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Monday, October 10, 2011

The Bike of the Future Is Theft-Proof, Solar-Powered, and Very Slick

An Olympic cyclist puts together some of the coolest bike-tech out there to create a vision for the next-generation urban two-wheeler.

bike

Bicycles aren't known for being high-tech when compared with other forms of transportation. But cyclist Chris Boardman's new bike design prototype takes bikes well beyond advances in carbon-fiber frames and electric assist technology.

The bike, which relies on existing technology, has a mini-computer attached to the handlebars to count calories; a purportedly unbreakable locking device that uses fingerprint identification; and a battery-assisted motor powered by solar panels. Boardman's design also features a lightweight carbon-fiber frame, spoke-less wheels that improve aerodynamics, and self inflating, puncture-proof tires.
All told, the contraption could remove many of the barriers that prevent citygoers from using bikes as their main source of transportation, including concerns about theft, maintenance, and too much physical exertion.
The one hurdle Boardman's advanced design still needs to work on? Cost. The Olympic cyclist estimates that it will take 20 years before the bike is cheap enough for mass-market adoption. But look on the bright side: If you start riding your current bike instead of driving, you'll save enough money to be able to afford this thing when Boardman gets it made.

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