The one mode of transport that guarantees you no traffic jams, no parking fees, no petrol or charging station queues, no increase in carbon footprint, and no guilt when you have that tasty lunch, is definitely the bicycle. Yes, it is true that most good ones do not come cheap, but now with the new Priority bike, things are about to change.
A great unmotorized two-wheeler has two main properties- it is fast, and it is light. Of course, to get a good one, made of quality materials, you also have to invest quite a substantial amount of money, and this is something that not many are willing to do. But now, a new company, called Priority Bicycles, claims to have found the right combination of high-end components that can make a fast, light and minimum-maintenance bike much cheaper. Their bike is currently one of the most famous items on Kickstarter. Here is a link to the short demo video.
The key to reducing the weight of the bike considerably is hidden in the use of light aluminium for the frames and a belt drive system (C-drive) instead of gears and chain. The latter is one of the main components that make the bike almost entirely maintenance free, as it eliminates the need of chain greasing and rust. In addition, the bike has Shinamo foot brakes, which come with a guarantee of many years and thousands of miles before they need any check-up.
The only possible problem that a user might encounter, and Priority could not completely eliminate, is that of getting a flat tire. They did, however, try their best to prevent it for as long as possible by fitting tires, resistant to punctures, and double-wall rims.
And now the best part. You would think this beauty will come at an incredible price, and the makers will claim that it is super cheap for what you are getting. Well, you’d be very wrong. During their Kickstarter campaign everyone can get a brand new bike for $350 (29 days to go!), while afterwords the price will jump to $400. If you purchase the bike now, you can expect it as early as December.
Just to compare, I got my second hand Giant bike, which has a regular chain, the typical handbrakes and normal tires for 350 Euros (in the Netherlands). I did think it is quite a high price for a regular bike, but I am very happy and satisfied with it, although it does not have any of the great components listed above. Now, when asked how the makers managed to produce such bike so cheaply, they explained that the only way to do it is to eliminate the middleman, and sell directly to consumers.
Last but not least, each bike comes with a pretty sweet guarantee- you do not like it, you send it back, and they pay you back.
Image (c) Priority