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Flipphandle stem streamlines bicycle storage

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July 22, 2011

The flipphandle is a bicycle handlebar stem that lets riders turn their handlebars sideway...

The flipphandle is a bicycle handlebar stem that lets riders turn their handlebars sideways, so the bike can be more easily stored

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If you're fortunate enough to have an employer that lets you bring your bicycle inside, or if you keep your two-wheeled steed in an apartment, then you probably know just how in-the-way its handlebars can be in close quarters. Not only can they poke passers-by, but they also have a tendency to whack into door frames, and they prevent your bike from resting stably against walls. Loosening your handlebar stem and turning the bars parallel with the front wheel, while addressing the problem, is likely more work than most people are interested in doing on a daily basis. With the new flipphandle stem, however, riders can turn their bars sideways with just a press of a button.

Flipphandle was invented in 2007, by New York architect and cyclist Alejandro Lacreu. The device won the silver medal at the 36th Salon Des Invention in Geneva in 2008, and was granted a patent last year.

Like a regular stem, it installs between the steerer tube (threaded or threadless) and the handlebars, and utilizes a spring-driven conical cam mechanism to keep the bars locked in the forward position, for riding. By pressing a button on top, that mechanism is released and the bars can be turned and locked sideways, while the front wheel remains pointing forward. The bicycle can then be brought indoors for storage, or even just less-obtrusively wheeled down a crowded sidewalk.

The flipphandle is a bicycle handlebar stem that lets riders turn their handlebars sideway...

The stem itself has a carbon steel tube at its core, with a "spinning tube" that rotates around it, allowing the handlebars to be repositioned. That spinning tube is made from reinforced plastic, which was reportedly chosen for its rigidity, durability and low friction.

Lacreu is currently raising funds for large-scale production of the flipphandle. A pre-order donation of US$75 will get you one, once they're ready to go.

Source: Wired

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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10 Comments

BRILLIANT! But not for $75...

DemonDuck
22nd July, 2011 @ 09:51 pm PDT

If you didn't get that flash of "OMG, why didn't I think of this already?" earlier in life, now is the time to have one. I bet close to all of you have experienced the difficulties the handle bars can be in a tight spot, be it in the trunk of a car or simply when trying to fit your bike in between other parked bikes.

I bet you got annoyed too. Well, perhaps not quite as annoyed as to realize that there OBVIOUSLY must be a solution to the whole handle bar dilemma, and you didn't reflect long enough to come up with an idea yourself. I for one hate to see such an ubiquitous problem being overlooked by myself.

Nevertheless, kudos to the inventors. The happiness to see that someone solved this eternal annoyance neutralizes my drive to kick myself for not using my brain when I had the opportunity. Cheers !

Knutars
24th July, 2011 @ 03:45 pm PDT

It's ONLY good, IF you need it.

For those who only need them on the odd ocassions - there is also the Allen key.

But if I lived in a shoe horn flat with a shoe horn hallway - brilliant.

Mr Stiffy
24th July, 2011 @ 06:36 pm PDT

Great concept and very worth the $75. I've simply removed the front wheel with the quick release, then turned by handlebars to even with the frame to overcome that issue, but not having to carry and stow the wheel while moving the bike around makes this worth the cost, especially for daily riders.

Gene Jordan
25th July, 2011 @ 08:18 am PDT

My father escaped from East Germany this way. Before the wall went up, with only guards at the intersections between East and West Berlin, he rode until I found a gap between buildings. The gap was small enough that he had to adjust rotate the handlebars relative to the wheels and push the bike ahead of him to the other side. No fancy gizmo required. :)

Brillig
25th July, 2011 @ 08:27 am PDT

Just great! And if someone hadn't made a 'why didn't i think of that' post, I would have been all over that... :o)

Keith Kritselis
25th July, 2011 @ 08:29 am PDT

Nice concept for mountain bikes. With road bike handle bars, this obviously would not work.

Vadim
25th July, 2011 @ 08:43 am PDT

Great idea, now put in a flip up for the pedals and you've got a great system.

Paul Anthony
26th July, 2011 @ 07:52 am PDT

like recently it was noted by a patent attorney- 1/2 the current patents are bogus, non- inventions and of already in practice designs. However this might technically be patentable combining the traditional stem-wedgelock and the cam so common to fast release hubs and seatposts...

And of course the great sellers- PLASIC and $75 indeed, very inspiring words...

Walt Stawicki
26th July, 2011 @ 11:38 am PDT

This idea is not totally new. You can buy something similar in Germany already, called "speedlifter twist": http://www.byschulz.de

Peter Epherton
8th August, 2011 @ 01:01 am PDT
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