Bicycles without pedals? Baseline Bicycles brings back the velocipede.
April 1, 2014
Bicycles, a relatively new manufacturer/retailer of fixed gear bicycles has
taken the back to the basics styling trend further than any bicycle company to
date. Several companies market
“balance bikes”, bikes without pedals that help small children transition to
riding bicycles. Baseline bicycles is taking the opposite approach and
marketing their bikes to adults seeking to simplify their bike riding
Velocipedes launched the personal mechanized transport era in the
early 1800s, predating bicycles with pedals by some 40 years. Why bring them
back? Ray Banks, the founder of the
company, explains what prompted him to do away with pedals. “I originally set
out to design and market fixed-gear bicycles (fixies); simple, beautiful,
single-speed bicycles. I have long held the philosophy that simpler is better
and that a back to the basics approach is a healthier, more beautiful, more enjoyable
way to live.” When visiting the factory
to check on the progress of his first order, Banks found that although the
bikes were almost complete, they were waiting on the pedals. Nevertheless, having
made the journey to the factory, he decided to take a sample out to gauge how
the bikes would be received.
He was very pleased by the attention the bike garnered; especially
on college campuses. Of course lacking pedals, observers would laughingly ask
how one rides a bike without pedals. Intending to be funny, Banks jokingly got
on the bike and used his feet to propel himself around. This drew even more
attention and Banks soon realized that he had stumbled onto an untapped market.
The company is now selling their bicycles from their website
Baselinebicycles.com. Banks considers
his bikes to be works of art based on the minimalism school where design is
pared down to only the most essential elements. Other fixed-gear bicycle
manufacturers have gone so far as to remove the brakes from their bicycles.
Banks believes safety to be paramount and therefore considers brakes to be essential
and so they are included. Pedals on the other hand he considers to be non-essential
and thinks having them results in a “cluttered” look.
To see what a bike without pedals looks like and how it is ridden
check out the video: