an ab workout that’s really really hard to do.  Also, in taking the pressure off a rider’s back (which isn’t really that serious a problem), Hasty seems to have positioned that man’s entire body weight directly on his penis. Enjoy that.

 ElliptiGo

The Quote:
“Most cyclists and gym-equipment enthusiasts would ask why anyone would ever want to combine a bicycle with an elliptical machine. Engineer and ultramarathoner Brent Teal’s answer may not satisfy the diehards, but he can tell you just how to do it.”
The Problem:
Well that’s fucking pointless.

HMK 561

The Quote:
“Berlin-based designer Ralf Kittman’s built his bike with carbon fiber, which does more than give it a strong lightweight frame. Carbon fiber’s conductivity and “special layer structure make it possible for the energy from driving to be stored directly in the frame,” Kittman says. That energy powers motors in both the front and rear wheels, which are split so that they’re bisected by swing arms that connect to the wheel hubs.”
The Problem:
That’s reeeeeeally not how carbon fiber works.  Yes, graphite conducts electricity, and yes, carbon fiber is made from fibers of graphite that are woven together in a fabric and then glued together with a sort of epoxy/resin-type stuff.  But saying that you can store energy in the frame of the bike as a result is like saying that you can store energy in your copper water pipes by holding the poles of a car battery against them (please don’t do that).  The sad thing is that the whole split-wheel thing is really cool, and an all-carbon frame would be really light, so if it was a normal bike, it’d be really cool.  But it’s not.  It’s ruined.
Lexus Hybrid Concept

The Quote:
“Toyota’s Lexus brand unveiled this Hybrid Bike prototype, complete with a 240-watt motor powered by a 25.9-volt lithium-ion battery. The bike has the ability to recapture kinetic energy to recharge its battery when the brakes are applied, a common feature in most hybrid vehicles, but certainly rare in bicycles.”
The Problem:
It looks groin-crushingly uncomfortable, it’s probably heavy, and it says Lexus on it.  If you are spotted tootling along in the bike lane, not pedaling, on your glossy-white hybrid bike and then the person in the car next to you sees that your dickmobile says Lexus on it, they’re going to shove you into a utility pole.  And if they don’t, I will.
Mini Penny

The Quote:
“Made from salvaged parts from conventional bicycles as well as a fixed-crank unicycle hub that comprises the front wheel, Mini Pennies ‘are designed for balance, and can be ridden well slower than a walking pace,’ says Cliff Hill, the bike’s builder.”
The Problem:
WHAT IS THE GODDAMN POINT OF A BIKE THAT CAN BE RIDDEN SLOWER THAN A WALKING PACE?
Recumbent Bike

The Quote:
There is no quote.  This is a normal recumbent, invented in the 80s, listed as is.
The Problem:
It’s not a brilliant redesign, it’s a fucking recumbent from the 80s.  Brilliant redesign my ass.
Strida

The Quote:
“Stoddard, who uses a Strida to commute while he does design work in Korea, says that although the bike is slower compared to conventional models, the Strida ‘accelerates and gets to top speed quickly. It’s also extremely maneuverable because of its short wheelbase and small wheels that turn on a dime.'”
The Problem:
It’s slower, but accelerates faster.  Great.  So you’ll go from 0-10 slightly quicker than me, at which point I’ll just carry on to 20 and get there first.  And there is no way in hell a normal, non-tool-shaped bike isn’t maneuverable enough.  You’re just not good enough.  Observe.
Also, is it me or is that bar just built for nutshots?
VW Electric Bicycle Concept

The Quote:
“This all-electric bicycle from Volkswagen has about a 12-mile range on a single charge.  It could fold up small enough to fit into a car’s spare tire well.  ‘In many urban areas, driving is prohibitive when it comes to parking and congestion fees, so this creates a scenario where you park your car outside of the city and have this electric bike take you the rest of the way.'”

The Problem:
It’s a little dorky, and . . . umm . . . the double kickstand looks like creepy tiny legs and . . . umm . . . goddammit, Volkswagen, why are you so good at this shit?  It fits in the spare tire space?  That’s brilliant.  This is the perfect utility for people who live where parking is hard to find (basically all people).  It has a built-in light, it doesn’t need a huge battery, I bet it charges off the cigarette lighter while it’s in your trunk, doesn’t it.  Doesn’t it?  Damn you.  It even has giant disc brakes.  That’s so cool.


Let’s face it, the Germans win.

3 thoughts on “10 Brilliant Redesigns For The Bicycle (That All Suck)

  1. Anonymous 2.0 says:

    Don't the Germans usually win? At least their engineering..not their soccer team.

  2. Anonymous says:

    On the matter of the whole storing electricity in the bike frame thing. There is actually a research group (in the Aerospace Engineering department at CU Boulder no less) studying embedding small batteries in composite wind structures to do exactly what that bike claims to do. But, as seems to be the limiting factor as of late, battery technology hasn't quite caught up yet.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I totally want to make out with that Danny MacAskill guy now.

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