Bicycles

Bicymple looks set to hit the road via crowdfunding route

The bicymple looks to redesign the modern bicycle
The bicymple looks to redesign the modern bicycle
View 9 Images
Riding the bicymple will feel much different than a traditional bike
1/9
Riding the bicymple will feel much different than a traditional bike
The bicymple uses direct drive instead of chains and gears
2/9
The bicymple uses direct drive instead of chains and gears
The bicymple is small and lightweight
3/9
The bicymple is small and lightweight
The rear wheel can be used for steering the bicymple
4/9
The rear wheel can be used for steering the bicymple
The bicymple looks similar to a traditional bike from a distance
5/9
The bicymple looks similar to a traditional bike from a distance
The creators make it clear that this is a not a unicycle with a front wheel
6/9
The creators make it clear that this is a not a unicycle with a front wheel
The bicymple looks to redesign the modern bicycle
7/9
The bicymple looks to redesign the modern bicycle
The side view of the bicymple
8/9
The side view of the bicymple
The top-down view of the bicymple
9/9
The top-down view of the bicymple

Back in October, we first got a glimpse of a minimalist bicycle called the bicymple that looked to simplify the design of a product that was first brought to market in the late 1800's. To get his creation on the road, Josh Bechtel, has gone the crowdfunding route, and the project is already well on the way to meeting its funding goal after just a few days.

In case you missed the initial reveal of the bicymple, it is, as the name implies, the traditional bicycle, simplified. Gone are the chains and gears of modern bicycles. Instead, the pedals are mounted to the back wheel, which changes some of the core functionality of the bicycle. Bechtel is quick to admit that "if you can only own one bike and it has to be fast, then the bicymple isn't for you."

The initial reveal of the bicymple was met with its share of criticism. Commenters were quick to point out that it seemed like it would feel like riding a unicycle with a front wheel attached. Josh Bechtel defends that his product feels more akin to a bicycle than a unicycle, but it certainly does not have a problem with popping the occasional wheelie for good measure.

Riding the bicymple will feel much different than a traditional bike
Riding the bicymple will feel much different than a traditional bike

The lack of a chain also allows gives the bicymple "crab-riding" capabilities. With the pull of a lever, the rear wheel can turn in addition to the front. Is this the most practical way to ride a bike? Not even close; but it sure does look like a lot of fun as can be seen in the video below.

The creators have also revealed something new with the Kickstarter campaign; the bike will have an optional model that actually has multiple gears. This model comes equipped with two internally geared speeds, and lacks the freewheeling option of the traditional model. If you are looking to use this product as a more practical means of transportation, this model might be better for you, but it still does not offer the same level of practicality as a traditional bike.

The rear wheel can be used for steering the bicymple
The rear wheel can be used for steering the bicymple

The bicymple is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. The goal is surprisingly low at only US$20,000 and is already approaching 75 percent of its funding goal after only a few days. If you want to actually snag yourself one of these interesting bikes, you will need to pay a minimum of $800 for the base model. From there, the price goes up to $1,100 for the freewheel model and then jumps to $2,700 for the model that actually features two speeds. The estimated delivery date on the Kickstarter page is December 2013, but the creators estimate that the bikes will be shipped well before that.

The Kickstarter video pitch can be viewed below.

Source: Bicymple via Kickstarter

18 comments
Slowburn
People are actually putting up money for such a badly designed bike. I wish this surprised me.
Gadgeteer
So many problems in such a compact package. Not likely to move fast with only a 26 gear-inch ratio. Good for hill-climbing, but no faster than about 6 mph on the flats. Missing the thickly padded seats of unicycles, so you're likely to be standing up most of the time, lest you risk impotence as some urologists have warned. Somebody commented in the earlier article that this is for novelty events, but the video seems to claim it works on trails, which I doubt. Having the pedals so far back is woefully inefficient. So about 15 unicyclists looking for something different have bought into this on Kickstarter. Good luck to them. Most of the units will be collecting cobwebs inside basements and garages within months.
Graham Ferguson
It looks silly and then you see it in action and the maneuverability of the thing is amazing. These could prove popular with anyone who likes doing tricks with their bikes, perhaps even with fixie cyclists who dig the ability to weave in and out of crowded streets.
Big Mig
An ingenious design, of course, unbeatable manoeuvrability. But my concern, as a long distance cyclist, is how will you feel your knees after cycling a long time on that machine. The position of the legs, with the pedal axle after the seat, isn't probably the most anatomically efficient. Have any biomechanical study been conducted?
Miro
Josh, try to redirect the peaks of human power to the front wheel, electrically maybe.
BigGoofyGuy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_bicycle The design seems like it was inspired by the first bicycles. It is very simple; therefore, making it easier to repair and/or maintain.
windykites
Slow burn, I think you're being unnecessarily cynical. This is in my opinion a very clever design. I think it could be fitted with, say, a five-speed hub gear. Also, it shouldn't cost quite so much money, because for a start it's got very little frame, no drive chain or derailleur setup; also, no lights (these would be retrofitted, I guess). When I first saw it, it did look to me like a unicycle with a front wheel.Perhaps you could actually do away with the connecting framework! Anyway, good luck with this one.
wle
it;s just a BSO bike shaped object expensive toy i'd buy one, for $50
The Hoff
Gee it got 26 thumbs down out of 29 comments in the first Gizmag article so it really deserved another? Here's the original design on youtube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO8sNY-2yGo
Gregg Eshelman
They've copied the Super Trick Cycle. Changed the handlebars and increased the head and tail(?) tube angles, but otherwise the same thing, right down to the two parallel frame tubes. If the USPTO awarded any patents on the Bicymple, they shouldn't have, unless the Super Trick Cycle was never patented. www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO8sNY-2yGo