Amid the shiny cars, people with dusters keeping the cars impeccably shiny, and shiny women, a few items were on display at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit that would hold any crusty old environmentalist’s attention. Bikes. Not just any old, embarrassing can’t-get-your-ass-up-a-hill electric bikes. A shiny, highly-engineered bike.
The Parlee’s frame is carbon fiber – which keeps things light and easy to move around. Its brakes are molded into the fork to increase aerodynamics. It’s even got a built-in dock for a smartphone to track speed, cadence and heart rate. Bike enthusiasts know that all of that is mostly available now if you have the money to spend.
The last feature is not available on the market – perhaps for good reason. The helmet packs neurotransmitters to help rider to shift gears just by thinking about it. The press guy told me that it actually works.
I for one am glad that I can’t buy this at my local bike emporium. A helmet that could read my mind would mean a whole lot more stops at donut shops and aggressive pursuit of dangerous drivers.
Toyota’s press materials speak highly of this feat of engineering:
“Embued with the spirit of Prius, this aero-road bike is also a purpose-built machine that blends simplicity with the complex to become a better, more efficient, version of something that already exists.”
Now doesn’t that sound fancy?
So what if it was announced in 2011 and still remains firmly in concept mode?
Travel to NAIAS was provided by Ford. Opinions are 100% mine (obviously)
[Image credit: Jen Boynton]