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New bikes from Le Batard and a few old ones

Concept, Miscellaneous, Road Bike 6 1725

I mentioned “Le Batard” custom bikes in an earlier post. The B2O bamboo bike that I mentioned in that post will be launched in February as a limited edition series of 50. Le Batard custom cycles also has a couple of other bikes in the works, which I will share in this post. The time trial “enhanced version” (pictured here) features a polished aluminum frame. The stem, bars and levers are all custom made to match the frameset. Le Batard points out that the design of the stem, which you can see in this detail shot, is a tribute to Rene Herse.

The “air-bike” is a small folding bike concept by French designer Sylvio Beraka. The prototype, which was made by Le Batard, has an aluminium frame, 24″ wheels, double kevlar drive belt and a SRAM P5 hub with a coaster brake. You can download a pdf about the concept from Beraka’s website if you are interested in reading more. At first glance, the air-bike might remind you of that jruiter studio bike that has been all over the web lately. Certainly, the two bikes have a similar appearance due to their ultra short wheelbases and rider positions directly over the rear wheel. That must be a trend, because I noticed one other urban bike with a really short wheelbase recently. OK, maybe that last one is a bit older than the other two. It does look like it would make a great wheelie machine though (hence the name Bronco). I would love to see a picture from the late 1800s of a trick rider on one of those little bikes.

Speaking of old bikes, take a look at this nicely curved Cygnet from 1898. It looks a little bit like the Cannondale Dutchess, a fact that Wytze (the designer of the Dutchess) mentioned recently on Twitter after seeing a picture of the Cygnet. While you are at it, take a look at some of the other interesting antique bikes in the Pryor Dodge Collection. I never get tired of looking at bike designs from 100 years ago.

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  1. 09smithjame December 22, 2009 at 1:38 am -  Reply

    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. The steel frame Le Batard bikes are based on prior designs by Hanard, who is pictured here with one of his custom creations.
    bike for sale

  2. Mike December 22, 2009 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

    I really enjoy this blog, especially looking at the new bike tech. I thought, if you havn't seen it, you might post something about this new training wheel, i thought it was cool

  3. Andrew December 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm -  Reply

    It's kind of interesting how the time-trial version is very much a gussetted mixte-style frame. Rare that you see a design like that in a real performance context.

  4. wvcycling December 25, 2009 at 10:20 am -  Reply

    Are these bicycles supposed to be show-types or actual purpose driven designs? I can't imagine the one with the really short wheelbase being anything other than a circus bike?

  5. Andrew December 29, 2009 at 1:55 pm -  Reply

    Now that I look at it, the folding bike is really interesting, too. I like the split-crank concept, it's a nice solution to a problem cropping up on a prone bicycle I'm designing.

    From the looks of it, the wheelbase on the city bike is not too much smaller than that of a regular folding bike, but instead of having 16" wheels, it has 26" wheels, so there's 10 fewer visual inches in between. But I think the premise of the reduced wheelbase is to improve the turning circle for urban environments. Not sure how that pans out in the real world, but it does look like they put at least a bit of thought into it.

  6. Lachlan January 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm -  Reply

    Hi James, i love your blog, i need help designing a modern penny fathing which would be smaller and great for combined train-bike journeys because it would have a very short wheel base, can you help me?

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