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