crazy bicycles

In honor of the Frankfurt Motor Show, record oil prices and the end of Burning Man - we’re doing a non car list as a green alternative.

Here are the strangest bikes we could find, propelled sideways, backwards, in reverse or by climbing up a ladder. Vote on your faves.


Posted by David Galbraith

 
Ziganime are a band of French entertainers, whose entire act revolves around the crazy bikes they make, like this one, where the back wheel is in a different plane to the front.
Like a giant scythe, or a prop from a Wagner opera, this bicycle must be enormously heavy.
Brad at Atomic Zombie has built countless great custom bikes. Even better, he sells the plans to build themn yourself at the website below.
The seat is where the handlebars normally are and vice versa. You steer it by wobbling your ass.
The deal here is that because of the reverse chain configuration and double decker friction wheel drive, you have to pedal backwards to go forwards.
This low rider is curiously minimalist in a designery non-lowrider kind of way. The extremeness of the geometry creates a frame which is almost an isosceles triangle.
Which side of the criminally insane/pure genius dividing line this creation sits is not clear. A wing like frame supports the two wheels, and you face (and pedal, amazingly) at right angles to the direction in which you move.
This unusual seven wheeled quad bike was created for Israel’s largest bike ride, the 1 day ‘Ride of Hope’.
Bob Stuart developed this seminal car cycle in the mid 80’s, while working on various ogther types of human powered transport. It creates a 30% efficiency improvement over ordinary bicycles and will keep you nice and dry in the winter, but ultimately with large cars on the road small fragile boxes, low to the ground, won’t ever take off.
This awesome 2 wheeler was built for the World Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race.

“The concept for the vehicle was to have giant wheels, but only two of them, and side-by-side. In that configuration, the pilots can hang below an axle connecting the wheels, and thus not need to balance. With two wheels, the vehicle could have two pilots and each could pedal one of the wheels. That way steering could be accomplished simply by one pilot pedalling faster than the other. With only two wheels, the vehicle would roll like a can on its side with an off-center weight in it. The danger of course is that on a very steep slope the off-center weight might not be enough to keep the whole thing from rolling down the hill. This seemed like a perfect challenge for me: build something where the design is inherently dangerous, but do it well enough to stay safe.”

This is a springy bike you lean against and can then bounce along as if you are walking on the moon. In other words, its a 40 mile an hour Zimmer Frame.
This is another bicycle art piece by Max Chen. It creates a surreal ‘twist’ on the usual frame by mangling an original with heavy duty metalworking equipment.
Max Chen has a self contained dislike of tall people and the current trend for tall frames. He is more interested in creating reduced frames, such as this one, where the excess fat from the original frame hangs off like love handles after lipo-suction.
The busycle is like a pedal version of a Roman slave ship. 15 people sweat to pull their weight, and the driver at the front sits back and leads the way. Still, its fun.
As you climb the built in ladder, the bicycle moves backwards. It is an art piece by Olga Kisseleva, and like many art pieces it looks great, but is actually diminished by the hackneyed description of its meaning.
To ride the Bodyrite you are contained within a complex sling rather than resting on a seat. The result is that you get a completely different form of excercise than on a normal bicycle.

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