Thursday, 6 September 2012

The 'Flintstones' bicycle.

German inventors say the design could be the ultimate urban transport
Riders are held up by a harness

It is a design that is sure to turn heads around town

German designers have revealed a bizarre bicycle with no pedals.

Instead, riders are strapped into a harness and move by walking or running.

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Called the Fliz, it needs the user to build up speed by running and then lifting their legs to settle on foot rests at the hub of the rear wheel.

Momentum then sends the rider and bike on their way, a little like cartoon stone age man Fred Flintstone’s car.

The bike, created by German designers Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter, is fixed to the rider with a belt system suspended from the machine’s frame under which the rider is fixed into pace.

The bike is an entry into the annual James Dyson Award for technology , innovation and design open to international students and founded by the Dyson vacuum cleaner inventor.

FLIZ comes from the German word “flitzen” and means speeding... with your feet.

The concept is to provide healthy, ecological mobility in overcrowded urban spaces.

The frame has a five point belt which is said, despite appearances, to provide a comfortable, ergonomic ride between running and biking.

The belt replaces the saddle and adjusts your position.

The inspiration was the world’s first personal transport device , a two-wheeled frame which resembled a modern day cycle but without pedals.

It was built by German inventor Karl Drais and unveiled in 1817.

Known as a velocipede , the student team behind the FLIZ wanted to revive that principle but making it more modern with additional benefits.

The team even tested a replica of the Drais machine to pinpoint it’s failings such as th unsafe steering and over large seat.

The FLIZ prototype made of wood and tension belts has been tested.

Entries in the Dyson award compete for a £10,000 top prize.

Hambrock and Spetter have already won a Merit Award at the International Cycle Show in Taipei earlie this year.

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