The chain, that nasty, greasy assembly of metal links that connects pedals to wheel, is a favourite target of inventors. The latest attempt to rid us of its grimy horror comes from Poland, where a physicist and inventor called Marek has been working for years on his perfect bike, the IzzyBike.
The IzzyBike is a folding, front-wheel-drive bike with an upright riding position and a ultra-short wheelbase. Marek’s come up with a clever cable mechanism to keep it stable, and has plumped for big fat 29er mountain bike wheels and tyres to keep it rolling well.
It can be folded in less than a second for urban convenience, so it can fit in the boot of a medium-sized car or in a lift, the IzzyBike folks claim. All yo have to do is turn the steering wheel by about 250º
You can even add a widget that drives the rear wheel too, for extra traction.
We can’t argue with IzzyBike’s claim that, “The untypical position of the cyclist and the geometry of the bicycle make an IzzyBike ride a new and exciting experience,” but we’re not so sure that, “After taking one ride you will not want to use a standard bike any more.”
Take a look at the inevitable YouTube promo video and decide for yourself:
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.