The basic design of bicycles has remained relatively unchanged over the years. They all have a seat, handles, and two wheels…
And it’s perfect. But that hasn’t stopped designers and engineers making innovative – albeit, sometimes a little crazy – tweaks to the standard geometry of this 19th century invention, with the aim of enhancing our riding performance.
Some have been awesome – like Michelin’s removable pneumatic tire which was used by Charles Terront to win the world’s first long distance cycle race in 1891. While some are just beginning to reach the mainstream market.
Others have been just plain wrong.
But one thing’s for sure, they all get us talking.
Which is why we thought we’d bring all of our favourite designs together in one post – the weird and the wonderful!
Tandem for MTB
Tandems – every happy couple’s dream. Riding onto the next adventure together, saddle in saddle. And now there’s a design that takes this concept to completely new heights.
The mountain bike tandem.
Equipped with front fork suspension and sturdy brakes, the MTB tandem opens up new routes with your favourite cycling partner. Although, we can’t imagine how safe you’d both feel whilst thundering around sharp corners and over rocky terrain.
Bicycles inspired by cars – now here’s a concept we can get on board with.
Often built with a long banana style seat and tall hanger handlebars, lowriders certainly caught our attention when we first saw them. But let’s be honest – as intriguing as their appearance is – this type of bike has been designed with little to no concern about the riding experience.
Instead, they are built for those looking to ride something with style rather than support.
Laptop Charging Machines
There’s nothing aerodynamic about this concept, but it’s got us hooked – and hooked up.
This electric bicycle, designed by Yuji Fujimura, is built with a docking station for your laptop so you can charge as you ride.
We’re guessing the design doesn’t have your comfort – or your riding performance – in mind, but it sure looks the part. And you’ll never have to worry about losing power again!
Wooden frames started as a functional concept. They were one of the first frames to hit the scene before carbon fibre and alloy. Now, they are enjoyed for their beauty and style.
And we just can’t decide – weird or wonderful?
On the one hand, the craftsmanship, steep angles and lightweight material push wooden bikes into the wonderful category.
But it’s wood. Minimal responsiveness and next to no predictability – weird!
- Elliott Heap: “I perform better under pressure”
- Inside Wales’ MTB Trail Centres
- The mad world of mountain bike festivals
The Folding Bike
Unlike some of the bikes on this list, you’re likely to have seen one of these in action at one time or another. They’re extremely popular with inner city commuters.
But this isn’t your typical bike. It’s is designed to fold into a compact shape that is easily transportable, and allows riders to carry their trusty steed on public transport and across urban, metropolitan areas quickly and efficiently. Be aware that the small wheels and odd looking frame are not built for off-roading.
It may not be the prettiest, but it’s certainly practical when used in the right environments!
The STRiDA Bike
AKA the Folding Bike 2.0.
Because we’ve all wanted to own and ride a triangle shaped bike.
Despite its unusual appearance, it kind of makes sense. For city riders anyway…
Created by a British engineer and designer as a bike for commuters, the unusual geometry serves a purpose. The belt-driven, folding bike means riders can store and carry their bikes with ease.
Having a top tube positioned between your legs is just the start of this bike’s weird features. And realistically, they aren’t going to be a serious rider’s go-to bike any time soon.
The Recumbent Bike
Let’s do a 180.
Imagine the opposite of Hasty’s Collapsible bike – this is the Recumbent Bicycle. A bike designed for comfort rather than speed.
Instead of pushing your legs backwards and your torso forwards, this design is more aerodynamic by keeping your body low to the ground. And although it’s been banned from events like the Tour de France, riders looking for lower back support still take the plunge and invest in this weird yet wonderful style of bike.
Have we seen it all?
We sure hope not!
OK, so the majority of these weird and wonderful designs aren’t going to help you transform your riding performance any time soon. But they are entertaining. And there’s nothing wrong with a little innovation now and again.