Bike maker banks on back-to-the-future style
The Trek Lime
Bikes adults recall from childhood were low-tech affairs - lots of clunky metal tubing and fat tires, if memory serves - but it turns out state-of-the-art technology is needed to lovingly recreate them.
In an era when some Americans follow the Tour de France and think nothing of spending big bucks for a skintight outfit that makes them the fashion plate of the peloton (the mobile scrum of riders that bunches up in a race), Trek Bicycle Corp. is betting there's a niche for an old-fashioned, maintenance-free bike, and it used computer-assisted design software from SolidWorks Corp., a firm with offices in Concord, to help devise a "breakthrough machine" that "reclaims the joy of your first two-wheeler."
Indeed, in attempting to describe the launch of the Trek Lime in a press release, publicists became as incandescent as barroom poets.
The bike evokes "rapturous feelings," suggested the release, adding, "The Trek Lime is an 'everybike' with a coaster brake, fully automatic shifting (like in your car), no cables, ultra-simple lines, a comfortable seat, and - for the cool factor - swappable chain guards and hand grips in six different colors."
While Trek Bicycle of Wisconsin is probably best known for bikes Lance Armstrong rode in the Tour de France, Trek and SolidWorks believe there's a market for a bike aimed at mainstream consumers.
"Lime brings back the joy of bikes for millions of soon-to-be born-again cyclists without the complicated gadgetry that captivates the high-end market," SolidWorks vice president Rainer Gawlick said in a statement.
The joy of bikes doesn't come at old-fashioned prices: A Trek Lime can set back a born-again cyclist by about $580.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)