British entrepreneur develops safest ever bike with crowd help

The hybrid bicycle created by Crispin Sinclair after he bounced off the side of a turning van is equipped with a safety cell, similar to the roll cage that racing cars have, the rider being strapped in and wearing a seatbelt.

The two-wheeler was designed so that in the event of collision the cyclist will be pushed away by a turning truck or bus, not crushed by it, while also improving protection from impacts with cars.

Talking about the process that went into the Babel Bike, Sinclair said: “We went through hundreds of different prototype models; we tried side bars, stabilisers, foot protectors and many other weird ideas.

“We also played around with different gear systems, different motors, different seats and seat belt designs and eventually took our prototype and did some final testing against a 38 tonne lorry.”

For instance, in accidents involving vans, lorries and buses turning at junctions – that account for 50 per cent of all cycling deaths – the Babel Bike is designed not to fit the gap along the front and sides of these vehicles, being pushed away instead of being run over.

It is also fitted with an automatic alarm, which sounds like a loud car horn triggered immediately when the bike is hit. The front and rear have built-in lights that come on as soon as pedalling starts ensuring the cyclists are easy to spot at all times.

The Babel Bike has indicators, trying to discourage the habit of having to stick the arm outside when making a turn, hazard flashed, brake lights, a loud car horn and rear view mirrors.

The bike is manufactured in both electric and non-electric versions, with the electric versions having a range of up to 80 miles, electrically assisting the cyclist at speeds up to 15.5 miles per hour.

Sinclair and his team are seeking to fund the process in creating the Bable Bike on crowdsourcing website IndieGoGo, although the bicycle can be bought directly from the company.