In a collision between a 40-ton semi and a bicycle, it’s pretty obvious who’s going to come out on top. But a new bike promises to let its riders walk away from a crash like that. The stand-out feature on the Babel Bike is something inventor Crispin Sinclair calls the “safety cell” — a roll-cage built around a safety seat complete with seat belts.
“The safety cell is physically large enough so as not to get under the front or side of large vehicles, so the Babel Bike (and rider) will be pushed away by the bus or truck, not crushed by it,” Sinclair says in a promotional video for the bike.
Sinclair and his team of designers have piled on other safety features for the bike including built-in lights that come on as soon as you start peddling, turn signals, brake lights, foot protectors, mirrors and a horn as loud as a car’s. Sinclair believes that if people have a bike that can protect them from collisions with cars, trucks and buses, more people will switch to bikes for the commute to work. But it won’t come cheaply. The Babel Bike costs around $3,000 — $4,400 for one with an electric-assist motor.
“It will work out less than you would currently pay to commute by car, bus or train, assuming an average commute of three miles or more each way,” Sinclair says. “When you own the Babel Bike outright, your daily commutes are completely free. And you won’t need to go to the gym or for a run afterwards, as you will have built your exercise into your daily commute.”
You might even be able to do chin-ups on the roll bar.
The bike isn’t on the market yet but Sinclair and his team say they have secured contracts with factories in China and Taiwan to deliver the first bikes in May, 2016 to customers who pre-order on his Indiegogo fundraising page.
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