Designing the Perfect City Bike
What would the perfect city bike look like? It’d be compact to fit into small apartments. It’d be thief proof. It’d have electric assist for longer commutes or when you might be too lazy to pedal after a day’s work or evening drink. It’d be relatively upright and grease free so as not to ruin your freshly pressed Men’s Warehouse suit. Well you can stop waiting for this mythical, two-wheeled wonder. The Gi-Bike has all of those things and more.
Here are some of the Gi-Bike’s features:
- Folds from 6′ 6″ L x 3′ 4″ H into 3′ L x 3.4′ H in three seconds.
- Wheels that lock up if your smartphone is more than ten feet away from bike; you can also give friends access to the bike via its smartphone app.
- Electric assist with a lithium-ion battery that can go 40 miles between charges.
- Available in manual (pedal-powered) version.
- Gates Carbon belt drive for greaseless operation.
- Smartphone holster and USB port to charge on the go.
- Weighs 17 kg (37.4 lb) for the electric version and 12 kg (26.5 lb) for the manual.
- Integrated rear LED light and LED front wheel lights.
- 26″ wheels that quell typical folding bike squirreliness.
- A mudguard and briefcase holders are in the works.
What could make it a better city bike? (Note: we have not seen or ridden a Gi-Bike in person).
- Fenders. Hard to have serious commuter outside the dessert without em.
- Why no LED headlight?
- A little flashy. Thieves might be prevented from stealing by its locking wheels, but they’ll probably sniff around before being deterred.
- They might consider handlebars that turn like the Schindelhauer ThinBike of pivot down for better storage.
- The one-available-size, in this 6′ 3″ author’s opinion, will likely not fit all.
Like most interesting products nowadays, the Gi-Bike is launching through Kickstarter. Their campaign starts today. A pledge of $2590 gets you a manual Gi-Bike and a pledge of $2990 gets you the e-bike (only 10 available at that price. Normally $3390). We realize many people can’t wrap their heads around spending more than $75 for a bike, but as we’ve noted here before, making a bike that legitimately replaces a car or other motorized transport might cost some coin. If the Gi-Bike serves your transport needs–and we think it might do so for many–we can think of much worse ways of spending $3K.