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The other-worldly INgSOC hybrid bike concept


July 22, 2011

Rendering of the INgSOC human/electric bike designed by Edward Kim and Benny Cemoli

Rendering of the INgSOC human/electric bike designed by Edward Kim and Benny Cemoli

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Although the technology is not exactly new, I still find the look of a spokeless/hubless bike wheel somewhat spell-binding. When combined with a frame design that wouldn't look out of place on the pages of a Marvel comic strip, the effect seems positively extra-terrestrial. Such is the case with the INgSOC concept from Edward Kim and Benny Cemoli, a very strange-looking human/electric two-wheeler design sporting sharp lines and some dangerous-looking edges.

The popular and trusted diamond frame design has served bicycles and riders well for more than a hundred years. Nevertheless, designers regularly attempt to break away from this successful shaping - examples of such diversions include Raleigh's iconic Chopper from the 1970s, the strangely pleasing arc frame of the PiCycle, the frankly odd RoundTail and the design that combines classic (if all-but-abandoned) styling with modern technology, the YikeBike.

The INgSOC bike's frame looks like a bony alien finger pointing the way forward. Behind the seat is a removable battery pack, with a battery charge level indicator on the handle. This is the power source for the bike's electric motor underneath. The rider could choose to zip through traffic powered solely by the motor, or ensure a smooth pedal action by getting some assistance from the motor, or pedal only for those occasions when the battery runs dry or the cyclist feels like keeping fit. While in pedal-only mode, some of the energy generated by the rider would be directed to the battery pack to charge it.

The designers see frame strength being supplied by lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymer that's been specially cured to improve core strength. Kim and Cemoli say that INgSOC offers the flexible handling and comfort qualities offered by more traditional bikes while also benefiting from the aerodynamics of triathlon designs.

There's a smartphone dock on the hump of the upper part of the frame to keep the rider in touch with the world while on the move or perhaps act as a GPS or wireless performance monitor. Lighting is included in the design, with direction indicators built-in.

Although still a concept at the moment, the designers are currently looking into taking the INgSOC rendering to the prototyping stage with the help of Steven Mora from Digital Fabrications Laboratory at the University of New Mexico. Progress updates will appear on the design blog.

Source: Inhabitat

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

I normally hate anything concept because they are normally overdone, and never get put into production. I think this one is over done, the styling is trying to hard. Like a 120lb freshman walking down the hallway in a small tee shirt sucking in his gut and sticking out his chest. That said when I wrestled we had a lot of tough 119 pounders, they were humble and never tried to make them self seem bigger then they are.

When I look at this bike, I wonder, how awesome it would be if it wasn\'t sticking out its chest. This could be so awesome if they just used simple tubing, simple handlebars. A lot of those angles and ridges are really just extra weight . I know some of the pieces are needed for support but most are just silly.

That said if they made this exact bike, I would still be happy. I don\'t know if it would be superior to current designs but we won\'t know until someone makes it.

Michael Mantion

first problem , how can you reach the handlebars (or pedals) with the seat that far back?

Isaiah Murray

WOW ! Please post price and ordering information when you get it - I WOULD buy this in a minute !


A great designed toy need to be simplify and practical in order to sell. This one seem pretty simple but I didn\'t see any practical feeling it will give it to me. I wonder how heavy is this sucker to ride around?


Having the smartphone dock is a good idea, but would need to be adjustable and have different connectors to cater for all the different phones that are available. The old apple iphone is now down to 4th place on the list so only providing for this would be extremely short-sighted.


Beautiful to behold, but I noticed they elected to obfuscate many of impracticle features and the design flaws with black paint, dramatic lighting and a black background.

Charles Slavens

first of all: sorry for this comment, my mom always told me to keep quiet if I didn\'t have anything nice to say, but..

Damn it\'s ugly! it looks like a prop for a C-grade sci-fi movie..

I work with CAD software (computeraideddesign..) all day as an engineer, but I can\'t help sometimes hating it for giving people the opportunity to make these kind of \"concepts\". head-in-the-clouds concepts were NO thoughts on production or functional use have been made. What is the point of this bike?? what can it do better than the one I have standing in my basement? pointless..

and don\'t get me started on the hubless wheels, again: the point is?? More complex (never good on a bike), no doubt several times as heavy as a conventional wheel, and last but not least: the friction is goanna be a (concept) killer, how about coasting to a stop from 30km/h in 5 meters?? yeah hubless wheels look really cool, but I can\'t mention ONE positive functional payoff, just a lot of drawbacks!

If these two guys came in to my prototype shop and asked me the make a one of these I would kick them out laughing! again: what is the point of this concept??

More mechanical engineers, fewer \"designers\" please


The more I look at this thing, the more I\'m reminded of a \"normal\" bike that\'s hit something really solid and bent the top tube...

Keith Reeder

I think this wheel design will be heavy if it is made to be stable. I also think it will be very suseptiple to dirt and puddles or rain, so it is not a practical design.


\"Designers\" again. This thing doesn\'t have a ghost of a chance making it off the 3D rendering computer. The structure is an engineer\'s nightmare, inefficient and impossible to fabricate. There\'s no standover clearance whatsoever. Basically the daydream of a couple of people who don\'t don\'t ride bicycles.


The artsy design appeals to my artistic sensibility, very nice... what I can see of it!! Bloody horrible photo shoot, you can\'t make out any of the details...


And what happens if you bang your balls?

Mr Stiffy

Hello Sorry for this, but after reading the comment posted by Charles O. Slavens - July 22, 2011 @ 09:45 am PDT, could not help myself. I\'m also a mechanical engineer and understand a litlle bit what Mr Slavens is saying, but of couse, i guess that he thinks that art is not a part of the human concept... practability of the object in review... probablly none today, but few years ago, you didnt have computers, or walk on the moon... The challenges of today maybe reality tomorow... I thing that is very important to challenge the human mind with new ideas... and to finish... go ahead designers...we are here to make your ideas come true!

Fernando Florindo

Yet another bloody uncomfortable bike where the rider has to be hunched forward instead of in a comfortable and ergonomically correct UPRIGHT position.

Build bikes for normal people! We\'re not all racers!

Gregg Eshelman

Awww, Mikey Mantion... I feel so sorry for your need to steer so far away from the topic with your droll, sophomoric anecdote. It's too bad you can't see the design wasn't for esthetics as much as it was for strength, utility and lightness. No, you had to jump in there and shove your feet in your mouth telling everyone about how bad-ass you were in High School and how much your opinion mattered to the whole world.

I think it's a beautifully functional design that will easily fill a niche in the biking world. It's wonderful that there are people committed to improving and bettering life and all we have in it.


A couple thousand miles of riding will refine the design into something useful.


SemaJretrac? have any comments about the bike or the article? LOL. The only reason why I even read your comment was I wondered if they ever made this bike.. LOL

Michael Mantion
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