Think your bike is safe? This one has a seatbelt.
It’s called the Babel Bike, and is designed by Crispin Sinclair, son of Clive, who was the man behind the Sinclair C5 electric vehicle. The C5 was an infamous flop. Let’s hope the Babel Bike fares a bit better.
It claims to be safer than a traditional bike thanks to its safety cell – this was inspired by the roll cage found in racing cars. You literally strap yourself in using the seatbelt. Then if a truck or van brushes up against you, the hope is that it just pushes you away instead of crushing you under their wheels.
That’s not the only safety feature. It also has front and rear lights that come on as soon as you start pedalling, so you’ll always be seen. Indicators tell fellow road users which way you’re turning without you having to take your hand off the handlebars (and brakes). It also has hazard flashers, brake lights, rear view mirrors and even a car horn. Well, beats a bell.
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It’s electric-powered too, with a Shimano 250-watt electric motor that has a range between 50 and 80 miles. This will assist you up to 15.5mph, in line with EU law.
It only needs a service once a year, and it includes an optional Security Pack – including a built-in D lock – if ordered through Indiegogo.
Safety comes at a price, unfortunately. The Babel Bike costs £2,999, and will ship in May 2016. At the time of writing, it’s raised over £11,000 of a £50,000 funding goal.