So … do ya like weird-lookin' bikes? If so, then you might be interested in the M-Bike, from Paris-based Marcelo Cycles. The subject of a recently-started Kickstarter campaign, the odd beast is being offered in both standard and electric-assist versions.
Not to be confused with BMW's limited-edition M Bike, this model takes its name from the rather obvious fact that its unisex aluminum frame is shaped like a letter M. There's no top tube, the fork is one-sided, and the rear triangle is asymmetrical – it has just a single chain stay on the drive side, and a single seat stay on the other.
Things are kept clean and simple with a Gates Carbon belt drive being used in place of a chain. It runs to the buyer's choice of either a two-speed internal rear hub transmission, or a 250-watt rear hub motor.
Utilizing an integrated 160-Wh battery pack, the latter provides an electric boost to the rider's pedalling power, taking them as fast as 25 km/h (16 mph) for a claimed distance of up to 30 km (19 miles) per charge – a regenerative braking system helps it reach that figure.
The motor/battery combo weighs in at 3 kg (6.6 lb), and is linked by Bluetooth to a control app on the user's smartphone. Among other things, that app lets them choose the amount of electrical assistance provided.
Other features include front and rear hydraulic disc brakes (the prototype has a rear coaster brake), puncture-resistant 700 x 35C tires, and a Brooks leather saddle. Backers who are willing to part with a bit more dough can also opt for plug-in LED lights, a rack, or custom leather bike-mountable bags.
We're still waiting to hear back regarding the weight of an entire M Bike. If you're interested in getting one, though, you can do so for a pledge of €1,100 (about US$1,251) for the base non-electric version, or €1,980 ($2,252) for the electric model. Assuming the bike reaches production, delivery is estimated for next May.
UPDATE (Oct. 31/18): Marcelo Cycles has told us that the target weights for the production versions of the M Bike are around 11-12 kg (24-26 lb) for the non-electric model, and 15 kg (33 lb) for the electric.
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more