VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University College of Engineering alumnus Steve Christini ’95 is the President and CEO of Christini Technologies, Inc., a Philadelphia-based company which manufactures a range of All-Wheel Drive (AWD) bicycles and motorcycles. Christini’s dream began as an undergraduate at Villanova when, for his senior capstone design project, he created a two-wheel-drive system for a bicycle. Fast forward more than two decades later and Christini’s bikes have competed in ESPN’s X-Games and are even used by the military.
Christini has given back to his alma mater in numerous ways. His company currently partners with the College of Engineering on two senior design projects involving mechanical engineering students. Now, Christini has donated one of his new electric AWD Fat Bikes (FAT-E 4 750W Mid) to Villanova’s Department of Public Safety. The bike was presented to the Department of Public Safety on Monday, Oct. 2.
“Steve pioneered this AWD technology for bicycles as part of his senior capstone design project when he was a student at Villanova,” said Gary Gabriele, PhD, Drosdick Endowed Dean of Engineering at Villanova University. “It’s a great example of a Villanova-born innovation brought to life. In appreciation for all that Villanova has done for him, Steve offered to donate one his new electric AWD Bikes to Villanova’s Department of Public Safety.”
Christini Technologies designs and builds the world's only All Wheel Drive Mountain Bikes. The patented mechanical All Wheel Drive system on the bikes—including the new electric AWD bike given to Villanova—delivers power from the rear of the bicycle to the front wheel through a series of gears, shafts, and chain all mounted within or on the frame. Villanova’s Department of Public Safety will use the bike for patrols and special events.
“We are honored to receive this gift and thank Steve Christini for his generosity," said David Tedjeske, Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police. “The electric AWD bike will allow us to be agile and move quickly on all terrains. It will be ideal for special events."
As a mechanical engineering student at Villanova, Christini dreamed up a two-wheel-drive system for a bicycle that would give riders much better control and climbing abilities on slippery terrain. Christini took on this challenge for his senior mechanical engineering design project and made a working two-wheel-drive bike.
Christini was joined in the Villanova engineering project by several other seniors. At the College’s year-end competition, their project earned top honors, and the judges advised Christini to apply for a patent. In 2002, after seven years of developing his prototype, securing investments, and growing his company, Christini delivered 50 AWD mountain bikes to Jeep® Bicycles.
By 2002, Christini built his first AWD motorcycle and, by 2004, had a functioning prototype. The bike went into production in 2007, and in 2008, was named Dirt Rider magazine’s Bike of the Year.