Toyota comissions a Prius bike

Jul 01, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Toyota Prius is coming up on its 10-year anniversary and in order to celebrate the company has chosen an unusual route; they have commissioned the creation of a bicycle. The bike, which is being created by the Parlee Cycles company, is designed to work with the Prius design principles of environmentally sustainability. This is a solid match, since both of the companies are known for working on sustainable design and transportation technology.

The commissioned bicycle is designed to be state-of the art and ultra efficient. While the basics of bicycle design have not changed much over the years, the team has gone to great lengths to examine the types of places that the bike may be used, including both jam packed cities and long touring runs, in order to create what the company called the "Areo Road Bike".

The bike frame is made with lightweight and seamless carbon fiber tubing that is designed to be aerodynamic. While carbon fiber is not recyclable the company has been able to make it wasteless by using all of the in the bikes construction. The materials are then covered in a resin layer to enhance its strength, and make it visually appealing.

Toyota comissions a Prius bike

The bike is currently still in development, and the rest of the potential enhancements are not know at this time, since the design team is keeping most of the details a secret. Parties that are interested in finding out more about the construction of the bike can check out John Watson’s blog, Prolly is Not Probably, for future updates.

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More information: www.toyotapriusprojects.com/#/011 and prollyisnotprobably.com/2011/0… _projects_conc_9.php

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User comments : 16

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emsquared
4.8 / 5 (5) Jul 01, 2011
This is great but bicycles in general, much less $5,000 battery driven bicycles (or whatever these will cost), will never be widely employed in the U.S. until we create a cyclist friendly infrastructure. i.e. dedicated bike thoroughfares. As is, you risk dieing on a daily basis due to the flat-out cyclist hostile auto-culture in the U.S.
FroShow
1 / 5 (3) Jul 01, 2011
This bike probably has little or no serious intentions behind it, other than being a publicity stunt to help sell more Prius's.
But if Parlee Cycles did spin-off (pun intended) commercial bikes from this endeavor, I'd be tempted to buy one.

BTW, I don't think the bike is intended to be electrically powered. The only hint that it may be electric is in calling it 'efficient'... but that again can be interpreted many ways.
FroShow
1 / 5 (3) Jul 01, 2011
... by 'electrically powered' I mean 'battery driven'.
Telekinetic
2 / 5 (6) Jul 01, 2011
"Comissions?" Does anyone know how to spell anymore?
I see these Chinese food delivery men on cheap Chinese electric bikes everywhere. Technically, they're illegal, but the cops don't bother them. They ride them in bike lanes with total impunity, and could kill a pedestrian stepping into the bike lane. Anyway, the point of being on a bike is exercise, and as far as I'm concerned, electric is cheating.
FroShow
1 / 5 (3) Jul 01, 2011
@Telekinetic, I 'kinda' agree with calling electric bikes cheating. (I'm an avid cyclist... or used to be) Imagine that you had to carry a lot of weight around, all day, and can't afford a vehicle; you'd probably then be very thankful for any assistance you can get. Even if you could afford a vehicle, bicycles have several advantages over cars; i.e.) cost, maneuverability, footprint, accommodating terrain, parking, insurance, etc... (actually I'm interested if anyone else can point out other advantages).
BTW, why are they illegal? (curiosity)
FroShow
2.8 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2011
... With the above being said...
They ride them in bike lanes with total impunity, and could kill a pedestrian stepping into the bike lane.

This is a serious problem. Not a problem with the bike themselves, but the users (as a general rule: people are stupid).
Telekinetic
2 / 5 (6) Jul 01, 2011
@FroShow:
I know a bicycle advocate who has carried 1,000 pounds, literally, on a platform tricycle that he made for moving. He carried heavy machinery, office filing cabinets, you name it , to defy the assumption that you need a car or truck. Of course, his commitment to human-powered vehicles is unusual, but he's proved his point. Remember the Vietcong on the Ho Chi Minh Trail? They carried 400 lbs. of supplies on two wheelers up and down rugged mountains while the U.S. bombed them. It was the versatility and stealthiness of bicycles that contributed to their victory. In answer to your question about legality, the electric bike is a motor vehicle that must be registered as such, like a motorcycle. It takes stamina and extreme cognizance of the dangers of the road, but the experience, as you know, is unbeatable.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2011
This is a serious problem. Not a problem with the bike themselves, but the users (as a general rule: people are stupid).
Not only people...
http://gothamist....hase.php

