Cyclists Wear Car Skeletons to Prove that Bikes Save Space

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[ By Steph in Design & Guerilla Ads & Marketing. ]

car skeletons 1

The absurdity of single drivers taking up so much space on the road was vividly highlighted when a group of Latvian cyclists went for a ride wearing car-sized frames made of bamboo. In celebration of International No Car Day on September 22nd, the cyclists gave their bikes a temporary makeover that forces actual automobiles driving alongside them to treat them like they would another car.

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Car Skeletons 3

They look ridiculous, and that’s the point. Standing out in the transparent structures, it’s clear how little space each person actually takes up within that space. The frames are easily three times the width and length of the individual cyclist.

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The protest, held by members of Let’s Bike It, highlights how much congestion could be eased on the roads if more people commuted by bike instead of cars, not to mention all of the other benefits.


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Transforming Transit: 13 Compact Scooters, Skates & More

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[ By Steph in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Urban Commuting Chariot Skates 2

Zoom past backed-up traffic and crowded sidewalks on an electric unicycle, motorized skates or a fold-up scooter/backpack combo. Urban personal transit is going electric and ultra-compact so you can reach your destination faster and then pack up your wheels and slide them under your desk or into your locker.

Olaf Scooter Backpack

Urban Commuting Olaf 1

Urban Commuter Olaf 2

The Olaf is a carry-on suitcase, trolley, kick-scooter and skateboard in one, with an instant ‘pedal transformation system’ enabling the switch from one function to the next. It has everything a business traveler needs in a compact, airline-approved suitcase, but it’s also suited for urban commuting, with a soft wooden longboard that flips up and down with a kick of the foot. The creators are currently raising funds on Kickstarter to bring it into production.

Motorized Skates

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Urban Commuting Motorized Skates 1

If you find roller blades too dorky or slow to be a real option for travel around the city, maybe you just need a little boost. SpnKiX are motorized skates that strap on over your shoes, operated by a hand-held remote control so you can control your acceleration at the press of a button.

Snap Folding Skateboard

snap skateboard 2 snap skateboard

Skateboards may be portable, but they can be annoying to carry around all day. Enter the ‘SNAP,’ a foldable skateboard designed with students and commuters in mind. The full-sized longboard fits inside any locker with hinges that fold the deck in thirds. According to the designers, dividing the deck in three makes each individual section much stronger and more durable than a full-length wood deck.

Urban Glider

Urban Commuting Glider 1

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This lightweight single-wheeled cycle will get you around town quickly, but is as easy to transport as a suitcase. The Urban Glider uses a gyroscopically-stabilized electric mono-wheel to keep you upright as you stand on the pedals, and you control it by leaning back, forward or to either side. While it only goes about 13 miles per hour at most, it’s faster than walking, and the battery lasts up to 6 hours per charge, taking just 30 minutes to juice back up.

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Transforming Transit: 13 Compact Scooters, Skates & More

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[ By Steph in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Urban Commuting Chariot Skates 2

Zoom past backed-up traffic and crowded sidewalks on an electric unicycle, motorized skates or a fold-up scooter/backpack combo. Urban personal transit is going electric and ultra-compact so you can reach your destination faster and then pack up your wheels and slide them under your desk or into your locker.

Olaf Scooter Backpack

Urban Commuting Olaf 1

Urban Commuter Olaf 2

The Olaf is a carry-on suitcase, trolley, kick-scooter and skateboard in one, with an instant ‘pedal transformation system’ enabling the switch from one function to the next. It has everything a business traveler needs in a compact, airline-approved suitcase, but it’s also suited for urban commuting, with a soft wooden longboard that flips up and down with a kick of the foot. The creators are currently raising funds on Kickstarter to bring it into production.

Motorized Skates

Urban Commuting Motorized Skates 2.j[g

Urban Commuting Motorized Skates 1

If you find roller blades too dorky or slow to be a real option for travel around the city, maybe you just need a little boost. SpnKiX are motorized skates that strap on over your shoes, operated by a hand-held remote control so you can control your acceleration at the press of a button.

Snap Folding Skateboard

snap skateboard 2 snap skateboard

Skateboards may be portable, but they can be annoying to carry around all day. Enter the ‘SNAP,’ a foldable skateboard designed with students and commuters in mind. The full-sized longboard fits inside any locker with hinges that fold the deck in thirds. According to the designers, dividing the deck in three makes each individual section much stronger and more durable than a full-length wood deck.

