Solving Cities

A bike that grows with its kid rider

Posting in Cities

Yes, that's right. The bike gets bigger as the child grows.

SmartPlanet contributes to the global conversation about urban cycling in exciting and controversial ways.

One area that often gets overlooked - and by almost everyone - is how to get more youth cruising on city streets safely and affordably.

In steps Spanish bicycle designer Orbea.

"We started thinking about how to make a better kids bike and after finishing the first project, we saw that something very important was not reflected in the product," Alex Fernandez Camps, the Orbea designer behind the Grow line, told Michael Coren at Co.Exist. "This product has a very high obsolescence!"

The new design lengthens over time, essentially growing with its rider. But the inspiration for the bike is not just grounded in its long-term affordability.

"Each bike can support a little bit higher price and have better components," says Camps. "It’s going to have a better performance and a longer life (the real difference). It’s also important that people love this design. Because of that, people take care of the object, so they do not throw it away, and the bike goes from hand to hand."

Whether this environmental ethic will go over well with consumers is yet to be seen.

As for the question of safety, my hat goes off to those working to promote urban youth cycling.  While most at-risk youth who find themselves in need of some bike-inspired intervention are way past growing pains (of the physical sort), it is important that designers and policy makers spend time considering the needs of youth riders.

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Sonya James

Contributing Writer

Sonya James is a multimedia producer based in New York. With creativity and innovation in mind, she speaks to diverse voices on topics from racism in the art world to the patriotic nature of southern food. She holds a Masters Degree in Community Development. Disclosure