Nine years after its initial release in 2006 by Sinclair Research Ltd the lightest and most compact bicycle is being refreshed in line with London’s cycle boom.
Inventor Sir Clive Sinclair, who is known for the pioneering computer range in 70’s, envisioned a bike capable of being folded down to a size that would fit neatly into a backpack. The bike went on to win numerous design awards and earn over £2.5m in export revenue.
A-Bike Ltd have been working with the chief design engineer of the original project, Alex Kalogroulis, to modernise the design and make it easier to ride.
“At the heart of the solution,” says Alex Kalogroulis, “are light, highly-reliable telescopic tubes coupled with telescoping brake cables. Furthermore, A-bike uses a glass reinforced engineering composite, normally found in high-end applications, along with custom-design brakes to allow complete foldability. As a result, it may easily be stowed on a luggage rack, in a work- place cupboard, school locker or under a desk.”
In addition the new design sports an electric motor with a slender removable battery. On a single charge the bike can whisk the rider as far as 15 miles at a speed of 12.5mph.
Apart from the need to avoid potholes the small wheels have little effect on riding experience. The rider can peddle at the same rate of a regular bike thanks to a dynamically geared dual chain system. The tiny wheels mean weight is drastically reduced and the entire thing can be folded up and tucked away into a backpack within 10 seconds.
Sinclair Research Ltd is known for extremely affordable products. In 2002 the company launched SEADOO SEASCOOTER, which at launch cost less than half of its nearest competitor. A-Bike is no exception, retailing at £699. Early birds however can get their hands on one for £589 and £449 for super early birds.
As a keen cyclist and someone who currently has his bike(s) taking up most of the living room I personally welcome any bike that takes up less room.
The team are seeking £40,000 via Kickstarter to help with production costs, with the product being shipped as near as October.