Foldable, large-wheel Bastille Bike
In the winding streets of Paris and beyond, the quest for the perfect urban transportation solution has seen countless evolutions. Some have been clunky and cumbersome, while others promise innovation but deliver more problems than they purport to solve. But then there's the Bastille, a creation that seeks to bring not just a solution, but elegance and simplicity to urban cycling.
Paris, with its old buildings, crowded avenues, and quaint alleys, isn't the friendliest city for the traditional bicycle. Lack of storage space, coupled with the ever-present threat of theft, has been a deterrent for many who'd otherwise traverse the City of Lights on two wheels. Yet, we've seen the Dutch with their bike-and-ride model, mastering the art of incorporating bicycles into their daily commutes. The difference? A lot of it comes down to foldability.
What makes the Bastille stand out in the crowded bike market is its large, 27.5-inch wheels. Unlike the puny wheels often seen on folding bikes, these promise a smoother ride without sacrificing the practicality of being able to compactly store your bike. Gilles Henry, the mastermind behind this design, is no stranger to the folding mechanism, having given Parisians the widely popular Yoyo stroller. And when someone like Quentin Bernard, previously from the high-end audio engineering company Devialet, joins the team, you can't help but expect quality craftsmanship.
Now, while the world around us gets smarter and more connected with every passing day, the Bastille takes a divergent, refreshing approach. This is a bike that is intentionally “low-tech”. No flashy displays, no smartphone connectivity. Its beauty lies in its simplicity. A bike that's easy to maintain and promises longevity. As urbanites, we already have a plethora of devices constantly vying for our attention. Isn't there something comforting about a transportation solution that asks nothing more of us than to enjoy the ride?
But back to the folding – it's been described as a bit of an art. With levers on the down tube and handlebar stem, you can fold the Bastille in just a few quick movements. True, it might take a novice a few tries to master, but the promise of an efficient, compact design seems worth the learning curve.
Priced at €2,590, the Bastille doesn't come cheap. But given the innovation, coupled with partnerships with reputable names in design and manufacturing, one can argue its worth every penny. Furthermore, its manufacturing and assembly processes are deeply rooted in French tradition, being crafted in various parts of the country.
For those of us living in bustling European cities, a good bike is not just about transportation. It's a lifestyle choice, a declaration of independence from gridlocks, and an ode to simplicity. The Bastille, with its unique blend of practicality and style, might just be the next big thing to revolutionize our urban commutes. Bon voyage!
- Large Wheels: With 27.5-inch wheels, the Bastille offers a smoother ride compared to traditional folding bikes, making it adept at navigating various urban terrains, including potholes.
- Quick Folding Mechanism: The bike can be folded in a claimed five to 10 seconds, making it highly convenient for users who are on the move.
- Compact Design: Once folded, the Bastille takes up minimal space (82 x 37 x 91 cm), allowing it to be easily stored or rolled along by hand.
- Durable Construction: Built with an aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork, the bike is designed to be sturdy and long-lasting.
- Quality Components: Equipped with premium parts like a Sturmey Archer 3-speed rear hub transmission, hydraulic disc brakes, and Continental Urban puncture-resistant tires, the bike is designed for performance and safety.
- Low-Tech Maintenance: Intentionally designed without electronic components, the Bastille is easy to maintain and repair, making it ideal for long-term use.
- Puncture-Resistant Tires: The Continental Urban tires provide an extra layer of security against flats, reducing the need for frequent tire changes or repairs.
- French Craftsmanship: Manufactured and assembled in France, the Bastille promises quality craftsmanship and support for local industries.
- Premium Price: Retailing at €2,590 (around $2,742), the Bastille is a significant investment, potentially limiting its accessibility to a wider audience.
- Learning Curve: New users may need some time to become accustomed to the bike’s unique folding mechanism.
- Weight: Weighing in at 15 kg (33 lb), the Bastille might be considered heavy for some users, possibly making it less convenient to carry for extended periods.
- Limited Availability: Currently, the Bastille is only available for pre-order in France, restricting access for interested buyers in other regions.
- Non-Electric: In an age where e-bikes are becoming increasingly popular for their ease of use and speed, the Bastille’s non-electric design may be seen as a drawback for some potential buyers.
- Delayed Shipping: With shipping expected in mid-2024, interested customers will have to wait for some time before they can get their hands on the product.
€2,590 (around $2,742)