Military interest in bicycles arose in the 1890s, and the French army and others deployed folding bikes for bicycle infantry use. In 1900, Mikael Pedersen developed a folding version of his Pedersen bicycle for the British army that weighed 15 pounds and had 24 inch wheels. It included a rifle rack and was used in the Second Boer War.
The British WWII Airborne BSA folding bicycle was used from 1942-1945 in the Second World War by British & Commonwealth airborne troops, Commandos and some infantry regiments. Some were also used as run-abouts on military bases. A folding bicycle was developed as a small size was needed to enable it to be taken on parachute jumps from aircraft or in small gliders. The War Office in 1941 called for a machine that weighed less than 23 lb (this was not achieved – the final weight was about 32 pounds) and which would withstand being dropped by parachute. Folding bicycles were used by British paratroopers, Commandos and second-wave infantry units on the D-Day landings and at the Battle of Arnhem.
Dahon Formula S18 with Bionx peddle assist
Dahon is a leader in folding bikes and has Dahon Formula S18 ($1350) weighs 24 pounds and has 18 speeds. It can be combined with Bionx peddle assist (add $1000-2000 or so in price) to still weigh 39 pounds and have 40 miles of 20 mph electric bike range.
Pacific Cycles is a company known for their beautiful, functional, and unique designs. The 2-speed IF Mode, exemplifies their products–this full-sized bike is made to fold to a slim silhouette, but is still able to be wheeled along the ground. Another Pacific bike, the IF Reach, folds in a similar manner to the Mode, but performs as a fast 18-speed road bike even on its 20 inch wheels. In typical fashion, Pacific could not resist outfitting this bike with an unusual super-stiff dual suspension system, which makes it one of the smoothest, quickest rides in the shop. They are not cheap and have a $1900 and $2700 model before any electric power assist.
* Elegant, unusual designs
* Bikes can be rolled when folded
* Some of the most innovative technology available
There is a kickstarter for a folding electric scooter that can get up to speeds of 34 mph in its most powerful configuration The retail price of E.T will be 2990USD but because of our first batch and in needs of funds for mass production, we will be selling them to people who pre order E.T on kickstarted for 2190USD. The whole thing weighs 30 kg (66 lb), and can handle rider weights of up to 160 kg (353 lb). Plus, as mentioned, it’s said to be able to fold in five seconds.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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