Bike Intermodal Is the World's Most Compact Folding Electric Bicycle

Bike Intermodal 7 photos
Photo: Bike Intermodal
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1.58 million Euros ($2.15 mil) for an electric bicycle? That would be a way off bike, alright, but fortunately, this is the sum one of the European Union funds supported Alessandro Belli’s Technologie Urbane project called Bike Intermodal. And taking a look at this two-wheeler will reveal quite an astonishing design and top-drawer engineering… even though the sum still seems enormous.

The Bike Intermodal project was started 4 years ago and Technologie Urbane worked in collaboration with no less than seven other European companies to develop the initial 2012 prototype. It looks like tings are rolling faster and faster, and the bike is very near to the day it will become available for customers.

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Bike Intermodal is so much more than yet another low-profile folding bike with an electric hub option, as the “creation brief” imposed some rather strict specifications, with one of the most interesting and important being that each component had to be recyclable. Now remember how many bits and pieces of your bicycles and motorbikes went to scrap, and you’ll probably understand how cool this new paradigm is.

The very design of the Bike Intermodal has been reimagined and represents a true departure from traditional bike frames. It incorporates technologies used in the automotive industry and is designed to unfold like aircraft landing gear. When unfolded, structural rigidity is provided by tension cables, and the bike can actually support a full adult effortlessly. With a weight of only 7.5 kg (16.5 lbs) the Bike Intermodal is made from lightweight aluminium and magnesium. Things could become even more amazing, as the creators of this prototype are also planning to use nanomaterials such as grapheme to make it lighter.

A front disc brake ensures decent stopping power, while the use of a toothed belt instead of a chain eliminates maintenance and further saves weight. The Bike Intermodal will be available soon for a price around €800 ($1,090), with the possibility to opt in for a rear hub motor provided by Maxon Motor (part of group Braun). The pedelec version will be insignificantly heavier, the creators of this two-wheeler say.

The motor also incorporates advanced technologies and materials and was designed to lightweight applications. The electrified Bike Intermodal will retail for around €1,300 ($1,770). A cheaper, €500 ($680) is also rumored yto surface.

Now, on the compactness side, Technologie Urbane says that it tested the Bike Intermodal against 13 other folding bikes from unspecified brands, and it beat all of them hands down. When folded, the Bike Intermodal only takes up a volume of 30 liters and comes with a mind-boggling footprint of 50x40x15 cm (19x16x6 in.).

Via stiintasitehnica

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