Paris, France. The French are known for their style sense and their bike share. And, apparently, French bike share company ShareCycles didn’t feel that traditional bike share bicycles were stylish enough. Their debut product, The FixieHire, is a minimalist’s take on the bike share bike, set to hit the bike share market next month.
“The FixieHire is practicality in simplicity,” said ShareCycles CEO Michel Velopart in a press release. ”Think about it: no brake or gear cables to have to hide internally. With less parts, we’ve drastically reduced the costs of manufacturing and future maintenance. Not to mention, you look good riding it.”
The company has its sights set on the young, hip bike share users of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Chicago as the programs look to expand in the coming years. Velopart says that he expects these programs to do well in the short-term with their traditional bikes, but after awhile “…young people will want more from bike share systems. They will want to go fast and they will want to be hip. The FixieHire will meet their demands.”
An obvious concern is safety. With no handbrakes, the bikes present a high-risk means of transportation. To address the safety issue, Velopart says that they have partnered with an insurance company to help quell any safety concerns. They have also started to develop several locking mechanisms that will be compatible will various bike share station docks, including both B-cycle and PBSC, in addition to a “smart-lock” version of the bike to work with systems like ViaCycle and Social Bicycles.
“We’re opening up the choices for cyclists and tourists. Moms, dads, grandparents and younger cohorts alike will all have the option to ride a fixed-gear through the city,” said Velopart.
And, from BikeShare.com, we wish you a happy April Fools Day.