Cargo bikes may be handy for schlepping stuff around, but they're also rather long and ungainly to park, store, or use as regular commuters. That's why German product design student David Maurer-Laube created the Convercycle – it's a standard-length e-bike that folds out to haul cargo.
In regular-bike mode, the Convercycle's rear swing arm folds down/forward and locks in place, tucking the back wheel up inside of the built-in cargo rack. Once it's time to load up on groceries, baby seats or whatnot, that swing arm is folded back, extending the wheelbase and opening the rack up. A dual-chain drivetrain allows the bike to be pedalled in either configuration.
The folding process reportedly takes just three seconds, and can be done with one hand. Once in cargo mode, the bike can carry up to 60 kg (132 lb) in its rack, along with a rider weighing up to 120 kg (265 lb) on the seat. The bike itself tips the scales at 28 kg (62 lb), with its rack sitting at a width of 43 cm (17 inches) – that's no wider than the handlebars.
Along with the whole transforming thing, some of the Convercycle's other features include 28-inch wheels, Contec ergonomic handlebar grips, disc brakes, integrated head- and tail lights, and a Shimano Nexus 5-speed rear hub transmission. Plans call for it to also be equipped with a 250-watt motor powered by a removable battery, which will augment the rider's pedalling power up to a top speed of 25 km/h (15 mph). There's no word on range.
If you're interested, the Convercycle is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A 65-percent-off-retail pledge of €949 (about US$1,074) will get you one, when and if they reach production.
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