What would the first pedal cycle have looked like today.
Conspicuous with its wheels of different sizes, the velocipede was the first pedal-powered cycle in history. DING3000 and BASF have now embarked on an unparalleled thought experiment and asked: How would the first pedal cycle have looked if the pioneers of the bike had had today's advanced materials to work with?
Together they have rebuilt the 19th century bike as a ready-to-ride prototype with an electric drive and 24 polymer applications.
With its Concept 1865, BASF is taking a trip back into its own history - to the year 1865 -, when the Badische Anilin - & Soda - Fabrik(BASF) was founded and this was the point in time when Karl Drais’ wooden 'Dandy horse' was given its first pedals, which launched the bicycle on the road to global success.
As a tribute to this era of enthusiasm for technology and invention, BASF has embarked on an unparalleled thought experiment and asked: How would the first pedal cycle have looked if the pioneers of the bike had had today’s advanced materials to work with? Incooperation with the DING3000 design studio, the company has developed a velocipede embodying the current state of the art technology. In doing so, the innovative one-off quotes the geometry and mechanics of the first pedal cycle. The crank directly drives the front wheel (39") which, in order to improve the transmission ratio, is much larger than the rear wheel (24"). The chain, sprockets and coaster brake are entirely omitted. Even so, the modern-day velocipede is much more than an appreciative allusion to by gone days. Technically it is ahead of its time. For the fully functional and ready-to-ride e-bike features such spectacular details as thin optical waveguides inlaid in the forks for the lights, softly sprung and at the same maintenance-free tires, and a detachable seat with an integrated battery. Overall, this modern e-bike makes use of 24 innovative BASF materials - materials that are sure to come to the fore as electromobility advances.
New materials for new ideas. By implementing its design study based on this thought experiment, BASF obviously does not intend to reinvent the bicycle, let alone the wheel. Under the slogan 'Rethinking Materials', the unusual e-bike is in fact an invitation to customers to join the company in developing new applications and product ideas utilizing advanced plastics. BASF has plenty of experience in this. Since its founding in 1865, the company has been researching new chemical products and helping customers from across industries to bring their ideas to fruition.