Novel recumbent bike features a folding shaft drive
With their laidback seating, recumbent bikes are typically more comfortable than uprights, although they're also longer and thus more awkward to store and carry. The Speed Bent addresses that problem by folding, and utilizing a shaft-drive drivetrain.
Developed by Los Angeles-based fluid dynamics engineer Aram Samvelian, the Speed Bent features a folding frame made almost entirely of aerospace-grade 6061 t9 aluminum alloy.
Running inside of that frame, from the pedals to the rear wheel, is the custom shaft drive. Unlike a chain, it doesn't require lubrication, nor will it leave grease stains on the rider's clothing. Additionally, utilizing an integrated universal joint, it actually folds along with the frame.
The current version of the Speed Bent just has a single gear, with a ratio of 3.75:1. That said, Samvelian tells us that a multi-gear rear hub transmission is in the works.
The whole bike measures a little over 57 inches long (precisely 1,451 mm) when in "riding" mode, or 28.25 inches (718 mm) when folded. It weighs a claimed 24 lb (10.9 kg), and can accommodate riders weighing up to 240 lb (109 kg).
Some of its other features include an adjustable-angle seat and backrest, 12.5-inch aluminum wheels, a single mechanical rear disc brake, and an optional adjustable-angle handlebar stem.
Should you be interested, the Speed Bent is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$460 will get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price runs from $625 to $735, depending on the options selected.
You can see it in action, in the video below.