All images: Saul Maret
Over the past half dozen years we've had more folding bikes cross our screens at TreeHugger than a rear bicycle wheel has spokes. And they keep on coming.
The latest one is courtesy of Saul Maret, a French designer, currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. He has shipped images of his Le Pliable folding bike around to various websites the past few weeks. And as best we can make out the bike is still at the concept stage, with the pix only showing CAD renderings. But still, it is an interesting idea for a compact bike.
The frame, saddle, pedals, swingarm (by which we assume he means the front forks), handlebars all fold, to varying degrees.
The Saul says all the spare parts are standard and you can replace them all good bike shops. Though I'm not sure my local bike shop is stocking such cool looking folding pedals, brake levers, or for that matter, 16 inch rims, tubes or tyres.
And we're a little uncertain what the handling would be like. The geometry looks rather short, which might be great for maneuverability, but could rather impact on stability. (reminds us a little of Strida designer, Mark Saunders' X Bike concept) Provision for mudguards (aka fenders) appears to be non-existent. The rear light/reflector seems to pointed into outer space more than at cars bearing down on your posterior. And no doubt our readers will tear the Le Pliable to shreds, as they do with any new bicycle concept we have the temerity to post on these pixels.
We'd like to point out that you have break a few eggs to make an omelette. Not every bicycle concept that gets envisaged will make the grade and be a commercial success. Collectively for the bike industry this has to be a good thing. The more ideas floated out there, the more improved bicycles will be become. If designers are going to conjure up fanciful transport product, we're very happy to see the focusing their attention on bicycles instead cars, because as Saul Maret accurate points out, bikes are "... easy, fast, fun and eco friendly."