Mobike, China’s major bike-rental company, today launched a new model of its smart bike called “New Lite.” It features a minimalist design, longer lifespan, and lighter weight.
The all-new model comes with a stronger bike frame which is 50 percent stronger than European standards and weighs 15.5 kilograms, making it the lightest mainstream bike rental model on the market, according to Mobike. The new model also has an internal chain transmission that guarantees the chain will neither fall off nor catch the users’ pants.
Beijing city’s transportation unit this week announced new regulations, stating that all bike rentals must be replaced or discarded after three years in use (in Chinese). Mobike’s new model also reflects the new rule.
“Our new models can last for at least three years,” Hu Weiwei, Mobike’s CEO, told TechNode after the launch event in Beijing, adding that the team initially designed the model for a four-year lifespan. “I particularly appreciate the design [of the new model] which is not designed for the market but for everyday life.”
While major cities in China have seen an overwhelming amount of shared bikes invading the streets, many local governments have halted new bike placement.
“Volume control is a good thing, in my opinion. It makes everyone more rational,” said Hu.
Mobike also revealed another new concept bike model that comes with a white body but has yet to release to the market. It’s designed by the Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa who also designed the classic MUJI CD player. It remains unknown when this model will be placed on the streets.
Launched in April 2016, Mobike has since deployed in 180 cities around the world and operated more than 7 million bikes. The company this week just landed in Washington D.C., their first US city. Besides the company’s home turf, Mobike has so far expanded to Singapore, US, UK, Italy, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia.