There’s no doubt that the greenest mode of transport, apart from good old-fashioned walking, is the bicycle. Apart from providing healthy exercise, the bike is the perfect mode of transport for crowded inner cities and a great recreational activity for all ages. But it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. For the less than fit, or for people who live in places that are full of hills and valleys, a bike can be hard work. The electric bike is one solution for twenty-first century green lifestyles and the mobility most of us just can’t live without.
Electric bikes of various types have been around as long as the traditional pushbike, but with growing demand for eco-friendly methods of transportation there has been a huge surge of interest in them in the last 20 years or so. Varieties available go from low-powered types known as pedelecs that offer simple pedal assistance, right through to more powerful e-bikes that are classified in many countries as a type of motorbike.
Although e-bikes have enjoyed a revival and all sorts of technical improvements, the look hasn’t changed much over the years. The typical electric bike is really just like a pushbike plus a motor and most aren’t exactly a style statement – until now. Engineers and designers have rethought the look alongside the functionality of the electric bike and updated it for the modern day: enter the nCycle 2013.
The nCycle is a concept bike with optional electrical assist (provided by a lithium battery), created by Marin Miftiu and Skyrill. In the words of its designers, the nCycle is ‘the revolutionary e-bike that locks itself, carries your payload in style and takes out all the worries of owning a bicycle, leaving you only the pleasure of riding it’. It’s smart, bionic and lightweight – perfect for the city cyclist. Folding it up takes only a couple of seconds. It’s been designed with cost-effectiveness and top level functionality in mind. With its futuristic, boomerang-shaped frame and clean lines the nCycle is truly an electric bike for contemporary times.
Innovations include the nLock, which eliminates the need for bars and chains and is designed so the handlebars double as a locking device. The problem of storage that plagues all cyclists is resolved by building in retractable storage pocket into the hollow frame panels, which also conceal the battery and add to the nCycle’s minimalist high style. Add some bells and whistles like a smartphone dock, a holographic display, and theft proof built-in speakers and headlights, and you have an end product that is a thing of beauty in every way.
The nCycle redefines the electric bike for the modern user, and though it’s not the only state of the art e-bike out there, it certainly has plenty of the wow factor. This might be the kind of electric bike we’re all using in years to come.