1 Velocipede Fogliaverde e-bike
Electric bicycles typically aren’t subtle; most are clunky, with conspicuous battery packs and engines. Not the Velocipede Fogliaverde, a sleek and lightweight model currently being sold through Kickstarter. The Swiss-built, Italian-designed e-bike is unobtrusive, thanks to its tiny chrome-plated rear hub, which contains a battery and related components in housing that’s less than 13 centimetres wide.
It’s also beautiful. Taking its cues from vintage Italian racing bikes, which creator Peter Grünblatt used to build the first iteration, the 21-kilogram bike features a sleek frame of Italian Columbus steel tubing, leather handlebars, a spring leather saddle seat, bamboo fenders and wood-encased pedals. Users can select from seven riding modes (including a hybrid setting that only provides power assistance on acceleration or ascension) that can be controlled by, what else, their smartphone.
2 Buca Boot bike basket
This stylish and highly functional upgrade to the traditional bike basket was born when creator Kathryn Carlson asked herself: “What if I could treat my bike the way everyone treats a car trunk?”
The Buca Boot is mounted to a standard bike rack from the inside, preventing thieves from easily running away with it. Its watertight, gasket lid locks to protect goods from rain, snow and sticky fingers, and strong nylon pannier bags allow the unit to expand on the sides when needed. A sleek shock-resistant shell, marine-grade wood top, and brass-plated zinc handles ensure durability while adding major style points.
3 Closca Fuga helmet
Bike helmet design has progressed since the bulky plastic numbers of the ’90s, both in performance and appearance. But there’s always room for improvement and the Closca Fuga helmet delivers. Its softly domed shape is not all that different from the skateboard-style toppers that have become ubiquitous in recent years, with the exception of its petite brim and available accessories (including a cozy toque and colourful visors). But it stands out from the pack when it comes to comfort and portability.
An innovative ventilation system increases air flow, reducing sweaty hair and sticky foreheads. And after the rider disembarks, the helmet can be collapsed, reduced to 50 per cent of its full size for easy transport. This doesn’t come at the cost of safety; collapse is impossible during wear and the Closca Fuga complies with European and American safety regulations.
4 Moto Reflex pedals
Matte black with one bold strip of colour, this minimalist pedal proves that safety need not look drab. The large contact surface is wrapped in durable, slip-resistant grip tape to keep feet firmly on the pedals, even in rainy weather and when riding sans shoes.
Moto worked with aerospace engineers to ensure maximum power efficiency while keeping the pedal lightweight (a pair weighs 320 grams) and free of exposed metal parts that can scrape ankles and calves. The Moto Reflex pedal received a special mention award at the 2016 German Design Awards.
5 Cyclotron spokeless bike
The Cyclotron looks like something that Daft Punk would spin around on, but it’s designed to radically improve the cycling experience for the everyday rider. The cables and chains are concealed inside its ultra-lightweight, aerodynamic carbon frame, protecting the gear from the elements and achieving a streamlined look. Small, simple adjustments allow riders to switch between riding modes: an upright, cruiser position and a low-profile, bent position for sport and speed riding. Other features include integrated smart lights, built-in sensors and a smartphone app for training data, theft prevention and accident reporting.
What’s most intriguing are the bike’s hub-less wheels, which create usable space that the designers call “utility slots.” They’ve created a series of modules, including storage baskets and child seats, that can be attached without tools to the inside of the front or rear wheels.