Ever since I learned how to, I have biked everywhere — to school, to work, to nights out on the town. Even when I was living in Miami, I stubbornly biked from my home in the Design District across the Venetian Causeway to work on South Beach’s Lincoln Road (a good 25 minute ride). Everyone either thought I was crazy or saw me as a hard core pioneer of the healthy commute. It was great, except when it rained (anyone who has experienced torrential downpour in South Florida can relate).
I have been in NYC for a year and a half now and have yet to acquire a bike, not because I’m not desperately looking for one, but because I really couldn’t bike all the way from Brooklyn to work in Midtown. Well, I could, but it just feels too dangerous (a fear I think I share with many). I wish I could just bike the first part of my commute, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and then hop on the 4/5 Express at Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall. And, when it rains, I just want to be able to take the train all the way.
Enter the IF Mode, a new full-size folding bike designed by Mark Sanders (who is also responsible for the Strida). It was designed with commuters of our mobile generation in mind — an attempt at attracting those who may not previously have considered folding bikes to be an option because they were just too small (and kind of tricky to ride). IF stands for Integrated Folding, a technology that offers a single-action, automatic fold that requires no tools or removal of parts. It is based on a patented 3-dimensional 4-Bar linkage that automatically guides the wheels together when folding. There are no oily chains or complex parts, making it ideal for crowded subways, buses and trains. The bike, folded, measures 40 inches high, 10.5 inches wide and 26 inches long. It weighs in at 32 lbs, but there is really no need to ever carry it (except up and down stairs and such) because it rolls along smoothly beside you.
IF Mode is made by Pacific Cycles and was recently awarded the Eurobike Award, and the iF Product Design GOLD Award (along with the Apple iPhone, the Macbook Air and the VW Golf Mk6). Production is limited, but pre-order one from Areaware before May 1st and you can expect to recieve the bike in June (orders placed later may not be delivered until the end of summer). The price tag is seemingly the only bad thing about the IF Mode, at $2250 it may be out of many people’s range. But, with raising MTA fares it may just pay for itself one day.