Three cyclists from France – one of them, FDJ pro racer Johan Le Bon – have designed an articulated singlespeed bike that can be steered with the rear wheel, and as the videos below show, it’s a rather arresting sight.
Le Bon teamed up with fellow Bretons Alban Haloche and Alexis Honoré to devise the bike, which they have dubbed the Trocadero, reports the website Golem13.
It apparently takes 10 minutes to master how to ride the bike – swinging the hips causes the frame to pivot and the rear wheel to swing out – while the pivoting action can be disabled simply by inserting a pin, turning the Trocadero into a ‘normal’ bike.
The bike was the idea of former junior world champion Le Bon’s uncle, and the friends have reportedly invested 6,000 euro to develop it.
Besides turning the heads of passers-by – and the odd policeman, apparently – the bike is said to be pretty much thief proof simply because it’s not the kind of machine you can swing a leg over and ride away on.
“It’s fun, you can do 360 degree turns on a very small surface,” said one of the trio. “For now, we want to create some buzz among extreme sports fans. We also see a customer base among fixed-wheel enthusiasts.”
This video, from the newspaper Ouest France, shows the bike being ridden in traffic; it’s not for the fainthearted.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.