Mmmmmm... doughnut bikes.

Mmmmmm... doughnut bikes.

Before you ask, no, these are not sold by the baker's dozen. And I am aware H. Simpson would probably not approve of this creamsicle-colored concept bike, seeing how it would require physical effort to pedal. Just looking at that byzantine network of six or more gears might make your calves spasm.

The aptly named Donut Folding Bicycle, which recently won a bronze award for innovative vehicles in the A' design competition, comes from the booming tech hub of Bangalore, India. Its creator, Arvind Mahabaleshwara, wanted to make a bike that would help alleviate the city's constant traffic congestion and fetid air pollution. So he whipped together something that cyclists might want to own because of its portability and quirky virtue of folding into a perfect halo, with no levers or handlebars sticking out to snag on anything like on a tradition folding bike.

Here's the inventor describing the Donut's specs:

The bike looks like a circle after folding, which can be easily carried, stored and stowed. This bicycle has a circular aluminum alloy welded frame which takes the load of the rider. The front and rear forks are pivoted to the circular frame as shown in the image. This bike has a tubular pedal which slides as well as rotates inside the crank bar. Combination of chain and gear drives are used to transfer motion to the rear wheel.

There's also a curious instrument panel with hollow handles, a cyclometer and GPS, although that last feature might pose more of a danger than a help for distracted riders worming through heavy traffic. If you crash on this bike, is there any chance it might curl up into a circle and roll off over the horizon, leaving you stranded?

This is not the first time somebody's envisioned a discus-shaped collapsing bike. Take a look at this one out of Georgia, for instance, which looks kind of like a whimsical contraption from a Dr. Seuss book, whereas Mahabaleshwara's cycle tends to appear more like a Tonka toy. Here are a few more looks at the Donut:

 

Images courtesy of Arvind Mahabaleshwara at the A' Design Award and Competition

About the Author

John Metcalfe
John Metcalfe

John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.

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