Urban Glider

Urban Commuting Glider 1

Urban Commuting Glider 2

This lightweight single-wheeled cycle will get you around town quickly, but is as easy to transport as a suitcase. The Urban Glider uses a gyroscopically-stabilized electric mono-wheel to keep you upright as you stand on the pedals, and you control it by leaning back, forward or to either side. While it only goes about 13 miles per hour at most, it’s faster than walking, and the battery lasts up to 6 hours per charge, taking just 30 minutes to juice back up.

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Beyond Basic Bikes: 12 Twists on Classic Cycle Designs

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Bike Innovations Commuter

Plug-and-play accessories, bendable frames, built-in tents and totally unexpected redesigns transform the classic century-old bicycle design for the modern era. These 12 clever and sometimes weird cycling innovations  range from simple flat-pack construction that can be assembled with a single allen wrench to bikes that incorporate a range of the latest gadgetry.

EVO: Commuter Bike with Clip-On Components

Bike Innovations Commuter Clip On 2

Billed ‘the ultimate urban utility bike,’ the EVO by HUGE Design features quick-connect mounts on both the front and back for attaching a range of accessories including child seats and a variety of racks. Inspired by San Francisco’s famous towers and bridges, the symmetrical frame was designed to support cargo loads on both ends.

nCycle Electric Bike with Integrated Lock

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The designer of the nCycle questions whether it makes sense to simply add electrical components to a design that’s over a century old, choosing instead to completely re-invent the bike for this new purpose. Gone are the ‘odd mix of tubes and wires,’ replaced by a pair of side panels that conceal a battery, storage compartment and optional folding mechanism. It’s got a built-in lock, lights and a sound system, and a holographic display on the handlebars linked to a smartphone.

FLIZ Velocipede Requires You to Run

Bicycle Innovations FLIZ 1 Bicycle Innovations Fliz 2

This isn’t exactly the sort of bike you can ride around on – the FLIZ is basically a means to propel yourself faster than you could ever run otherwise. The rider clips into a 5-point harness and gets a running start, the belt replacing the saddle.

Space Roam Fixed Gear Bike

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This fixed-gear bike design is anything but the same old conventional style, with an ultra-streamlined design inspired by liquid metal. It’s made of super lightweight materials to make it an extra-zippy ride.

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No Spoking: 11 Closed & Abandoned Bicycle Shops

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[ By Steve in Abandoned Places & Architecture. ]

abandoned bicycle shops
Bicycle shops should be doing great in this era of energy conservation but the cold equations of business economics are, for many bike shops, all two wheel.

Nelson Schmelsson

abandoned closed Nelson's Bicycle Shop Brooklyn NY(image via: notsodigital)

Nelson’s Bicycle Shop at 251 Bushwick Ave in Brooklyn, NY was a neighborhood icon for over thirty years. Nelson, the eponymous owner, was a store fixture as was his huge-headed cat who sadly passed away in 2001. Perhaps the loss of his kitty-cat companion was the last straw for Nelson, as he closed his shop sometime in 2012. A tip of the bike helmet to Diego of notsodigital for the vaguely disturbing image above.

The Discontinuing Story Of Bicycle Bill

Bicycle Bill's Allston closed bike shop(images via: Bicyclebillboston.com and Yelp)

After 35-odd years at the corner of North Harvard and Bayard in Allston, MA, Bicycle Bill’s has shut the shop and gone digital.. or virtual. They’ve abandoned bricks & mortar and embraced the online retail revolution, is what we’re trying to say. In any case, buying bikes online should prove challenging, not to mention servicing them. Then again, if dozens of highly critical reviews on Yelp are any indication, dealing with Bicycle Bill’s might be more satisfying if it’s not done in person.

Spokes, Spares & Misses

abandoned bike shop Oxford(image via: Wiki/OpenStreetMap)

We could say this derelict bicycle sales, repair and rental shop is the poster child for abandoned retail stores and we would be right: the image above was chosen by OpenStreetMap Wiki to illustrate the keyword “abandoned”. The shop is located in Oxford, presumably England – where else would bikes be offered for “hire”?

