Remember the baby stroller/scooter hybrid known as the Roller Buggy? Even if you don't, its Austrian creator is now part of the team behind another unique mode of human-powered transportation. This one's called the Vello bike, and it features a unique folding mechanism along with some other clever innovations.
Designed by Valentin Vodev (the Buggy guy) and Valerie Wolff, the Vello's rear triangle/wheel tucks in beneath the rest of the steel frame. It does so within just a second or two, simply by pushing your foot down on either of two pegs near its rear drop-outs – no flicking of levers is required. The bike's handlebars get folded sideways, and then the whole thing can be pushed along through tight spaces on its back wheel.
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The rear triangle pivots near the bottom bracket, and is held in place while riding by a magnetic coupler at the top of the seat stays. That coupler doubles as an elastomer rear shock absorber.
Other features include a folding rear fender, integrated head- and tail lights, and a QR code that can be linked online to the individual owner. That code is embedded under the frame's varnish, and is intended to provide proof of ownership if the bike is stolen.
The Vello is being made in three versions: the relaxed-riding 8-speed Urbano, the more mountain bike-like 10-speed Rocky, and the drop-barred, slick-tired 10-speed Speedster. All three models feature a mix of components appropriate to their intended riding style, along with 20-inch wheels.
Vodev and Wolff are currently raising production funds for the Vello bike, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$890 will get you an Urbano, with $1,090 required for a Rocky and $1,350 for a Speedster. Delivery is estimated for next March, assuming they make it to production.
More information is available in the pitch video below.