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Impossible Technologies: electric cycling convenience

Impossible Technologies: electric cycling convenience

Ask any born-and-bred Dutchman why cycling is so popular in the Netherlands, and he will seem almost spiritually moved as he praises this mode of easy, cheap and accessible transportation. But as anyone familiar with the chaotic streets of downtown Amsterdam will admit, bikes can be a hassle.

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll often find that grabbing a free space to lock up your two-wheeled friend is more complicated than you had realised. If you’re travelling, you’ll probably need to pay an extra fee to take your bike on the train, and leading it around without bruising your fellow commuters’ toes can be a challenge during rush hour.

The innovators behind the Chinese- and Canadian-run startup Impossible Technologies, based in Beijing, began with a simple goal: to maximise the comfort and efficiency of urban biking. Their result, dubbed the "Impossible", may not look like any electric bike you’ve seen before.

But to date, it’s attracted enough attention to reach its Kickstarter pledge goal five times over. Don’t be surprised if you notice a few of these light, foldable, compact machines weaving through traffic in the coming year.

Lightweight, durable technology

What makes the Impossible possible? Its makers drew on a knowledge of basic physics while making creative use of materials. Because the frame of the bike is made of circles, linked together with a steel fulcrum, rather than the traditional bars, it distributes weight evenly between its front and rear wheels while absorbing shocks effectively.

On top of this, the bike is constructed mainly from carbon fibre - a lightweight, yet hardy, material - making it easy to manoeuvre in traffic.

One of the primary advantages offered by the Impossible is its ability to fold up and fit inside the average backpack, desk drawer or closet. Its carrying case, which doubles as the rider saddle, is coated with a protective hydrophobic material, reducing wear and tear.

The Impossible is powered by a customised motor that has been stripped down to its bare essentials. It is capable of travelling up to speeds of 72,4 km/h. At a normal speed, the bike will run for approximately 25 km. Its battery can be charged at any standard electrical outlet at work or home.

Impossible to hit the streets in 2015

The current estimated release date for the Impossible is August, 2015. Its makers plan to develop customisable parts as well as a host of bike accessories based on popular demand and feedback. The bike will be available in both black and white colour varieties.

The company’s Kickstarter campaign will close on December 25th. Priority-order deals and accessories are available in exchange for small donations to the project.

Emily

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Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

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