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Amidst the hurricane news frenzy this weekend, you may have missed a New York Times story suggesting that bike storage has surpassed the Fresh Direct refrigerator as the more desired amenity among NYC vertical dwellers.
The Times reports that more and more buildings are carving out lobby-level and subterranean spaces for two-wheelers, charging anywhere from $10 a month to (gasp) $100 a month at some luxury rental buildings like The Beatrice and The Continental.
This being NYC, waiting lists are still common. But we recently heard about a clever approach to overcrowding: The Flipphandle.
Once installed on a bike, the Flipphandle enables handlebars to be turned and locked at 90 degrees with the push of a button (see picture), vastly increasing the sardine-packing possibilities of your average bike room.
"Suddenly, your bike takes up far less space in your hallway, on a bike rack, in your garage, on a train, or wherever you keep your bike when not in use," claims the explanation on Flipphandle's web page. "With its slimmer profile, Flipphandle works better in narrow spaces (like your hallway) and makes it easier for you to walk with your bike in crowded places like city streets and subway stations (plus escalators and elevators). Its simple, quick action makes Flipphandle convenient for bicycle commuters."
It looks and sounds pretty nifty, but there's a catch: You can't actually buy one. At least not yet, and maybe never.
The Flipphandle's Argentinean inventor is using the popular fundraising site Kickstarter to raise enough money to produce the first batch of 1,000 Flipphandles. It's looking to raise $75,000 by Sept. 13th. So far, 118 backers have pledged a total of $9,279.
You can support the Flipphandle with a pledge as low as $1, though $75 or more will score you the actual device once it's funded and manufactured.