German bicycle-in-a-pack offers opportunity for faster descents, more broken bones

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If you’re like us, you spend a lot of your weekend adventure-planning— and even more time trying to figure out whether you should spend it hammering out miles on foot or by pedal power. (We know. It’s a migraine-inducing decision-making process.)

Now, thanks to German engineering, you might have the chance to do both on the same outing: The Bergmönch merges a daypack with a downhill bike in one bright-orange, 20-pound package.

Besides injecting a little Lance-like adrenaline into your normally steep and grueling descent, this real-life Transformer boasts other benefits like 12 liters of storage space, a helmet holder, and a pack-to-bike assembly speed of about two minutes (or so says the brochure).

Check out subtitled footage of the Bergmönch in action (but don’t expect to learn much about why they call it “mountain monk”—don’t worry, we’re looking into it):

Bergmönch from Thomas Kaiser on Vimeo

Wheelie-popping monks aside, there seem to be a few major drawbacks: No pedals means the Bergmönch can only function as a downhill bike; even brief inclines on variable trails will force you to get off and push. The tiny amount of storage space makes long tours out of the question, and since it lacks a seat, standing or kneeling while rattling down the mountain won’t really save your knees or back.

We’re all for biking as much as possible, but I’m not sure that means we should turn every return hike into the X-Games.

Or maybe I’m wrong: Should we preserve the tradition of a hiker’s descent sans wheels?

Tell us if you think the Bergmönch is ridiculous or revolutionary in the comments section below.

–Morgan Keys

The Bergmönch