4. The Solar Bike –
Designed to function like a regular bicycle, the unpretentiously eco-friendly Solar Bike (designed by Denmark-based engineer Jesper Frausig) features specially-engineered wheels. These conspicuous components in turn are fitted with highly efficient photovoltaic cells. To that end, these embedded on-wheel solar panels collect and transmit the energy directly to the battery, when the bike is stationary. While in motion, the stored power is then used to run the motor. So when translated to velocity figures, the advanced bike offers speeds ranging from 25 km/hour up to a maximum of 50 km/hour.
Unlike traditional varieties, the Solar Bike espouses its convenience and cost-free nature, because of its sole reliance on solar power. Upon full charging, the battery can provide sufficient energy to traverse a total distance range of 70 km. However in practical terms, the ‘shadow-optimized’ solar cells can power the bike for anywhere between 2 km and 25 km per day, depending upon the net sunshine hours available.
5. The Xterrain500 Bike –
Bringing the boisterous back in biking, the new Xterrain500 created by a Miami-based company, features a conspicuously thick custom-built 10-inch-wide, 20-inch diameter front tire. Tailored to provide effective float for easy rolling on soft surfaces, this width is double of that found in fatbikes (while being three-times more than conventional mountain bikes). This contrasts with the regular 4.6-inch thickness of the rear wheel with its 26-inch diameter. According to the designers, this adequate difference translates to provision of adequate torque for smooth rotation, along with countering of undulating terrain consisting of protruding rocks and roots. Flexibility also plays a big role in this advanced bike, with the users being given the option of switching the tires (thus adjusting the distance of the RockShox suspension forks) – depending on the terrain they are going to traverse.
As for the electrical side of affairs, the advanced bike comes equipped with a 48-volt 9-Ah battery, that in turn powers a 500-watt electric motor. This setup can push top speeds of up to 20 mph (around 32 km/h), while the battery has a range of around 20 miles (approx. 32 km) on a single charge. And, in case you are interested, you check out the Xterrain500’s ongoing Indiegogo campaign, with ‘early birds’ starting from $1,500.
6. The fUCI Bike –
For people who do not take part in competitive cycling, Robert Egger, the creative director of Specialized, has created a smart bicycle, called fUCI or “Eff You See Eye”. As one can comprehend from the ‘suggestive’ moniker, the advanced bike design is everything that the UCI (or Union Cycliste Internationale – the central governing body for bicycle racing) refuses to acknowledge. To that end, the classy fUCI starts by flaunting its big, bold and flashy 33.3-inch rear wheel that acts as a flywheel, thus maintaining the advanced bike’s speed more efficiently. Now given this imposing shape, the wheel can be bit hard to move – which in turn leads to an electric motor, another UCI no-no, that provides the power needed to start the bicycle.
Situated inside the bottom bracket, the motor features a removable lithium battery, which can be charged with the help of a charging stand that comes along with the advanced bike. A solar panel, mounted onto the stand, makes the set-up completely off-the-grid. For a more tech-savvy design, the developers included the option of remote control, via the rider’s smartphone. Placing the phone on the bike’s docking area activates the onboard sensors, which in turn allow the user to accomplish a host of tasks, such as disabling and locking the bicycle when parked, learning about the alternative routes to reach a specific place, acquiring traffic-related information, getting notified when tire pressure is low, programming the lights to automatically turn on after dark, and so on.