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THE INTERMODAL BIKE - Multi-modal integration of cycling mobility through product and process innovations in bicycle design

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A better foldable bike

Imagine an extremely lightweight bicycle that folds and unfolds and has optional electrical assistance. Researchers have designed this personal vehicle as a pleasurable individual urban mobility tool, to be used in conjunction with all other types of transportation.

Industrial Technologies

Thanks to the EU-funded BIKE INTERMODAL project, the better foldable bicycle is here. Many foldable models have already been produced, but within the established standards of the bicycle industry. These standards prevented the foldable bicycle from coming of age. With a nod to global warming, small two-wheeled vehicles, bicycles, electric bicycles, scooters and the like are the solution for individual urban transport. The new design is modern and vertically integrated with an automotive-type supply chain. It is economically efficient and scalable, while being environmentally certified, technologically reliable and low maintenance. Researchers overcame the volume and weight problems that affect all other folding bicycles currently on the market. The resulting folded bike package is just slightly bigger than a briefcase (40x50x15 cm). Folded, it occupies just 30 litres as compared with 90 litres, the most compact model on offer in the global market. Unfolded it is a normal bicycle height, fitting cyclists ranging from 155 to 192 cm in height. The personal vehicle can be equipped with a powerful, miniaturised motor, a welcome option for many urban users. The design allows easy updates of individual parts to the main system. The integrated design, hierarchical assembly and lean manufacturing reduced the materials and parts list, and halved the material per product unit. The number of parts needed to construct this personal vehicle is one fifth of the number needed to construct a traditional foldable bicycle. BIKE INTERMODAL's technologic advancements have provided a newer, better and higher-performing product for, among others, urban commuters and fleet services (car rentals, cruise ships, hotels) and for emergency mobility. The bicycle created by this project appeals to royals and workmen, young and old alike. The personal vehicle will now be mass produced and marketed broadly.

Keywords

Foldable bike, lightweight bicycle, urban mobility, transportation, urban transport

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