With this new design, parents can convert their toddler’s balance bike into a regular bike as he or she gets older.
Kid’s bikes don’t usually last very long. Depending on how quickly a child grows, it’s possible to go through as many as five different bike frame sizes by the age of 12, which can be expensive and leads to plenty of material waste. Switzerland-based designer Andreas Bhend is hoping kids can keep their bikes longer with his invention: a new bike that transforms when a toddler grows a couple of inches.
If you’ve ever brought a bike along on a flight or packed up the parts to ship across the country, you know that trying to move a bike around is expensive. It also tends to slightly offset some of the environmental benefits of riding, since a box holding a bulky frame takes up a lot of space on a delivery truck. That’s why this new design concept shrinks down a bike so it fits in a backpack.
Like a lot of cities that want to encourage more people to bike, the town of Drammer, Norway, had a parking problem: There just weren’t enough bike racks to go around. So the city built a “bike hotel.”
At first glance, the Jyrobike looks a little like magic: Give it a push down the sidewalk, and it rolls along by itself, staying completely upright. The secret is a quickly-spinning disc inside the front wheel, which uses gyroscopic force to automatically balance the small bike whenever it starts to wobble.
By day, this plaid shirt looks like an ordinary button-down. As soon as it gets dark, the design reveals another side: Special retroreflective stripes shine under streetlights or headlights, making it ideally suited for bike commuting.
“It’s the same technology that they use in street signs,” says designer Steven B. Wheeler from Betabrand, the crowdfunded clothing company that produced the shirt. “It’s surprisingly bright, because it focuses all of the light directly back.”