Actually though motorbikes and mopeds have been around for decades. People adjust.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2011
Telekinetic
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 01, 2011
Addendum: The Dutch make beautiful, maneuverable elongated bikes with a front rack with a low center of gravity that can handle two to three hundred lbs. The Dutch and the Danes are miles ahead of the rest of the Western world with their "bikes first" mentality.
sherriffwoody
3.5 / 5 (2) Jul 01, 2011
Will it be less polluting than the really bad pollution creating car version. The car should have been banned due to the damage it causes to planet during its production and used to research more effecient systems.
Mayday
not rated yet Jul 02, 2011
Our road vehicle culture is defied by two interrelated dimensions: lane width and rate of acceleration. Lane width comes in one indivisible standard size. If a vehicle is going to claim a quantum of lane width, then it must also reach the local norm of acceleration in order to be accepted into the local vehicle culture. When this can not be achieved, the local culture will dominate. This will look like hostility to the rider of the noncompliant vehicle. For bicycles, the answer is to engineer a power source that will provide much better acceleration. Once achieved, most local vehicle cultures will probably accept a vehicle traveling as much as 10 mph below speed limit. But without the acceleration, no go, the vehicle will require an exclusive right-of-way. IMO.
Mayday
not rated yet Jul 02, 2011
The problem with most current hybrid powered bicycles is that they attempt the opposite: requiring the rider to supply the power for initial acceleration. Some nice efficiency numbers are achieved, but this approach will forever doom these vehicles to a niche outside acceptance on most roads.
MentalHealthNut
not rated yet Jul 02, 2011
What is so wrong with pedaling? Carbon fiber bikes already exist. Maybe this bike will be just as impractical as a Prius. (Dangerously silent cars that are typically colored the same as the sky or landscape..... Smart)
tkjtkj
not rated yet Jul 02, 2011
This is great but bicycles in general, much less $5,000 battery driven bicycles (or whatever these will cost), will never be widely employed in the U.S. until we create a cyclist friendly infrastructure. i.e. dedicated bike thoroughfares. As is, you risk dieing on a daily basis due to the flat-out cyclist hostile auto-culture in the U.S.

I'm fortunate enough to live in a town whose people endorse 'green-ness'. We've reclaimed old unused rail lines to create great paved bike paths, now many miles in length. My daily 10 miles of e-biking includes perhaps 8 miles of such 'Rail-Trails', as we call them. I can easily get to several other towns in this fashion: Northampton to Amherst is not only famous for 5 nationally-ranked colleges but also for ease of biking nearly the entire 7 mi. distance. The sanity of biking, especially electric biking, is evident to whomever i happen to chat with.. and scarcely a day goes by without several people being impressed with it all.
emsquared
5 / 5 (1) Jul 05, 2011
Our road vehicle culture is defied by two interrelated dimensions: lane width and rate of acceleration.
...
This will look like hostility to the rider of the noncompliant vehicle.

Fact: I (and any competent cyclist on a non-cruiser bike) can, and do, beat or match anyone in a car regarding acceleration speed on a bike for the first 50 ft. or up to 15-20 mph or so, unless that person in the car is stepping on it and trying to accelerate overly quickly (like say during rush hour). Mayday, you are flat out wrong about your assumptions. It's only top-speed that's appreciably different.

What looks like hostility to me is people shouting at you to "get off the road", or flipping you off, or swerving into your lane dangerously close infront of you, or opening a door to "scare" you, or spitting at you, or throwing a bagel or soft drink at you because you're on a bike (all things that have happened to me and/or my friends who ride). And my town too is considered "bike-friendly"...

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