Cascade Of Misfortune

Cascade Cycling closed bike shop Portland(images via: BikePortland.org and BikePortland.org)

Portland, Oregon is a cycling mecca with a plethora of bike shops… make that a plethora minus one. Cascade Cycling in north Portland found a comfortable market niche serving the city and surrounding area’s older market demographic after opening their doors in 2006 but a break-in in 2010 and the owner’s chronic health problems forced the shop to slam on the brakes in October of 2013.

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Need a Lift? Road Elevator Boosts Cyclists up Hills

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[ By Steph in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Bicycle Elevator 1

If there’s a particularly daunting hill on your cycling or stroller-pushing route, you may have already thought to yourself, “I wish there were some kind of magical contraption that could haul me to the top.” Like… a bicycle escalator, or something. Well, that thing actually exists: it’s called the Trampe CycloCable. This motorized aid was built into the street in Tronheim, Norway to give a little help to anyone trying to get up an 18% grade hill on wheels.

Bicycle Elevator 2

The prototype was built in 1993, and the Trampe has pushed over 200,000 cyclists up the hill since then. The design was upgraded in 2013 to meet new safety regulations, and a new industrialized version will be introduced to the international market.

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Using it is pretty simple: you position your bicycle 10 centimeters away from and parallel to the lift rail, with your left pedal in a lower position. While standing astride your bike, put your left foot on the left bike pedal, and your right foot in the start slot of the lift. Push the green ‘start’ button and it’ll gently haul you up the hill.

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People riding scooters or pushing strollers use the lift, as well. It moves about five feet per second and can extend up to 1,640 feet. Maybe we won’t see these installed on every hill in town anytime soon, but for the steepest of the steep, it would probably be a pretty welcome addition.


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HalfBike: Compact Standing Cycle Design Goes Anywhere

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[ By Steph in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Halfbike Compact Bicycle 1

How compact can a bicycle get, enabling it to go anywhere in the city that you do? The Halfbike is an intriguing step forward for ultra-packable bikes ideally suited for the urban environment, eschewing a seat in favor of upright positioning for the rider. As a result, it fits into spaces too small for most other bicycles, including city buses and elevators.

HalfBike Compact Bicycle 2

HalfBike Compact Bicycle 4

Lightweight enough to be carried up flights of stairs, the Halfbike works by a combination of cycling and smooth assisted running for a quick, fun means of getting around the city. The three-wheeled design gives it a lot of agility over a regular bicycle, cutting tight corners and sailing up stairs.

HalfBike Compact Bicycle 3

HalfBike Compact Bicycle 5

It’s easy to walk with the Halfbike one-handed, and the aluminum frame and plywood handle take up very little space. While the lack of a seat might make it less comfortable for long commutes, standing offers greater visibility.


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SkyCycle: London Concept Takes Biking to New Heights

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[ By Steph in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

SkyCycle London Bike Route 1

London could become much more bike-friendly with SkyCycle, an elevated route for bicycles only that runs along the existing rail network and would enable commuters to see the city in a new way. Never mind sitting in your vehicle inhaling exhaust while you’re stuck in traffic, or battling the perpetual jam of vehicles on your bike, which has proven to be a dangerous proposition. 14 cyclists died in traffic accidents in London in 2013 alone.

SkyCycle London Bike Route 4

Designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Exterior Architecture and Space Syntax, SkyCycle is a 136-mile route with over 200 entrance points that can accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour. The fact that the route follows the train system is actually ideal, since the railway lines were built for steam trains and follow contours that avoid steep ups and downs.

SkyCycle London Bike Route 3

The route could speed up treks across the city by up to half an hour by avoiding traffic and taking more direct lines from one busy area to another. If approved, the routes could be in place within 20 years or so.

SkyCycle London Bike Route 2

The High Line in New York City, an elevated pedestrian route built along disused railroad tracks, is a great example of what can happen when a project like this is integrated into a busy city. Not only is the High Line a popular route for foot traffic, it also helped revitalize large swaths of industrial land that wasn’t living up to its potential.


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Wheely Great Ideas: 10 Bodacious Bike Technology Concepts

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The bicycle has been a favorite form of transportation for around two centuries, and every generation adds its own advances and accessories to the time-tested design. Living in the technology age as we do today, bike-related advances abound. These 10 concepts use high technology, advanced design skills, and plain old common sense to create some truly useful and beautiful bikes and bike-related accessories.

