That bike looks like it can morph into things.
Yeah, so long as the new thing also incorporates a seatpost, handlebar and two wheels. “A-ha, see how I have transformed into a slightly different bicycle. You are foiled!” Not exactly Terminator T-1000 territory, is it? But in one key aspect you are right – this bike can morph into a folded version of itself. (Well, ‘morph’ is a bit dramatic. It can ‘be folded’. By a ‘person’.)
Folding bike? #Yawn.
Now unzip your face, fellah, and wait for the story to fully unfold. This is an electric bike; a folding electric bike. We doubt you’ve seen the like. Because we haven’t and we are, in a distinctly non-meta way, you. Batteries in the downtube and a hub motor on the front wheel make the JIVR good for 20 miles of 15mph, with a full charge claimed to take only a few hours.
Whyfore art there pedals, then?
Because nothing lasts forever. You might get sidetracked on the way home and run out of juice. The pedals are connected to a unique mechanical drivetrain that powers the rear wheel. Single speed only, but it’ll get you home and with no messy chain to worry about.
Chainless drive? Bit brave for a new company, isn’t it?
British. Established engineering doctrine disassembles like candy floss on a wet pier in the face of a Brit on a mission. And anyway, it’s no more brave than calling the bike ‘JIVR’ after Motorola got such a comprehensive online drubbing for its RAZR and ROKR naming convention. But there’s more radical tech here to consider. The bike and smartphone app – yes, you can plug your phone into the bike to charge while riding – are beacon-enabled.
Beacons. Yay: the tech that is always a headline, never a thing.
What do you mean? It’s beacons, isn’t it? It means that your JIVR bike, like other beacon-enabled devices including the new Apple Watch, are able to receive location-aware messages from other, um, beacon-enabled things. And locations! “You’re at the bookshop” your bike might say, so long as you’ve cycled close enough to the bookshop to activate the bookshop’s beacon. Which is about Bluetooth distance. Because they use Bluetooth, beacons. And then it’ll try and sell you a book. Beacons!
Hmm. So how much am I paying for this folding electric bike?
Pin back your ears and hold on tight: here comes another rush of interesting. The JIVR’s Kickstarter campaign is up-and-running, and to buy a bike outright costs you £1200. But volunteer to be an Ambassador, by which you pledge to ride your new JIVR for at least 50km a month for five months, and you can get one for as low as £700. After the five months you are free to ride as much or as little as you like. But you can still call yourself The Ambassador. #Winning.