As city governments around the world make it harder to drive with strategies like congestion fees, lower speed limits or even outright bans, people seem to be switching increasingly to bicycles to get around. Unfortunately, at least in the US, urban areas are also the most dangerous for those on two wheels. A company from Britain running an IndieGoGo campaign might have a intriguing solution with the Babel Bike. It claims this is the safest cycle in the world.

The fairly bizarre-looking recumbent bike's most obvious safety feature is the cage that surrounds the rider's body, and it works under an interesting concept. The idea is that if a motorist hits a person, the Babel would bounce off, rather than being dragged under. There are also U-shaped protectors at the front to guard the feet and a full suite of lights at the back, including for the brakes, turn signals and hazards. The company claims that with all of the features the bike can survive a test against a heavy truck.

Beyond all of the safety features, the Babel goes for some smart design features too, like hiding the chain in the enclosed frame or the foot guards doubling as a bike lock. The company offers the cycle in two configurations. As part of the IndieGoGo campaign, 2,999 pounds ($4,450) buys one with a Shimano electric motor making 0.33 horsepower and 11 gears. The electric assist isn't really meant for cruising, though, but rather getting the bike up to speed from a stop. Meanwhile, 1,999 pounds ($2,970) buys a version with eight speeds and purely with pedal power.

According to Treehugger, Babel Bike founder Crispin Sinclair is the son of famous British inventor Sir Clive Sinclair and it looks like father and son both have an eye for innovation. See the cycle for yourself in the company's clip above.


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