Unlike the car, which comes in many shapes, colors, and sizes, the bicycle has not been subject to as many design transformations and over the years has pretty much retained its classic shape. Here and there there are a few exceptions (such as the recycled plastic bike we saw a few months ago), and designers try to upgrade the design of the bike or the urban bike rack. Some bike users may even try to make their bikes ugly in order to deter others from stealing them. But not Israeli designer, Ron Arad. His Soft-Ride Bike (pictured above) breaks one of the cardinal rules of bicycle design, which is that bikes wheels should have… well…. tires.
Instead of your average rubber tires, the Soft-Ride Bike’s wheels are made entirely of sprung steel. In addition to being very aesthetic, this choice has some functional applications as well: the tires will never go flat, the bike has a natural bounce, and the design of the wheels enhances their shock absorption.
Designed as a type of flower, the wheels are each made of 18 steel strips that are pinned together at different tension points to create a circle.
The Soft-Ride Bike was designed to be auctioned at the Elton John AIDS Foundation on October 29th along with other celebrity-designed bikes. Ron Arad’s bicycle will team up with others designed by fashion designers Patrick Cox and Alice Temperley, British actress Paloma Faith, and artist Natasha Law.
Until the auction, however, guests staying at the W Hotel in London’s Leicester Square are invited to take the bike out for a spin. (Or in the case of this particular bike, for a soft-ride.)
Read more about bike design::
The Recycled Plastic Bike that Never Gets a Flat Tire
Egyptian Bike Rack Design Competition Part of 350.org’s Global Climate Change Work Party
I Have A New Bike, Should I Make It Ugly?