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Using pulleys and strings, the Stringbike ditches the chain — and the grease

Ask any bike expert and they’ll tell you that spending more than $1,000 on a bike without a chain is madness. Though they certainly aren’t wrong, these same specialists will likely eat their words after taking a look at the innovative new bikes produced by Stringbike — a Hungary-based manufacturer that has recently thrown the bike world for a loop with its chainless designs. By instead leaning on a system of strings and pulleys, the Stringbike’s drive system is wholly innovative.

Designed in Budapest and constructed entirely in the European Union, each Stringbike — be it a single-speed, carbon, or aluminum variety — comes standard with its unique drive technology. On paper, its advantages over a chained drive system are many — there’s no grease, the bike produces a quiet ride, it avoids gear slippage when shifting, and its dual drive system lets riders custom tune specific weight resistances for different legs.

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Aside from its traditional seated models, Stringbike also offers its innovative tech in the form of two separate handbikes — one specifically for use with wheelchairs and a tricycle. Like the the bipedal options, these handbikes produce no grease, deliver a whisper-quiet ride, and quickly disassemble for easier storage or transport.

An innovative and potentially game-changing tech in its own right, Stringbike can also count movie prop on its bike’s list of achievements after appearingh briefly in Denis Villenueve’s sci-fi epic Blade Runner 2049. Stringbike’s website says the production company was looking for “futuristic bikes,” so the team sent five to be kept on set for the duration of filming.

As of now, Stringbike’s popularity (and demo availability) is mostly in Europe but the brand does allow anyone to purchase a model of their own via its website. With prices ranging from $3,500 to $4,500, the Stringbike certainly isn’t cheap, though innovative technology like this rarely is.

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