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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.