Stainless steel, shaft-drive ESO Bike is made for no-fuss cycling
For just ripping around town, many cyclists prefer simple, low-maintenance bicycles. The ESO Bike is designed with that in mind, as it lacks a chain, cables, gears, brake pads and paint, plus it should never rust or get flat tires.
Instead of a chain – or a belt drive – the ESO features a fully-enclosed shaft-drive drivetrain. This means that not only are lubrication and cleaning unnecessary, but riders also won't have to contend with their pant legs getting grease-stained or caught in the chain.
Because there's only one gear, there are no shifters, derailleurs, gearboxes or the associated cables. There are also no brake levers or cables, thanks to the use of a single rear coaster brake – that's the type that you push back on the pedals to operate. The lack of cables minimizes both clutter and maintenance, since brakes (non-hydraulic ones, at least) and derailleurs usually need to be adjusted as their cables stretch with use.
Flat tires and tire-pumping shouldn't be an issue, as the ESO utilizes Tannus Aither 1.1 solid tires mounted on 48-spoke deep V double-wall rims. These tires are said to provide a ride feel similar to that of pneumatic tires inflated to 100 PSI (6.9 bar). It should be noted, though, that solid tires typically are heavier than their conventional counterparts.
And finally, because the ESO has an unpainted stainless steel frame, paint chips and rust are out of the picture. Finger-oil smudges and whatnot are another story, so riders might want to invest in a nice soft polishing cloth.
Should you be interested, the ESO Bike is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$1,400 will get you one, when and if they reach production – its planned retail price is approximately $1,500. The bike weighs a claimed 29 lb (13 kg) and is only available with a 56-cm frame, which should fit buyers ranging from 5'6" to 6'2" (168 to 188 cm).