Innovation That Matters

Hygienic handlebar covers for shared bicycles

Work & Lifestyle

Citywide bike schemes are popping up all over the world, as we’ve noted on several occasions already, touting myriad benefits for the environment, urban congestion and human health. As is so often the case when equipment is shared, however, hygiene concerns inevitably follow—particularly during winter months and events such as the current swine flu pandemic. Enter Cyclean, a handlebar cover designed to protect bike users from germs. Developed by Spanish PersonalBox with Barcelona’s Bicing bike scheme in mind, Cyclean covers are hygienic, adjustable and waterproof sheaths that are available in versions tailored both for street bicycles and for the indoor variety used in gyms. Using the bright-red, condomlike covers, bicyclists can avoid contact with all the dirt, dust, pollution, viruses, water, sweat and other potential unsavouries that might be lurking on a shared bike’s handlebar grips. Launched in December, Cyclean covers are recyclable and photodegradable, PersonalBox says. They are available online and through retail bike shops in Barcelona and Madrid; pricing is EUR 5 for either a bag of 18 pairs for street bikes or 12 pairs for indoor bicycles. A video on Vimeo demonstrates Cyclean in action. Of course, whether the world needs yet another disposable item on the streets is far from clear, as TreeHugger points out—particularly when a pair of washable gloves could presumably do just as well. Their safety, meanwhile, would seem to depend on a good, tight fit—something PersonalBox has no doubt already ensured. Nevertheless, consumers will ultimately decide whether disposable handlebar covers offer enough advantages to be compelling—if they do, could make a nice feeder business for gyms and bike sharing programs around the world. One to watch! Spotted by: Daniel Rodriguez



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