FLIZ, as this bicycle concept was called by its German creators, is the first product of its kind, as it relies more on inertia than on speed generated by pedals.
German inventor Karl Drais created in 1817 world’s first personal transport device that was based on a frame without pedals. That particular device represented the inspiration for Fliz, a modern bicycle concept that features no pedals and no saddle. In German, the word “flitzen” means speeding up using one’s feet, so the designers of this bike really could not have picked a better name. It would not be wrong to state that Fliz is the first bike that rides humans, instead of being the other way around.
As seen in the above picture, a harness is used for keeping the riders strapped to the bike. Motion is generated by either running or walking for a short distance. When a desirable speed is reached, riders lift their feet and position them on some sort of supports found near the rear wheel.
The entire concept is based around on the idea of building up speed. Until now, all bicycle concepts had pedals and saddles, so it comes to no surprise that the Fliz concept turns heads. If you come to think about it, Fred Flintstone’s car from the famous cartoon series used the same principle. The designers of this bicycle describe it as a healthy and ecological, but one might wonder what was wrong with the classical bikes, since those are famous for those two particular reasons, too.
Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter, the two German designers who created Fliz, explained how the belt system attached to the bike’s frame is used for fixing the rider into position. These two students submitted Fliz as an entry to the James Dyson Award for technology, innovation and design. If they are to win, they will go home with a £10,000 award. However, in the meantime, Fliz brought them a Merit Award at the International Cycle Show in Taipei.
To get a better idea of how this innovative bike performs in urban environments, check out the following video. It should be noted that the frame of the Fliz prototype is made of wood. While not a particularly bad idea, I do not see Fliz becoming popular in every city of the world, as most people prefer traditional bicycles.