New York design team peddles bike sharing system for cities, college campuses

As a commuting cyclist, I've noticed one thing about non-cyclists: They massively underestimate the cost of purchasing a bike.

Friends and acquaintances often approach me about buying their first bicycle since they were about 14, and the story usually goes like this: They've got $100 and they'd like to get their hands on "something decent." Well, eager cycling noob, if your idea of something decent looks like the peeling Schwinn buried in your dad's garage -- with no safety gear, locking mechanism or flat protection -- then baby, you're in luck.

However, college students who want to pedal around town in comfort without dropping $600 on a respectable beginner bike can take heart: The Social Bicycle System (SoBi) might just come to your penny-pinched rescue in the near future.