10-lb Laufrad carbon fiber balance bike is made for seniors on the move
Although many seniors end up requiring some sort of mobility assistance, not all of them are wild about the stigma that comes with using a walker. That's where the Laufrad comes in, as it's a sleek adult-sized carbon fiber balance bike.
The vehicle was invented by German octogenarian Albrecht Schnitzer.
He wanted a means of getting around the sidewalks of Hamburg that was faster and hipper than using a walker (aka a Zimmer frame), but safer than cycling. With the help of his son Heinrich, he started the company Sollso, which now manufactures and sells the Laufrad (or "impeller," in English).
Along with its carbon fiber frame and fork, the bike features front and rear V brakes, internal cable routing, a kickstand, an adjustable-height saddle and handlebars, plus 20-inch aluminum wheels.
The whole thing reportedly tips the scales at just 4.5 kg (9.9 lb), so it can easily be picked up and carried short distances as needed. It accommodates riders weighing up to 100 kg (220 lb).
Should you be interested, the Laufrad is available now via the Sollso website in color choices of blue, blue-gray, light gray, magenta, orange, red and black. It's priced at €780 (about US$850). Optional extras include silicone handlebar grips, baskets and lights.
Adults interested in balance-biking might also want to look at the much smaller, folding Levicle. And for an example of a really wacky creation, check out the Fliz bike – it's an adult-sized one-off balance bike in which the rider hangs from a harness, suspended beneath the arching frame.