With its Pong bike of the mid ’90s and the more recent Jackknife folding bike, Cannondale has long been king of the concept bike. But it looks like a small design firm, Jruiter Studio, in Grand Rapids, Mich., may grab that crown temporarily with its new rig, an urban bike that’s lean, pared-down, chain-less, and includes — brake-less purists cover your eyes — hydraulic stoppers.
If the Shriners want bikes in their parade, this pint-size pedaler is just the right size. But way cooler. Made as part of a design exercise, the “hobby horse” bike was inspired by the “simplicity” of city bicycling and made for “an inner city environment with minimal space.” Those quotes come from a short description on the Jruiter site. It continues: “Bicycling at this level can be more about fashion and culture than speed and performance.”
So you may be guessing this “fashion” angle is why the studio included a suspension fork. But a fork is actually important on this pocket-size bike because the rider is way over the front bars at all times. That’s a dangerous position to be in when anything more than a small pothole might jettison the pilot.
Jruiter said the project focused on the rethinking of what a frame means. Getting rid of basic key components and creating a new type of compact bicycle were other goals.
Hobby horse indeed. And if it ever makes it into production, this tiny bike may be the next pony for urban cyclists’ stable. It’s different (score one for individuality) and you can take it with you anywhere (score another because it’s less likely to get stolen if you don’t have to lock it up outside).