The Pibal (French for ‘baby eel’) is a prototype of a bicycle that is supposed to be used in a bike sharing scheme in the city of Bordeaux, France. This weird looking bike is a result of a survey among the locals which revealed what they would like their custom public bike to look like. The results were used in a joint venture by the renowned French designer Philippe Starck and famous automaker Peugeot.
The looks have been disputed by many, but the Pibal looks the way it does for several reasons. First of all, it is a successful cross between a bicycle and a scooter. Pedaling is very useful in crowded city areas, but sometimes the crowds are so overwhelming that you can’t even pedal. This is where the Pibal’s scooter-related nature kicks in. You can simply use the platform to push yourself forward using one foot. This is also great for pedestrian areas. Additionally, the platform can be used as a carrying surface for any kind of load, or even children. The Pibal also has space for bag racks both at the front and the back.
The bike is made mostly of aluminum and it has very conspicuous yellow tires and tire guards. This eye-invading color scheme is very useful due to the fact that there is no way you will be unnoticed in the streets.
The aluminum frame makes the Pibal reliable and sturdy. However the fact that there is no proper top bar might mean that the bike’s frame might bend a bit, but we are sure that Peugeot and Starck will not gamble with their reputation, especially having in mind that this is intended to be used by the public, so they are bound to find proper balance between the already amazing practicality and controlled bending, if there is any.
300 Pibal bicycles will be launched for free in June of 2014 and they will test the general public’s opinion of the prototype. Looking at it, we have to say that the Pibal looks very unique and practical.
Subscribe to Jebiga for a dose of the best in gear, design, rides, tech and adventure.