Samurai Sword Folding Bike

(images via: Nick Domanski)

Folding bikes are perfect for people who ride to work or school and then need to stash the bike somewhere during the day. They fold up into very small sizes, but they aren’t always easy to carry around or to fit under a desk or into a coat closet. The Odachi Folding Bike concept from design student Nick Domanski makes it a bit easier – and a lot more attractive – to carry around a folded bike. When in its smallest form, the Odachi bike can be either pulled along behind the rider or strapped onto the back like a samurai sword. Although the chain and brakes do not appear in the rendered images, the Odachi bike would work just like any other bike.

Twist Tandem Bike

(images via: Jose Hurtado)

The Twist bike doesn’t strive to break down into the smallest package possible; instead, it wants to expand. The concept from designer Jose Hurtado features a symmetrical frame and hubless wheels, one of which can connect to another frame to form a tandem bike. The freedom to ride single or double on this modern bike makes it an unusual but stylish choice for biking enthusiasts.

Revolutionary Roundtail Bike

(images via: Roundtail)

The Roundtail is a truly world-changing modification to the typical bike frame. Rather than the familiar triangular frame configuration which is full of straight lines, the Roundtail features a frame with a circle in the center. This circular frame acts as a sort of shock absorber, making riding a bike far less painful for cycling enthusiasts.

Swiss Army Knife-Inspired Folding Electric Scooter

(images via: Voltitude Switzerland)

The Voltitude V1 was invented by a Swiss father and son design team who took their inspiration from Swiss Army knives and from scooters. The folding electric bike features wide wheels to get it over the urban terrain, electric assisted pedaling and a silent, zero-emission ride. But the most notable feature of the Voltitude V1 is its ability to fold up like the famous Swiss Army knife into a small package – small enough to be stowed in a trunk or closet.

The Greencycle

(images via: Paulus Maringka)

Can a bike really change the world? The Greencycle may do just that. The lightweight but tough bicycle is built of sustainable, affordable bamboo and metal joining brackets. The bike is modular and all parts of it can be easily replaced in the event of breakage. Meant for third-world countries where bikes are the most efficient and sensible means of transportation for vendors and farmers, the Greencycle also features built-in attachment points and platforms for heavy cargo.

Expanding Wheel City Bike

(images via: Yanko Design)

The Smart City Cycle from designer Yo-Hwan Kim takes a novel approach to the concept of the cargo bike. Rather than adding a shelf or hook to the bike’s frame, the designer simply integrated a cargo compartment into the rear wheel. A regular hubless wheel takes the rider to and from work or school every day, but on those days when a stop at the grocery store is necessary a cargo wheel can be fitted to the back of the bike. The cargo wheel holds a load securely in place while increasing the bike’s wheel base to create a stable ride.

Bike Seat Tire Pump

(images via: BioLogic)

Minimizing the stuff you carry – and thus the weight of your cargo – is important for making the most of your bike ride. But there are some essentials that you need to have for longer rides, including a pump to reinflate tires. BioLogic’s clever PostPump 2.0 Seatpost is a bike pump built into a bicycle seatpost. When you need to inflate a tire, the pump easily detaches from the bike’s frame and the seat acts as a handle.

Airless Bike Tires

(images via: Energy Return Wheel)

Of course, a bike tire pump would not be necessary if the cycling world adopts the incredible Energy Return Wheel (ERW). This airless tire features a honeycomb layer of rubber where the air would normally be in a standard tire. As the ERW rides over obstacles and rough terrain in the road, the energy from those little impacts is turned into forward propulsion. This helps the rider move along with less effort – and as an added bonus, there is no need to ever worry about flat tires.

LED Handlebars

(images via: Mitchell Silva)

There are plenty of products meant to keep cyclists safe in the dark, but the Globars are a smart twist on the subject. The handlebars are lit up brightly with LEDs and function as safety lights, headlights and turn signals all in one. Because the turn signal buttons can be activated while the rider’s hands are still on the handlebars, these safety devices are truly safe.

Bike Pedal Lock

(images via: Cheng-Tsung Feng)

Keeping your bike safe while you aren’t on it is an important concern for any bike owner. The Pedal Lock is a neat concept product that would use the bike’s own pedals as security devices. You don’t have to carry a heavy lock around because it’s built right into your pedals, and thieves who try to simply take off the tire to steal your bike from the rack wouldn’t be able to ride it away thanks to the missing pedals.


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