Put all your limbs to use.

Ever since someone put a chain on the dandyhorse, cyclists have been using only a fraction of their energy potential.

A new bicycle design eliminates that inefficiency: it allows riders to pedal with their hands and their feet, putting forward-leaning weight to good use.

It's called the 4 Strike Bike, and though it is not the first bicycle with "two-wheel drive", its integration of upper and lower body strength is meant to be more highly coordinated than a simple tandem bike strategy. Invented by a Dutchman (no surprise there) named Lex van Stekelenburg, and rendered here by TSG Essempio, the 4 Strike Bike uses two chains to synchronize the body's movements. Left foot and right hand pump together, followed by right foot and left hand. Per Stekelenburg, the whole thing will feel quite natural:

If the whole body is brought to bear in the cycling process and is used to provide the energy for motion, as with four-legged animals, then the load on the body is more naturally distributed.

Or if comparisons to four-legged animals aren't captivating your imagination, think of it as cycling imitating swimming -- putting the whole body into one motion. Van Stekelenburg, a retired surgeon, says that while traditional cycling uses about 50 muscles, the 4 Strike would use 78.

The obvious issue here is that the 4 Strike Bike might compromise your ability to steer, though the site says it has a "steering stabilizing mechanism." It's also possible to deactivate hand-steering by disengaging the chain and locking the handlebars in an upright position for a more traditional ride.

HT: Dezeen.

All images courtesy of 4StrikeBike.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  2. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  3. Life

    I Answered Strangers’ Philosophical Questions on the Street

    An “Ask a Philosopher” booth in New York City attracted a surprising number of people with deep, meaningful questions that had long gone unanswered.

  4. A photo of a visitor posing for a photo with Elvis in downtown Nashville
    Perspective

    Cities: Don’t Fall in the Branding Trap

    From Instagram stunts to Edison bulbs, why do so many cities’ marketing plans try to convince people that they’re exactly like somewhere else?

  5. a photo of high-speed rail tracks under construction in Fresno, California.
    Transportation

    Think of California High-Speed Rail as an $11 Billion Streetcar

    California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to complete only a Central Valley segment of the rail link risks turning the transportation project into an economic development tool.