Bike Intermodal: the most compact folding bike ever?

New folder aims to be next generation in folding city bikes

A space age looking 7.5kg folding bike constructed from magnesium and aluminium, that compresses to the size of a briefcase, has been developed in a bid to make it easier to carry on public transport

The bike – catchily named Bike Intermodal – is the product of a pan-European development team that was given a €1.58m research grant to make a lighter, more compact folding bike that would encourage more people out of cars and onto bikes and public transport.

Will Bike Intermodal encourage more people to cycle around their cities?

Leaving aside the question of whether the current crop of folding bikes’ dimensions and weights are limiting the uptake of city cycling, Bike Intermodal’s claimed stats are impressive. At 7.5kg, it’s light, and apparently the designers want to make it even lighter by incorporating graphene into future models.

Its folded dimensions of 50cm x 40cm x 15cm would certainly make it extremely compact too. In fact, in Bike Intermodal’s own tests against 13 other unspecified brands, theirs was the most compact. It achieves the small volume by using a folding mechanism similar to that used by aircraft landing gear: as the wheelbase reduces and fold over, the skeletal handlebars fold down and in at the same time. Check out the video:

Video: The Bike Intermodal uses a landing gear style folding mechanism

Fully extended and ready to use, a weight-saving space frame using sail-grade cables is designed to keep the bike rigid.

The developers say the bike, which is set reach production, will retail for around €1,000 (£815), and a pedelec version (when partner company Maxon Motor has perfected an in wheel direct driver motor that can be used in the system) will cost around €1500 (£1,200).

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