Pibal bicycle by Philippe Starck
and Peugeot


French designer Philippe Starck and car company Peugeot have unveiled a prototype bicycle crossed with a scooter, designed for a free cycle scheme in Bordeaux, France.

As part of efforts to integrate bicycles into its public transport system, the city of Bordeaux asked locals to submit design suggestions for an urban bike. Philippe Starck took their ideas and worked with Peugeot to develop a scooter and bicycle hybrid called Pibal, which means "baby eel".

Pibal by Philippe Starck and Peugeot

On the Pibal, cyclists can pedal as normal or, if traffic is heavy, use the low scooter-like platform to push themselves along with one foot. The aluminium bicycle has yellow tyres for visibility and spaces for bag racks at the front and back.

The first 300 units are expected to be manufactured and delivered by Peugeot in June, when they'll be loaned to citizens for free.

Pibal by Philippe Starck and Peugeot

"Just like the pibale, undulating and playing with the flow, Pibal is an answer to new urban ergonomics," says Starck, "thanks to a lateral translation which allows oneself to pedal long distances, to scoot in pedestrian areas and to walk next to it, carrying a child or any load on its platform. It only has the beauty of its intelligence, of its honesty, of its durabiliity. Rustic and reliable, it's a new friend dedicated to the future Bordeaux expectations."

We recently featured a cardboard bicycle that can be made for less than £10 and a concept for a transparent bike – see all bicycles.

A luxury yacht designed by Starck for Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs was briefly impounded last Christmas when the designer's lawyers claimed he was still owed €3 million for his work on the vessel – see all news about Philippe Starck.

Images are by Philippe Starck and Peugeot.

  • TomA

    Wow. That is one of the more stupid bikes I have seen lately. And there have quite a few on Dezeen. The worst part is that this is from France, which used to know what a good bike was. The second worst part is that this isn't some sculptural piece – it is supposed to work, at least in theory.
    Looks like it would weigh a ton, cost an inordinate amount of money to make, and ride really, really poorly.

    • Juz

      “Looks like it would weigh a ton, cost an inordinate amount of money to make and ride really, really poorly.”

      You can tell all that by looking at a couple of photos? Awesome intuition.

    • ohlefty

      Really? Have you ever seen a bikeshare bike before? They are always pretty clunky and inelegant looking, but at least in Paris and DC they are well-used and well-loved.

      This is obviously not a bike for the cycling enthusiast, but for people getting from point A to point B in an urban environment when they don’t own their own bikes. There’s a precedent for similar designs.

  • got fugly bike?

    Soviet design.

    Someone should just take a long holiday from design, make room for fresh blood.

    Place aux jeunes!

  • It seems to be a real easy to ride one! I can easily imagine my mother riding this bike after all these years!

  • Bhavnesh

    There's a reason why the diamond frame format has been used for more than a hundred years. Peugeot should know – they've made plenty of them.

  • Andreas

    It has been done before, same design.

  • As a lover of lightweight bikes, I’m surprised that I am quite attracted to this Tintin-like machine and reckon the scooter platform could be useful.

    Proof of concept will be in using it, of course, and woe betide the Pibal if it is vastly overweight or the frame flexes much.

  • Good idea for girls in skirts (you don’t have to lift your leg too high) or elderly people, but you may not cross a high curb. Perhaps not so good.

    • Kate Millington

      Yeah, definitely for me to ride only if I'm wearing a tight mini-skirt!

  • At least someone is moving the bicycle past its endless ‘top bar’ premise that has kept it front full functionality. Aesthetically, it falls into a ‘retro’ motif. The three(3) tubular construction just behind the front wheel is very unimaginative though; visually and practically bulky, lacks ‘finesse’. The design is trying to do something with its expanded function, laudable, needed, yet the execution feels ‘lacking'(?).

    I see the classic fear from others posting here about some kind of ‘feminising’? The best functions are open to the widest usage. That damned ‘top bar’ has been a problem since the ‘triangular’ solution came into existence. Get over the imagined threats to your ‘machismo(s)’.

  • Tim G

    Brilliant, much better than all those wonderful (yet useless) concept bikes you feature aimed at east London-based graphic designers. No doubt those people will eventually see sense in this and ride it in an ironically cool way! Oh yes.

  • Chris

    Philippe Starck makes me want to cry.

  • Bill

    I use both a kick-bike and bike, and the Pibal combines the two into one. My partner needs a low step through and the Pibal would be ideal for her needs. So I’d be in the market for two Pibals. The design has a cool steampunk look. I’d gladly sell my four kick-bikes and three road bikes for two Pibals, even if the Pibal is slightly heavier.

  • Jono Everett

    Hey Bill, who are you working for? Go on, tell us.

  • Jon Cudworth

    Like someone has already said, Mr. Starck should take a long, long holiday from design.

  • Mira

    I wonder if you could have an adult cycle with a kid standing on the scooter section, or if it would hinder the cyclist.

  • Aaron

    I think there’s a reason why we don’t see a video of this thing being used as a scooter. No matter how you rotate the cranks, you will end up bashing your heel onto the pedal as you try to push off.

  • Tritone

    I assume all of the naysayers have a better design up their sleeves? Put up, or… (you know).

  • fayesmith

    I think it’s a quite nice-looking bike. I’d get one.

  • The idea is kinda impressive but they should have made a better design for it. They could have made the platform a little bit bigger or longer and made the wheels a little bit smaller.

  • Mark

    Brilliant. After seeing so many bikes, no one thought of this. And it was derived from public suggestions so I guess people did say they wanted something that would allow them to scoot around easily through the city. Great solution to integrate it.

  • jojoluca

    It seems to me that the clearance is too low. how about passing over a bump? Or hopping down the sidewalk on other places than a ramp? I think is a great idea, unfinished.

  • Steve

    I’d rather have this! Someone beat him to it 60 years ago. http://www.embacher-collection.at/radseiten/4-5-D

  • Stephane

    Take a look at the 2011 version! http://www.behance.net/gallery/Scoobike/2503943

  • honeybee

    I simply don’t like the colour.