7 Wild, Multifunctional Bikes
Bicycles are usually pretty straightforward. They get you from point a. to point b. with two wheels, a pair of pedals, a few gears and a chain.
Not these bikes. These bikes each feature at least one totally different function that sets them apart from every other 10-speed, commuter and mountain bike.
Wild Bike #1 The Briefcase Bike
Well this is a timely design, isn't it? It's seems like biking is the most fashionable way to get to work these days, so why not have a bike that folds neatly into a classic work accessory. Instead of leaving it locked to a pole, fold it up, carry it into work and look totally savvy and stylish. Assuming a briefcase is stylish (do people even carry briefcases anymore?). The bike itself looks ugly as sin and uncomfortable to ride, but it's not for the Tour de France; it's just to get you to work. In addition to its pack-up function, the Bikoff designed by Marcos Madia offers some serious components: carbon fiber frame, rear shock and disc brakes.
Wild Bike #2 Paratrooper Bike
A briefcase is handy but if you need a bike designed to handle more adventure than the average 9-to-5 commando, perhaps a military-built bike that folds up small enough to fit into a backpack (a large, paratrooper backpack, but a backpack just the same) is more your speed. Originally made for the U.S. military, where the bike was designed to be packed by paratroopers, assembled and then ridden on the ground, the Montague Paratrooper Bike is now available to civilians in several flavors, including an $879 standard model and a $1,049 pro model.
Unlike other folding bikes, the Paratrooper is a legit 24-speed, 26-inch mountain bike hardtail. It weighs 29 lbs., not bad considering all the pivot points and hardware on it. The bike is perfect if your plans include a Bear-Grylls-style backcountry mountain bike mission reached only by parachute drop-in, or if your local trail just happens to have a lot of sketchy, hike-a-bike sections. Montague also stocks plenty of other folding bike options.(See Paratrooper bike here.)
Wild Bike #3 Bergmoench Backpack Bike
Most of us probably won't be jumping out of airplanes with bikes strapped to our backs anytime soon. We'll have to get to the top of the mountain the old fashioned way: leg power. Now if you hate huffing, puffing and pedaling up a hill, the Bergmoench is a downhill-only bike that breaks down into its own backpack. Hike it up the hill, snap it together and then enjoy the best part of the bike ride: the downhill. Unfortunately, this European bad boy doesn't have any gears, chain or pedals, so you'd better be sure the hill you choose is all downhill with no flat or uphill sections--or you're back to hiking. This one's kind of like a warm-weather, off-road sled.
Wild Bike #4 Zigo Leader
Eventually your days of bombing down hills on a parachute bike or drivetrain-less hunk of rolling thunder are going to give way to days of changing diapers, watching mindless puppets on television and cleaning all colors of spit-up off your favorite shirt. But just because you're a parent doesn't mean you have to choose between your bike and your baby. Put them together on the Zigo, essentially a cross between a stroller and a bike. The Zigo puts your child in front in his own little cabin, allowing you to keep an eye on him while you pedal. If you'd prefer to head out on foot, the carrier detaches from the bike and turns into a stroller or jogger. (See the Zigo here.)
Wild Bike#5 Bond Bike
Imagine you're on a death chase being hotly pursued by a posse of international assassins. You know what you don't want? To be riding a bike. Unless that bike happens to be this BOND Bike. More of a prop than a real grown up's toy, the BOND (Built of Notorious Deterrents) bike is designed to help you navigate the commute (or escape death at the hands of your enemies). You get a pair of flame throwers in the handlebars to singe those that get to close to your flanks, a tread for barreling over uneven, broken up terrain, a ski for biking through the snow and an ejection seat for if and when it all goes to shit.
Wild Bike#6 Ktrak Cycle
Okay, handlebar flamethrowers and ejection seats may be a little much, but there's something pretty rad about being able to bike over snow. The Ktrak (which is the system used on the BOND Bike) cuts the shenanigans and gives you what you want: a tread-ified rear wheel and a ski front wheel. Most snow bikes make you relinquish your pedals and gears completely, but this kit just retrofits your standard bike, transforming a 26-inch mountain bike into a snow-roving machine (or at least a bike that you have half a chance in hell at pedaling through the snow). I'd have to try it out before I commited $529 to it. (Update: This bike is no longer available.)
Wild Bike #7 Hopworks Beer Bike
Drinking and riding a bike isn't advisable, but serving drinks off a bike seems okay in my book. As long as I'm on the drinking side of that tap. This big tandem-looking mo-fo is basically a rolling party, what with two full kegs up front, a wooden bar, two taps, storage in back for food delivery and a full sound system. Yeah, I want to see that thing pull into my driveway on a dull Saturday evening, too. Of course, I wouldn't want to try pedaling it. The bike is a one-off custom designed by Portland, Ore.-based Metrofiets Cargo Bikes for Hopworks Brewery.
Note: The writer and/or the site may have received free samples or some other type of remuneration or benefit for trying out, reviewing, recommending or writing about the items covered in this article.