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Sobi Social Bikes Offers Cheaper Bikeshare

Unlike other social biking concepts and designs, the Sobi concept involves a GPS-enabled electronic lockbox that comes attached to the bicycle, allowing it to be parked at any traditional bike rack. Designed specially for urban transportation and tourist destinations, Sobi is equipped with a sophisticated networking system that allows for easy management of the bikeshare system.

Founder Ryan Rzepecki of the Sobi team expects up to 60 prototype bicycles to be completed and delivered this october, with the complete system ready for official use sometime in 2012. For any generous and interested readers, check out the team's kickstarter page for more information. The key factor setting Rzepecki's design apart from similar kinds is the innovative use of the bike's integrated locking system.

"We have smart bikes, not smart racks," Rzepecki explains. "Our lock works with regular bike racks and does not rely on expensive kiosks and docking stations." This means a much cheaper and more practical model that also brings more convenience and incentives to the consumers. Sobi bikes will be designated to special system zones where users will be able to lock and leave the bicycles anywhere they please inside the zone. 

Users may also leave their bikes outside of the zone but will have to pay a fee. Any subsequent user who returns the bicycle to its proper zone will be rewarded with an equivalent amount of credit. With each bicycle equipped with an on-board computer and GPS-enabled lock, the risk of theft is also reduced. For more information on this innovative social biking experience, head on over to Designboom's article here.