Bicycles

Occam Cycle keeps things simple ... by doing away with the saddle

Occam Cycle keeps things simpl...
An Occam Cycle prototype, in its hometown of Chicago
An Occam Cycle prototype, in its hometown of Chicago
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An Occam Cycle prototype, in its hometown of Chicago
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An Occam Cycle prototype, in its hometown of Chicago
Not only does the elimination of the seat make it light and extra-compact when folded, but it also simplifies the folding procedure
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Not only does the elimination of the seat make it light and extra-compact when folded, but it also simplifies the folding procedure
It can be easily carried on trains or buses
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It can be easily carried on trains or buses
The Occam Cycle folded down and stored under a desk
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The Occam Cycle folded down and stored under a desk

We've recently been hearing a lot about last-mile transit solutions – simple forms of transportation that people can use to travel short distances, going to and from train or bus stations. Compact folding bikes are a good example, as they can be carried on public transit vehicles. The Occam Cycle is optimized for that purpose, in that it has a very simple design ... just don't plan on sitting while you ride it.

That's right, the Occam has no saddle or seatpost. You have to stand for the whole ride. That's why it's not necessarily intended to be a long-distance, do-everything bike.

Not only does the elimination of the seat make it light (about 20 lb/9 kg) and extra-compact when folded, but it also simplifies the folding procedure – the adjustable-height handlebar stem just needs to be folded down via the flip of a lever, and that's it. It's like the setup on a folding scooter.

Not only does the elimination of the seat make it light and extra-compact when folded, but it also simplifies the folding procedure
Not only does the elimination of the seat make it light and extra-compact when folded, but it also simplifies the folding procedure

In another nod to simplicity, it has a singlespeed 52 x 9-tooth drivetrain. Other features include front and rear brakes (rim and drum types, respectively), and wide platform pedals to help spread the rider's standing weight across as much of their foot as possible.

The designers of the Occam Cycle are currently raising production funds, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$325 ($25 less than the planned retail price) will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. You can see the prototype in use, in the pitch video below.

And although many people might consider the concept of a stand-up bike to be rather ... goofy, it's certainly not unprecedented. The Dreamslide had no seat, and featured a pedaling mechanism that was reportedly optimized for riding while standing. The Kwiggle, on the other hand, has something sort of like a seat, to facilitate a semi-standing riding position.

Source: Kickstarter

9 comments
Robert Walther
Seems OK. Another 'flat' surface vehicle, e.g. Chicago, NYC, anywhere in Florida, if you can stand the heat. Obviously designed to put a 1 mile or 20 minute walk into a 3 mile commute on good surfaces in reasonable weather. Also able to stash without being stolen.
Philip Heung
The Micro Pedalflow has already been around for a while: http://www.micro-mobility.com/shop/product/Micro-Pedalflow
PulSamsara Xi
A lightweight, easily removable chain-cover would be nice. Looks good - but I'd add that feature.
Bob Stuart
Just take the seat off a regular bike to find out how tiring it is to pedal like that. George Georgiev, the Varna builder, has a similar rig with a platform rocking fore and aft, so your rising foot can support you without fighting your descending one.
wle
i;d just get a scooter xootr or something what does the pedal and chain add? other than making it tiring to ride wle
glasswalker
why didnt you go with belt drive would be a lot cleaner to pick up and not getting grease on your clothes would be a plus
Michael Crumpton
That tiny front wheel and high riding position spells head over heels on the first pothole to me. You can get a single speed citizen folding bike for $300 with 20" wheels and it folds up smaller, has a seat and only weighs 6lbs more.
Gadgeteer
@wle I'm guessing you've never tried a kick scooter. They're very tiring to use. You stand with a single leg bent deeply at the knee, since you can't keep that leg straight and reach the ground with the other foot. Then you swing the other leg in long strokes, which takes a lot of energy. And you're stuck kicking with the same leg stroke after stroke. Changing legs is not an option, especially with a Xootr, which has a narrow platform so you can't put both feet on at once. I could see this being useful for city distances that are would be too tiring or just take too much time to walk, but don't really need a full sized bike. Not for $325, though. I'd pay no more than $150 for it.
Patrick Frickel
Brilliant if they put an electric motor on it with battery in the frame.