Day 103: The Flintstone bike
“Back in the stone age, Fred Flintstone would drive his car along using his feet, so why not get rid of a bike’s pedals and gears and drive it along in the same way? The Fliz Bike concept from Germany does just that, and even has you hang your body from the frame in a harness. Some inventions are so well realized that they have hardly changed in over 100 years. The bicycle is a great example. While improvements in technology and materials have resulted in steady advancements, the basic layout of an upright rider turning pedals connected by a chain to the rear wheel hasn’t changed since the Safety Bicycle from the 1890s.
The Fliz Bike takes us back to the original hobby-horse-style walking bike of the 1820s, before people figured out that pedals and a chain make the whole thing so much easier. As if that wasn’t odd enough, the Fliz also gets rid of the seat, and hangs the rider from the frame in a rather uncomfortable-looking sling. It’s almost as if they were just looking for different ways to do it, rather than better. While the Fliz might be okay for goofing around on flat city streets, it’s hard to see how you could climb even the slightest hill.
The Fliz Bike concept has been entered for a James Dyson design award. We’ll know in about two days whether they won.”