Folding bikes are convenient to store in small spaces, though they can be a bit on the heavy side. Some independent designers are turning to crowdfunding to get their lighter, snazzier folding bike designs off the ground, and the London-based Hummingbird Bike Company is no exception, offering a eye-popping, carbon fiber model that weighs a feather-light 6.5 kilograms, or about 14 pounds (or the equivalent of four pineapples, according to their video).
The company believes this is the world's lightest folding bike, saying that the Hummingbird is a full 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) lighter than its closest competitor. The design uses carbon fiber because it is lighter than steel and absorbs shock vibrations better.
The design features a custom mechanism that allows the back wheel to fold under, while still keeping the chain in tension, so that it doesn't drop (apparently, a common issue with other designs). Says designer Petre Craciun -- who is an avid cyclist -- on Dezeen:
There are quite a lot of designs that fold the wheel under the frame, but they all are offset either in front of behind the crankset. The Hummingbird has the pivot concentric to the crankset, thus the distance between the crankset and the wheel is always the same. This means that the chain is in tension throughout the fold. With this system not only do we remove unnecessary weight, we also make the bike more user friendly and safe.
Craciun's obsession with lightweight and folding bikes led him to create a design that is uncomplicated, light and easy to use. The company is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, with the Hummingbird coming in four colours (yellow, red, black and raw carbon fiber, and one or five speeds, and 16-inch or 20-inch wheels. Pricing starts at £1,100 (USD $1,685). For more information, visit the Kickstarter campaign or the Hummingbird Bike Company website.