Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Hugbike lets parents squeeze while they steer

By

January 29, 2014

The Hugbike lets kids sit in front, while allowing parents to steer

The Hugbike lets kids sit in front, while allowing parents to steer

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On a traditional tandem bike, the person in front steers and watches the road, while the rear rider concentrates on supplying pedaling power. That's fine if they're both adults, but what if the riders are a parent and their young child? That's where the Hugbike comes in. It lets the parent sit in the back, while reaching forward around their little 'un to steer.

Although no doubt designed mostly with the parent/kid combo in mind, the Hugbike can also accommodate two adults, simply by raising the front seatpost. Both sets of handlebars are attached to the steerer tube, so both riders are able to steer – you'd definitely want to work out which person was the "designated driver" before setting out.

The Hugbike can also accommodate two adults, simply by raising the front seatpost

As a nice side note, the Italian-built bikes are being assembled by autistic children as part of a program that teaches them new skills.

The Hugbike is available for an introductory price of €1,500 (about US$2,050) until February 14th, after which the price will go up to €1,990 ($2,700).

Source: Hugbike (Google translated) via Bicitech

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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11 Comments

Too much chance of confusion - take the front bars off and stow on the cargo carrier. The first time the front rider saw danger before the usual rear steerer - an moving animal or child off to the side? - they would naturally try to steer away, fighting the other for control. Just replace the front bars with a fixed grab handle.

The Skud
29th January, 2014 @ 04:52 pm PST

Oh the jokes I could make but I'd probably get deleted...though a certain bear would be happy to buy this bike.

John Stone
29th January, 2014 @ 07:33 pm PST

There is already a bike called the Buddybike in North America. Designed FOR autistic children and others with special needs who can't bike alone safely.

The rear person controls braking and steering. The front person who would usually be smaller can see and interact and you know what they are up to, unlike a regular tandem where the captain is up front.

Great way for families with special needs members to get out there!

Cora Muis
29th January, 2014 @ 07:59 pm PST

With handle bars with such leverage, I see the hugged kid becoming the banged kid when having to turn quickly.

the person who designed this clearly does not ride bikes often, especially not with kids in tow.

Starlord22
30th January, 2014 @ 06:25 am PST

If you want to steer a tandem bike from the back seat it is not hard to build the linkage and you don't limit the turning capability at low speed.

Slowburn
30th January, 2014 @ 06:53 am PST

Early tandems were dual-steering, allowing the shorter female to ride in front and see scenery more interesting than her partner's back. If you've never been the 'stoker' on a tandem you can't know how uncomfortable it is to have no forward vision and no steering input. Nice idea to let the kid ride in front but this is a poorly designed steering system that looks dangerous.

artwisc
30th January, 2014 @ 08:21 am PST

The buddy bike beat you to it. Lawsuit to follow. Patented dual handlebars on same stem.

Paul Anthony
30th January, 2014 @ 09:32 am PST

~Starlord22~ They said autistic people designed this. Though I guess there had to be someone else.

Schuyler19
30th January, 2014 @ 11:52 am PST

~Schuyler 19~ - Autistic children *assemble* the bikes, not design them.

Mia H
30th January, 2014 @ 09:17 pm PST

It looks like buddy bikes beat you to a really bad idea. It just goes to show that minds of a lesser intelligence also think alike. It may be better than having your kid sit on the handlebars or in your lap but not by much. They should have let the autistic assemblers design the bikes because they would most likely have seen the dangers of such a design. Good luck with the inevitable avalanche of pending lawsuits.

-Breakthrough idea! Why don't you raise the back handle bars to head level that way you can smack the kid in the head every time you have to make a sharp turn or have an accident and charge $4,500 for twice the expected damage.

Why would Gizmag do an article on this?

Matt Fletcher
31st January, 2014 @ 06:50 am PST

@ artwisc

Having two people trying to steer the bike at once is far more dangerous.

It is no worse than riding in the back of a car or bus. you just have to trust the driver.

Slowburn
2nd February, 2014 @ 06:32 am PST
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