Bicycles have been commonly used since the late 19th Century and while their design has undergone lots of changes, their essence hasn't changed much.
These 15 interesting bike designs try and put a new spin on an old classic.
This unusual bike is still in concept mode, but if it ever goes to production you’ll sit in between two giant wheels that can reportedly transport you directly from land across to water without a hitch. Designed by the Amsterdam based firm GBO, the hybrid boat and bike would be perfect for the canals and wetlands of the Netherlands.
2. Bird of Prey Bike
This insane bike was invented by John Aldridge who wanted to create a safe and fast bike that wouldn't put any pressure on the rider's spine. The Bird of Prey Bike sees the rider lying almost face down. Despite the weird riding position, the Bird of Prey bike can achieve astonishing speeds.
You use a pretty regular pedaling motion to propel yourself forward but have a low center of gravity so major fall risks are reduced. While it looks pretty scary, the bike has proved popular with people who have spine problems.
3. The backpack bike
Chang Ting Jen’s entry into the International Bicycle Design Competition is the perfect answer for people who have both a bike and public transit leg in their commute. This elegantly designed bicycle not only works brilliantly, it folds up into a backpack so you can carry it anywhere.
4. Cardboard bike
This cardboard bike prototype from Cardboard Technologies aims to reduce the cost of bike ownership, opening up the market for low-income communities. Initiated by Izhar Gafni, the company hopes to launch their cardboard bike onto the market by 2020 for around 60USD.
The bike is primarily made from cardboard with some recycled plastic details. The cardboard itself is highly durable, as well as both fire and water resistant, supporting riders of up to 125Kg (250lbs).
5. Halfbike - the standing bike
Halfbike has been designed to be a super efficient vehicle that works on the same principle of cycling but is a totally new transportation experience. The bike works by using pedal steering controlled by a pair of bike-ish looking handlebars.
The large front wheel lets you get up to about 20 mph, with the company saying it's perfect to commute for around 5 km. The standing posture of the bike means you have great vision. You are also faster than a scooter but don’t have the bulk or strain of a bike.
An elliptigo uses the design of an elliptical gym trainer to create a crazy new type of bicycle. The elliptical movement is much less strenuous than a traditional pedaling design, so this standing up bike is great for those with limited physical abilities.
7. Grow your own
Bamboo is an incredible material, fast-growing, sustainable and strong. Using it is a bike material not only cuts the environmental costs of steel, it creates head-turning bikes that look amazing.
8. Four-Wheel bikes
Double the fun of cycling with a four-wheel bike. Quad Cycles provide maximum safety and stability while letting you take a bunch of passengers too. While perhaps not the best bike of choice for a daily commute, four-wheel bikes are perfect for sightseeing or transporting goods.
9. The Yikebike
Electric bikes have been becoming more and more popular in the last decade. While most electric bike designs revolve around a motor providing an extra boost to the rear wheel, Yikebike has totally re-imagined the concept.
The YikeBike lets you sit comfortably and steer with handlebars that reach around you from behind. The electric motor is all contained in the back wheel and, best of all, the whole thing folds up into a neat little package.
The Ebiq concept bike looks like a giant credit card. This unusual bike design was conceived by inventor Yuji Fujimura. He explains on his website that the bike is powered by a lithium battery and has a carrying spot for your laptop that will charge the device on the go.
11. Vintage rethought
The penny farthing was one of the first bicycle designs to become popular. Its large front wheel makes it an iconic design even to this day.
‘Rideable sculpture’ company Krank-Boom-Clank create the mini-penny, a functional smaller bike based on the original farthing design. Made from recycled material the mini-penny comes with a warning not to try and ride it at any great speeds.
12. HMK 561
This sleek bike design is courtesy of Berlin-based designer Ralf Kittmann. This concept bike is more of a motorbike than an electric bike. The bike is built entirely from carbon fibre which stores energy during braking and conducts it to the bike's front and rear motors under acceleration. So the bike itself acts like a capacitor.
13. Strida Bike
STRiDA bikes have a distinct A-shape to them. They were designed in the 1980s by K engineer and designer Mark Sanders for commuters and space-strapped city dwellers. The cool folding design is simple to use and the belt driven bike is light, efficient and super portable.
14. Forkless bike
Bike designers Olli Erkkila are famous for their weird and wonderful bike designs, but one bike really stands out. The forkless bike, or Phantom bike as it is known by Erkkila, looks something like a seventies dragster bike, but it has no front forks.
Instead, the bike uses a clever curved main frame to support the front handlebars. The front wheel is attached just on one side that uses a smart arm mechanism for steering.
15. Walking bike
The walking bike is a cross between a scooter and a bicycle. Instead of sitting, the user stands on a flat midsection and steers with traditional bike handlebars and a front wheel, but gets propulsion from simply walking on the treadmill in the mid-section.
The large wheels and cleverly weighted design means you can reach some pretty efficient speeds while walking at your own pace.