It sounds too good to be true – an electric, smart, maintenance-free bike made for commuting that folds up in just one second. Where’s the catch? Well the Gi FlyBike is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, but the team behind it already smashed their original $75,000 goal in a matter of hours.
The Gi FlyBike will be made from lightweight alloy and features something called ‘Electric Flight Assistance’, which means users can ride 40 miles (60 km) on a single LifePo4 battery charge. Solid tyres mean no more punctures, while a belt drive dispenses with grease, noise and trouser clips.
There is – of course – a companion app that controls the built-in LED lights and smart locking system. The Gi FlyBike also has a smartphone cradle so you can have navigation in front of you when you’re riding.
But it’s that folding system that’s got us swooning. While many other commuting bikes need a practised hand to fold them up sideways, the Gi FlyBike simply folds up vertically – a hinge on the down tube means the 26in wheels come together quickly and easily.
Founder Lucas Toledo says he got the idea when he was living in Argentina and national strikes paralysed public transportation across the country. Toledo says he noticed commuters want “the kind of independence that is incompatible with public transport”, as well as the agility that cars cannot offer, and all with as little environmental impact as possible.
As of the time of writing (2pm GMT on Monday 2 November), the Kickstarter project had raised $422,542 from over 300 backers, with 21 hours still to go. Toledo and his team have already signed a contract with one of the largest electric bicycle manufacturers in the world (Yadea Technology Group), and have formed partnership with Amazon to distribute the Gi FlyBike product in US.
First shipments are expected in June 2016, and Lucas Toledo tells us the Gi FlyBike will cost between $3,000 and $4,000 when it goes on sale.