Fast Company

The Bike of the Future Is Theft-Proof, Solar-Powered, and Very Slick

An Olympic cyclist puts together some of the coolest bike-tech out there to create a vision for the next-generation urban two-wheeler.

bike

Bicycles aren't known for being high-tech when compared with other forms of transportation. But cyclist Chris Boardman's new bike design prototype takes bikes well beyond advances in carbon-fiber frames and electric assist technology.

The bike, which relies on existing technology, has a mini-computer attached to the handlebars to count calories; a purportedly unbreakable locking device that uses fingerprint identification; and a battery-assisted motor powered by solar panels. Boardman's design also features a lightweight carbon-fiber frame, spoke-less wheels that improve aerodynamics, and self inflating, puncture-proof tires.

All told, the contraption could remove many of the barriers that prevent citygoers from using bikes as their main source of transportation, including concerns about theft, maintenance, and too much physical exertion.

The one hurdle Boardman's advanced design still needs to work on? Cost. The Olympic cyclist estimates that it will take 20 years before the bike is cheap enough for mass-market adoption. But look on the bright side: If you start riding your current bike instead of driving, you'll save enough money to be able to afford this thing when Boardman gets it made.

[Via UK Daily Mail]

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6 Comments

  • JaiGuru

    Too bad it looks like shit and nobody will want to ride it. It's the same problem with all those hybrid cars. They try to make it look all science fictiony and then wonder why no one would be caught dead in them.

  • Martin Hosking

    It really does look fabulous and integrates great idea. Good to see that work is being put into this as bikes are the future as well as the past.

  • Michael Brown

    Wow. Spokeless wheels. They look great. Very reminiscent of 'Tron' the movie. I do worry, however, about one thing: friction.

    A spokeless wheel design like this equates to an exponentially higher amount of friction contact points (one big continuos one per wheel) versus the small contact area of a typical wheel bearing.

    Just hoping the gain in friction doesn't cancel out (or even end in deficit) the gains made in aerodynamics.

  • Brett Atkin

    "Bicycles aren't known for being high-tech when compared with other forms of transportation." Really? Have you looked at any of the new bikes out there?

  • Ryan Thompson

    This article is hilarious and so well written. I love the ending where you recommend to ride the current bike to work to save money to afford this bike. Having read the specs in the article, I love the concept of this bike, though I am not sure how many biking enthusiasts will be ready to bite the cost bullet. I like the fingerprint identification but that doesn't stop somebody from carrying the bike away and reprogramming it later ...