As long as you’re in the market for an electric bicycle, wouldn’t you rather experience the “motion and emotion” of a Peugeot? After all, the big carmaker was actually in the bike business before it ever produced a car—and its first gasoline-powered vehicle, the Peugeot: Type 2, which came equipped with a Daimler engine, was in fact known as a “quadricycle.”
The Peugeot 122 DL concept from Peugeot Cycles was developed as an urban mobility solution for those seeking “convenience and security without compromising elegance.” The e-bike is touted as nimble and compact, featuring an aluminum frame, a wood seat and leather handles and eight-speed belt transmission, as well as 20-inch wheels and an integrated leather pouch with a mesh liner designed to transport modern essentials such as a laptop.
A key component of that leather compartment is the fact that it locks, providing safety and security for your valuables on the mean streets of your city (provided no one steals your actual bike). This “modern leather satchel” was designed to keep your computer and documents safe and accessible without upsetting the bike’s balance on the road, ensuring that it responds dynamically while tooling around town. (The lock is housed discreetly in the bike’s frame.)
The Peugeot 122 DL was dreamed up in Peugot’s Design Lab, a department dedicated to developing “objets de rêve” (objects of dream) designed to shake up the cycling world and explore new horizons. Sold in very limited series — or, like this bike, released as a concept foreshadowing what we can expect to see in a future model from the brand — Puegeot’s Design Lab bicycles are slated to satisfy the tastes of “lovers of innovative and unique mobility.”
The Design Lab calls on a long tradition of bike innovation from Puegeot, as the one of the founders of the brand, Armand Peugeot, actually launched the manufacture of the first true bicycle (with equal-sized wheels and chain-control gear system) from his Beaulieu factory. Peugeot models were later presented under the “Lion” brand at the Universal Exhibition in 1889, and at the company’s first shop (in Paris at 32, avenue de la Grande-Armée), both of which showcased a wide range of bicycles specifically developed for the needs of different demographics—men, women, children, and even clergymen.
eugeot Cycles reached its apex of production around 1930, when the company was producing 162,000 bicycles a year, but it fell on hard times through the 1980s, due to competition in the bicycle and motorcycle market from Asia. This predicated its merger first with Acier et Outillage, then Cycleurope, a conglomerate that grouped together several European brands. Peugeot relaunched its historically significant bicycle line in the 1990s, due (ironically enough) to the surging demand for bicycles across the developing world, including Asia. More on the history of Peugeot Cycles is available online.