In the Fold
Folding bikes appeal to space-constrained cyclists
Play / 10 Apr 2012
It’s unclear if Gen Ys’ increasing comfort with, and willful reliance on, bikes is why automakers are having difficulty reaching them, but they’re certainly spending the most time on two-wheels than they have since before they had their drivers’ licenses. Consequently, they’re compelled to seek out models that fit into their minimalist, nomadic lifestyles—which, in turn, is propelling a maturing category of folding bikes.
Tern Bicycles:
Getting a taxi during SXSW can be like trying to hail one in Midtown Manhattan during a rush hour downpour. Giving attendees of this year’s conference a less stressful and cheaper way to get around (and to work off the week’s all-BBQ-and-queso diet), festival organizers installed SXcycles, a complimentary bike sharing program for qualified registrants. The fleet was supplied by Tern Bicycles, a new brand specializing in bikes that collapse for easy travelling, or for sensible storage in an apartment that has more cockroaches than closets. From the commuter-ready Eclipse model to the speed demon Verge, each one folds neatly and compactly.
Thin Bike: TreeHugger
founder Graham Hill’s LifeEdited is one of the best illustrations of the minimalist movement that’s become so influential among Gen Ys. (Cassandra Report subscribers may recall the “Milleniamalism” macro trend from the Fall 2010 issue.) Built upon the idea that experiences and relationships are what deliver true happiness, the online platform encourages people to pare down to the essentials, including the amount of space in which they dwell. The ThinBike, one of the first products developed under the LifeEdited umbrella, eradicates storage dilemmas for those living in Hobbit-sized abodes. Fold-up pedals and a quick release stem allow the bike to shrink from 21” in width to a slight 6”.
It’s no secret that many people get off on the sheer exhilaration of exercise. For those who engage in mountaineering, the buzz is most frequently achieved by the thrill of reaching the summit. Unfortunately, the descent can be a downer...unless it’s done on a bike. Enter the Bergmönch. A pretty radical piece of equipment, it’s worn as a backpack during the climb portion of an expedition. For the downhill portion, however, it unfolds into a spring-mounted downhill vehicle—kind of a mountain bike/scooter hybrid—that not only relieves ankles from the risk of a twist but also gives an adrenaline rush that may even rival that of making the summit.
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