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New bike-scooter design inspired by consultation with Bordeaux citizens


February 14, 2012

Designer Philippe Starck and the Mayor of Bordeaux have just unveiled a new bike/scooter concept that was inspired by ideas from over 300 citizens

Designer Philippe Starck and the Mayor of Bordeaux have just unveiled a new bike/scooter concept that was inspired by ideas from over 300 citizens

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In November 2011, the City of Bordeaux in France began a special consultation with its citizens. In an exercise that could easily have created a Homer mobile, participants were asked to make suggestions on what they would like to see included in the design of a new town bike. Over 300 citizens shared their ideas, which designer Philippe Starck has now used as the inspiration for what has been provisionally called the City PIBAL Streamer - an eye-catching concept where riders can opt to sit and pedal like on a traditional bike, or stand on the platform and use like a scooter.

Bordeaux has seen the number of cyclists in the city triple in the last 15 years thanks to a comprehensive tram network and numerous city center traffic restrictions, and it's said that more than ten percent of movement within the municipality is undertaken by bike. Drop hire bike points are strategically placed throughout the area, and it is to this system that the new Bordelais-inspired town bike/scooter will be added.

The City PIBAL Streamer design concept was recently unveiled at the Cyclab 2 event (which highlights the future of cycling in the city and beyond) by Starck and the Mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé. The result is said to be both durable and functional, with lots of room for onboard storage. It will feature a lightweight aluminum frame, at the center bottom of which is a standing platform with the central frame tubing and two additional supports running under it. There'll be brightly-colored wheels, hub braking and automatic, integrated LED lighting.

Manufacture of the new design will now be undertaken by Peugeot, who has over 120 years of design and manufacture experience. The company's engineers are to assemble a run of 3,000 bikes for the City of Bordeaux for end of year availability. It's during this period that any technical issues relating to the concept will be tackled - such as frame stress points and core strength.

Sources: Municipality of Bordeaux, Phillipe Starck, and Peugeot

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

While I understand the advantages of the step thru design it comes with either a weight or weakness penalty that I prefer to ovoid.



Ovoid means oviform or egg-shaped.


The designers obviously haven\'t got a clue about bike geometry. The pedals should not be directly under the saddle this, not only is this a horribly inefficient position for transferring power to the pedals, it could lead to knee injuries right behind the knee cap.

Isaac Seidman

Not sure how new this is... In my home town (Phoenix AZ) I saw such bikes already used by seniors, and that was more than a year ago.... To me it looked like a great concept for the elderly who wanted to stay active but find the standard bike hard to get on.

Helene Webman

The obvious structural weakness aside, I would hate to ride over a small curb or anything higher than a few inches considering the low standing platform!

Jerry Peavy

so those pedals will need to stick out quite wide to miss the deck, also I\'m thinking about hitting a pedal everytime I push away while using the scooter - ouch!!


Why would anyone want to have a scooter option when they\'re already on a bike? The scooting motion is very inefficient compared to pedaling. Plus it wears down the soles on your shoes and tires you out faster because you\'re using only one leg. A step-through frame is okay, but the scooter platform is just plain dumb. Better might be an Elliptigo but with a seat option that can be pushed back out of the way if you want to pedal standing up.



Peugeot won\'t mess up the manufacture, so shutup already about the geometry and strength and pedals etc. Sheesh!!! Has everyone got out the wrong side of the bed today?

This is a really awesome idea.

And yeah - if you didn\'t read the whole article, don\'t hit \"post comment\"!!!


re; Gadgeteer

Just off the top of my head sore crotch, only going a few hundred meters, in a hallway, or you find it to be more fun.



I don\'t want to know about your head sore crotch. People going a few hundred meters probably won\'t be renting a bike to do it. These are community bikes for everybody to use. Taking them down hallways to store indoors defeats that purpose. I tried a friend\'s Xootr kickscooter during the scooter craze about ten years ago. They\'re most assuredly not \"fun.\" Swinging your driving leg in a long arc, which doesn\'t involve the quadriceps. Having to squat up and down on the other leg with every stroke. Doing at best about 10mph with a lot of effort, a speed that\'s an easy cruise on a bicycle. The near impossibility of switching legs on the move when the platform doesn\'t have room for both feet at once.


I had this idea six or seven years back, after teaching my daughter to ride a bike. I got her to ride left foot on left pedal, beside the frame with bike tilted to the right, down the [sloping] driveway, using the bike as a scooter (she could already use a scooter) without needing to push. Easy! This gave the confidence to sit on the seat and coast downhill. Next step - roll and pedal. Finally, pedalling on level ground. The whole process took maybe a bit more than an hour and was so easy and I thought of the idea of a scooter platform with seat and pedals behind.

There are suspension advantages in the pictured design as the vehicle will pivot more under the user over bumps. Also, tramlines will be less troublesome with the ability to quickly hop/jump through the frame is a wheel gets stuck when scootering. Similarly, if the front wheel gets trapped suddenly when in scooter mode one won't get thrown over the handle bars, due to being able to get a foot off quickly, and the bike just flip itself.

One may also be able to get better downhill stability by analogy with the locking crank set-up reviewed on Gizmag previously. http://www.gizmag.com/cranklock-cycling-cornering/12301/

Gerry Lavell

This could not be used as a scooter. The seat and pedals are all in the way, and the deck is too high to scoot from. It is just a hard-to ride-bike with a step through. There are some scooters with seats, but to ride a scooter, your ankles have to go past where these pedals are sticking out, and you have to squat into the area that is full of seat on this thing.

Jeffrey-the Barak

Oh great, so they come up with a girl bike.

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