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:
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.