blog

Best of Kickstarter: foldable, electric bike, 9/5/11

We’re starting off the week with a new Kickstarter projects so good we’re not including any others. What am I talking about, you ask? What’s this Best of Kickstarter thing we’ve been blogging about every Monday? Well, it seems like everyone is pitching their idea to Kickstarter. We think that’s great, but with great power comes great responsibility, and while the 23-person Kickstarter team does their best to filter out the winning projects from the thousands and thousands of proposals they receive, there are still literally tens of thousands of new projects that launch each week. That’s a lot of ways to spend your hard-earned five bucks. Too many ways, actually. How can one person sort through it all? Relax, we’ll do it all for you.

Anyone who loves to bike might hear the words “foldable bike” and head for the hills, but do me a favor and  clear your mind of all the images of dorky office workers struggling to fold up their bike in a sweat-filled rage, ‘cuz trust me, this time it’s different. One of the worst things about the average foldable bike is that at the end of your ride you have to get all up in that greasy, dirty thing to fold it up, which is seriously bad news for anyone who wants to get to work without looking like they’ve just wrestled an dirty, oily animal. And speaking of those workday commuters, what’s grosser than showing up at the office with a huge sweat stain on your back from your messenger bag? And even those who don’t have an office to show up to smelling fresh and clean, who wants to arrive anywhere like a big, stinky sweat bucket?

Problem solved: the folding electric bike is not only grease-free with direct drive (no greasy chain) it’s sweat free – ‘cuz it’s electric. Yeah, you can pedal away to your heart’s content, but if you reach an incline or if you’re just plain tired out – bam! Switch on the magical electric front hub motor and cruise to your heart’s content. And from the video, the actual folding process looks like a dream.

People have already begun to take notice of Gabriel Wortofsky, an LA-based mobility designer, and his folding bike. In fact, you can see it in action on the green carpet at the annual EMA Awards on October 15th. The only bummer is it’s expensive to produce, so Gabriel’s trying to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter to make the first run of 100 bikes. And if you donate at least $1,395 you’ll essentially be pre-ordering your own bike.

If you live in a city, deal with mobility on a daily basis and would like to improve that experience, or even if you just want to get around time in a more efficient and pleasurable way, consider chipping into this worthy cause.