A historic French bike design gets a modern electric makeover.
In 1941, with steel tubing in short supply due to World War II, Frenchman Jean Prouvé welded an X-shaped bike frame from sheet metal to create an affordable worker’s bicycle. Today, the Prouvé bike is a collector’s item–with one selling for more than $100,000 at auction. Now the historic Prouvé frame design is back, but with a modern twist, courtesy of French electric bike brand Coleen.
Coleen’s Prouvé-inspired eBike is made from lightweight carbon fiber and weighs 19 kilograms, or about 42 lbs–much lighter than the standard eBike weight of 50 lbs or more. Coleen is proudly French and many of the bike’s parts are made in France, including the frame and electric rear hub, which has regenerative braking that re-charges the battery hidden within the top tube. The design world has noticed. Coleen won a 2019 Red Dot award for its design features and range of premium components including leather grips and saddle, automatic lights, a dashboard screen integrated into the handlebars, and a Gates Carbon Drive belt system.
“We wanted to create a high quality premium unisex bike for both men and women that has timeless and minimalist style,” says co-founder Audrey LeFort. “We believe that we have created a really iconic eBike that is beautiful and offers premium performance and technology.” Oui. coleen-france.com