“The inspiration came one day after I bounced off the side of a turning van,” says Crispin Sinclair about his Babel Bike project. Sinclair thus envisioned a ‘safety cell’ for cyclists, not dissimilar to the roll cages used in racing cars. Using this and other features, he claims he has come up with the safest bike the world has ever seen.
Describing the Babel Bike as ‘the biggest step forward in bicycle safety for over 100 years’, Sinclair – who is the son of the famous inventor Sir Clive Sinclair – is appealing for backers for his project via Indiegogo. At the time of writing, Babel Bike had attracted over £11,000 of a £50,000 target with 30 days to go.
Describing his creation, Sinclair says:
“The Babel hybrid bike has the highest level of primary safety equipment ever fitted as standard to a bicycle, with built-in lights that come on as soon as you start pedalling, indicators, hazard flashers, brake lights, mirrors and a loud car horn.
“But even these won’t help in a collision with a turning truck or bus at a junction – by far the single biggest cause of cycling fatalities. So we have designed into the bikes a roll cage like those found in racing cars, along with seat belts, a custom-made safety seat and steel foot protectors.”
Sinclair says that the bike is designed so that it won’t be crushed by a truck. He and his team say they have tested the bike against a 38-tonne truck and seen it pushed away rather than flattened.
The bike comes with a Shimano 250-watt electric assist motor with a 50-80 mile range as standard, but it can also be ordered without. In terms of security, one of the foot protectors can also double as a lock.
The team’s stated aim is to put a million more bikes on the roads and so take a million cars off them. The electric version will be priced at £3,499 plus £149 for the security pack (which as well as the lock also involves all the components being sealed and locked inside the frame). The non-electric version will cost £1,999. It is hoped that both will be available from May 2016.