Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cube: Urban Street Concept Bike

The Urban Street Concept Bike from Cube belongs to the descriptively obvious school of product naming. The carbon fiber bicycle is yet another take on the folding bike theme, an increasingly popular niche (and if you don't know why you'd need a folder, try living in a European apartment with no elevator and tiny rooms).

The bike collapses around a central hub just behind the handlebars, which is locked and released by the red handle you see in the photograph. The seat post slides in and the rear wheel flips around the bottom bracket (counter-clockwise as shown). Designer Gregor Dauth claims that the fully-folded Cube will fit in either a tiny Smart car, or inside a rucksack. A closer look at the actual folding process, though, shows that to achieve this contortionist feat you have to take the wheels off, which seems like cheating.

The Cube doesn't skimp on extras, though. The brake levers contain LED lights, as does the seat post, both of which are powered by a hub dynamo. Front and rear disc brakes, and eight speed hub gears will start and stop the bike, and massive 28" wheels will glide over city potholes. And for a folder, it looks damned cool.

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