World's lightest folding bike pedals to production
Last year, a startup based in London sought funding for the Hummingbird, a folding bike it claimed would be the world's lightest. After reaching its Kickstarter goal, the 6.7-kg (14.8-lb) carbon fiber bike is set to become a production reality with a bit of help from motorsports outfit Prodrive.
The finished product definitely has the "light" part of the equation sorted, tipping the scales at just 6.7 kg (14.8 lb). Carbon fiber has been used for the frame, fork and seat post, and the minimalist folding mechanism (which has been designed to maintain chain tension) was also designed with light weight in mind.
Although 6.7 kg is slightly heavier than the initial pledge promised, it's still lighter than the Allen Sports Ultra X and Pocket Rocket Super Pro, both of which had designs on the title of World's Lightest Conventional Folding Bike at launch. If you're willing to venture down the path of weird and wonderful creations, the 5.4-kg (12-lb) A-Bike is lighter yet again, but its tiny wheels and odd frame give it more in common with shopping trolleys than bikes.
"Most folding bikes are at least 12 kg (26 lb), which is a lot to carry up and down stairs or on and off trains," says company founder, Petre Craciun. "I wanted to design something really different, not only half the weight of existing folding bikes, but a product with distinctive styling that would be eye-catching, instantly recognizable and something people would be proud to be seen riding."
Two different models of the Hummingbird will be offered: a single-speed and a five-speed. The five-speeder will have an internal hub unit from SRAM or Sturmey-Archer, controlled by a grip shifter. Buyers will also be able to choose between 16- or 20-inch wheels, although speccing the 20-inchers does add around 500 g (1.1 lb) to the total weight.
The bike, which is being built and tested by Prodrive, will be on sale early next year. There's no information about pricing, but Hummingbird was expecting to charge between £1,750 and £1,890 (US$2,650 and $2,875) on its Kickstarter page last year.