London: An ambitious Kickstarter project by a London-based designer and keen cyclist – Petre Craciun has now transformed into reality. The advanced technology business and British motor sports – Prodrive has re-engineered key components and refined the design to ready the bike for mass production.
Hummingbird – the name of the bike, weighs only 6.7 kg which makes it the lightest folding bike in the world. Moreover, the seat, fork and frame of the bike is made of carbon fibre, further reducing the weight of the bike.
Hummingbird bike has a unique and simple folding mechanism. The trailing arm pivots around the crank. This ensures the chain always remains in tension, even when the bike fully folded. It also allows the bike to be wheeled along the ground when folded.
Craciun said that most folding bikes are at least 12 kg in weight, which is a lot to carry up and down stairs or on and off trains. I wanted to design something unique and different, not only half the weight of existing folding bikes, but a product with distinctive styling that would be instantly recognisable, eye-catching, and something people would be proud to be seen riding.
Hummingbird bike will be offered in two different models – a single-speed and other is a five-speed. The five-speeder will have an internal hub unit from SRAM or Sturmey-Archer, controlled by a grip shifter. The option to choose between 16 to 20 inch wheels will be given to Buyers.
The chairman of Prodrive – David Richards said that we are always looking for something innovative and interesting projects where Prodrive can inject its engineering and technical expertise.
He added that since I first met Petre Craciun last year and saw his concept. It’s taken us about 12 months to bring it to fruition. The Hummingbird bike combines all the key attributes of style, technical excellence and innovation that Prodrive stands for and we are very proud of the end result.
Prodrive will produce the first test bikes in the month of October.
The Hummingbird bike is expected to be priced between US$2,650 and $2,875. It will be available for purchase some time early next year.