Bicycles Of The Future ... Today
Believe it or not, there's even one that rides on both land and sea
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Aahhhh, remember riding your bike as a kid -- the sheer excitement you used to get when you would hop on, pick a destination, then peddle somewhere out of adult view.
Well, bicycles have come a long way since most of our childhoods.
The banana-seat bike, evolved into the 10-speed, which in turned morphed into the mountain bike and improvments continued on from there.
Today, bicycles can be as expensive as a used car, and with the number of riding enthusiasts increasing by the day, it doesn't look like the evolution of bicycles is stopping anytime soon.
Take the "Gravity Bike" for example. It has no chain or pedals, and its tiny seat hugs the back of the wheel. And guess what? The thing has been known to reach speeds of up to 60 mph.
The idea behind the futuristic bike, built by cycle enthusiast Jeff Tiedeken, is for it to maximize any hill or downward angle whether big or small. Theoretically, since the bike is free of peddles, chains and other body parts, it's much lighter and can pick up speed on a hills much better than a traditional bike.
While the bicycle is obviously not for riding on hilly trails, it's good for city bicycling or just going for a joy-ride. And since it’s lighter than most bikes, it won't be too hard to push it up a hill if you need to.
However its design is a bit dull, and although The Gravity Bike is considered one of the more futuristic bikes being built, it actually resembles something out of the early nineteenth century. It’s not yet in U.S. retail stores.
Next up on our bikes-of-the-future list is the Turbo, made by popular bike builders Specialized.
According to the company, the "Specialized Turbo" is supposed to be the best and fastest electronic bicycle ever built, with speeds being able to reach up to 28 mph, but what company wouldn't say their product is the best?
It includes a 250-watt motor, a compact but powerful rechargeable battery and a handlebar that allows you to manipulate the LED lights in both the front and the rear of the bike.
Reports say the bicycle uses front brakes, but riders can also activate the back brake by pressing a button on the handlebars. Also, because the bike has a smaller battery than other electronic bicycles, it's said to be much lighter and easier to handle on the roads.
It's rumored the Specialized Turbo will be released in Europe first, then make its way to the United States in the future, although no official word or prices have been released just yet. Be on the lookout.
Then of course there is the Di-Cycle. When one thinks of what a bicycle in the future would look like, this is probably it. With its spaceship-like circular frame, and airplane-like hand controls, the bike resembles something that would be heavily coveted by Elroy Jetson himself.
The coolest part of this strange-looking bike is that it travels on both land and water. If that's not futuristic I don't know what is.
The half-bike-half-sea-cycle was initially created for residents in the Helmond section of the Netherlands who have to travel their city by both land and water.
There is no doubt that anyone riding the Di-Cycle will get loads of attention because it truly doesn't look anything like a bicycle. Also because of its sheer size, it's not a bike one can just hop on and start riding, as there will have to be some sort of bike training to control its great height and width.
According to reports, the Di-Cycle is still in the design phases but should be released to the buying public in the near future.
But if the Di-Cycle is the best in bicycle ingenuity, then Izhar Gafni's cardboard bike is the best in simplicity.
Yes, it's cardboard.
That's right, the bike is actually made of cardboard and is somehow still able to be waterproof. And get this folks -- the bike costs only $9, which it should since it’s made out of the same stuff your last moving box was made of.
Since the bike is made from recycled cardboard, consumers can peddle the day away while simultaneously being green and helping the environment.
The creator of the bicycle expressed how he came up with the idea in a recent statement.
"I really love bicycles, and when I worked in the United States I inquired in California to see if anyone has already thought of the concept of a cardboard bicycle," said Gafni in an interview with the press.
"To my delight, I only discovered similar concepts based on bamboo. But when I started asking engineers about the possibility of producing a cardboard bicycle, I was sent away and told that the realization of my idea is impossible.
"One day I was watching a documentary about the production of the first jumbo jet, and an engineer on the team had said that when everyone tells him that what he is doing is impossible, it makes it even clearer to him that he is progressing in the right direction," he said.
Some reports indicate the bike will cost consumers $9 to purchase, while others suggest it will cost more, but either way the idea is a good one, and once released it could catch on among people who want to travel with their bicycles.
It's also ideal for those that don't want to pay a lot of money for an expensive bike they'll barely use.
The cardboard bike can fold up and be carried with ease says Gafni, and will be available for retail purchase in the coming future.
So keep your eyes peeled for these new bike releases, as each one should make your riding experience even more pleasurable.