As more people start to commute by bike, designers are trying to tackle the various pain points involved with riding in the city–whether that’s finding ways to help cyclists squeeze bikes on public transit, adding electric motors so riders sweat less, or preventing theft. A typical design might focus on a couple of features at a time, but the Gi Bike, a new design that just launched on Kickstarter, attempts to include every possible detail a commuter could want.
“There are no full-featured bikes on the market,” says Agustín Augustinoy, the chief technology officer for Gi Bike. “If a bike folds, it has 20-inch, circus-like wheels. Electric kits look like DIY projects. No electric bike comes with lights, motor, and everything else integrated and working on the same battery with only one charging point.”
The Gi Bike can fold up, so it easily goes on subway cars or elevators, and can be stored in a small closet. But when it’s in use, it looks like an ordinary full-size bicycle. Flip a lever, and in three seconds, it fully transforms into a compact folded shape that can be wheeled around like rolling luggage.
“The rest of the bike is basically made around the folding mechanism,” Agustinoy explains. “For us it’s the proper way to fold a bike. It’s the only way you don’t need to lift the bike from the ground.”
For riders who live in hilly cities or have a long commute, the bike comes in an electric version that can carry someone 40 miles without pedaling. It’s also smartphone-integrated, so it can give directions and send alerts if there’s construction or heavy traffic on your route. It hooks up with social media accounts in case you have the urge to auto-tweet your bike rides. The bike can even charge your phone.
Once you get wherever you’re going, the bike can lock itself–both wheels and the folding mechanism lock automatically when you walk 10 feet away. Eventually, the designers hope to connect it with tracking technology as well.
To help keep riders safe, the designers added built-in front and back lights. Since their research showed that most cyclists are hit from the side, the designers also added LED lights to the sides of the front wheel. The lights automatically brighten at night.
It’s a long list of features, but Agustinoy says the team thinks that each is necessary, despite the steep price (The electric version will eventually retail for $3,590 but is available on Kickstarter for slightly less). “We believe it’s the perfect bike to commute to work,” he says.