Cycling on busy roads is inherently dangerous. You are slower than other road users, and frequently end up in lorries’ and buses’ blind spots. People don’t always give you enough room as they pass, and if you are on the road when a lorry turns left you can be thrown off your bike when it turns, sometimes over you. To this extent, cyclist are killed every year in London in completely avoidable collisions with lorries and other road users.
The Babel Bike
Developed by Crispin Sinclair, son of famous inventor Sir Clive Sinclair, the Babel Bike is designed to prevent crush injuries from vehicles rolling over the bike, and has a number of other cycle safety measures fitted in as standard.
The first thing you notice on the Babel Bike is a roll and crush cage on a cycle chassis. As you will see in the video, this is designed to stop vehicles from rolling over you, and even for lorries that have knocked you off to push you away rather than going over you.
The machine will have brake lights, and front and rear lights that come on as soon as you start pedalling. It also has indicators so other road users can clearly see your intentions – an issue that even safe riders have as taking one hand off the handlebars to signal right or left can be scary in busy traffic.
There will be two options available – the straight bicycle and the hybrid version.
The pedal powered hybrid electric machine, not unlike Crispin’s dad’s infamous C-5, so you won’t have to be hot and sweaty when you get to the office. This will cost around £3499 for the basic version, and will have a range of up to 80 miles per charge. The pure bicycle will cost just under £2000.
Unlike the C-5, this machine is cycle height, so you should at least be seen! This was a major reason that the C-5 failed, in that people were scared witless of their tiny presence on the road.
The bike isn’t quite ready for production. The design is complete but Sinclair failed to raise the £50,000 required from crowd funding on Indiegogo, raising just £17,339 toward his goals.
It is unclear whether you will see these machines on the road just yet, with some head scratching to do on the part of the design and production team. Given Sir Clive’s success in the past, and the well remembered C-5, don’t write this idea off just yet!