As long as the bicycle has been a beloved mode of transportation, its design has evolved with the times, serving as a kind of historical barometer. From the large-wheeled models of the early 19th century to the iconic Schwinn cycles that made every kid’s Christmas list in 1950s America to the practical, child-carrying bikes ubiquitous in modern-day Denmark, the bicycle has wide-reaching appeal. Recent efforts to encourage city cycling have resulted in programs like Paris’s Vélib and New York’s Citi Bike, and two-wheeled commuting is as popular as ever. Bike designers and manufacturers continue to step up to the challenge, developing models with unique appeal to modern cyclists. Here, AD covers five of the most innovative, creative, and smart new bikes on the market today.
Always one to champion practical, functional design, Swedish furniture giant IKEA announced this year the Sladda bicycle, a durable, customizable cycle designed for urban living. The bike, which has already won this year’s Red Dot Design Award, features a lightweight frame, interchangeable accessories, and a rust-free belt in lieu of a chain. It will be available in the U.S. late summer or early fall. ikeaom
Another chainless bike, the Oko by Biomega uses a carbon belt drive, one of many technical innovations on the carbon-fiber model, which can be used as a pedal or electric bike, thanks to two built-in Samsung motors. Oko’s design was a collaboration with the Bjarke Ingels–founded industrial design firm KiBiSi. Prices start at $2.295 for the 40-pound cycle, which comes in silver or white. biomegaom
Dutch company Pedalfactory devised Sandwichbikes, a line of lacquered-plywood cycles that ship in a flat box but expand into a durable model; from $1,014. sandwichbikeom
Vanmoof’s Electrified S is equipped with electric assist, Bluetooth tracking, and a smartphone-connected locking system, making it one of the sleekest and most secure bikes on the market (or almost—it’s available for preorder now); $1,998. Vanmooom
As its name suggests, the Leaos Solar derives its electric power from solar panels cleverly integrated into its design. The 2015 winner of the Red Dot design award, the handsome bike can be customized with an array of metal, carbon fiber, leather, and wood finishes; $7,731. leaoom