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Le Batard bikes

Concept, Shows & Events 8 988

A few months ago, Pierre sent me a message about Paris Bike Days, a small bike show that was held for the first time in April. I flagged Pierre’s message and meant to post about it at the time, but it was sort of lost in my inbox for a few months. Though the show is now old news, a few of the bikes that he pointed out are still worth passing along. He was most impressed by the bikes at the booth of Le Batard, a family owned custom metal parts company based in Montreuil (in the suburbs of Paris). Le Batard is fairly new to the bicycle market, but they showed up with a few bikes on display at the show.

The B2O Bamboo bike, designed by Antoine Fritsch, is the one pictured here. Le Batard plans to do a limited release of this design. Pierre pointed out that Fritsch had previously designed a more conventional bamboo bike for Hermes (the luxury fashion label), but that bike never went into production. On the subject of Fritsch, there are a few other bikes on his website; one designed for Flandria, one for RATP (Paris Rapid Transit), and his own XO2 concept bike.

Getting back to the B2O design though, this is what Pierre had to say about it:

“This B2O is the most elegant bike I have ever seen incorporating natural materials, and its architecture really makes sense. The combination of “cold” stainless steel components and “warm” bamboo or leather parts is well balanced. The frame is very sturdy yet the bike remains at a reasonable weight (I’ve been told 11kg, but it may be more than that, nevertheless when lifting the bike, its weight felt “normal” for a city bike). For safety reasons, I would add a front brake, but the BO2 has only rear hub retropedaling braking.”

At the show, Pierre met Daniel Hanard, an experienced frame builder who has been “hired by Le Batard to design most of the bikes of their collection and to share his expertise with the other staff and welders of the company.” The steel frame Le Batard bikes are based on prior designs by Hanard, who is pictured here with one of his custom creations.

On an unrelated note, I will mention something that I linked to earlier on Twitter. The London Times published an article today about a new set of pentagonal and triangular wheels by Chinese inventor Guan Baihua. Now, I like to think that I am fairly open-minded when it comes to new ideas, but…really? Suffice it to say I won’t be giving up my good old-fashioned round wheels anytime soon. Thanks to Marc for the tip on that one.

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  1. B. Nicholson May 28, 2009 at 1:33 am -  Reply

    Is that a hinge being used as its headset? Cool idea.

  2. Human_Amp May 28, 2009 at 6:36 am -  Reply

    B2O looks fabulous – especially in 3D views. (The profile view doesn’t seem to do the design Justice – maybe the saddle ??).

    Velo X2O Fab too – love hub centre steering.

    thanks for sharing …. mark

  3. Andrew May 28, 2009 at 11:17 pm -  Reply

    I’m not a big fan of the B2O. The visual balance just seems off, and it just looks sort of…naive, to me.

    Then again, I think innovation is attractive, and these are more like art projects…

  4. Ron May 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm -  Reply

    The woodwork looks good and all that, but is this a prototype? Where are the brakes? According to me, it also makes sense to have some kind of suspension. I just do not see how the bearings will take the load when you, say.. bunny hop. Just an observation..

  5. James May 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Ron, I believe the bike relies on just a coaster brake based on Pierre’s comments.

  6. steve May 31, 2009 at 10:38 pm -  Reply

    Love the B2O…not so crazy about the pentagonal wheels.

  7. Les July 28, 2009 at 11:15 am -  Reply

    That's a nice bike with a "less is more" design philosophy…

    In an age where everything tends to get more complicated, it's really great to people consider FORM, not just FUNCTION.

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