A Folding Bike with No Spokes? Meet the Sadabike
This is interesting to say the least...
This is certainly something you don't see everyday. An Italian designer by the name of Gianluca Sada has come up with a brand new concept which he hopes will revolutionise the market for folding commuter bikes.
The frame sits on two completely spoke-free wheels with the chain powering a small wheel on the rear rim rather than a central hub. The whole thing folds up to the size of an umbrella when you press on the saddle.
It's made of aluminium, so it's supposed to be pretty light (although his website gives no exact stats) and should be fairly easy to carry on a train, or a bus.
Despite the terrible name (how can a man who's so innovative be so uninventive when it comes to naming his creation?) Mr Sada's bike is getting a lot of press. Which is good, because he's currently looking for investors to help him put the thing into production.
So far, he's only built a prototype. But if this video is to be believed, it works pretty well. So far, so good then.
Except... there are a few questions we'd like to see answered before we start hailing this as a Brompton beater or dipping into our pockets to help Gianluca out.
1) Why doesn't the video show him actually folding the bike?
If it works so well and folds so easily, why not show us? It suggests there may be a few problems to iron out before it's as easy to squash down as an umbrella.
2) What happens to the wheels?
When he's holding the bike in its folded position, it looks like the wheels are separate. The video seems to suggest that you could carry them over one shoulder, or stick them in a backpack. But surely that's a bit of a faff compared to a Brompton, which you just pick up or drag behind you?
3) If there's no spokes, surely those wheels are heavy as hell?
Think about it, to withstand the weight of a rider without buckling those wheels must be made of some pretty solid stuff. When Mr Sada picks his baby up, you'll notice he's using two hands...
However, those quibbles aside, we can't help but be impressed by Mr Sada's creation. Imagine if this catches on and the same principles could be applied to mountain bike design - how much easier would it be to fly abroad with your bike? No more enormous excess baggage charges!
OK so that kind of thing is probably a bit of a way off, but it's not everyday a new bike comes along that grabs our attention like this one did and you have to hand it to him, the thing looks pretty stylish. But then of course it does, he is Italian after all...