A-Bike Folds Small, Weighs Little

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

The A-Bike is the lightest folding bike in its class, weighing in at just 12 pounds. The bike is ultra-portable and with practice can be folded or unfolded in just 10 seconds. Despite the tiny wheels, the bike can achieve normal speeds without forcing you to pedal like a madman. The completely enclosed chain system means that your pants cuffs won't have the telltale grease marks of a bicycle commuter, also.

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A-Bike [Yanko Design]

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DISCUSSION

Many comments are slightly derogatory, but I think that Sir Clive's work is trying to address one of the most puzzling problems of modern engineering: why is the bicycle one of the few products that's remained failry unchanged through at least three technology revolutions? And why in the world shouldn't, in the age of miniaturization and "personal"-ization, the bicycle be grafted upon the public/private transportation means as a tool for "fine distribution" intermediate between the car or the bus or the tube and mere walking?

I am a product designer, and as many others (including design superstar Richard Sapper) I have tried to contribute a solution. The first concern of our study group was, true, to make sure that our project "didn't invent anything" in terms of ergonomics. That is we have tried to stay as close as possible near the standard biking parameters, in order to avoid the "circus monkey" image that some were mentioning.

Our work was supported by the European Commission's program "LIFE" and by engineering polymer concern Ticona-Celanese: http://www.ticona.com/index/news/new…

It may be interesting to compare our project with the one that r

- HALF the volume and more compact when folded: 48x36x12 cm vs. 70x30x20 (as declared by the Sinclair website).

- Twice larger wheels with Pirelli tubeless tyres

- Super-stiff pre-tensioned space-frame frame, as stiff as a "normal" bike (or more).

- Larger size, 100% regular ergonomics and handling (relationship between seat, handlebars, pedals and wheelbase)

- Totally automated, pushbotton, "landing-gear style", folding/unfolding

- Belt traction (no chains), 3 speeds

- Much lighter than the A-Bike, all plastics, engineered by Ticona-Celanese: 4.0 kg

- Electric kit that brings the total to a mere 6.0 kg

I believe that our solution is a more advanced one, a more realistic, but fact is that Sir. Clive had the ability to bring his to the market and we still are not there. He deserves a lot of respect!

Best regards,

Alessandro Belli